SAN FRANCISCO: Luxury brands have extensive experience of using the power of imagery to connect with consumers and a growing number are exploiting the capabilities of social media apps, such as Instagram.

The image-sharing platform that is owned by Facebook is making a concerted bid to appeal to luxury brands and wants to persuade them of the creative possibilities it says it offers.

According to James Quarles, global head of business and brand development at Instagram, luxury brands perform at their best when they use the popular app to highlight the detail of their craftsmanship.

Speaking to the Financial Times, he explained that luxury brands can zoom in on their products to showcase the careful decisions that went into the design. They also can use a suite of tools, ranging from stills to videos and loops to promote their work.

"Luxury businesses are the best at managing brands of any marketer in the world," he said. "They understand the story history, the importance of the heritage, the importance of craft, but also the importance of being relevant, and modernity as part of their proposition."

He recalled his previous work at Facebook, where he managed relationships with advertisers in the UK, and visiting fashion shows in Milan and Paris.

"I had the benefit, living in London, of sitting in the front rows, looking down the line and everyone was on Instagram trying to capture and edit those runway looks and show them instantaneously," he said.

Quarles pointed to several leading brands that have embraced Instagram at fashion shows, such as Tommy Hilfiger, which created an "InstaPit", an area with special seats for social media influencers, to take snaps of the runway.

Marketers can also take advantage of Facebook's segmentation tools on Instagram, he added. That could help brands to reach different types of luxury audiences, such as Asian consumers.

This is worth consideration as it is reported that 60% of Instagram's 400m monthly active users say they learn about products and services on the app while 75% say it inspires them to take further action.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff