Just ten years ago Instagram didn’t exist, Facebook had only just introduced its ‘Like’ button and Twitter had only just launched the hyperlinked #Hashtag. Now all three are a part of our daily lives, whether you like it or not, and no outdoor brand would consider excluding social media from its marketing plans.
Those who do it well not only publicise their brand’s ethos, direction and products in an exciting and engaging way but also listen to their customers through social media by asking them questions, reacting to their feedback and learning from their experiences with the brand. It’s the best connection tool out there for linking directly with your core audience and customer base.
Mammut athlete, Ethan Walker, is one of a small team responsible for the success of the Swiss climbing brand’s social media feeds. Mammut’s Facebook page has just over 780,000 followers and their UK Instagram page has 16,200 followers. With such fantastic figures, we wanted to find out some of Ethan’s top tips on how to keep your social media follower-worthy.
Why do you think it is important for Mammut to be seen on Instagram?
“Social media is an important tool in the dark arts of marketing and brand promotion. Instagram has over 1 billion users. The UK specifically has somewhere in the region of 25 million active users per month. These numbers speak for themselves and brands would essentially be shooting themselves in the foot to miss out on engaging with these people.”
What commercial benefits does it bring you as a business? Or do you consider it part of a larger brand awareness message?
“Social media is all about pushing brand awareness and engaging with the consumer. While it is used occasionally to promote a particular product or range, the main idea for us is to relate the brand to the customer as much as possible.”
How do you plan your content?
“Very sporadically and off the cuff. We have a rough year outline of when specific products are released and set marketing stories, but generally we like to react to the ‘here and now’. For example, if it is snowing outside then usually posting a snow-related image works well.”
What makes a Mammut Instagram-worthy shot? How do you choose what makes it and what doesn’t?
“Beautiful landscapes, British scenery, Swiss heritage, brand focused. We are open to ideas and the way we post is constantly changing. Again, we like to react to the current and keep on trend with what is happening out in the world. We are extremely proud of our Swiss heritage.
“The Mammut brand has been around since 1862 which is quite staggering. When people generally think of ‘Swiss’ they think of quality and perfection. As we are representing Mammut here in the UK, it is also important to relate as much as possible to the British consumer.
“Images of Snowdon, Glen Coe, the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales are something that is relevant and achievable for the majority of people living here. People have a real connection to these places.”
How do you source your content?
“About half of our content comes directly from our head office, the other half is made up of content that we create ourselves here in the UK and the rest made up of people that send us lovely photos they’ve taken while out on their own adventures.”
How do you work with your ambassadors on Instagram?
“We like our ambassadors to post inspiring images of them using our kit and showing off their latest adventure. The Insta stories are also a great way of putting up quick posts that might show what the athlete is doing on that particular day. This might be a gym day, packing for their next expedition or just a general look into their lifestyle.”
Mammut UK also has a very successful Facebook page – why do you think it’s still important for companies like Mammut to be seen on Facebook?
“Even though Facebook, in general, might not be on as big a rise as in times past it still has a loyal following of users. It still offers a great platform for pushing content and keeping the brand at the forefront of people’s minds. Communication is key.”
How do you decide what to put on Facebook versus what to put on Instagram?
“The audience can be hugely different on each platform so occasionally requires a slightly different approach. Facebook is good for linking directly to products on the website and gear reviews.”
What’s your secret to growing your social media followers?
“I think to constantly keep things fresh and interesting. Use your assets of content wisely and try not to go into overload. One post a day should be more than enough especially if you are already a well-established brand.
“The importance of using the correct and most appropriate hashtags as well is pretty key.
“Don’t follow the trend of big slogan hashtags. For example, ‘justdoit’ and ‘allin’ etc. as your post will just get lost in the abyss and never reach those people that you really want to connect with.
“The world of social media is constantly changing and evolving. You only have to scroll down through your own personal Instagram account to see how much the way we post has changed over the course of the last few years!”