I always get a little excited when I write and release the monthly Social Media Case Study. Combing through a brand’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter unleashes the inner detective in me. I can’t help but feel like I’m snooping around their secrets as I analyze their imagery, captions, hashtags and engagement, trying to improve upon their bad habits and praise their good practices.
However with each case study release, I also feel a bit of anxiety. I worry that you, the readers, will translate my words in a diminishing light of shame and judgment on these brands for their habitual mistakes. I become concerned that the marketing team members of the brands themselves, some of my absolute favorite companies such as Lush Cosmetics, HUM Nutrition and Nike, will read my review of their work and find it condescending instead of helpful, which is the entire purpose of these reports. Shining a light into the dark corners of a brand’s social media strategy can be scary sometimes. I find cobwebs, such as a lack of video content or influencer partnerships, but it’s important to remember that these missed opportunities are never one person’s fault. Instead, these issues often arise due to a brand’s limited access to resources, minimal training or simply a need for an outside expert perspective.
In each of these case studies, I hope my readers can feel my optimism towards the brands I am analyzing and find value in the expert commentary my team provides. I absolutely love offering a helping hand, and find it even more rewarding to have received such positive feedback on this case study series from all of you.
Now that I have said my peace, let’s dig into this social media review. I chose to analyze the brand Lululemon Athletica for the month of January as many of us are starting strong with health and wellness focused New Year’s Resolutions. I myself have committed to a more consistent yoga schedule, and might even gift myself a new, much needed, Lululemon yoga mat.
I love Lululemon. A lot. I am a loyal customer after being won over again and again by the brand’s quality products and customer service. I adore that I can put on one of my many neutral yet beautifully textured Lululemon outfits and immediately feel more confident. They have crafted an image of inclusion, activity and comfort that has extended far beyond the yoga studio.
Lululemon is a big deal on Instagram with over 2.8 Million followers. For context, here is a list of their top competitors in order of follower count…
- Nike 83.5 Million
- Adidas 23 Million
- Puma 9 Million
- Under Armour 6.7 Million
- Athleta 472k
- Outdoor Voices 312k
Lululemon has covered most of their bases on Instagram. The brand has been utilizing “ambassadors” who provide sample workouts and active imagery. Lulu also does a nice job at incorporating user-generated content (UGC), although this could definitely be amped up to increase engagement. Their branded hashtag, #TheSweatLife, has 947k posts and is filled with beautiful pictures that Lululemon could be reposting. This use of UGC is something that their competitor, Outdoor Voices, has mastered. Lululemon’s use of video is interesting, as almost half of their IG posts are in video format, except that they’re simply graphics with words that move instead of videos with a storyline, music or narration.
The majority of their posts are focused on selling products, although they have scattered in some inspirational and cobranded material as well. The inspirational content they share is unusual, as it is not solely focused on health motivation but also social concerns. Some of their inspirational topics include, “How long have you been scrolling?” with a focus on “Digital Detox.” I found this content to be a bit disjointed from their brand image and am confused as to why they did not connect the themes better to an athletic purpose.
Another potential improvement for Lululemon’s IG content could be incorporating more athletic images aside from running and yoga. While these are popular activities for their consumers, Lululemon could be attracting additional customers from other movement focused sports by utilizing more imagery of dance, skiing, rock climbing, horseback riding, tennis, cycling, etc.
Lululemon has nearly 2.1 million page likes, making their Facebook presence seemingly very popular. However, even with such a large following, it’s surprising to see they receive less than 1000 likes per post. While it has become increasingly common to see less engagement on Facebook compared to Instagram, Lululemon’s Facebook performance is somewhat sad.
Besides their low engagement, Lululemon is doing a nice job with the content they are posting and the conversations they are having with followers. Almost all of the content on their Facebook page is different than their Instagram posts, which is encouraging. Their social media team truly does a great job replying to comments, from both happy and angry customers.
Lululemon has some areas of improvement as nearly every Facebook post is a product shot and they haven’t been utilizing video content. These concerns could be eliminated by incorporating short workout videos, blog links from their website, and inspirational imagery to break up the product selling content. While their Facebook presence isn’t terrible by any means, these additions would greatly enhance their current efforts.
Lululemon is doing a nice job in the sense that they have over 1 million followers and nearly all of their content is Twitter specific, not directly mirroring their other social platforms. However, I still don’t feel invigorated by their content, which is an overwhelming amount of word graphics that don’t necessarily appeal to me and quotes from a man named “Tony” and other unknown people. They often retweet posts from their CEO, Calvin McDonald, which tend to get more engagement than their other tweets.
Lululemon receives about 30-80 likes per Tweet, and retweets of their content is sporadic. For Twitter improvements, I would encourage Lululemon to create a more personal voice with reminders to keep active, short workout tips, and incorporating more enticing imagery.
I will always love Lululemon for their high quality, fashion forward athletic products. However, being honest with you, I don’t feel any need to continue following them on social media. This should be alarming for the brand as their most loyal customers should also be their most engaging social media followers!
While Lululemon consistently posts high quality imagery, I don’t feel inspired by their overwhelming amount of product shots and less than captivating “inspirational” content. The brand could be offering more educational content links to drive community, engagement and also conversions. With a few small tweaks and an enhanced injection of personality, Lululemon could see even more social media success.