The importance of content in social media (Nike vs Adidas)

Marketing has been one of the business functions most revolutionised in the past years by digital innovation. Companies and entrepreneurs must make themselves visible by pushing content through YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms. It is probably the biggest promotional activity for a lot of companies nowadays. But of course, your presence will only be as good as the quality of the content you’re pushing.  Quality over quantity is the standard for good social media marketing! The most impactful and original content is the one that we will share on social media, and the one which will make the company more visible.

Let’s take the example of Nike’s twitter page, which has 7.08M followers (way more than Adidas or Under Armor, respectively  3.16M and 921K). Nike is probably one of the best companies to push out entertaining content. It’s filled with short videos (<2 min), very rarely being ads for new products. The purpose of this content is not to sell you a product, but to entertain you and create an emotional bond with you. And even though they do not post every day, they create original, impactful and entertaining content.

The most successful Nike content in the past months has been an inspirational video part of the Nike Breaking2 race, showing Eliud Kipchoge breaking the record (unofficially) for the fastest marathon ever. This a great example of truly inspiring content, very effective at evoking positive emotions by showing the how we can overcome any challenge we put our mind to. The video got 51K likes and 14.7K retweets.


Recently, Nike posted a football hype video for The Opening with OBJ_3 (Odell Beckham Junior, New York Giants star wide receiver) , which got 7.4K likes and 3.3K retweets. This video is very entertaining to watch, filled with dance moves and a good song behind it (Skateboard P by Madeintyo, 44M hits on Spotify), and gets you hyped up for football season, even though it is only announcing a high school football event.

To show the impact of more creative content, lets look at another example. After Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City guard and Jordan Brand athlete, won the 2016-2017 NBA MVP, Nike posted this video on its twitter homepage. This rap video, shows the impact of original and fun-to-watch content, by using a catchy song and a fun video. The video got 4.1K likes and 2K retweets.

Also notice how there seems to be a target behind these last two videos, in this case similar or even equivalent targets, both featuring modern dance moves and hip hop music. Both pieces of content are also visual, which has proven to be much more effective. Visual content is 40 times more likely be shared on social media that any other type of content, according to HubSpot.

Looking at Adidas’ twitter homepage, a clear difference on the type of content pushed can be seen. The last few videos on their homepage are very short in length (5-15 seconds), and clearly target women, but don’t present any original or entertaining content. Of course, there is a different target at hand, which has most probably influenced the appropriate type of content to be pushed. But the effectiveness of the content can be compared. No Adidas content in the past two months has broken through the 1K like barrier. Of course, Adidas has fewer followers, so that impacts the number of likes they get on tweets, but then again, why do they have fewer followers than Nike?