ThinkGeek is a retailer that exclusively caters to fandoms of many different cultural phenomena and games. They’ve been around since 1999 and have only grown in popularity since then. They regularly attend conventions such as PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) and Comic-Con around the world selling their wares. ”ThinkGeek is obsessed with creating and sharing unique and authentic product experiences that stimulate our fans’ imaginations and fuel their geek core.” One of the great things about ThinkGeek is all their products are exclusive to them and not sold anywhere else! They owned by a parent company, Geeknet. After 2015, Geeknet is owned by Gamestop as it was bought in a $140 million deal. They are a unique and modern retailer that has a corner on the market.
ThinkGeek sells a wide variety of merchandise. It spans from Star Trek Pizza Cutters all the way to a Star Wars Sunshade with tons of different themed products in between. Their main categories for their products are Clothing, Accessories, Bags & Backpacks, Home & Office, Toys & Games, Collectibles, and Tools, Outdoor & Survival. It’s clear that although they sell items based on pop culture, they have some actual practical use to them.
The branding of ThinkGeek is all about cultural phenomena whether they are shows, movies, games, etc. Their audience spans multiple generations and people of all ages. Their message they are trying to convey is that people should embrace their nerdy passions. On their “About Us” page, they have a manifesto that has many different beliefs of theirs that truly show their message to their customers.
Social Media Platforms
ThinkGeek’s use of Facebook is usually all about promoting their new products with pictures and descriptions. They also use it to live stream and do giveaways to the people watching by having them enter in with a link on the stream. They have over 1.5 million likes and followers on this page so it’s quite popular.
ThinkGeek’s use of Twitter is pretty straightforward. They use it purely for product promotion. All of their most recent tweets include a picture of a product and the accompanying description and link to the site. There isn’t much more analysis that needs to be done on this platform. This page has over 1 million followers so there is a very large audience seeing these tweets.
ThinkGeek has Google+ in their list of social media platforms but it appears they haven’t used it in about a year and a half. The last post made on it was December 25, 2016. Nonetheless, it appears that they used this page to post popular moments in “Geek History.” They do have over 1.5 million followers so it doesn’t make sense why they abandoned it. It does make sense that they didn’t advertise their products on this platform though because it isn’t widely used.
ThinkGeek uses Pinterest to promote their own products as well as call attention the products of other people/companies that they like. They have every different show, movie, game, etc. separated into their own individual boards where they have their own products as well as other people’s pictures that relate to the subject. They get over 5 million monthly views on their boards so this is another popular platform for them.
ThinkGeek uses Instagram in a very similar way to Twitter. They post pictures of their products but that’s pretty much it. Unlike Twitter, they don’t post the links to the website along with their photos of their products. Instagram is one of their less popular platforms with only 228k followers. They get less attention here than some of their other more popular platforms.
ThinkGeek’s YouTube channel is one of their less popular social media platforms. This is being said in comparison to their Facebook page which has over 1.5 million likes and followers. They use this page to post short videos about their products as they come out. They also do the occasional live stream titled, “ThinkGeek this Week.” It’s clear not that many people visit this channel because the channel trailer only has a little over 23k views.
Social Media as a Whole:
As ThinkGeek is solely a retailer, it makes sense that their primary use of social media is to advertise their products to hopefully increase sales. With that being said, they also do other things such as giveaways and share pictures of people with their products to increase their popularity and personability. They clearly have a pulse on what’s popular in our culture. They want their customers to relate to them so they make the efforts of connecting with them through the live streams.
ThinkGeek’s digital footprint is pretty hefty at this point. As they’ve been around for around 20 years, they have been building their grounds on the internet. At this point, they have a huge following on many social media platforms as well as an incredibly large audience who actively checks on any new products.
Commendations and Recommendations
ThinkGeek is doing very well with many things. They make the effort to connect with their audience as well as stay connected with them through their social media platforms. I would definitely commend them for their use of live-streams.
I recommend that they take a closer look at their YouTube channel and try to cultivate that audience. YouTube is a very important platform nowadays as videos keep people entertained and generate a solid amount of revenue for the company. If ThinkGeek tried to do videos with cool FX or did collaborations with other big YouTubers, they could build a huge audience and get 100k+ views on every video. With their current popularity, it wouldn’t be that difficult. It just requires a lot of effort on their part as well as a dedicated team to make the videos the best they can be.
I think ThinkGeek is doing a fantastic job with their digital footprint and there isn’t much more they have to do. They should definitely take a look at their less popular social media platforms and put some effort into those to grow their audiences. Digital footprints are pretty much entirely from social media so no platform should go overlooked as they are all crucial to cultivating a large online presence.
(All images in this post are screenshots taken by myself)