Assignment 1 – Blog Post 4: Algonquin Outfitters B2C Case Study

I chose Algonquin Outfitters for my B2C business case study. Algonquin Outfitters is a company that sells outdoor gear, runs camping trips, and also rents out camping gear. They currently have locations in Bracebridge, Hunstville, Haliburton, and Algonquin Park.  

What Algonquin Outfitters Is Doing Right

Currently it appears that Algonquin Outfitters is using Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and they have a website. They use a variety of platforms that suit a B2C business, which is a step in the right direction to expand the audiences they can connect with. Another positive aspect of the company’s social media marketing is that they do try to post reasonably often and they include photos, which makes the posts at least slightly more attractive to viewers and also allows them to showcase their products periodically. Algonquin Outfitters also organizes a few contests each year that do create a certain amount of engagement on their social media channels. Their website is well designed and aesthetically pleasing and I do find there are some connections between their website and their other social media platforms, but that is still minimal.

Photo by Josh Willink from Pexels

Shortcomings Of The Algonquin Outfitters Social Media Strategy

Despite the positive aspects of their social media use, I would say that the quality of interactions that Algonquin Outfitters is having based on their social media content is fairly low. Their posts on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram are all mainly duplicate posts used on all channels which means that they aren’t really changing the way to connect with customers on various platforms. Their posts tend to revolve around simply talking about products they have on sale, or new products that came in, but there’s no depth to the posts. They are simply broadcasting information rather than creating any dialogue with their customers. There really isn’t anywhere to go with those kinds of posts. They don’t inspire customers to post comments, or share, or mention the posts . This seems at least partially due to a lack of time and effort being put in to these accounts. While they do have a fair number of followers, I would say the majority are not active fans based on the lack of any post engagement.  The company isn’t creating networks through their audience or influencers, they don’t really appeal to the emotional side of buying or storytelling, they don’t seem to give the impression that they want to know what their clients think or even that they want to connect on anything more than a superficial level. They seem to be focusing too much internally, treating their social media accounts as broadcasting platforms rather than utilizing all the tools available to really listen and interact with their audience.

Photo by PNW Production from Pexels

What Could Algonquin Outfitters Do Differently?

There are many things Algonquin Outfitters could do differently, but I will just delve into a few options. Ultimately, they need more emotion, more heart, more aspects of storytelling in their posts. They need to create posts to connect with their audience on a deeper level to show that they understand them. The company could tie their posts into things like how their products can improve time outdoors in terms of things like enjoyment or safety. They could be using much more video content either of clients using the products or going on adventures, of employees trying out the products, or videos of their excursions.

Photo by Vanessa Garcia from Pexels

The company could also increase the number of contests, challenges, or even just calls to action on posts asking customers to post videos, or photos of themselves using their products and telling their own stories, or sharing Algonquin Outfitter posts. They could showcase stories about their employees and their experiences outdoors so people get to know the company better. They could create hashtags asking people to join them in getting outside or sharing their favourite spots. They could connect or partner with more influencers or brand ambassadors to help strengthen their online community and networks. The company could use their blog to share knowledge about the outdoors and outdoor activities and use email marketing as exclusive addition knowledge, outdoors tips, and perhaps deals on gear that the regular customers might not receive. Really, the options are endless!

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