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    November 15, 2022
    8 minute read

    3 Sports and Outdoor Companies With Awesome Social Media Strategies

    by: Lizzie Davey

    Today, billions of shoppers around the world leverage social media channels like TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter to connect with companies and learn more about their offerings.

    To remain competitive and stand out amongst the crowd, many brands and retailers are taking their social media strategies to the next level by leveraging entertaining content, exciting promotions, and more.

    There’s no shortage of variety, as strategies range from personalized social media ads to viral social commerce campaigns that have reached millions of people.

    However, what works from one industry to another can vary drastically.

    This post highlights the social media strategies of a few top sports and outdoor organizations — as well as valuable key takeaways to apply to your own program.

    Why Social Media Strategies Are Essential for Sports and Outdoor Brands and Retailers

    According to Statista, 25.6% of U.K. marketing professionals claim social media is their most effective marketing channel. Meanwhile, a survey by Sprout Social found that 86% of social media users follow a brand, and 57% are more likely to buy from a brand they follow.

    Social media is obviously a great platform for advertising your products, but consumers also expect brands to answer their questions and engage in real time.

    Another Sprout Social study notes that brands can achieve this engagement through Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions, Q&As, and polls — highlighting that shoppers would also love to see more live video streams (36%) and private community groups (29%).

    If you use these approaches, the impact can be huge. When consumers feel connected to a brand or retailer, they’re more likely to visit its website, spend more, and recommend it to their friends and family.

    Check out the following sports and outdoor brands and retailers making the most of their social footprints.

    1. The North Face

    The North Face sells more than just clothes — it sells a lifestyle. On its Instagram page, it shares inspiring footage of mountain climbers and risk-takers, as well as real-life stories from adventurers. Meanwhile, the brand uses its YouTube channel as a documentary platform to share travel narratives, introductions to extreme sports stars, and how-to videos for outdoor activities like camping and hiking.

    screenshot of the north face youtube channel social media strategies
    Image Source: The North Face YouTube

    The push of the brand’s clothing is subtle, but certainly not forgotten. The underlying message in each social media post is the right clothing is essential for an active, outdoor lifestyle.the north face instagram screenshot social media strategies example

    Image Source: The North Face Instagram

    Testimonials from adrenalin junkies and beautiful photos from inspiring places create a feeling around the brand that’s more than just “outdoor clothes.”

    Takeaways From The North Face’s Social Media Strategy

    Consider taking your social media strategy to the next level by:

    • Promoting the lifestyle around your product, not the product itself;
    • Sharing stories from real people;
    • Using beautiful, eye-catching imagery; and
    • Posting a mixture of content, including images, videos, and influencer content.

    2. Gymshark

    Gymshark is adored internationally, but it was born and bred in the U.K. Today, the brand — which boasts 5.8 million followers on Instagram and 3.8 million on TikTok — has created a wildly engaged community around its products.

    In its early days, Gymshark leveraged the help of top sports influencers to spread the word. The brand has continued to use this strategy today — combined with user-generated content (UGC), entertaining gym-related content, how-to videos, and events.

    The brand continues to grow its social accounts by encouraging followers to share its content under a branded hashtag that it then shares on its main channel.

    On top of this, Gymshark ambassadors (dubbed Gymshark Athletes) with thousands of followers are tasked with trying and reviewing brand products before sharing them with their audiences. The company has also carved a space for itself on TikTok, where it shares entertaining sports memes and relatable gym content.

    @gymshark

    the ultimate betrayal #gym #gymskit #Gymshark @kk_fit @brittanylupton

    ♬ Sad violin ballad - Inumori

    Video Source: Gymshark TikTok

    Takeaways From Gymshark’s Social Media Strategy

    Consider taking your social media strategy to the next level by:

    • Focusing on building a community, not just collecting followers;
    • Experimenting on different social media platforms;
    • Partnering with influencers and brand ambassadors; and
    • Creating a branded hashtag and sharing UGC.

    3. Blacks

    Blacks sells a range of top outdoor brands in its stores across the U.K. On its social channels, the retailer combines community building and sales through how-to posts, behind-the-scenes content, and account takeovers from outdoor personalities.

    Its Instagram page is like a mini-magazine, with a suite of Instagram story highlights that cover everything from cooking tips and travel guides to events and customer stories.

    blacks outdoors instagram story screenshot social media strategies
    Image Source: Blacks Instagram

    It's the same on its YouTube channel: An inspiring collection of videos serve to go behind the scenes, share recipes, and show viewers how to put up a tent. And product videos demonstrate how different brands make their bestsellers.screenshot of blacks outdoors youtube channel social media strategies

    Image Source: Blacks Outdoors YouTube

    Takeaways From Blacks’s Social Media Strategy

    Consider taking your social media strategy to the next level by:

    • Creating a content ecosystem that acts as a digital magazine;
    • Posting about other things your customers are interested in (beyond your products);
    • Using social features (like Instagram Story highlights) to curate content; and
    • Spotlighting the different brands you sell through engaging product videos.

    Successful Social Media Strategies Need More Than Just Pretty Pictures

    The sheer competition in the sports and outdoor industry today means brands and retailers have to do more than simply post pictures of their products on social media. Consumers are clamoring for more community, and the two-way nature of social media makes it the perfect place to engage with shoppers on their preferred platform.

    Follow the lead of the organizations mentioned here to create a community around your products. In action, this looks like sharing customer stories, partnering with influencers, hosting Q&As, and creating content that features a lifestyle — not just a product.

    Consider the interests your audience has outside of your products and bring them to light in your content to create relatable stories and deeper connections with your customers.

    Ready to start leveraging social media for your brand? Check out “The Social Commerce Crash Course For Brands” for tips on how to launch a winning strategy.

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