Nike Scores Big on Twitter

This post is part of the Twitter for Brands Series, which features winning strategies from the top brand pages on Twitter and provides tips on how to emulate their successes.

With hundreds of thousands of followers on numerous accounts, one might think that Nike has been on Twitter for longer than six months.

The brand, still in its infant stages on the social media platform, has been running, not crawling, since it started tweeting.

Nike has won a gigantic following on Twitter by fostering its relationships with fans and supporting them to change their lives for the better.

Check out how it goes the distance on the site.

Motivational Tweets to Fans

Nike‘s main Twitter stream, which has more than 440,000 followers, is updated several times per day with motivational tweets. These tweets are directed both in reply to individual fans or to everyone in general.

On June 2, it posted, “Sacrifice for success. #makeitcount.”

Three days earlier, @mikeyk tweeted, “The Nike Fuel Band is definitely the longest I’ve stuck with a personal fitness gadget, and the most positive experience I’ve had with one.” The company replied, “Thanks for the love Mike. Persistent pays. Red to green is the only way to go.”

On the @nikebetterworld Twitter, currently focused on the journey of athlete Jason Lester across America, fans are encouraged to join him and be part of the cause. “Run with @jasonlester in Santa Monica,” the company tweeted on June 2. “Share your story. Inspire others. #betterworld.”

The goal of the Better World division is to bring sports to people around the globe. It’s obvious why the @nikebetterworld account has nearly 10,000 followers. When a campaign has a clear message, fans will be enticed to join in.

Along with an easily understood message on its Better World campaign, in general, the company has a consistent voice across all boards. The motivational tweets are a Nike standard on its accounts.

It’s no surprise, considering the company motto Just Do It.

Sharing Fans’ Content on the Stream

One of the most effective ways to turn customers into brand advocates is to pass along their content. Nike does this, demonstrating to their customers that they care about what they have to say.

The company is in tune with fans on its @nikefootball account, where it frequently shares fan photos, videos, and tweets with other followers on the stream.

On June 1, the account, with more than 615,000 followers, tweeted, “@jodinasser We love your tweet and would like to use it in our Nike Football #makeitcount campaign. If this is cool, just reply ‘OK.'”

The next day, it said, “@KW95FOOTBALL Hey Kevin, have you spotted your video on the FootballStream yet? In case you haven’t, here it is!”

Nike CEO Mark Parker, who spoke to Fortune this past February, said his company’s marketing efforts are all about the back-and-forth with customers. “Connecting used to be, ‘Here’s some product, and here’s some advertising. We hope you like it.'” he said. “Connecting today is a dialogue.”

Local Marketing

Nike has Twitter accounts for its stores in all the major American cities–New YorkLos AngelesBostonSeattle, among others. Customers use the platform to ask specific questions about store items, including what’s in stock.

Despite the brand’s global reach, localized marketing is still crucial when it comes to company growth, according to half of marketers in a CMO Council survey. It’s a more personal way to get involved with customers, and an effective way to deal with their real concerns.

In the case of Nike, a customer may not be interested in the company’s charity overseas but will want to know about the latest products and wether they’re in stock.

In an interview with Mashable, Nike’s Global Digital Brand and Innovation Director Jesse Stollak said, “Social networks are tools that help build and leverage our relationship with the consumer. These networks serve as a platform to reach our athletes. However, the goal hasn’t changed since the beginning of Nike — we want to connect with athletes to inspire and enable them to be better. The rise of social media provides new ways to do this.”

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