Outdoor and Activewear Brands - Social Media Audit

Part
01
of six
Part
01

Social Media Analysis: Columbia and Arc'Teryx

Both Columbia Sportswear and Arc'Teryx are present across all the major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc and are keenly followed across these platforms by their fans. Below we have presented a detailed overview of the social media presence of both the companies.

Columbia Sportswear

  • The various social media platforms on which the company is active include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
  • The company has 130,000 followers on Twitter and posts around 5 posts per month on an average. The company's posts (including videos) are centered around existing product promotions, new product launches, event sponsorships, special event promotions (such as 'Pink Day'), CSR events launched by the company, trending seasonal products, and athletes promoting company's products and sharing their experiences.
  • Columbia Sportswear has around 149,000 subscribers on YouTube and posts around 14 videos per month on average. The company's videos are centered around its existing product promotions and new product launches.
  • The company has 123,053 followers on LinkedIn and posts around 4-5 posts per quarter. The company's posts are centered around its various CSR initiatives, new hiring notifications, new product launches, media mentions of Columbia Sportswear, outdoor activities of its employees, and general informative articles such as 'Most Bikeable Cities in the United States'.
  • The company has 1.9 million followers on Facebook and posts almost every alternate day on the platform. The company's posts (including videos) are centered around innovative product launches, special edition launches, existing product promotions, promotion of its various collaborations such as with Starwars, promotional quizzes, promoting athletes representing the company at various sports events, and various company-sponsored event promotions.
  • Columbia Sportswear has 299,100 monthly viewers of its page on Pinterest and posts across 48 boards on the same. The company's pins are centered around its product launches, seasonal trends, outdoor activities organized by the company, adventure gadgets introduced by Columbia, and various pins featuring company fans.
  • Columbia Sportswear has 409,000 followers on Instagram and posts around 3-4 pictures per week on the same. The company's picture posts on the platform are again centered around its product promotions, new product launches, its CSR activities, its partnership and collaboration with Disney, Starwars, etc, events in which the company participated, and pictures of various influencers representing Columbia.

Arc'Teryx

  • The various social media platforms on which the company is active include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
  • The company has 132,800 followers on Twitter and posts around 3 posts per week on an average. The company's posts (including videos) are centered around its new product launches, existing product promotions, company-sponsored event promotions, new partnerships, challenging locations for travelers, excerpts from its blog posts, company's CSR activities, athlete talks, and media mentions of Arc'Teryx.
  • The company has 57,235 followers on LinkedIn and posts around 17 posts per month on an average. The company's posts are centered around new job openings, product promotions, event promotions, media mentions and awards won by it, new tie-ups and partnerships, and its workshop promotions.
  • Arc'Teryx has around 100,000 subscribers on YouTube and posts around 20 videos per month on average. The company's videos are centered around its existing product promotions, new product launches, and promotion of its 'Alpine Academy'.
  • The company has 379,700 monthly viewers of its page on Pinterest and posts across 21 boards on the same. The company's pins are centered around its product launches, outdoor activities organized by the company, seasonal trends, and various pins featuring the experience of various climbers.
  • The company has 822,000 followers on Instagram and posts around 4-5 pictures per week on an average. The company's picture posts on the platform are again centered around its product promotions, new product launches, event promotions, and experiences of various climbers and athletes.
  • The company has 460,682 followers on Facebook and posts around 2-3 posts per week on an average. The company's posts (including videos) are centered around its promotional offers, registration notification for its 'Alpine Academy', operational updates during COVID-19, innovative product launches, special edition launches, existing product promotions, CSR activities, and event promotions.

Research Analysis

The research team scoured through the websites and searched across all the social media platforms to identify the ones that the respective companies are active on. The team then searched through each of the identified platforms and analyzed the posted content and its frequency for each of the companies. The team did so by comprehensively sampling the posts over the past one-year on each of the platforms for the respective companies and analyzing the kind of content that each company has published in these posts. The team also studied the posting frequency of each company on the various social media platforms over the past year and has presented an average posting frequency based on the same in the above findings. Since Pinterest does not provide the posting date for the various pins, the team was unable to identify the posting frequency of both the companies on the platform. The team also searched through various external social media analytic websites like Social Blade for any pre-compiled analysis but the same did not provide any data on the posting frequency across platforms like YouTube. In addition, it did not furnish any data on the type of content posted on each of the platforms and did not cover social media platforms like LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. Hence, the team resorted to the above approach.
Part
02
of six
Part
02

