The North Face show how linking social platforms together can help build a larger online community

The North Face show how linking social platforms together can help build a larger online community

Outdoor gear retailer The North Face have built a much larger online community than competitor Helly Hansen, with 60 times more Facebook likes and 20 times more Twitter followers. The North Face achieved this in part by linking their Facebook and Twitter handles back to each other.

Both The North Face and Helly Hansen share similar content on their Facebook and Twitter pages. On Facebook, they both share pictures of events and athletes they sponsor, ask fans about their sporting achievements and post about new products. On Twitter, they both tweet about events or competitions, share relevant news and respond to fans’ questions about products. However, despite a seemingly similar approach, The North Face have achieved a Facebook community 60 times bigger than Helly Hansen’s and a Twitter community 20 times that of Helly Hansen’s?
Closer analysis reveals that one possible reason for The North Face's bigger community is their their Twitter and Facebook handles, a strategy which has shown to be successful in a previous case study on The Hunger Games movie. When The North Face post on Twitter, they include links to pictures on Facebook. Likewise, their Facebook posts often contain Twitter hashtags or usernames. Analysis of recent posts shows that 40% of North Face's tweets link back to Facebook, whilst only 20% of Helly Hansen's use this strategy. Links in the other direction from Facebook to Twitter are completely absent from Helly Hansen's Facebook posts. This suggests that The North Face's stronger interlinking of both platforms has helped to achieved a larger online community than their competitors, as fans are driven from platform to another.
The North Face have a much larger Facebook and Twitter community than Helly Hansen:
  • The North Face have achieved a much larger community on both Facebook and Twitter: Despite a similar approach in terms of the content posted, The North Face have attracted a Facebook community 60 times larger and a Twitter follower base 20 times larger. This stronger community could partly be due to The North Face's stronger linking between both platforms

A high proportion of posts from The North Face link Twitter and Facebook:

  • 40% of North Face posts on Twitter link to Facebook: The North Face tweets often include links to pictures or other relevant content on Facebook. The North Face use this strategy twice as often as Helly Hansen whose tweets are only linked with Facebook 20% of the time
  • The North Face links their Facebook page to Twitter 15% of the time, whilst Helly Hansen don't do this at all: Links from Facebook to Twitter are less frequent, but 15% of North Face Facebook posts include Twitter hashtags or usernames, but this approach is not used by Helly Hansen

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