Brand Focus: How Nike Excels on Social Media
Alice White Walker / 29 October 2014
As one of the world’s biggest brands, Nike is so dominant that you may not have stopped to think about how they are engaging customers on social media. In this inaugural Brand Focus, Nuke Suite unpicks their online prevalence, with essential takeaways of how to market your own brand…
How Nike use Facebook to Cement their Communities
Nike’s Facebook pages cover all of their sub-brands (Football, Golf, Running etc.) and are then further filtered down by country e.g. Nike Running France, so that each of their activities and regions can be localised into concise fan bases.
Each category posts regularly; with videos, photos of latest product models and celebrity-endorsed inspiration.
When a brand has many sub-divisions as this, seamless organisation is crucial. A platform like Nuke Suite‘s can help here. Because you can schedule and implement posts, apps and contests across multiple social networks; and set up approval processes for your teams worldwide, your social media marketing is always going to be one step ahead of the game.
By segmenting their communities by category, less so by country, the industry giant brings more of an accessible, family feel to the social network.
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Using Twitter for Exceptional Customer Service
4.1 million followers
Similar to Facebook, Nike has individual feeds for each of their brands — Nike Fuel, Nike Hockey, Nike Store — and furthermore separates itself into US states — NikeNY, NikeGeorgetown etc.
Nike utilises the photo and video options of Twitter to showcase their items: @NikeStore features all their latest products with images and details of any styles which are sold out and where they can be found. In terms of customer support, Nike is continually voted the best in the business.
By installing a dedicated Twitter handle — @NikeSupport — Nike can reply to the hundreds of daily tweets more efficiently, catering for queries worldwide in one hub.
Whether they’re clothing concerns or how to perfect a football pass, Nike replies personally, with practical information and in superbly fast time.
They also use Twitter to direct customers towards other channels of communication e.g. email / telephone, where they can deal with the issue in person.
Nike make life easier for themselves by having a sole feed for customer support. By dealing with requests or complaints in a time-efficient manner and with a personable tone, Nike keeps its brand identity really strong.
Maintaining this level of customer social service is one of the reasons they’re top of Twitter.
Maximising Product Sales with Vine
Nike Football‘s Vine account demonstrates how they excel at video marketing. In the run up to the 2014 World Cup, they posted content of celebrity players doing tricks and challenged fans to better them on Vine, using the hashtag #riskeverything.
Conversely, Training Club (5,968 followers) offers advice on the best exercise techniques for at-home fitness. Like their other video / advertisement campaigns, they’re not directly selling products (even though they are used throughout), but the brand as a whole — a lifestyle to buy into.
Nike uses football superstars to promote their newest accessories. While most brands won’t be able to use celebrities in their posts, everyone can profit from the app’s time-lapse sequence.
Even though each upload is only 6 seconds long, so long as Vine is open on the screen, the video continues to play; which means your post can exploit a continual loop of advertising.
Utilising Pinterest’s Female Audience
While this might be the smallest concentrate of all their platforms, Nike are tapping into Pinterest’s female audience by only establishing an account for Nike Women.
With 29 boards and 1,064 pins they post photos of their FuelBand being worn by bloggers and put their professional photography to good effect in inspirational lifestyle images.
While they have a healthy amount of followers on Pinterest, the total of Nike’s pins link back to their own site — missing the essence behind this sharing community.
For tips on how your brand can maximise its visibility on Pinterest, take a look at these ideas here.
How Nike Uses Instagram to Project Brand Ideals
Opening an account on 29th December 2011, a year after the app launched, Nike were (compared to other brands) very quick to take advantage of Instagram. Today, they are the app’s most-followed brand — with double the amount of followers to Starbucks, in second place.
Over the years they’ve built their community of followers, and with the aid of beautifully-shot landscapes, motivational exercise videos, and more celebrities; and they’ve also trained their audience to tag them with various #nike hashtags, effortlessly.
Nike ticks all the right boxes when it comes to Instagram. They use the aspiration and positivity associated with the brand to distill their message. As with their other social networks, they segregate their all sports, each in flawless photography, and incorporating their sponsored sporting events.
For some other ideas of how to boost your brand’s numbers on Instagram, Nuke Suite has compiled a guide for the best tips and tricks.
Creating Their Own Social Network with Nike+
Not content with being social superpowers across the main social networks, in 2009 Nike launched their own platform: Nike+. This online hub is connected to Nike’s FuelBands, where millions of runners log on to monitor their performance.
Giving members advice, challenges, and motivation, Nike+ is both a way to drive traffic to their online boutique (part of the same site) and a huge marketing device seated towards FuelBands. Each band starts from $99 and up to $169 for metal-plated versions.
By creating a porthole for running enthusiasts, Nike+ is a place where FuelBand users can communicate to each other and become even more immersed in Nike’s world.
While the majority of brands may not be able to afford to go to such lengths to concentrate their followers, a simple app works in much the same way. They are ideal for joining members, creating a buzz about the brand and widening your reach of finding more customers.
The end of the Facebook fan-gating doesn’t mean the end of increasing your visibility, here’s a number of ways your can use Facebook apps for different objectives.
How Their YouTube Strategy Gets Them Global Exposure
When it comes to video content, this is where Nike can really push the boat out. Coinciding with global events, they bring together their big budget, sporting superstars and audience to generate millions-worth of publicity.
Video is where they can turn the threads that run through their brand — multi-generational, international and aspirational — into short films such as The Winner Stays, which to date has amassed nearly 95 million views on YouTube.
BetaBeat puts Nike’s success down to the Hero, Hub, Hygiene strategy:
Hero content — major advertising initiatives that reach a wide audience (a viral video or major commercial push
Hub content — regularly released videos tailored to customers’ passions and interests (typically a regular content series)
Hygiene content — consisting of the “always on” videos optimised to address potential consumer interests (this often takes the form of ‘how to videos’)
As BetaBeat assesses, while the Winner Stays resulted in only 75,000 new subscribers for the channel, it is thanks to the cumulative effect of this Hero, Hub, Hygiene strategy that has made Nike the 6th most followed brand on YouTube.
Their Nike Academy / Training videos, show they’ve kept the consumer in mind and managed to bring the same level of engagement to YouTube as on Twitter or Vine.
Brands can take inspiration from Nike’s prowess on YouTube. By keeping a clear focus on what their customer wants, brands — big or small — can use YouTube to produce ‘outside-the-box’ content and project their message to a wider audience. The chief aspect is to be creative and post your content regularly.
Your Brand Objectives:
Nike have many tools at their disposal, including a revenue and global reputation which see that they have their pick of the consumer market. However, there are fundamentals about their approach to social media which all brands can learn from:
1. Super-attentive customer service
2. Keeping their communities regularly engaged across their networks
3. Using inspiration, in photography or motivational quotes
4. Shaking up their content strategy by integrating video
Implementing these core principals into your own strategy, can give your brand the boost it needs to succeed on social media!
Do you have any examples of how Nike win on social media? Share your ideas below!
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