Social Media Analysis: REI and Mountain Hardware

Two outdoor sporting equipment companies: REI and Mountain Hardware are active on social media, engaging with their customers and posting content that fits the outdoor, nature-loving lifestyle. REI has a more established media presence, with a higher number of followers across the major platforms. Mountain Hardware has a smaller presence, which might be due to its more niche-oriented appeal. While REI social media covers broad outdoor categories, Mountain Hardware is focused on mountain-related activities, as evident in the analysis of their respective social media. Another factor could be the comparative frequency of social media posts, as REI keeps their followers up-to-date and engaged across their social media platforms, while Mountain Hardware lags behind in these aspects.

REI

REI Twitter

  • REI has 422.8K followers on Twitter.
  • 81.6% of tweets are replies, which indicates strong commitment to customer engagement.
  • Top hashtags used are #optoutside, #unitedoutside and brand-specific #reimemember.
  • Many posts include multimedia content related to outdoors and nature. Some examples of activities mentioned or pictured are hiking, winter sports, running and cycling.
  • The brand is a frequent Twitter user, with whopping 25.16 tweets per day and 105,444 total tweets.

REI Facebook

REI Pinterest

REI Youtube

  • The brand's videos feature camping recipes, how-to videos related to skiing and snowboarding, short films about adventure and nature, and a short reality series.
  • REI posted 15 videos in the past month. The green curry tofu recipe has most views from this period, at 1.6 thousand.
  • Camp Recipes is a series of videos which gets regularly updated and has gathered 130,254 views. Skiing and snowboarding advice are also popular, gaining 74,117 and 53,219 views respectively.

REI Instagram

Mountain Hardware

Mountain Hardware Twitter

  • Mountain Hardware gathered 119.5K Followers.
  • 93.8% of company's Twitter presence are tweets with retweets and replies trailing with 4.2% and 2% respectively.
  • Top hashtags used by the brand are #psicoblog2016, #mountainhardwear, #mhwathlete, and #mhwambassador.
  • Company's posts heavily feature mountains and mountaineering, with some posts highlighting mountain climbing and dogs.
  • Frequency of the brand's activity is 0.84 tweets per day, with 3830 total tweets.
  • The brand's top tweets, as evaluated by total engagement, all feature pictures of mountain views with the top tweet gathering 260 engagements.

Mountain Hardware Facebook

  • The page highlights stories of mountain expeditions and features company's merchandise.
  • The company's latest update was on March 17 and there is no mention of COVID-19 on its page, indicating a lack of social media strategy for the current period.
  • One of the posts that attracted positive attention included a photo of a mountaineering team which was liked 262 times.

Mountain Hardware Instagram

  • The brand's Instagram focuses on people engaged in mountain climbing, hiking and winter sports, as well as product highlights.
  • There have been 16 posts in the past month, with a video highlighting a backpack getting the most attention with more than 16,000 views. Another successful post featuring a sweatshirt was viewed more than 12,000 times.

Mountain Hardware Vimeo

  • The brand's Vimeo feed highlights the merchandise with occasional campaign videos.
  • The company posted three videos this month. The videos do not gather a lot of engagement with most videos at 0 likes and comments and some at 1, like this video of a trip to Everest. This could be due to the fact that these videos gather responses when they are cross-posted on the brand's other social media platforms.

Research Strategy

Reliable data on frequency of posting was publicly available for Twitter but not Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube or Vimeo. For these platforms, the number of posts in the current month was used to demonstrate frequency. This was done to highlight whether each brand's social media presence was up to date and active in the recent time period.
Part
03
of six
Part
03

