Hyped Beyond Belief The GoPro Story Essay

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Social Media Strategy Analysis

GoPro is renowned for using social media—in particular YouTube and Twitter—to draw attention to its cameras, especially its Hero brand digital video cameras. By using footage filmed by people who purchased the GoPro Hero camera, GoPro essentially obtained free advertising that was produced and driven by consumers, each wanting to join the growing list of video segments uploaded by the company to its YouTube page. This paper will analyze GoPro’s social media strategy and show how the company used social media to promote its Hero camera product and why this strategy was effective compared to other camera companies like Sony and Samsung whose strategy was less grassroots oriented and more traditional in its marketing orientation to getting product information before the public.

The customer segment for the GoPro Hero camera was young adults who enjoyed capturing events in the real world—whether it was hiking, kayaking, snowboarding, or rafting—the camera and the company appealed to people on the go who wanted a new way to capture their adventures and film their feats to share with others. Young families, travelers and action videographers were the primary customer segments for the camera, and in many cases these segments overlapped. The best way to describe this segment, however, is as the YouTube generation—a generation of young adults who had grown up along with YouTube and now wanted to share great moments from their own explorations and adventures with friends and followers and carve out a niche for themselves on the world’s most popular video streaming social media site.

The social media outlets used by GoPro to reach its customer segment were mainly YouTube and Twitter. As Devumi (2018) notes, GoPro gets a lot of attention for its YouTube strategy but its Twitter activity has also been important: “All of the media they tweet has been carefully chosen to cater to the specific audiences that follow the brand. Another key aspect of their Twitter success is their engaging captions.” By uniting video with great captions, GoPro used Twitter to get the message about its great product out to more people.
But without YouTube, those videos would not have had a viewing platform in the first place. So YouTube was really where it all began—and the GoPro Hero was a product that was essentially made for the YouTube generation.

The elements of GoPro’s YouTube campaign was based on the customer segment’s needs and desires: the YouTube generation wanted to project themselves and their adventures whether in front of the camera or behind it onto the world. GoPro simply tapped into this desire and created a product that would help feed it—the Hero camera. GoPro Quik Stories and Hero cam footage served the interests of action camera consumers who wanted to shoot great footage and get it seen by others. The goal, all along, was for consumers to use the camera to create videos that would “go viral” on the Internet—i.e., rack up millions of views in a matter of days (Leonhardt, 2015). And that is just what many of the videos posted by GoPro to its YouTube page did—all videos shot on the GoPro camera by consumers. User-generated content thus helped to fuel the rise of GoPro, which became such a novelty that even professional surgeons were tapping into the experience to help educated students on what to expect on the operating table (Bizzotto, Sandri, Lavini, Dall’Oca & Regis, 2014). GoPro went public, meanwhile, and the stock price debuted at a stunning close of $35 per share in July of 2015. The stock rose up to nearly $100 per share as more and more videos went viral and GoPro became the tech darling of investors on Wall Street—until suddenly the sales of GoPro cameras stopped reflecting the euphoria that the Street was feeling. For that reason the marketing metric described by Kerin and Hartley (2016) did not really fit with GoPro in terms of seeing how its social media campaign helped the company. Social….....

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Bizzotto, N., Sandri, A., Lavini, F., Dall’Oca, C., & Regis, D. (2014). Video in operating room: GoPro HERO3 camera on surgeon’s head to film operations—a test. Surgical Innovation, 21(3), 338-340.

Devumi. (2018). Social media case study: GoPro. Retrieved from https://devumi.com/2017/11/social-media-case-study-gopro-youtube-twitter-instagram/

GoPro. (2018). Fourth quarter results. Retrieved from https://investor.gopro.com/press-releases/press-release-details/2018/GoPro-Announces-Fourth-Quarter-and-Full-Year-2017-Results/default.aspx

Kerin, R. A., & Hartley, S. W. (2016). Marketing: The core (6th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
Leonhardt, J. (2015). Going viral on YouTube. Journal of digital & Social Media Marketing, 3(1), 21-30.

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