Social Media Case Study: How GoPro Conquered YouTube One Awesome Video At A Time

GoPro is one of the most popular camera brands on the market today. Their success owes a lot to the brand’s huge presence on social media. Lets dive into the action and discover how GoPro pull it off in this social media case study.

What GoPro does on social media

Unlike most electronic brands, GoPro doesn’t feature a lot of promotional advertisements for its products on its social media pages. Instead, much of their content is personally shot by people using their own GoPro cameras.

GoPro’s characteristic first-person video footage has become so popular online that its YouTube channel now boasts more than 5.1 million subscribers. You’d be a monster to not subscribe to a channel with content like this.

GoPro got 37.8 million views for that video, but the company itself didn’t put themselves at any risk at all. This was user-submitted.

GoPro also has:

Having only one platform reach this level of success is commendable. Having three is nearly unheard of.

How GoPro won over YouTube fans

They began uploading videos on YouTube in 2009 to demonstrate the capabilities of its then newly-released GoPro Hero camera.

2013 is when the brand’s channel really took off after it started asking people to submit their own GoPro footage. As part of its new marketing strategy, GoPro requested the public to add its name to the title of their uploaded videos.

GoPro’s call for user-generated content proved so successful that, in 2014, its channel was receiving more than 6000 submissions daily. The uploaded videos also attracted more than 450 million views. That initial success also boosted GoPro’s  sales, generating more than $234.2 million worth of revenue in 2013. The figure was a 200% increase from its sales in the previous year.

Popularizing its video content

They usually post daily videos. Most of the footage submitted to GoPro focuses on sports and travel. If the footage is good, they will show it no matter what the topic is:

In most cases, GoPro simply posts the videos as they are, preserving the authentic feel of the footage. They do have an editing team that will step in if needed.

GoPro also actively engages the people who comment on their videos, getting into conversations with them. This helped attract more subscribers to its channel and further promote its videos.

Why GoPro is a Twitter success

While most of the social media case studies about GoPro focus on its success on YouTube, its Twitter presence is also noteworthy. The brand continues the strategy of telling a great story through the videos it shares on tweets, like this one.

All of the media they tweet has been carefully chosen to cater to the specific audiences that follow the brand. Another key aspect of their Twitter success is their engaging captions.

The videos and images that GoPro tweets are distinct from the ones that it posts on YouTube, giving followers a variety of content to look forward to. Aside from the usual footage submitted by the public, GoPro also creates its own content featuring some of the world’s best athletes..

The brand shares these videos under the hashtag #GoProAthletes. This gives new followers a chance to catch up on old videos, and deeply engage with the brand.

Responding to followers

GoPro further engages its Twitter followers by responding to the mentions that it gets from them. The brand does this whether or not there is GoPro footage attached to the tweets. It also uses its replies as a means to provide customer support:

The brand also retweets interesting GoPro footages that it discovers. All of these interactions help build GoPro’s reputation as an engaging and approachable brand on Twitter.

How GoPro became a hit on Instagram

GoPro’s content on Instagram is similar to those found on its other channels, but with unique content being presented. This maintains follower interest on the platform and gives more opportunities for the brand to build a stronger fanbase.

To encourage its Instagram audience to send their videos and images, GoPro also created a rewards program. The brand selects one piece of content to feature on its Instagram page daily. Here’s an example:

In exchange, chosen content creators get:

  • Cash rewards
  • GoPro merchandise
  • Free promotion of their account

This strategy has been successful for GoPro’s Instagram page. In 2014, the brand’s average interaction per photo grew by 57%, while video went up by 53%.

Building partnerships

To further extend its promotional reach, GoPro has partnered with a variety of brands. One of the most notable of these partnerships is with Red Bull. The deal has the two brands joining together to create content featuring Red Bull’s events. The content is posted on both brands’ social media pages, like this one.

These video collaborations highlight GoPro’s signature first-person POV shots, giving fans a glimpse of what they can get with the action camera.

What you can learn from GoPro’s social media success

Various social media case studies point out that a big factor contributing to GoPro’s success is effective utilization of user-generated content. The brand encouraged customers to create and submit their own adventure videos using its cameras. By doing this, it was able to effectively demonstrate the capabilities of its products without needing an elaborate sales pitch.

Encouraging the creation of user-generated content also helped GoPro create brand ambassadors out of its customers. When talking about their experiences and how they got that awesome footage, users will inevitably mention the brand’s name. This gives GoPro a large amount of free promotion online, helping build its popularity. Their name integration is at the point now where people say “GoPro footage” before they say “first-person camera footage.”

Your products may not lend themselves to user-generated content as well as GoPro’s, but you can still make user-generated content work for you. Encourage your customers to find new ways of using your products and get them to share their experiences. Give them plenty of creative freedom on how they will tell those stories.

If you really want to see that content flow in, you’re going to have to show your fans that they will get some notoriety from it. You can use our YouTube Views Service for that purpose. The free content will come flooding in when people see a little bit of success come their way.

GoPro know how to tell a story well

In most cases, GoPro simply lets the user-submitted videos and photos tell their stories. But it also knows when to step in and help turn this content into more engaging pieces. GoPro’s Media Relations Director Kelly Baker summed up their content philosophy in an interview.

“Even if people have this footage and they don’t know what to do with it we can still work with it and make it super awesome.”

By knowing how to weave your brand’s own narrative into the content you receive, you can promote your products more effectively through them. Employ a variety of storytelling techniques to turn your UGC’s into more engaging pieces.

Join forces with other brands and influencers.

While most of its social media content comes from its audience, GoPro also knows how important influencers are. It regularly features prominent athletes on the content that it produces for its channels. Celebrities are also favorite subjects for its videos.

GoPro’s partnership with other brands has also helped increase the reach of its products. Furthermore, these partnerships provide GoPro with more content for its social media pages. Take a look at the hat the girl above is wearing.

When building partnerships, consider how these collaborations will align with the overall image that you want to project for your brand. Choose brands and influencers that best complement your products. This is the only way to truly connect with their audiences.

Be authentic

GoPro knows that the best way to convince people of the versatility of its products is to simply let them use these products. Customers have responded with amazing videos that support the brand’s claims:

The raw nature of the submitted GoPro footage adds to their authenticity. This cements the GoPro’s claim of being the best action camera around.

Build that authenticity into your brand by letting your customers discover more about it on their own. Use social media to engage and encourage them to tell the stories they have with your products.

The social media success of GoPro

GoPro’s success on social media is a great example of how brands can leverage their customers for more effective online marketing through user-generated content. GoPro using this strategy has cemented its reputation as one of the most innovative brands in the last few years. Take a cue from this social media case study and get your social media audience creating great content for you.