It seems like it would be fair to say that Nike is the most-popular and largest sports brand in the entire world. They have been around for decades, supplying various sports and teams with all of the gear that they need whether it is basketball shoes or tennis rackets. All of the gear helps athletes be competitive and become the best possible at their sport.
Like most brands, Nike also has a strong social media presence. It might not seem like it is as necessary for Nike to have a competent social media branding strategy. They are, after all, easily recognizable. But, even Nike needs to stay relevant in the changing world. This is what you could learn by looking at Nike’s social media presence.
Let’s start off by looking at Facebook. Facebook has been around longer than Twitter or Instagram, but it is still a relevant form of social media. It seems to have bridged the gap of generations from the old to the young, making it an excellent place to market.
For its part, Nike has more than one Facebook page running. They focus on the different elements that users might be looking for, having pages for individual sports like running and tennis. They also have a Nike+ Run Club and other links to apps that they use. This really allows them to target individuals. Nike is far too large to have just one page. There would be no way to concentrate on all of their avenues.
Regardless of the amount of individual pages that Nike has, they post rather sparingly. Instead of inundating users with constant posts or advertisements, Nike uses its Facebook marketing for only its largest campaigns. Even though they are not a continual stream, there is a large amount of engagement with the posts when they do appear.
Nike also only uses Facebook in a positive light. Of course, all brands would like to keep their pages as drama-free as possible, but Nike made a conscious choice with its Facebook page. Rather than mentioning its controversial Colin Kaepernick campaign that appeared in print as well as on television, the advertising campaign did not make it onto their Facebook page.
The biggest lesson with Facebook is that Nike is appealing to a targeted audience. With the various campaigns, they can focus on one demographic of consumer, whether it is women or someone with a disability. When a consumer sees himself/herself represented in marketing, it is empowering.
Even though the format is different, Nike still has a presence on Twitter. With Twitter, Nike focuses more on the engagement of posts rather than anything else. They monitor how many followers they have, but they also monitor how engaged people were with each post that they see.
What you can learn from this is simple: pay attention to whether your marketing efforts are successful or if you need to alter how you are posting in order to improve your engagement with your target audience. Do not simply make posts and then hope that they are successful.
The way that Nike uses Instagram should also be mentioned. Nike posts more frequently on Instagram than it does on Facebook. Rather than waiting for a big announcement to make a post, Nike posts on Instagram weekly. Instagram of course is photo-based, which makes it a more appealing format for users who like that it is so visual.
Your takeaway from Nike’s marketing on Instagram is the use of hashtags. While hashtags are meant to allow threads of ideas or topics link up, Nike uses them to build a community. The hashtags are meaningful and well-thought-out, making it easy to want to share their posts on your own Instagram page. Hashtags are a great method of building a sense of ownership with the brand. When users feel like they can relate to a brand, they will be more likely to support it.
Ultimately, Nike is amazing at social media branding. They have demonstrated that you need to be flexible and try different methods on different platforms. Instagram’s method would not work for Twitter. Instead, they approach each platform separately, appealing to their audience individually.