ThinkGeek’s Digital Footprint

 

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

Facebook:

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.

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Twitter:

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.

Google Plus:

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.

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Pinterest:

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.

Instagram:

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.

thinkgeekinstagram

Youtube:

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.

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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.

Digital Footprint:

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.

thinkgeekfootprint

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.

References

https://www.thinkgeek.com/

https://www.facebook.com/thinkgeek/

https://twitter.com/thinkgeek/

https://www.instagram.com/thinkgeek

https://youtube.com/thinkgeek

(All images in this post are screenshots taken by myself)

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Justin Timberlake’s Social Media Presence

Overview

For this case study, I will be discussing the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts of Justin Timberlake. I have been an avid fan of his since my childhood. He was one of the main inspirations for me to start singing and every time I watch him live, I want to learn to dance. As a performer, Timberlake has been around since the early 1990’s when he was on the Mickey Mouse Club show. Since then, he was part of *NSYNC and then pursued his own solo career which has been extremely successful.

Timberlake has a pretty active social media life and has a huge following on all three platforms. For followers, his Twitter account has 65.6 million, his Facebook page has 35.8 million, and his Instagram page has 49.3 million. It is clear that he has a massive following and it’s not surprising considering his position as a pop star. His handles on these sites are @justintimberlake (Facebook), @Jtimberlake (Twitter), and @justintimberlake (Instagram).

Facebook

jtimberlakefacebook

His Facebook page is pretty active and it’s the main avenue that he uses to publicize his live shows. This is because Facebook has their event system where he can post all of his live shows as individual events that people can broadcast their attendance in. His profile picture is the cover of his newest album, Man of the Woods. The cover photo is a grey, grainy background with the symbol of his new album in the center. At the top of his timeline, he has his most recent photos on display.

His posts seem to come directly from him although I’m sure he has a dedicated social media team to handle some of the posting. The reason a lot of them might they come directly from him is because they come from his Instagram which is most likely done from his personal phone. With that being said, he doesn’t post constantly so it’s possible that he handles all the posts himself.

Twitter

jtimberlaketwitter

For Twitter, he has the exact same profile picture and cover photo that he has on Facebook. This seems to be the platform that he puts the least amount of effort towards. He does make posts every couple days but he usually just retweets things that other people posted about him. This makes me think that he is the one running his twitter because it’s a very low effort job to just retweet what other people post. There doesn’t seem to be a ton of audience interaction on his Twitter and I think he understands that because he uses Instagram the most.

It seems like most of the things he actually posts are forwarded from his Instagram. The content of these posts generally consist of clips from his live shows as well as random candid moments with friends and family. He retweets positive things that people say about him as well as some random stuff or things he is passionate about.

Instagram

jtimberlakeinstagram

For Instagram, there is no cover photo and his profile picture is the same as Facebook, and Twitter. This seems to be the platform that he enjoys to use the most. A lot of the stuff he posts on Facebook is just forwarded from his Instagram. It seems like Justin Timberlake is a big fan of this avenue as he posts pretty frequently.

He posts mostly clips from his live shows or when he’s with his family or close friends. He seems to have the highest audience interaction on Instagram as well. All of his posts receive hundreds of thousands of likes and his videos all have millions of views.

Conclusion

All in all, it seems like both Facebook and Twitter are mostly just a way for him to push his Instagram posts. He appears to be invested in his Social Media platforms and understands how valuable of a resource they are for so many reasons. I think it’s more likely that Timberlake handles his own Instagram and has a team that handles Facebook and Twitter. I believe that a lot of celebrities like Timberlake run their own Instagram and post primarily from their personal phones as Instagram has specific features that can only be accessed on a mobile device. I think that’s awesome and it gives fans a way to feel more connected to the person they love.

Case Study 3 – Wolf Gaming Blog Analysis

Overview

The blog I will be analyzing is Wolf’s Gaming Blog. The author of this blog is Baden Ronie who uses writing as a way to relieve stress and started the blog as a way to deal with any time he was feeling down. He writes about a range of topics including video games, the latest technology, and board games. The blog is located at wolfsgamingblog.com and that is a pretty easy URL to remember for audience retention.

