Channel Signal: What’s moving the social media meter in December

Every month, Channel Signal will share some of its social media analysis of the major topics online in the outdoor industry with SNEWS®. What are the conversations buzzing in December? Find out.

Every month, Channel Signal will share some of its analysis of the major topics online in the outdoor industry with SNEWS®. The topics will range from promotions to marketing initiatives, to issues that have virally exploded. What are the online conversations? What issues are bringing people into the conversation, and which ones are helping or hurting the growth of the outdoor industry?

Amidst the Christmas selling season, it is appropriate to consider some online initiatives that have (you pick one) backfired, built traffic and brand/product awareness, or barely moved the needle. Here are some highlights of what Channel Signal is picking up.

SIGG Water Bottles

SNEWS® broke the story and put former CEO Steve Wasik in a position to come clean on BPA being in the liners. That admission came after millions of water bottles were sold under the brand promise of being completely BPA free. Legions of consumers came out of the wood-work denouncing SIGG.

The Good News - The SIGG water bottle exchange program seems to be working. Consumers appreciate getting a new BPA-free SIGG bottle. The negative buzz is quieting down after a huge spike in negative web traffic in the early fall.

The Bad News - It seems SIGG is discounting everything and selling everywhere, including Target. Our guess is that the fourth-quarter numbers will be disappointing once SIGG accounts for the discounting. Many customers have left the building. 

Petzl - The Power of Light Contest

On Nov. 1, using a revamped website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, Petzl launched a promotion to create consumer brand and product awareness for its TIKKA2 Headlamp Series. The prize? Win your weight in Petzl gear. To qualify? Produce a great photo or video doing something interesting in your Petzl gear.

The Good News - Despite a rather high barrier to entry (producing photographic or video content is daunting to most consumers), the numbers are proving out for Petzl. In the first month of a 60-day campaign:

- Approximately 270 photo entries

- Approximately 15 video entries

- Over 27,000 video views through the contest’s YouTube channel.

- Since announcing the campaign @petzl_na has grown its Twitter followers from just over 400 to almost 1,000.

All good here. 27,000 brand impressions alone proves out the campaign…so far.

The Bad News - 60 days is a very long time for an online promotion, especially during the Christmas selling season. Channel Signal realizes that consumers need time to produce content; however, to maintain momentum for 60 days will be tough, and expensive. We’ll see if the marketing budget can keep this campaign top-of-mind until the end of December. 

Sierra Club

On Twitter, Sierra Club ran a promotion where consumers who followed @Sierra_Magazine and then retweeted the following message were eligible to win $1,000 in The North Face gear:

“Win $1,000 of gear from The North Face! Follow @Sierra_magazine and RT this by Nov. 23 to enter.”

The contest began on Nov. 2 and ran through Nov. 23.

The Good News - 10,100 visitors were driven to the Sierra Club Trails Twitter Contest Page, and 1,900 of those consumers retweeted the message. 19 percent of the people who visited the page engaged in the contest. The conversion rate was pretty good and Sierra Magazine built its Twitter followers by 1,900 people.

The Bad News - 10,100 visitors, who are somewhat interested, is not a big number for a three-week online promotion. Although the conversion rate was good, the program did not drive significant traffic to the Contest Page and that was critical to the return-on-investment.

Channel Signal reminder: "84 percent of all brands launching new media programs do not measure ROI." - Mzinga and Babson Executive Education.

If you don’t measure, you can’t manage. Channel Signal is a social media management program offering research backed by analysis, a focus on the outdoor industry, a work flow process for easy execution, and reporting for effective measurement. Channel Signal is a soup-to-nuts, cost-effective package. For more information, email Paul Kirwin at or go to



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