Social media pays off for Burberry, as profits rise 21 per cent

Making social media work for accountancy firms
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UK luxury fashion brand Burberry announced a 21 per cent rise in fourth-quarter sales, after spending the past year growing a social media strategy that leads the retail sector.

The company said its success was partly due to its investment in digital technology that has helped drive customer engagement and partly because of its growth in flagship markets such as China.

At the start of 2011, Burberry rolled out a new web site, Burberry World, which allows customers to connect with all aspects of the business such as its heritage, music, video and product offers through videos and instant chat with customer service representatives.

Burberry also partnered with social media sites and now has more than 10 million Facebook fans, as well as more than 7,000 Twitter followers and has had in excess of 10 million views on YouTube, making it the world's most successful luxury fashion brand on these sites.

Burberry has also launched its brand on a number of Chinese social networking sites. The country is now home to 513 million internet consumers.

V3 attended Salesforce's annual customer event in San Francisco last year where Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts took to the stage to explain how her business had used the Chatter tool to help manage social media.

"To any CEO who's sceptical, you have to create a social enterprise today, you have to be totally connected with everyone who touches your brand," Ahrendts said at the time.

Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff, said he had worked with Ahrendts to put the Burberry social media strategy in place.

It's a success story others in the industry and beyond would do well to take note of.

17 Jan 2012

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