Roots Branches Out with Hootsuite

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Founded in 1973 as a footwear retailer, Canada-based Roots has since expanded its offerings to include apparel for men, women, children, and babies, as well as leather goods and home furnishings. The company has 120 locations in North America as well as 65 in Asia, and its online store ships to 50 countries. Cofounders Don Green and Michael Budman were inspired by their passion for the Canadian wilderness, and the brand preserves that influence to this day.

Roots relies on Hootsuite for all of its social media management, and the platform proved crucial to the success of its 2016 holiday campaign, run in conjunction with the Banff travel and tourism board, in which they tapped Instagram influencers to promote the brand while on an exclusive trip to the Banff and Lake Louise region in Alberta, Canada.

After shooting a campaign in Banff and Lake Louise, the brand wanted to document “the beauty of the region’s landscape from a fresh perspective,” says Amanda Rotstein, digital editor at Roots. This idea “lent itself to the visual nature of the Instagram platform,” and to selecting external people to provide that fresh perspective. With this in mind, Roots landed on the idea of the influencer program, hoping to make it as broad as possible by including female fashion and lifestyle bloggers while simultaneously showcasing its brand via provided wardrobes. The company selected five influencers for a trip to the region, with Roots wardrobes waiting for them in their hotel closets. These influencers documented their experiences via blog posts, Instagram, and Snapchat while an accompanying photographer captured the trip; these multiple sources gave Roots a large amount of material to draw from for related content.

This is where Hootsuite came in. Roots used the social media management platform to schedule all social media posts tied to the campaign, as well as to track the posts of influencers and the performance of relevant hashtags. According to Rotstein, using Hootsuite to support the campaign allowed Roots to keep “everything centralized in one place,” as the platform served as a “central command for keeping on top of the activation while it was in market.” Moreover, Hootsuite proved useful for the campaign’s contest portion, in which those following the campaign were prompted to visit a microsite where they could enter information for a chance to win the same trip to Banff and Lake Louise; the goal, for Roots, was to collect email addresses. It received more than 150,000 contest entrants—exceeding its 10 percent conversion benchmark for new email registrants.

According to Rotstein, the contest “was a real turning point in our social strategy” because it established a key performance indicator other than brand awareness and exposure. And that wasn’t the only sign of the campaign’s overall success: Roots’ following on Instagram increased by 10 percent.

“Going outside our comfort zone and reaching out to fashion/lifestyle bloggers paid off. It exposed our brand to a new audience and legitimized Roots as a choice that a fashion-focused market could love,” Rotstein says of the campaign’s success.

The Payoff

Using Hootsuite's social media management platform for its Instagram influencers campaign, apparel retailer Roots saw the following results:

  • a 10 percent increase in followers on Instagram;
  • 150,000 email addresses collected; and
  • its 10 percent conversion benchmark for new email registrants exceeded.

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