I’m Kenneth from the GoPro group, and here’s what our project’s all about!
GoPro is America’s fastest-growing digital imaging company, and it “makes the world’s most versatile cameras” . Founded in 2002, it has sold approximately 20 million devices worldwide (GoPro, 2016). GoPro sells action cameras that sees a lot of use in extreme sports, such as skydiving, white water rafting, scuba diving, and so on.
However, they have recently faced falling profits. Over the last 12 months leading up to March 2016, stock value has fallen by 70%! This can be attributed to the firm’s lack of innovation and its limited target group – the extreme sports users.
GoPro has realised this themselves, and has begun shifting their direction so that they become more of a lifestyle product – however, even as their product becomes more oriented to the quotidian, has their social media strategy shifted in the same direction?
Hence, our group has decided to analyse GoPro’s current social media strategy with 2 research questions:
Research Question 1: How has Gopro created a strong and self-sustaining brand community through its current social media strategy?
Research Question 2: How can Gopro diversify its customer base?
From our use of Synthesio, we found this sad picture of how customers all over the world perceive GoPro, and we see that 96% of people perceive GoPro to be a niche, extreme sports camera.
Our analysis is based on GoPro’s use of 3 social media platforms: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
We have found that GoPro has 3 overarching elements for their social media strategy. The most effective and important element is their User-Generated Content (UGC). With incentives such as cash prizes through its photo/video of the day contests, we see strong participation in these contests. As these entries are high quality pictures, GoPro also builds up positive brand attitudes amongst its viewers as they see the potential of GoPro as an image capturing device through other consumers’ experience with the camera.
The second element is GoPro’s use of curated content. GoPro screens and manages the content it posts on its social media platforms. These entries are selected according to what GoPro’s customers are interested in, i.e. extreme sports, conservation efforts. Overall, it seems that GoPro’s customers mostly have the quality of being adventurous people who live big lives. Together with UGC, this effectively builds up a strong brand community as like-minded individuals are brought together on GoPro’s social media platforms where they can share their successes with the use of GoPro, learn from others, and interact with other people who share similar values.
The third element of GoPro’s effective social media strategy is its personal communication style, where it establishes a very casual and friendly atmosphere on their platforms. This is done through colloquial language conveyed through a friendly tone. This further supplements the building up of GoPro’s brand community.
Our analysis has found some main social media strategy differences across the three social media platforms.
Instagram remains GoPro’s most effective social media platform, possibly attributed to the nature of GoPro as a product – an image capturing device. The use of contests and story-telling through their posts were found as especially effective in engaging their audience, as these posts have the greatest number of likes and comments across all their other posts.
GoPro seems to have a generalised strategy on Twitter, where it uses many different types of hashtags, i.e. #GoProGirl. This fosters greater engagement as a wider range of audience can take part in GoPro’s conversations with its customers. The range of topics are also widened due to the wider variety of hashtags used.
Finally, GoPro seems to create the most interest on Facebook through videos as videos have greater likes and shares compared to GoPro’s other posts on Facebook.
All in all, GoPro’s social media strategy is a highly effective one in generating a strong brand community. This is evident in the most vocal brand ambassadors identifying themselves as part of the #GoProFamily. The main issue of GoPro’s social media strategy lies in the lack of content diversity.
Our group has then come up with 3 recommendations for Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, and localised our recommendations because we understand Singapore best.
We recommend GoPro to establish an official GoProSG Instagram account and supplement this with localised hashtag campaigns. A few examples would be to explore non-thrill seeking, youth relevant issues, such as sports events (e.g. youth olympics in Singapore), or health initiatives (Health campaigns by the Health Promotion Board), or even social/environmental causes championed by student leaders (e.g. community service activities like reef alert). GoPro should encourage and share content of this nature taken through its camera. Not only would this build goodwill amongst a wider range of youth customers, GoPro will be able to shift people’s perception of it being a niche-use camera, to one that can be used for any activity as they see high quality pictures of non-thrill seeking activities being shared on GoProSG. GoPro also begins to shift consumers’ perception of it being an exclusive company that caters specifically to a niche group of consumers to one that has a holistic concern with matters of importance amongst Singaporean youths. As positive brand attitudes are built up amongst Singaporean youths, this can potentially diversify GoPro’s brand community as more people feel included in GoPro’s brand community.
We also recommend GoPro to begin developing a Snapchat application where its users are able to capture, edit, and upload content onto Snapchat all through the camera itself. This is because Snapchat is quickly becoming one of the most preferred social media platforms amongst youths.
By developing new functionalities that allow its users to explore content creation, and to have these functions be aligned with its users daily activities, we believe this would shift consumers’ perception of GoPro as a niche camera, to a camera for the everyday. Granted, this isn’t a solution in of itself to solve GoPro’s falling demand, but rather, forms part of our multi-pronged approach in changing consumers’ perception of GoPro.
Finally, we recommend GoPro to launch co-creation events through Facebook. This is because this fosters greater collaboration between GoPro and its customers and allows it to gain greater insight into the needs of its non-thrill seeking customers. Not only would GoPro be better equipped with the knowledge to develop products that its customers want, GoPro would be able to generate goodwill and change people’s perception of it being a company tailored to thrill-seekers, to one that is an involved organisation deeply concerned with the needs of all types of its customers.
That is a quick summary of our group project for GoPro. For more information, our report is on E-learn! 🙂 Thank you for reading!