The social media landscape is an ever-changing beast to tame. Nowadays, it often feels like there’s a new feature being released on Facebook or Instagram every week. Understandably, it’s a lot to keep up with. But with most consumers following and engaging with their favourite brands primarily through social media, it’s become a fundamental pillar of a successful digital marketing strategy in 2018. With that in mind, we took a deep dive into which brands are winning social media in 2018 and why.
Who’s Winning Community? - Outdoor Voices
Outdoor Voices is a relatively new athleisure brand founded by CEO Tyler Haney in 2013. When the majority of athleisure brands are tapping into aspirations of what their consumers want to become, i.e expert athletes, Outdoor Voices steers confidently against the wind and says: you’re you, and you’re good enough. Outdoor Voices is a brand proudly for the dilettante who enjoys being active, but on their own terms. At the core of the brand lies its simple and elegant rallying cry: #DoingThings. For Outdoor Voices and its community, “#DoingThings is about being active on a daily basis and having fun with friends, without the pressure of being the first or the best”. Based on this rallying cry, OV is quickly cultivating a community on Instagram like none other that promotes happiness and health above all other things.
On top of this, Outdoor Voices is at the forefront of leveraging social commerce. Tappable posts showing their audience in their apparel both cultivate a wholesome community of “regular” people and also allows users to quickly and easily shop those pieces as they scroll through.
Who’s Winning Instagram Stories? - On Running
On-Running is a Swiss running shoe brand that has quickly captivated runners in the 8 years it’s been around. Since 2010, the brand has slowly made its way into running shoe stores across the world. Looking at the brand’s social media strategy, it comes as no surprise that On has eaten up so much market share so quickly in such an established industry.
To put it simply, they’re killing it.
Notably, they’re killing it at Instagram stories.
The feature has taken social media by storm in the past year and has left brands scrambling for an effective strategy that leverages the feature as more and more users begin to prefer stories over their regular feed. Generally, the brands that have been developing content specifically formatted for stories using high-production value assets have been the most successful at leveraging this emerging feature. Brands that pair this with multi-tap mini-stories that essentially hold the viewer's hand through a journey have seen the most success in both creating brand awareness and increasing conversions. On-Running is the perfect example of this content strategy in action. Here’s why:
On-Running uploads stories on a daily basis that tells a story and are created with an objective in mind
They use high-quality assets specifically designed & formatted for Instagram Stories
They leverage the “swipe-up” feature when appropriate whether that’s to purchase the product or for the user to read something on their website
On keeps their audience on their toes with a solid mix of product-focused content, ambassador content, and event coverage and saves them as highlights on their profile to remain as evergreen content
Who’s Winning Instagram TV? - The North Face
Instagram TV is one of the platform’s newest features. Whereas regular Instagram videos are capped at one minute in length, Instagram TV provides a platform of unlimited length and potential. With mobile videos projected to account for 78% of all total mobile traffic by 2021, IGTV is Instagram’s answer to the emerging trend of younger audiences preferring amateur content creators rather than perfectly polished content.
Now that the feature has had time to develop, we took a look at who’s using it to its fullest potential and landed on The North Face. For the most part, The North Face’s gallery of IGTV videos are short, illustrated videos from its ongoing “Walls Are Meant for Climbing” campaign. The videos are easy to digest, the illustrated nature of them is unique and catches the viewer’s eye, and they are formatted specifically for IGTV.
The videos begin in portrait mode then the logo rotates horizontally to hint at the viewer to rotate their phone into landscape mode to watch the video
Who’s Winning at not-Instagram? - lululemon
If you didn’t know any better, you would think Instagram, and the whole Facebook network for that matter, is the only social media platform that concerns consumer brands these days. Though many seem to think so, it’s important for a brand to not ignore channels where their audience is active. One great example of this is lululemon and their Pinterest account.
Yup, Pinterest is still a thing!
While today it's seen as more of a niche social network, the Pinterest platform is holding steady; its community is a resilient bunch.
When most brands are spending most of their ad dollars and time within the Zuckerberg stronghold, lululemon continues to leverage niche markets where they know their ideal audience is lurking and it seems to be paying off. Their branded Pinterest board still receives 4 million monthly active viewers and the brand gets to enjoy a much less competitive and chaotic landscape compared to the evergrowing beast that is Facebook and Instagram (remember, they’re the same company).
Social media is an ever-changing beast and it’s a strenuous task just keeping up with all the changes. With that said, we cannot wait to see where social media trends lead us in 2019!