In Your Words 7: Brands That Excel at IMC

For this week’s post, we were assigned to pick three brands that are active on all social media channels. I selected three that I follow and use consistently, and it just so happens that all three excel at IMC. Let’s take a look at them below.

Optimum Nutrition

As one of the leading supplement brands in the world, Optimum Nutrition is easily recognizable and highly sought after by everyone from fitness freaks to casual gym-goers. Their range of products includes protein powders, recovery formulas, creatine and other health/fitness supplements.LINK

From an IMC approach, Optimum Nutrition (ON) excels at pushing products and pulling in customers. The company is very active on social media, with more than a million Facebook likes and more than 54,000 followers on their main Twitter account. One of the ways in which Optimum Nutrition diversifies their IMC approach is through specific accounts tailored to particular markets. A basic search reveals several location-specific Twitter accounts, including UK-based and Ireland-based accounts.

Even with this diversity, the company maintains a consistent approach in terms of messaging and imagery. Social media posts often feature pictures of either the products or sponsored athletes and typically have a light-hearted tone to this message. Here’s an example:

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Optimum Nutrition’s content is up-to-date, as the Twitter account posts and re-tweets content throughout the day. The Facebook page features posts every few days, often with links to specials. The YouTube channel isn’t quite as active, with videos being posted every few months.

Because the company is active on several channels, it is able to drive users to its main site and back to the other channels. For example, pictures posted on Facebook are also posted on Instagram. In addition, Twitter posts will often include a link to a larger Facebook post that may have another link to the company’s main website.

Both Twitter and Instagram posts feature many hashtags, which we’ve learned is an excellent strategy for attracting an audience. Each Instagram post has at least five hashtags, while Twitter posts may contain fewer.

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Overall, Optimum Nutrition certainly has a strong IMC strategy that makes use of several social media channels and drives the audience to make purchases of their products. It’s for that reason that Optimum Nutrition is the leading supplement brand on the market.

Asics 

As one of the leading brands in the running shoe industry, Asics really does a great job from an IMC perspective. The company has a great Facebook page that not only features posts about its products but also features shoutout posts that highlight some of its fans/followers, which I find to be a great way to connect with their audience.

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Asics is also active on Twitter, and like Optimum Nutrition, it has many location-based accounts, which help the company connect with its markets across the world. Asics is able to effectively use an IMC approach by promoting its products across its various channels, which also includes some pretty neat videos. The company has a very interactive media strategy that encourages fans/followers/consumers to post pictures, share stories and videos using the company’s products.

From that standpoint, the company is very consistent in terms of its branding and messaging. Many of the posts are motivational and uplifting and seem to reflect the bright, vibrancy of the products themselves. Again, the content is kept up to date with one daily Facebook post and about three Twitter posts or re-tweets per day. The Instagram account also features about one daily post.

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Like Optimum Nutrition, Asics makes use of hashtags in its posts, particularly on Instagram and Twitter. Most Instagram posts feature four to five tags, and some photos even feature a hashtag in the actual picture. As shown below, I think one of the great ways that the company takes part in IMC and creates bonds with its audience is through featuring other users in their posts. They also use Twitter to tweet out links to their Facebook, Instagram and YouTube posts, which helps drive traffic. Overall, just a great company that engages with and builds its audience daily.

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Fender

Food and fitness are my biggest passions, but another one is guitar. I’ve been playing since my sophomore year of high school, and so I figured one of the biggest guitar brands in the world deserved a mention. Fender has been the brand of choice for some of the most famous musicians of all time, including Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Though the company is known for its vintage look, it’s very much active in marketing and the IMC approach.

Surprisingly, Fender is one of the most active guitar brands on the social media circuit. The Facebook page has nearly 2.1 million likes, while the company’s Twitter account has 376,000 followers. Their Google+ page as 12,722 followers and nearly 4 million views. Of course, Instagram is a big tool for Fender, too.

Fender’s IMC approach makes use of their strong branding and history to create content on multiple channels. It also helps to have highly recognizable celebrities to endorse their products.

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From a consistency standpoint, Fender’s social media accounts play to the company’s strength in that it features stories, photos and videos of its great line of artists. And because of their beautiful craftsmanship, the guitars are always the main focus. I mean, who knew wood could look so good?

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To drive people to their other social media accounts, Fender tweets out links to Facebook and Instagram posts. It also features a lot of links to stories on its Facebook page. And as for hashtags, well, the cover photo on the Facebook page says it all.

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Needless to say, Fender is definitely doing a great job at maintaining a strong, active social presence. It just goes to show that it doesn’t mean old, established brands can’t do new-school things online.

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