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Dior takes long route to Instagram after a month of posts

January 2, 2014


French fashion house Christian Dior welcomed a larger following to its newly minted Instagram account by promoting the platform on its Facebook page.

Dior created its Instagram Nov. 15, but waited to direct its fans on other channels to its account on the photo-sharing application until a month had passed, giving the brand time to generate content. By not jumping to publicize its Instagram, Dior gave its followers of its other social media accounts more of a reason to follow the brand on an additional platform.

"Fans of premium brands love exclusivity," said Jeff Cohen, director of social media at MDG Advertising, Boca Raton, FL. "The quiet launch of Dior’s Instagram account ensured only true Instagram fans were first through the velvet ropes.

"Instagram was built around a dedicated and loyal fan base, and smart brands know how to leverage that loyalty," he said. "Keeping the wraps on the Instagram account ensured that active users found them first. These are the same users that will 'Like' and comment on their posts."

Mr. Cohen is not affiliated with Dior, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Dior did not respond by press deadline.

Visual interest

Dior’s Instagram currently features a mixture of both fashion and beauty content, presented as videos and still photos.

To open its account, Dior posted a pale pink washed-out image, with the words “Opening Dior Instagram” formed by darkening the image. At the bottom, Dior introduced the branded hashtags it would use throughout its posts, including #DiorLive and #DiorTips.

Instagram post from Dior

After that, the brand posted select photos from its Miss Dior exhibit, which showed the gowns creative director Raf Simons created and the face of the Miss Dior fragrance, Natalie Portman, at the opening event.

Instagram post from Dior

Dior focused on actress Jennifer Lawrence, who is the current face of Miss Dior handbags, showing the star on red carpets wearing the label. To continue the celebrity theme, the brand shared behind-the-scenes photos of actor Robert Pattinson as he shot a commercial for Dior’s Homme fragrance.

Instagram post from Dior

Along with images of stars, Dior posted video tutorials showing fans how to apply the brand’s Diorific Golden Winter collection.

Instagram post from Dior

Dior sent its Twitter followers to its Instagram a couple of times, with brief mentions of the both the photos of Ms. Lawrence and Mr. Pattinson. The brand waited until Dec. 27 to directly promote its new Instagram.

Tweet from Dior

By the time Dior heavily publicized its Instagram to its 12 million Facebook fans, the brand had developed an array of content, showing what followers could expect in the future.

Dior’s Facebook post about its Instagram coincided with an Instagram photo of the brand’s necklace collection based on the signs of the Zodiac. This Facebook post received more than 34,000 likes and was shared approximately 1,000 times.

Facebook post from Dior

Dior had 73,000 followers on Instagram as of press time.

"Brands gain the most social media exposure by cross-promoting channels. Making the announcement to their multimillion-fan base on Facebook and Twitter ensured the largest buzz and interest around the new Instagram account.

"The timing was a perfect combination of the holiday weekend, big buzz and a new social media toy for people to play with."

Growing popularity

A number of other luxury brands have launched Instagram accounts in the past year, using the medium to tell their purely visual story.

For instance, French atelier Givenchy created its first Instagram account with a single post showing two spring 2014 advertising campaign images to entice its fan base to begin following its photo diary.

The photos feature singer Erykah Badu, birth name Erica Wright, the much-talked-about face of the brand’s latest print ad campaign. By posting images that its fans have been anticipating, and which are going to generate conversation, Givenchy was able to prompt traffic to its new Instagram, and attract followers (see story).

This tactic was the complete opposite of Dior’s, since the brand made its Instagram widely known when it only had one post, knowing that the one post was strong enough to captivate people, and translate to follows.

Brands are also finding new ways to engage with consumers through Instagram.

Department stores Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman increased engagement with their highly-trafficked holiday window displays with Instagram components that hiked global awareness.

Barneys revealed its windows by posting videos on Instagram, and Bergdorf Goodman is hosting a contest on the photo- sharing application. Through Instagram both department stores can expand their holiday festivities and spirit beyond Manhattan (see story).

"It would seem Dior waited to announce their presence on Instagram on their other social channels that have established audiences until they had a reasonable amount of content to showcase," said Brian Honigman, New York-based content marketing consultant and social media marketer. "Sending people to a social account with limited content doesn't provide them with value.

"Creating a variety of Instagram-specific content before driving an audience to your account will help increase followers and engagement with your content," he said.

"Dior has the opportunity to share a visual experience around their brand that showcases a behind-the-scenes perspective. Instagram can help give an audience a different angle to a brand and should reflect a unique experience."

Final Take
Sarah Jones, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York