In order for a brand to be successful online, they must maintain a high level of interaction. Most would agree that the feeling you get when someone follows you or likes your post is pretty great. You may even think to yourself “Someone cares what I have to say, someone is connecting with my message, the sky is no longer the limit!” But then like any good thing, that high stops and you have no other response. Successful companies know that in order for them to remain relevant, they can’t just have likes and follows, but they need to take it a step further with comments, replies, and questions. These three ways of engaging lead to the most important word of all: interaction.
Personally, the only way I follow someone on Instagram or Twitter, is if their content interests me. Usually it will be scenic photos or fascinating places in the world – I have the travel bug (bad), or tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle or what’s new in the “trendy” world. There are three companies that I have taken an interest in over the years: Lululemon, Herschel and David’s Tea. All of these are iconic Canadian brands have been created and nurtured right here at home. To the average consumer, they are everyday items that have so perfectly placed themselves in your life that you haven’t even noticed that they are all around you. From the best-selling black Lululemon legging that every girl owns (men too, I don’t discriminate), to the well-known brown leather diamond of Herschel, to the drink that you consume on a daily basis. But what really makes you return to the product again and again? How do they stay relevant in a world where new tea ideas are brought forwards every day and your average legging now comes in fifteen different styles and thirty new colours? We come back to that one word that makes any brand stay relevant: interaction.
David’s Tea has a great online presence considering all they do is sell tea. With their first store opening in Toronto in 2008, they have taken the tea world by storm. Similar to Starbucks with their iconic white cup (red for the holidays of course), David’s Tea created a turquoise version with their name stamped beautifully across the side. They have over 100 different flavours ranging from “Cold 911” to “Egyptian Chamomile”. This is where their social media mastery comes in to play. Due to the fact that they have so many teas and no one wants to scroll through dozens of pages online, David’s Tea releases their weekly tea menu to their various social platforms. They share it to Facebook where their 228,751 thousand followers can like and comment, and they share it to Twitter where their 77.2 thousand followers can re-tweet and engage in conversation with a David’s Tea professional.
Now back to my word of the day, David’s Tea does a great job of interacting with their Twitter followers. If you go onto their page you will see David’s Tea liking and commenting on everything! From answering questions that concerned consumers have, to engaging in debates on which tea is better. This is what makes them stand out from other brands. Shoppers will continue to buy their tea if they feel like they are being appreciated. This goes for Facebook as well. By not posting as many lifestyle pictures to Twitter and instead posting them on Facebook, they are encouraging consumers to like and follow both Twitter and Facebook. This creates a wider platform to spread their message. David’s Tea has such excellent graphics that they even started making phone backgrounds for the real “tea lovers” out there!
Now Herschel is a brand which in some ways, does the complete opposite then that of David’s Tea. They have more followers on Facebook then “DT” does – 396,335 thousand, and have 736 thousand followers on Instagram. Unlike David’s Tea where they comment on everyone who tweets or mentions them, Herschel doesn’t follow a single person back on Instagram, yet they have a higher like ratio. So what makes them so special? They clearly disregarded my word of the day, so how is their social media presence so great? Lifestyle. The trend with today’s generation is to get outside and take pictures of all the amazing places that you have been. Whether it be hiking the Mohave Desert, climbing a mountain in the Rockies, or exploring caves in Oregon, Herschel will be with you every step of the way. The pictures they post on Instagram are defined by the term “Wanderlust”. It makes consumers want to be there and want to have that backpack with them. Though they aren’t interacting with the consumer, they are catering to what every young adult wants most in the world right now.
They are a fueling a desire for adventure and by continuing to post content like this, people will buy their product because of what it represents. Their social media presence will continue to grow based on the fact that individuals like having gorgeous backgrounds and photos of unique places on their phone. I for one take no shame in admitting that that’s why I follow them. The videos that they post on Facebook are engaging and easy to watch because they look good with no sound. You can sit at your desk at work or in class and watch Herschel take you around the world. This is why they are succeeding in the social media world. We are relying on them to take us to places where we haven’t been yet and to be honest, their backpacks are amazing quality.
With the mention of quality, I bring myself to the last brand in which we are discussing – Lululemon. Known for its spandex, leggings and Yoga attire, they has an impressive 814 thousand followers on Twitter and an even more impressive 1.2 million followers on Instagram. Lululemon was the one who really started the legging craze. Before them there wasn’t really a need for black spandex to live your life in and now there is. With some tweaks to their social media they have maintained a steady and growing consumer base. After what was dubbed the “PR nightmare of 2013” by their then founder Chip Wilson, Lululemon switched up their social media strategy. They were being accused of catering to a specific lifestyle; one that was meant for thin athletes who used their product daily. Their social media was all about showing a high performance vision and this is what cost them an estimated $45 million in sales. I scrolled back on their Instagram about two years. I saw pictures of Olympians and people do insane weights and gym regimens – definitely not the relaxed style they promote now. Flash-forward two years, its all about Yoga, being happy with yourself, interesting places to do Yoga in your “Lulus” (again feeding that “Wanderlust”) and new lifestyle things for you to try.
With regards to interaction, no one does it like Lululemon. I have mentioned them in four tweets now at different times, each in a different context. They have either liked my tweet or have commented and continued a conversation for two or three tweets. For a company of their magnitude and with the amount of followers they have, it’s impressive the amount of dedication that they have shown to their media. For them interaction with their customers is key. Whether it ‘s by liking a post or sharing content that can benefit the individual, Lululemon is maintaining their client base because they show that they appreciate their customers.
At the end of the day it really is about interaction. Each of these brands have shown in one way or another that they understand the trends of today – it’s the only way a brand can be successful. With so many relying on social media these days, it's crucial for Canadian brands to take their piece of the pie. If the consumers don’t agree with what they post social media wise, then the brand will suffer. You have to adapt and in today's day and age it happens to be by interacting.
What other Canadian companies do you know that have a great online presence?
What other Canadian companies do you know that have a great online presence?