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Converse operates the third most popular branded page on Facebook, with 39.6m fans and 76,000 people talking about the brand.

This is according to Socialbakers' Top 100 brands on social media. However, Converse doesn’t seem to chart on any of the other social media platforms.

Converse is a progressive brand with a long history of cool associations through sport, music, comic books and video games. Being purchased by Nike, an expert brand when it comes to social media, over a decade ago should have helped strengthen its social media strategy.

However Converse seems to be lacking in certain areas. Let’s take a look at the Converse Facebook page, followed by Google+, Instagram, Vine, Twitter and Pinterest.

Facebook

Facebook seems to be the main hub of Converse’s social activity. The engagement numbers really speak for themselves.

Using the Facebook page as an exclusive channel for revealing new products is a great way of driving traffic to your ecommerce site, retaining interest in that particular channel and increasing engagement.

In light of new Facebook news feed changes, engagement is the only way for your brand’s posts to appear on user’s news feeds. Unless you pay for an advert that is.

Also, never underestimate the power of a well-chosen licence.

My favourite thing about the Converse Facebook page is how much artistic expression it drives from followers.

Underneath every post where a new customised shoe is previewed, many followers upload their own efforts in the comments.

In amongst those 213 comments, around a third of them are images of followers own sneakers. I also like how the above comment achieved 372 likes by itself. This only encourages a healthy and thriving community, full of support and conversation.

If I had to make one criticism it’s this: Converse uses Facebook as a catch-all social media channel. Everything gets posted here, Instagrams, Vines, Google+ updates. There is no exclusivity, therefore no reason to really follow any of Converse’s other channels.

Google+

There is much speculation as to the merits of Google+, only 35% of users are active on the network. However it seems like Google+ Communities may be the way to get users to return.

Converse has set up the community ‘Chuck Hackers’.

This is a great place for Converse fans to upload their own customised shoes (or chucks) and chat to each other about them.

Google+ community pages are much easier than Facebook to get involved in. To quote Peter Meinertzhagen, digital marketing manager at mark-making*:

I think that Google+ Communities is a wonderful idea. Just how forums give people a place to generate discussion, Communities allows groups of like-minded individuals convene to talk about anything they want, all within a single platform (with no need for multiple login details). I would love the chance to talk about subjects I’m passionate out with people I’m not already connected with, and on Twitter this is only really possible with hashtag chats.

Instagram

This is probably the last channel that Converse makes a concerted effort in using. Its frequently posted, attractive images offer a variety of different marketing tactics.

There’s topical news-jacking. This is for the Super Bowl.

Reposting of images submitted by users.

Random but no less related posts.

Converse has even found a great use of Instagram Video.

Taking full advantage of the format’s 15 second length and editing tools.

If only the same could be said for Instagram’s rival video format.

Vine

Here is Converse’s Vine page, featuring six posts from nearly a year ago. 

Converse follows nobody, yet managed to accrue 10,000 followers on brand identity alone.

The following might be the most pointless Vine I’ve ever seen.

Made even worse by the complete disregard to how horrible a soundtrack can sound for stop-motion video when you don’t dub something consistent over the top. The remaining Vines are much of the same thing.

Converse has obviously abandoned Vine and is instead concentrating on Instagram video.

It’s a shame because Vine is becoming more and more popular with young demographics, and the rough, handmade quality of the most successful Vines probably match the aesthetic that Converse wishes to promote through its ‘Chuck Hacks’.

Here are some excellent recent examples of branded Vines.

Twitter

I’m not a particular fan of the way Converse operates its Twitter page either.

Converse is a frequent tweeter, but there’s not much going beyond mere company broadcasting. There’s no engagement, no chatter, no personalised content, very little humour. It’s just a very bland wall of noise, that smacks of automation.

Perhaps this lack of engagement is the reason why Converse’s number follower count is 439,000, compared to Nike’s 2.8m. I know that Nike is a much bigger company, but even smaller similar brands far outstrip Converse.

Toms has 2.2m followers and operates a much more lively and engaging Twitter page.

Pinterest

Converse does not have a Pinterest profile. This too is a massive oversight. Pinterest is driving more and more sales, overtaking Facebook for UK referral revenue in 2013 and will soon do the same in the US.

Also the visual nature of Pinterest ties in so completely with the Converse brand, that it really seems like a no-brainer.

Yes there are a lot of social media platforms out there, with many more in development, and there is only a limited amount of budget and time that any company large or small can devote to each one, so sacrifices do have to be made.

However if Pinterest really does drive as much traffic to ecommerce sites as research shows, than this is a platform that cannot be ignored.

For more brands on social media from the blog check out how Oreo owns social media and how The Wall Street Journal owns social media.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 18 February, 2014 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

686 more posts from this author

Comments (5)

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Aaron

No surprise about the above findings. When one follows Converse closely, one has the feeling that the folk running the company are more interested in advancing up to the mothership (Nike) than actually moving forward a well-run subsidiary.

over 2 years ago

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Ruchi

Very well presented article. I believe Converse could put in more effort in their Twitter profile. Everyone's there. It's a place where things are actually noticed. But them again, for any brand, it is hard to be successful on all social platforms. It'll be monotonous as they're products and the information presented does not change per second. If one captures the main ones, mainly - Facebook, Twitter or Instagram is good enough. Though it's true the Converse needs to game up. The numbers are everything these days. It's all in the Analytics.

over 2 years ago

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Nick

Although, like the author of this piece I have no specific insight as I don't work there, I suspect that Converse, like many brands, is having to make some tough choices about where to focus it's limited social resources to maximise its engagement with a very specific audience group. If that is indeed the case then its use of the likes of Tumblr, YouTube and SoundCloud alongside its outstanding use of Facebook and Instagram, where it is consistently among the world's most popular brands, seems to me to reflect a pretty sophisticated social strategy based on a deep understanding of their audience. But then again I could be wide of the mark too.

over 2 years ago

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Jessica

Do you have any case studies as to how medical devices are using these same channels for engagement?

over 2 years ago

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local social networks

I wonder, aren't social networks that are local (like- aimed for neighborhoods) taking their place in such a big company's' campaign? they are becoming more and more popular..

over 2 years ago

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