Social Media Analysis: Marmot and Canada Goose

Although both companies sell outdoor clothing, Marmot and Canada Goose position themselves and market their products differently.
  • Marmot's social media presence tends to focus on adventure and storytelling. Its posts rarely mention or link to specific products, but instead depict products in use in outdoor environments and as part of an active lifestyle. Its posts tend to be longer, in order to tell stories about hiking, camping, mountain climbing and other outdoor activities.
  • Canada Goose's social media posts are more in line with typical marketing efforts, in that they focus on a product and its benefits. Unlike Marmot, Canada Goose positions its products within more typical everyday scenarios and features more urban environments than rugged wilderness. Canada Goose also posts content focused on causes related to conservation and outdoor lifestyles, generally with a connection to specific products and highlighting that sales of those products will benefit the highlighted cause.
  • Canada Goose boasts a following roughly 50% greater than Marmot's. Both companies are active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Marmot is also active on Pinterest. Both companies reuse content across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
  • Marmot tends to be more active on social media, with Facebook and Instagram seeing posts daily. It tweets about half as often, with significantly less activity on Pinterest and YouTube.
  • Canada Goose uses identical content on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and posts on each once or twice each month. YouTube sees new videos about once each month.

Findings

Marmot

Facebook: 397,854 followers, 401,309 likes. Marmot's Facebook posts focus on adventurous storytelling. Its posts are first-hand accounts of people hiking, climbing mountains and finding adventure in the great outdoors. Posts are accompanied by photos depicting the products it sells in action, but rarely mentioning products by name or linking to them. Posts are added daily, with some days seeing multiple posts. Individual Marmot store locations also have their own pages, but these tend to focus on promotions and sales, and their follower counts are typically in the hundreds, not thousands.

YouTube: ~11,700 subscribers, 3,039,757 views. Marmot does not post new videos often, with only five videos uploaded within the last year. Over time, the style of the videos has changed, with older videos featuring an animal mascot clad in Marmot gear. More recent posts have highlighted the benefits of specific products, such as videos illustrating the waterproof properties of the GORE-TEX jackets it sells.

Twitter: ~117,300 followers. Like its Facebook posts, Marmot's tweets focus on telling adventurous stories. In fact, its tweets are shorter versions of its Facebook posts, using the same images and telling the same stories in fewer characters. Marmot tweets approximately every other day.

Instagram: 386,547 followers. Marmot's Instagram posts are identical to its Facebook posts. The photos used depict an adventurous, outdoor lifestyle as does the copy accompanying each photo. Because Marmot is using identical content for Facebook and Instagram, the frequency is also identical with daily Instagram posts and some days boasting multiple posts.

Pinterest: 3,864 followers. Marmot's Pinterest activity consists of boards dedicated to specific topics such as Marmot Kids, Marmot Athletes or Rain (which features their favorite images of rain) and pins of its activity on other social media platforms, such as Twitter. Marmot's boards typically have similar follower numbers as their main account, and are similar in style to its posts on other social media platforms by depicting people engaging in adventurous activities while using Marmot products. Its Pinterest boards, however, are less focused on storytelling, and instead feature images of people in Marmot gear with short posts of a sentence or two accompanied by multiple hashtags applicable to the image. For example, a post on the rain board might feature an individual walking in a rainy forest while wearing a waterproof Marmot jacket and including the hashtags "nylon", "men's outerwear", "puffy jacket" and "mountain style". Marmot posts on Pinterest less frequently than other social media platforms, approximately once or twice each month.

Total followers: ~917,300

Canada Goose

Facebook: 628,353 followers, 620,318 likes. Canada Goose's Facebook posts tend to be focused on one of two things: products or causes. Product-focused posts depict a specific item and highlight its benefits in normal, everyday life, such as recent posts featuring dancers wearing the HyBridge Base jacket to demonstrate its flexibility (e.g. its fabric is made to stretch) and versatility (e.g. you can wear it in the office or on a trail). Cause-focused posts are centered around causes related to an outdoor lifestyle and conservation, such as Polar Bears International. It's important to note, however, that even cause-focused posts often have a marketing aspect to them, such as posts selling jackets with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Polar Bears International. Canada Goose posts on Facebook once or twice each week.

Twitter: ~39,700 followers. Canada Goose's tweets are virtually identical to its Facebook posts in content and frequency. Because Canada Goose tends to make less text-heavy Facebook posts, in many cases its tweets are identical. Like its Facebook posts, Canada Goose's tweets are generally product-focused or cause-focused with a marketing aspect, and occur once or twice each week.

Instagram: 633,024 followers. Canada Goose utilizes identical content between Facebook and Instagram, which results in posts focused on either products and their benefits or causes related to conservation and outdoor lifestyles. Its Instagram posts typically occur once or twice each week.

