Whether browsing or shopping online, have you ever given much thought to your goals before you clicked on the social media buttons running along the sidebar, sandwiching the post or product description, or resting in the footer? What did you think you’d get out of connecting yourself to the company that way?
Maybe a better question is, what were your expectations of the brand on all those platforms? Did you think you’d get more enjoyment or learn more with two (or more) social connections than one?
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and a rising number of other social platform buttons are found everywhere, from business blogs to online retailers. As readers, we’ve developed a habit of clicking all those cute buttons whenever a company satisfies our needs. Clicking is quick, it’s easy, and hey, we’re on that site too.
Multi-Platform Content Strategy
But what we often experience is the same blog post, message update, or photo simply re-distributed across various the platforms. Like Groundhog Day. Not only is the unimaginative regurgitation boring and uninspired, but it also reflects poorly on the brands that employ this approach.
We can look at one consumer goods company doing a great job at brand-building through multi-platform content.
Lululemon is a “technical run and yoga clothing” manufacturer and retailer whose core values center in serving the local communities chosen for retail outlets. Their “whole body” philosophy is demonstrated through in-store events where they teach self-defense, goal-setting, yoga, and more to women interested in improving their body and mind through exercise.
Blog: The blog is a great mix of topics from all things running and yoga to products, events, goal-setting, nutrition, beauty and fashion. To the woman whose priorities include taking care of her mental and physical health, the Lululemon blog seems like the perfect place to find your center and the encouragement you need to be your best you ever.
Facebook: Like many, the company uses Facebook as a means to generate awareness about blog posts through status updates. It’s also a place where service and product issues are discussed, contests are promoted, and event photos.
Twitter: The Lululemon Twitter stream reads a lot like a transcript from friends on a multi-party line might. That’s to say, there’s lots of energy, encouragement, and dialogue about what the followers are doing to get their adrenaline and zen fix. Sure, there’s bits and pieces about products here and there – but not in an overt “salesy” way and usually in response to a follower comment or inquiry.
YouTube: It seems natural that video would be a media form Lululemon would employ as part of their multi-platform strategy, and they don’t disappoint. With playlists ranging from Product Education to Our People and on to Community, a viewer can interact with the brand, its employees, and featured products in ways that make them all more real.
Flickr: It’s hard to look at a photo of a yogi holding a complicated pose or a woman running her best race and not feel inspired. Lululemon uses the built-in organizational structure of Flickr (collections, sets, galleries, and tags) to share customer and corporate photos with the greater community of athletic-minded people. While the photos themselves aren’t pushing the message “Buy this top!” the net effect is one that the athlete, no matter his or her personal skill level, has found a trusted resource upon discovering Lululemon.
Tumblr: You might think Tumblr as another Flickr, simply another file upload of photos stored on some employee’s desktop. You’d be wrong. Lululemon’s Tumblr page is a bridge between Pinterest-like display boards and Flickr-like discovery. I’d liken it to themed room décor for your computer monitor, and Lululemon uses a combination of lifestyle photos, product shots, inspirational quotes, instructional videos, and street-level snaps related to the worlds of running and yoga.
It’s clear the Lululemon team has operationalized their brand to make it an intrinsic part of their marketing communications strategy. From the way they participate and engage with enthusiasts on social media platforms, I’d say the strategy is a success.
What can your brand learn from Lululemon?
Image courtesy Lululemon Athletica on Flickr