Which Boot Brand Stomped the Competition this Winter?

Jonathan Gardner

ShareIQ, the earned media performance platform for brands, today announced the results of an analysis of social media engagement for the hyper-competitive boot category. The company found that during a record frigid winter, brands like Timberland and L.L.Bean used smart visual content strategies to stomp the competition in the US $80 billion footwear industry.

The analysis of top boot brands focused on the post-Christmas period through February 18, 2018, during the depths of the frosty weather that gripped the US. Throughout this period, Timberland had very high engagement across the web, beating other brands on key fashion-centric social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. The study was conducted using ShareIQ Competitive Analytics, which recently integrated new Facebook functionality and lets marketers compare how their visual content performs across networks vs. any competitive set and how consumers engage with it.

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ShareIQ analyzed competition on social media for top footwear brands for whom peak shopping occurs during wicked winter weather: Timberland, UGG, Sorel, Wolverine and L.L.Bean. Of the group, Timberland had the highest number of likes on Instagram and reactions on Facebook -- key measures of brand engagement.

ShareIQ Competitive Analytics found that:

  • Timberland got 3 times UGG’s Instagram engagement; and nearly 4 times L.L.Bean’s;
  • Timberland had 9 times the likes on Instagram of Sorel; However, Sorel got .94 likes per follower and Timberland had only .72, meaning Sorel gets a better engagement rate;
  • L.L.Bean does very well on Facebook, getting nearly the same engagement as Timberland, which had the highest number of Facebook reactions;
  • Wolverine was kicked to the curb by Timberland on Instagram, getting 5.4% of the engagement the top brand got; The brand was also nearly invisible on Facebook, where Wolverine had just 398 engagements with consumers;
  • L.L.Bean has a smart cross-channel strategy that is helping maximize the value of their earned media, giving the brand one key advantage over Timberland, the king of boot social media engagement.

Makers of iconic duck boots, L.L.Bean, cross-posted 24 pieces of content on Instagram and Facebook in January 2018. This demonstrates the brand’s smart strategy to maximize the value of content and the ROI of their earned media programs. For example, the brand published the post below on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook, multiplying the power and engagement of one single image.

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In contrast, the study’s leader, Timberland, posts less of their Instagram content on Facebook and does not fully optimize the value of the visual content. The brand only posted 7 images on both channels in January, at the icy bottom of the winter. By neglecting Facebook, Timberland is leaving content value on the table. L.L.Bean maximizes their earned media value by re-posting successful Instagram images on Facebook and vice versa, and reducing the cost of producing new content.

ShareIQ Competitive Analytics’ key benefits for marketers include:

  • Analysis of engagement with visual content across Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram.
  • Benchmarking of brand performance vs. any other brand or set of brands.
  • Customizable histograms to track content performance over any time frame.

Get in touch for a free demo and start optimizing your earned media today!

Brands like Timberland and L.L.Bean used smart visual content strategies to stomp the competition in the US $80 billion footwear industry
Jonathan Gardner

Jonathan is vice president of marketing for ShareIQ, based in New York City.