We started looking at the overall social followings of some key outdoor brands in 2014, We checked in in 2015, and have now looked at where we stand at the beginning of 2017. Although followers don’t tell the full picture of who is truly winning the social media race, this metric does give us a good idea of brand awareness and social relevance. The following chart outlines the current follower stats across the core social networks for several leading outdoor brands.
Who stood out from a brand perspective:
- Nike was the clear growth winner with 49 million gained followers on Instagram alone in a year and a half.
- Nike also continues to lead the way in terms of Instagram followers on their general company account. If you were to add in their sport specific accounts (Nike Golf, Nike Soccer, etc) their follower count would be well over 150 million.
- Almost every brand saw more than 100% growth on Instagram, with the exception of Lululemon at 90% growth - This is largely due to them being an early adopter of the platform and already having a significant following in 2015.
- Lululemon's largest social network is actually pintrest - This could be attributed to the fact that their brand aligns very well with the key consumer market of Pintrest, combined with strong visual content
Who stood out from a platform perspective:
- Google plus has struggled from day one. This trend has continued through 2016 as the only social network that has seen a decline in overall followers.
- Instagram was the clear winner with almost 70 million new followers amongst all of the brands on our list.
- Of the “big 3” social networks, Twitter saw the least growth. Though this wasn’t a surprise, we were actually surprised at how close the growth of twitter was compared to Facebook at Instagram, at 9 million overall followers gained.
- Facebook continued to see strong growth in follower bases, though engagement levels have seen a slight decline.
- We did not see large growth in Youtube subscribers, largely due to a growing video offering from other networks such as Facebook and Instagram