AFFLUENThink: Social Media Mavens

Cara DavidManaging Partner
Jim TaylorSenior Advisor
March 24, 2015, 4:27 PM GMT+0

As a savvy luxury marketer, developing and executing a strategy to harness the power of social media is part of your day-to-day remit.

Of increasing importance, though, is engaging individuals who wield significant influence on the behaviors of their extensive social networks. Effectively engaging this group of influencers -- collectively known as social media mavens -- should also be part of a comprehensive social media marketing strategy.

Mavens are high-volume social media users, spending no less than 10 hours per week on various (and often multiple) social sites, and 825% more time per week than non-mavens. These are individuals who use their sophisticated knowledge and understanding of social media platforms to identify interesting or trending content, and who adeptly share it with their large online networks, projecting their influence through ‘likes’, ‘followers’, ‘pins’, and ‘retweets’. They can serve as significant allies for promoting brand advocacy and influencing purchasing behavior among key luxury market demographics.

Given their inherent comfort with technology, mavens are much more likely to engage with the brands or companies they follow on social media. They also tend to be more willing to trade personal information in return for advertising and content they feel is relevant to them. As our research indicates, mavens, by a 33% margin, tend to be more likely to consider a brand when advertising is tailored – or is perceived to be tailored – specifically to them.

As self-styled tastemakers, mavens project a certain amount of influence on the choices their friends, family, and contemporaries make on a range of products and services, from travel destinations to restaurants to home décor and fashion. They are inclined to post comments and reviews and to share links with others - providing strong product promotion potential.

The payoff for luxury marketers is this: the purchasing behaviors of mavens are well-tailored to the luxury market. They are more likely than the rest of the top 10% to claim that they will be spending more this year than last, and they’re 30% more likely to say that spending will be on luxury goods and services.

When seeking out luxury brands, mavens are not sheep: they are relatively open to exploring new and different brands. What’s more, they provide significant overlap with the high-margin Worth-Dominant segment, defined as individuals who prioritize the luxury items they purchase based primarily on quality, craftsmanship and service, and expect prices to reflect it. Some 27% of mavens are Worth-Dominant versus 19% of the wealthy and affluent generally, giving marketers additional motivation to understand what makes mavens tick.

We’ll be sharing additional data on social media mavens - and the impact of social media on the purchasing habits of all consumers of luxury goods and services – in the 2015 Survey of Affluence and Wealth, scheduled to be released this Spring.

If you would like to talk about what it means to become a client of the Survey of Affluence and Wealth and have your brand represented in our program, please email us at We’d be happy to brief you on the merits and costs of participation.