How Tiffany found its Twitter voice

There’s more to the Tiffany brand than its signature shade of baby blue, and the jewelry retailer is putting it out there 140 characters at a time.

“We found our groove on Twitter,” said Diana Hong, vp and creative director of global digital marketing at Tiffany & Co. “It’s an interesting platform for us. The Tiffany brand, historically, has created a culture around language, and we’ve found that in 140 characters, there’s so much you can say that’s impactful.”

Right now, Tiffany has 1.4 million followers on Twitter, up 30 percent from this time in 2015, when the company account had 1.1 million. That’s not as many as the brand has on Instagram, which Hong said is for “beautiful editorial shots,” or Facebook, which Hong acknowledged has become a paid, not organic, social platform. Since Facebook drives the most users to Tiffany’s e-commerce store, the brand publishes mostly product promotions there. Tiffany competitor Cartier, however, has about a third of the reach on Twitter, with 319,000 followers.

For Tiffany, Twitter is the platform for updating customers on timely brand news, responding to customer service inquiries, interacting with real-time events and cultural moments, and portraying the brand’s personality, which Hong said is witty and clever.

According to a December Engagement Labs ranking, Tiffany’s Twitter game has made it the top luxury brand on the platform. The study, which used Engagement Labs’ eValue social metrics system to compare competitors, found that Tiffany’s Twitter sees high engagement from followers, and the account is the most responsive, replying to customers’ questions and complaints. The ranking also cited Tiffany’s #WillYou hashtag, used in reference to its engagement rings, as representative of the brand’s most engaging tweets.

“Tiffany knows its audience and what’s unique to it,” said Bryan Segal, CEO of Engagement Labs. “Other brands are doing what Tiffany does, they have the same ingredients, but it seems Tiffany has found the right potion. They have the right reach, frequency and creative content.”

Segal’s report also pointed to the celebrities who frequently appear in Tiffany’s Twitter feed, including a recent shot of actor Liev Schreiber leaving the New York store holding a blue bag. Hong said that the celebrities the brand tweets are “friends of the house,” and give their permission to be featured in the feed.

Hong said that it’s often the tweets that have nothing to do with the brand’s products that end up performing the best on Twitter. Text-only tweets that are relatable one-liners are most easily shared, and, according to Hong, accounted for four of the five top performing tweets from the past month. The recent tweet with the most engagement was a simple New Year’s message sent on January 1.

Other similar tweets play off of the Internet’s disdain for Mondays and obsession with Fridays, sometimes with a Tiffany spin.

“Historically, Tiffany’s voice as a brand was witty,” said Hong. “Twitter allows us to bring that back.”

These timely tweets are part of the company’s planned social media calendar, which the team plans two months in advance. Hong leads a small team that includes internal art directors and producers, copywriters and a community manager. In the past year, Tiffany changed its production strategy so that the content team and the social team would work together, for voice consistency between social posts and branded content. Hong added that the team is continuously measuring performance and aiming to grow with its audience.

“The greatest strategy in the digital age is understanding that today’s strategy is not your strategy tomorrow,” said Segal.