sneaker brands social

Sep 12, 2017

For millions of Millennials & Gen-Xers there’s nothing like a pair of fresh kicks.

As a type of social media currency, sneakers have ridden the social wave since the early days of the ‘net, with pioneering brands like Vans and Adidas taking advantage of the ability to feature lifestyle content that highlights their brands.
Today, there’s a younger crop of sneaker brands driving innovation in social selling.
Take one of our favorites, Greats, a Brooklyn brand that sells exclusively through ecommerce. And, they’re not the only ones, StockX and Stadium Goods joined Greats on the stage at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2017. All are taking great advantage of two things on social -- the storytelling ability of images and videos (check out #hometowngreats mini-documentaries on Instagram), and more recently the direct-to-shop capabilities of social platforms.

It used to be a big challenge to connect social to sales - and that mindset seems to persist despite the roll-out of new social-shopping features on every major social platform.

"Between January and March, e-commerce vendor Custora crunched data about $100 billion in sales among 500 million shoppers and found that only 1.5 percent of retailers' last-click e-commerce transactions came via social media."

1.5%?! We can do better than that.

At Genuine, we’ve long looked at social as a performance platform, designed for sales as much as its designed for engagement. But it really needs to be done right. And “right” here means not abandoning storytelling for crass commercialism, but taking a cue from small sneaker brands and making sure you’re telling a story while creating a much more direct path-to-purchase.

Your first step should be to make sure your social team knows the options for social selling. Start with this cheat-sheet on making social shoppable on the most popular social platforms:

  • Instagram Shoppable tags. You just tag a product in a photo to link it to get more info or shop now.
  • Pinterest Buyable Pins. Pinterest isn’t the ecommerce backwater it once was - the ability to easily create galleries, and image-driven stories that put products in context is now married to simple process for adding Buyable Pins direct to ecommerce.
  • Facebook Buy Button. The fastest way from engagement to purchase may just rel="noopener noreferrer" start in the newsfeed. Keep it simple by adding Buy Buttons to image and carousel posts.

Twitter and SnapChat are at opposite ends of the ecommerce journey. Rumors are that Twitter is phasing out its “buy” button, and SnapChat is adding ad units and heading toward ecommerce integration. Regardless, for now, there’s still lots of opportunity to focus on the big 3 and close the gap between social and sales.

Want to double check your ecomm strategies? Get in touch at

Joe Panepinto, PhD is SVP and head of strategy at Genuine. His team designs and develops digitally-driven business, creative, experience and ecosystem strategies.