YouTube: ~5,370 subscribers, 1,597,135 views. Canada Goose posts new YouTube videos roughly once each month. Its content is a mix of product videos depicting individuals wearing Canada Goose clothing in everyday, urban settings and cause-focused content such as a documentary on Polar Bears International.

Total followers: ~1,306,400
Part
04
of six
Part
04

Social Media Posts: Marmot and Canada Goose

We provided three examples of the most-popular posts from Marmot and Canada Goose on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Due to the large volume of social media posts from the companies, we reviewed all posts within the past year for each company on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (we analyzed all YouTube videos (and thus didn't limit to the past year) because there were far fewer posts on YouTube for both companies). We defined "most-popular posts" as the ones that generated the most reactions and views.

Marmot

1. Facebook

2. Instagram

  • We provided the most-popular video posts and the most-popular content posts from the past year on Instagram.

3. Twitter

4. YouTube

Canada Goose

1. Facebook

2. Instagram

  • We provided the most-popular video posts and content posts from the company over the past year on Instagram.
  • This link is to the most-popular video post over the past year (October 28, 2019), which generated 75,144 views. The video teases an upcoming release from the company.
  • This link is to the second-most-popular video post from the past year (October 4, 2019), which generated 61,568 views. The video is about the company's Branta jacket.
  • This link is to the most-popular content post from the past year (October 30, 2019), which generated 19,131 likes. The post features one of the company's jackets and includes the caption "Canada Goose x @welcomeovo: Be Seen November 1."
  • This link is to the second-most-popular content post from the past year (January 5, 2020), which generated 17,378 likes. The post is about New Year's resolutions.
  • This link is to the third-most-popular content post from the past year (January 3, 2020), which generated 15,952 likes. The post is about the company's Toronto Jacket and New Year's resolutions.

3. Twitter

4. YouTube

  • Canada Goose has a total of 72 videos on YouTube.
  • This link is to the most-popular video (October 1, 2014), which generated 494,358 views. The video is titled "Canada Goose x Wings and Horns — Collaboration" and showcases one of the company's new jackets at that time.
  • This link is to the second-most-popular video (December 7, 2018), which generated 271,147 views. The video is titled "Generations of Warmth — SoHo Billboard" and is about the holidays.
  • This link is to the third-most-popular video (October 17, 2018), which generated 206,710 views. The video is titled "Warmth Without Boundaries — 2018 Parka Collection" and is about the durability of the company's jackets.
Part
05
of six
Part
05

Social Media Posts: REI and Mountain Hardware

The most popular social media posts of REI on Facebook and Instagram were both videos posted on November 21, 2019, and tagged "Everything to Lose". In addition, the popular social media posts of Mountain Hardware on Twitter and Instagram are videos on the Kor Preshell collection and Hemcken Falls respectively.

REI

Facebook

Instagram

  • The most popular Instagram post of the company was a video posted on November 21, 2019, and it was tagged "Everything to Lose". The post attracted 404,345 views.
  • The second most popular Instagram post is an animation on the REI Challenge. It was posted on October 9, 2019. The animation attracted 380,035 views.

Twitter

YouTube

Mountain Hard Wear

Facebook

  • The most popular post of the company on Facebook is a writeup warning the climbing teams of dangers of mountaineering based on the Khumbu Ice fall. The writeup was posted on September 24, 2019. It attracted 808 reactions, 55 comments, and 34 shares.
  • The second most popular Facebook post a picture of the team that participated in the 2019 Madison mountaineering. The picture was posted on October 1, 2019. It had 262 reactions, 6 comments, and 7 shares.

Instagram

  • The most popular Instagram post of the company is a video posted on February 27, 2020, and it was tagged "Helmcken Falls". The post attracted 42,787 views.
  • The second most popular Instagram post is a video on deep water soloing. It was posted on May 23, 2019. The video attracted 37,071 views.

Twitter

  • The most popular Twitter post is that of a video that was used to introduce the Kor Preshell collection. The video was posted on March 4, 2019. It had 2,300 views, attracted 50 likes and 5 retweets.
  • The second most popular Twitter post is a video of sleeping bags made by the company. The notification was posted on April 17, 2019. It attracted 2,100 views, 37 likes, and 7 retweets.

