Reebok’s initial social media experiments began like most brands: focused on one-off campaigns and product launches. But in the past couple of years, the company has shifted to a more holistic, long-term strategy focused on using social tools to build the brand.

But this wasn’t an easy shift. Reebok’s Tyler Bahl and Angela Scibelli began this project with a brand audit and discovered 225 Facebook pages, 100 YouTube channels and 30 Twitter accounts.

This consolidation has created a much more consistent brand voice and better analytics — and it still allows for geotargeted content to engage their global audience.

Scibelli and Bahl shared this case study at SocialMedia.org’s BlogWell conference in Chicago. A few of their take-aways:

  • Do the heavy lifting. Bahl said that while there are some great agencies out there who could do a social media audit for you, doing it yourself helps you truly understand how your brand is represented online worldwide, and the process develops important internal knowledge for the company.
  • Offer trials for the hesitant teams. When you’re consolidating accounts, some teams are naturally going to see this as absorbing or abandoning fans of accounts they’ve worked hard to build. Reebok’s Hong Kong team felt this way — so to help make the sale, the company gave the Hong Kong team a chance to do trial geotargeted postings on its corporate page (that had a much higher fan base), and the response amazed the team.
  • If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Consolidation decisions can made on a case-by-case basis. Reebok is a huge sports brand in India, for example, and its Facebook page there has more than a million fans. So the company is leaving that page up and is letting the Indian team continue to manage it.

Watch Scibelli and Bahl’s presentation. Slides are available.

If you loved this case study, see more great ones like it live at SocialMedia.org’s BlogWell conference Dec. 5 in Los Angeles.

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