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Surprising choice: Bottega Veneta starts 2021 by deleting their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts. Radical attempt at buzz? Admission of failure? An urge to get more privacy? It’s up to us – YKONE Agency – here to shed light on what could motivate this decision and to question the relevance of the presence of luxury brands on social media platforms.

Instagram yesterday and today

Although Instagram was originally intended for people who wanted to share moments of their lives through photos and videos, it didn’t take long for brands to take it over and turn it into a showcase for their products. In just a few years, Instagram has become an obvious choice for luxury players and represents for all the #1 communication channel, the only one that allows them to have worldwide visibility through content that perfectly reflects their codes.

Without Instagram, how would you have discovered the latest Gucci x North Face collab’ or followed the latest Chanel fashion show? Both brands have more than 40 million subscribers. Bottega Veneta has therefore decided to give up this opportunity.

While some brands have made their mark on social media by creating huge communities, it’s not impossible that not being on social media platforms could become a good way to get away with playing a game that is too crowded. In october 2019, during an interview for British Vogue, Daniel Lee, the brand’s artistic director, confessed he regrets a time when social media did not exist: “and we share his desire to preserve his privacy and not be exposed to the eyes of everyone”.

“I really enjoyed growing up in a pre-Instagram era — we just had fun. It will be interesting to see what will happen next. I do think there will be a return to privacy. I hope so.” — Daniel Lee

However, the brand has never been as much in the news as in the last few days! Could it be, then, under cover of modesty, nothing more than an ambitious communication campaign?

Influencers: determining elements of a winning strategy

A closer look at Bottega Veneta’s numbers reveals that the brand’s organic presence on Instagram was nothing compared to its presence via influencers.

Bottega Veneta 2020 CAMPAYGN analysis

According to Campaygn software analysis, it appears that in 2020, the official Bottega Veneta account generated only 5% of the views related to the brand, the rest of the impressions being exclusively made by influencers.

In 2020, there are 186 posts on Bottega Veneta’s Instagram feed, which has now disappeared. Together they generated 124 million impressions. A drop of water in the Instagram ocean compared to the 20,000 posts of the influencers. Barely 1% of the posts came from the brand for about 5% of the impressions. Surprisingly, the brand’s engagement rate did not exceed 0.4%, a very low score, comparable to Céline or Saint Laurent whose engagement also barely exceeded 0.4%.

One of Mirjam’s +80 posts mentioning Bottega Veneta

Beyond the Influencers, who will continue to talk about the brand, many fan accounts have been created such as Bottega Veneta by Daniel Lee (38k followers) and New Bottega Veneta (366k followers).

NewBottega, unofficial account dedicated to the brand

Is it possible in 2021, that Instagram will return to its original vocation which is to allow people to share authentic and personal content? A humanization that Daniel Lee seems to – currently ? – regret.

Bottega Veneta: at the forefront of a new business strategy?

Clearly, this new strategy is based on a mystery element that can increase the curiosity and excitement of both media and users, and even competing brands. By this sudden decision to leave social media, we can think that the brand defends a lot of legitimate intentions, such as the fight against digital pollution, dehumanization of the product/customer relationship, criticism of consumerism, etc. So many good intentions, but Bottega Veneta’s decision to keep its accounts on Asian social media (Wechat) contradicts these, putting a serious damper on the sincerity of the artistic director’s speech.

This social media quit takes place in a context where Instagram continues to offer a very limited reach to brands, forcing them to systematically resort to sponsored content in order to be visible. If it’s now impossible to be naturally visible on Instagram, we might as well be virtually invisible… and hope to make followers come back to the store.

An initiative worth watching!