YouTube

  • The most popular post on the company's YouTube channel is a video tagged "Introduction to the Super/DS™ Collection". It was posted on August 16, 2019. The post attracted 61,128 views, 18 likes, and 1 dislike.
  • The second most popular YouTube post is a video tagged "Mountain Hardwear Lamina™ Sleeping Bag ". It was posted on April 9, 2019. The post attracted 40,104 views, 36 likes, and 1 dislike.

Research Strategy

To answer this research question, we searched the Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages of both companies. Afterward, we did a year scan of each page and we determined the popular social media posts to be those with the highest number of engagements viz number of comments, likes, and shares.
Part
06
of six
Part
06

Social Media Posts: Patagonia, Columbia, and Arc'teryx

Some of the most popular social media posts from Patagonia, Columbia, and Arc'teryx are mainly about the COVID-19 announcement. Most of them concern the suspension of work due to the pandemic. This is followed by posts of events specific to the brand. One example is the celebration of the memory of Gert Boyle. More detailed information can be found below.

Patagonia's Facebook Post on COVID-19

  • The link to the post can be found here.
  • The post made on March 13th is an official announcement from the company to the community and their customers. It's about the suspension of activities and closing of their stores and offices for two weeks in order to protect employees and customers from COVID-19.
  • The impact of the post is incredibly high, 8,600 likes, 346 comments and 700 shares.

Patagonia's Instagram Post

  • The link to the post can be found here.
  • The post addresses the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Accord in which Patagonia criticizes inaction and denial regarding climate change.
  • The post produced over 109,000 likes and 2,336 comments.

Patagonia's YouTube Post

  • The link to the post can be found here.
  • The post consists of a full-length film titled "Artifishal" centered on the attempts to help save wild fish, particularly salmon, and the threats posed by fish farms and hatcheries.
  • This post has generated more than 2.2 million views, over 5,800 likes, and 724 comments since it was posted on October 30, 2019.

Columbia Sportswear's Facebook Post on COVID-19

  • The link to the post can be found here.
  • The post is an official announcement of Columbia Sportswear about the closing of their North America brick and mortar retail stores by COVID-19 from March 16 to March 27. They encourage their customers to buy online at their official website.
  • The post got 508 likes, 100 comments and 29 shares.

Columbia Sportswear's Twitter Post

  • The link to the post can be found here.
  • The post is about celebrating of the memory of Gert Boyle (1924-2019), who was the daughter of the founder of Columbia Sportswear and president of the company.
  • The Twitter post had a high impact, obtaining 448 likes, 68 shares and 22 comments.

Columbia Sportswear's YouTube Post

  • The link to the post can be found here.
  • The post involves a video involving creators Megan McDuffie and Heidi Annalise as well as Gale Straub, founder of She Explores, as they travel through the Olympic Peninsula's temperate rain forests.
  • This particular post has generated more than 3.5 million views, over 3,100 likes, and 80 comments since it was posted on April 2, 2018.

Arc'teryx's Facebook Post on COVID-19

  • The link to the post can be seen here.
  • The post was made on March 14th and it is an official announcement of Arc'teryx about the temporary closing of all US brand and factory outlet stores for two weeks by COVID-19 to protect customers and employees.
  • The post was highly popular and had a great impact, it got 897 likes, 30 shares and 35 comments.

Arc'teryx's Instagram Post

  • The link to the post can be found here.
  • This post alerts its customers and followers of the closing of Arc'teryx's factory outlet and brand stores in the United States for 14 days due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Posted on March 14, 2020, it has generated more than 26,500 likes and 209 comments.

Arc'teryx's YouTube Post

  • The link to the post is available here.
  • The post was for the windproof Nuclei FL Jacket and features the hashtag #BuiltForWhatsToCome. For this post, there is a video that consists of a series of photos and very short clips of two men ascending a mountain.
  • This particular post generated over 109,000 views, 74 likes, and 6 comments.

Research Strategy

We began by researching into the official websites of the companies Patagonia, Columbia, and Arc'teryx. On these websites, it was possible to find the direct link to the social media profiles of each of the companies. The selection of the social media posts (like Facebook or Twitter) was done by comparing the impact (likes, shares, and comments) of the posts for the company. We selected the posts that had considerably more likes, shares, and/or comments than the others. It is important to mention that the Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter profiles are the official ones of the companies requested.

Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • "Thank you for supporting your workers during this uncertain time and being an example for other retailers. I look forward to supporting your business when it’s safe to reopen."
From Part 05