Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 03/28/2013

Courtney Colavita, worldwide director, social media, at Gucci, said that the key to the 92-year-old brand’s successful online presence is based on highlighting its heritage and history, as well as the fashion pulse — all at the same time.

This story first appeared in the March 28, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“How do you take 3.6 billion euros in sales, 429 stores and filter this down to social media? We’re on every major platform,” Colavita said, revealing that on any given day, Gucci reaches 24 million people via any of the social media it’s active on — including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram and YouTube. “We’re building brand ambassadors. We’re actually moving the needle.”

Currently, Gucci has more than 10.5 million “likes” on Facebook and almost 700,000 followers on Twitter. It has 496,000 on Instagram, and its YouTube channel has received 2.87 million video views to date.

For her there are no social media “experts” — only people who know how to tell stories. The emphasis should always be on curation, narrative and imagery, and the three pillars for the Gucci brand in particular are social merchandising, history and lifestyle and news and events.

“We can’t do a ‘Gucci p.r. Girl’ thing. We’re an authority and corporate voice — but we can be conversational at the same time,” Colavita said of Gucci’s varied social media approach, which takes lifestyle, product and celebrity into account.

For example, since research shows that men want to look better, the brand produces service and microtrend pieces specifically for this audience. And with respect to bloggers, Colavita cites an initiative that comprised 25 bloggers from 19 countries as a success in the space where each cross-promoted content on Pinterest, Twitter and other channels. With aspirational clients in mind, the brand is bringing editorial content to its site,, too (an iPhone and iPad app already exist, house premiere editorial property and allow consumers to shop).

Colavita calls Instagram the best platform for attracting new clients because it gets the message out immediately. On Facebook, users can’t openly post on Gucci’s wall, but they are allowed to comment on posts, but most surprising to her was learning that the Facebook click-through rate to actually moved sales.

“Omnichannel or multichannel [are words that] don’t necessarily translate into e-commerce sales, but it’s a tool to learn and discover. It’s the present. It’s the future,” Colavita said. “Maybe you’re not using it now, but in 10 years, the kids growing up now, it’s how they consume information and fashion.”