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It's that time of the week again when we take a closer look at a major brand's social strategy and on this occasion I've chosen to examine Coach.
The luxury brand has a global presence so one would assume that it has a fairly large following on social platforms.
And for more information on the brand read our review of Coach's ecommerce platform, which it launched way back in 1999...
Coach has managed to attract 4.7 million fans to its Facebook page, which is actually quite low for a luxury brand.
And I assume that these fans are simply attracted by the fact that Coach is an aspirational brand rather than its amazing content as the timeline is actually quite sparse.
Though there has been a bit of a flurry of posts recently, in general Coach only shares a handful of images and galleries each month.
There are recurring ‘Spotted’ posts that include photos of various celebrities wearing Coach clothes, as well as galleries featuring product ranges or images from celebrity events.
Many of the posts include links back to the relevant page on Coach’s ecommerce site, though it manages to achieve a subtle tone rather than putting people off with an overt sales pitch (e.g. “Find your shoe’s sole mate” and “Take a closer look at our City Tote.”)
It all fits well with the Coach brand and includes some great imagery but I can’t help but feel that it could post more frequent updates.
In terms of fan engagement, Coach’s posts tend to achieve around 5,000 ‘likes’ but fewer than a hundred comments.
There are of course exceptions to this rule and occasionally a product gallery or photo will achieve upwards of 15,000 interactions.
The community team responds to a few user comments with links to product suggestions or stock information, and occasionally escalates the issues to customer services. But as with most brands a vast majority of comments go unanswered, probably due to the amount of time it would take to respond to them all.
It’s also worth mentioning Coach’s range of Facebook apps and events, as many brands no longer bother with these features.
These currently include ‘Barbie’s Dream Bag’, ‘#CoachFromAbove’ and ‘Autumn Style Event’, the latter of which offered an exclusive 25% discount code to the brand’s Facebook fans, which was probably a very effective way of raking in more ‘likes’.
The Barbie promo is quite interesting as it offered fans the chance to buy a Coach branded doll, while #CoachFromAbove encourages customers to post images of themselves wearing Coach shoes on Twitter and Instagram using the aforementioned hashtag.
The resulting feed of images is much as you’d expect, but it’s a clever way of utilising user-generated content and encouraging people to become brand ambassadors.
Coach has almost 500,000 Twitter followers, which is again quite low when compared to the likes of Chanel (2.8 million), Dior (2.8 million) or D&G (1.2 million).
It has a very active Twitter feed and the range of content is far more varied than on Facebook. Among the standard product promos there are frequent links to Coach’s other social accounts and images from its various celebrity events.
The community team also use Twitter to promote the ‘#CoachNewYorkStories’ campaign which is largely based around Instagram photos and YouTube videos.
It includes some great content showcasing various trips around New York state, which helps to showcase the brand’s heritage as a New York fashion label. Burberry uses Instagram in a similar way by posting daily cityscapes of London.
Coach also recently used Twitter to host a chat with a well-known fashion blogger. To ensure it got a good response Coach entered everyone who posed a question into a prize draw to win a Madison iPad Crossbody.
This kind of initiative can be very effective, as it’s relevant to the Coach brand and helps to build brand a relationship with its followers. It would be good to see more brands trying similar campaigns rather than simply pushing out marketing messages.
Coach does a good job of responding to complaints and generally apologises before referring the users to customer services, while the community team also answers product queries as well.
One thing to note is that unlike most brands Coach doesn’t retweet or respond to many positive brand mentions, which creates the impression that it only ever receives negative comments on Twitter.
I’m almost certain that this isn’t the case so Coach should consider interacting with positive brand mentions more often, as this helps to build customer affinity and would make its feed a bit more cheerful.
Coach has a very active Pinterest account with 51 boards that include a range of product, celebrity and lifestyle content.
Amittedly I haven’t checked out all 51 boards, but it seems that many of them are just collections of Coach products complete with links back to the ecommerce site.
In fact I could find very few that actually include any third-party content or links to any other sites.
There’s nothing desperately wrong with this and it’s a tactic that many brands adopt, but I feel that it rather misses the social aspect of Pinterest and also passes up an opportunity to give a more rounded brand image.
Coach also has a Pinterest board for its #CoachFromAbove shoe initiative as well as the ‘Spotted’ collection that includes photos of celebrities wearing the brand’s clothes.
It is also running a Pinterest competition that allows people the chance to win a $500 gift card. To enter users have to submit an entry form on Coach’s Facebook page, follow the brand on Pinterest, then pin a load of images from the ‘Coach Fall 2013 Shoe Collection’ board.
It’s a fairly simple contest but it will allow Coach to collect some valuable customer data as well as driving up its number of Pinterest followers.
While doing these posts I’ve noticed that very few brands bother to maintain an active Google+ account (with the exception of a few brands such as ASOS), and a few haven’t bothered to set one up at all.
Coach appears to fall into the latter category which is actually quite surprising as G+ offers a number of benefits for multichannel retailers, not least in local search.