Analysis

After taking a look at the blog, it doesn’t seem very well organized. When the front page loads in, there are many different article titles thrown in your face. The top of the page has a menu with different six different links that take the reader around the blog. The title of the blog is “Wolf’s Gaming Blog” which is pretty straightforward, and it’s located right below the advertisement slot at the top of the page. Below that is his tagline of sorts that says, “Cutting through the bullshit of typical game journalism to deliver actual honest reviews.” This seems like a rather aggressive slogan that could put some potential readers off to the idea of the blog.

cluttered

The only sign of social media on the main page of the blog is on the right side when you scroll down. It shows the authors most recent tweets and gives a link to his twitter page. Personally, I think that there isn’t enough representation of social media on his front page. Considering how important social media is nowadays, it should be front and center with links to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and whatever else he could publicize his reviews on. With that being said, he does have many different social media platforms listed below each article allowing people to share it through them.

socialmedia.jpg

The author has a section right above the twitter posts that show his most liked posts. He clearly wants to call attention to these so new readers can read through them and get a sense for his best work. I think this is a good idea and will give new readers a great snapshot of his writing. The titles of his articles are very straightforward and could use a little more creativity to pull people in to click on them. The articles are very informative and include many different pictures. The author doesn’t provide any sources for the pictures so I’m going to assume he takes all of them with his own camera.

The about me page gives a short summary of the author and how he started his blog. He talks about how he has cystic fibrosis and uses writing as a way to relieve stress. In the third paragraph, he writes, My ultimate goal is to prove that not everyone in the gaming media are corrupt idiots intent on delivering false reviews.” I think this was a bad decision to put on this page. I know he wants to express his opinions and that’s okay. It’s just a risky move to say that most media sources in the gaming industry are “corrupt idiots.” This could lose him a lot of opportunities for endorsements from other blogs and media sources in the industry. He also includes some more personal information including the fact that he’s a lifeguard, a drummer, and tends to get distracted by shiny objects.

When it comes to audience interaction, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of it. When looking at the top review on the “What’s the most liked stuff on this site?” list, it only has one like and doesn’t have any comments. He has over a thousand followers who hopefully are reading each article he posts. The author could make a larger effort to have his audience interact with his writing. With that being said, he does tell people to follow him and read his upcoming posts. He posts pretty frequently with sometimes doing a post each day for a couple days and sometimes waiting a week to do another. The lack of a schedule could make it confusing for people to know when to expect the next review. He could release a formal schedule and that could be very helpful for his readers.

Conclusion

This blog has good and bad things about it. I think the strongest part of it is the writing in the articles. Every article is well written and very thorough in what it’s trying to convey to the reader. While the articles are well written, they aren’t organized very well. The author could figure out a way to structure the articles and organize them in a more attractive manner. All in all, I like the blog and think it could continue to grow.

The Emergence of Ultimate

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“Ultimate”, otherwise known as Ultimate Frisbee is a team sport that has recently exploded in size all around the world. All someone needs to play Ultimate is a disc and a couple friends to join them. The sport was originally started in 1968 by a group of students in New Jersey. Since then, it has spread all around the world and is nationally recognized as an official sport in many different countries.

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I started playing for my high school team during my sophomore year. I never considered myself a fan of team sports but Ultimate was such a different experience from the other ones I’ve played. The game has no official referees and everything is officiated by the players on the field. Ultimate is a sport that is built on the “spirit of the game” and that is true from the lowest level all the way to the professional leagues.

Ultimate has two professional leagues in the United States. The leagues are MLU (Major League Ultimate) and the AUDL (American Ultimate Disc League). Both leagues have divisions and teams that represent different cities in them. Thousands of players try out to be on these teams during tryout season. There are also middle and high school leagues, college leagues, and a world tournament that brings the best teams from different countries together.

The governing body for Ultimate in the United States is USA Ultimate. Most Ultimate players register through this body so they can register as teams for official events. On their website, they talk about “spirit of the game” and what that truly means.

Obviously Ultimate isn’t the same size as other sports such as Soccer and Football but it’s incredible how much the player base is growing each year. In my opinion, the best part of the whole sport is how it can be played super casually or competitively. All it takes is one disc and at least four people. From there, they can decide to play a game of catch or do an intense 2v2. I love the sport and can’t wait to see how much it grows in years to come.