Watches worn by models fail to fly on Instagram


This is not a great era to be a model. With the woke generation seeing off the use of models at motor racing, boxing and almost all corporate exhibitions and events, you might think that the beautiful can at least rely on looking good in front of the camera for a living.

Even that view is being challenged as research suggests that, for watches at least, it is far better to post close up images that show the timepiece in all its glory on social media.

A Gartner L2 report titled Watches & Jewelry Global Optimizing Social Media Content — How to Stand Out on Saturated Social Media Channels, looked at the use of flatlays, model shots and close-ups on Instagram that collectively account for 95% of analyzed posts.


The results were surprising. Watch brands mainly garner high interactions from images featuring product flatlays. Consumers prove to be most receptive to product details on timepieces, as tight close-up shots of watch faces achieved 15% higher engagement than other flatlays.


Gartner found that flatlays only accounted for half of watch brands’ posts and flatlay close-ups accounted for just 7% for the brands it tracked. “Brands should prioritize this content over shots displaying products on models to see incremental increases in engagement,” the consultant advises.

IWC Schaffhausen posted flatlay close-ups most frequently and earned a Genius rank from Gartner in the social media dimension. Its images, on average, performed 5% better than the brand’s yearly average.

Audemars Piguet’s used posts featuring flatlay close-up shots 27% of the time, helping the brand lead overall engagement in 2018 compared to the Index average for watch brands.

Watchmakers love talking about their manufacturing capabilities, but all those factory tours leave customers cold, according to Gartner. Instagram posts about watch production, including watch design, fueled the largest dip in engagement, eroding engagement by 23% compared to product shots.

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