“Gear for Good.” This is the slogan for an outdoor gear company called Cotopaxi and, yes, they have llamas. Cotopaxi makes high quality gear and has a great time doing it. They do an exceptional job with leveraging social media to their benefit. Let’s look at how they use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
On their Instagram, @cotopaxi, they feature photos both taken by them and ones posted by customers using their product. The process is simple. You, the customer, take a photo of yourself rocking some of their products, whether it be clothes, backpacks, even coffee mugs, and be sure to include #cotopaxi in your post. Then your photo may end up on their Instagram or their website! Many companies do this in the outdoors industry because what’s a better way to get awesome photos of people doing amazing things outside with your product? But Cotopaxi adds to it. In the caption on the posts, they give a shout out to the person in the photo and then, without it seeming like it’s being forced on you, they also mention what products of theirs are in the photo. This way you know exactly what to look for on their website if you like something in that particular photo. You don’t even realize you’re looking at an ad because you’re focused on how cool it looks to be hiking in the mountains of Acadia National Park. They even do this on their website. If you click on the photos they choose to feature on their website, it enlarges the photo and next to it is a list of what products are shown, how much it costs, and a button you can click to “shop now” if you are interested. This is a very well thought out strategy on how to utilize Instagram to put your customers in the spotlight and also promote your products, and I bet it’s working really well for Cotopaxi.
Cotopaxi’s Facebook starts with a video in the area where a cover photo would normally be; the video touches on Cotopaxi’s roots and why it all started. They mostly use Facebook to share stories of their many adventures. They also promote upcoming events, such as their Questivals (more to come on these later), and share where they stand in certain issues that are related to their industry or what the company cares about (ex: supporting the protection of Bears Ears Monument). They also do a great job of replying to people’s comments on their posts.
Cotopaxi shares adventure stories, create fun challenges that involve prizes, and highlight some of their employees on their Twitter, but they seem to mostly leverage Twitter for responding to customers with questions or complaints. They do a very good job with responding to the customer and continuing the conversation until everything is resolved or their questions are answered completely.
Now for the Cotopaxi YouTube channel! It’s mostly used to highlight their products, show the features of the different products, and how they can be used or worn. The channel also has videos of adventures and promo videos of Questival.
Questival is an awesome event and Cotopaxi tours the United States every year to bring it to all who want to experience Cotopaxi’s 24 hour Adventure Race! The event involves a big kickoff, you do the race in teams with your friends, and you have an app filled with fun adventure challenges, customized to the state you’re in, that you can complete for points throughout the 24 hours. Oh, and did I mention that they give every contestant one of their backpacks? This is a great way to promote the Cotopaxi brand! It shows that they can make the gear and know how to have fun using it too. And that they want to share that fun with you too.
Cotopaxi is yet another company in the outdoor industry that is leveraging social media in a way that best fits their company values and it is working well for them. They have found a way to use social media to promote their brand and bring people together. Then they even offer the perfect event for many adventure enthusiasts to come together and enjoy the outdoors, little sleep, and llamas.