Beneath the Ink An In-Depth Analysis of EdHardy’s Social Media Ecosystem
Ed Hardy: The Brand Ed Hardy is a clothing brand started in 2002 by Don Ed Hardy, a well-known tattoo artist. The brand has grown to earn $20 million dollars in revenue. In 2004, fashion icon, Christian Audigier licensed the rights and helped market directly to celebrities and opened stores in well-known fashion areas. Today, the brand has evolved to include more than just clothing, offering styling tools, school supplies, lighters and branded wine and beer.
Facebook 1.7 million fans with 16,288 people talking about this (as of 11/5) However, this means only 0.9% of users are actually engaged. Between July-September of this year, Ed Hardy acquired an averaged of 12,694 new “likes” and 48,810 people talking about the brand. Content featured on the pages includes photos, links, call-to- action statuses, and promotion for other social media. Each post receive hundreds to thousands of likes. Seven different community pages have been created by users for Ed Hardy and Ed Hardy products. Some of the pages are regionally specific (i.e. Australia, India). The pages range from 900 to 60,000 likes. The Ed Hardy Facebook app has 30 monthly users.
Twitter 8,737 followers Tweets are almost identical to Facebook posts, with some even posted from Facebook directly. Tweets include quotes, retweets of popular lifestyle brands, and call-to-action tweets. The call to action tweets did not receive as many results on Twitter as they did on Facebook. Average of one to two favorites, one to four retweets, and zero to replies for each tweet. Other Twitter accounts have been created for various stores and types of product (shoes, watches, etc). These accounts range from 100 followers to 5,000 followers.
Instagram The Ed Hardy Instagram is the newest social media account for the brand, with only 342 followers after launching in June 2012. The photos include shots of merchandise and sales, Instagram-themed polls, and tattoos.
YouTube Despite having three separate channels associated with Ed Hardy, the brand’s presence on YouTube is very weak. EdHardyTV 60 subscribers for six videos. However, this channel hasn’t been updated in four years. Ed Hardy Brasil Shop 37 subscribers for 29 videos. This is the most dressed up account, featuring an appropriate logo avatar and Ed Hardy- themed background. Ed Hardy Tattoo Movie 80 subscribers for seven videos. Account for the movie associated with Ed Hardy and the brand. The movie came out in 2010, and the channel has not be updated since. However, it’s worth noting that this channel still boasts the most subscribers.
Pinterest 26 followers, one board, zero pins Eight pins total under the tag “Ed Hardy” Featuring female products: bikinis, shoes, and fragrance 50 boards featuring the tag “Ed Hardy” 25 boards specifically titled “Ed Hardy” The others highlighting various themes, including tattoos and fashion.
Ed Hardy Tattoo Artist App Created in 2011, the app has had one update since then and is available for both iPhone and iPad. The app allows users to make their own Ed Hardy tattoo designs, as well as have access to popular designs from their mobile devices. The app retails for $2.99, and out of 32 reviews, is rated 3/5 stars. Users praised the ability to make your own design and the “awesome wallpapers.”
Other Social Media Minimal presence across the remaining popular social media sites: Tumblr, Foursquare, and Yelp. Tumblr search results for both “Ed Hardy” and “EdHardy” result in various related and non-related posts from users on Ed Hardy. Foursquare and Yelp were connected to various Ed Hardy stores, as well as clubs with similar names and restaurants serving Ed Hardy-brand alcohol.
SWOTs of Ed Hardy Strengths Strong community and fan base Unique image and consistent voice Creating a bridge between old and new (vintage photos, etc.) Maintaining relevancy with pop culture posts (ex: women in binders) Weaknesses Lack of a concrete celebrity endorser Actual audience is not inline with brand’s ideal demo Brand believes they are more fashion savvy than is actually portrayed Failed attempts at polls and call-to-action posts on social media Opportunities Utilize and grow on Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr Add video producers to create new and engaging content for YouTube Continue to be one of the most popular brands associated with the tattoo culture Partnerships with new cultural icons, i.e. Sons of Anarchy Threats Previous connotations of the brand continue to dominate the image today (douchebag, Jon Gosselin, Jersey Shore) Lack of relevancy today, associated more with the early 2000s Dependent on the fad culture of tattoos Brand has failed to grow and evolve from it’s earlier image
Biggest Competition Affliction, TapouT, and True Religion are the biggest competitors of Ed Hardy. Affliction, centered on sports and music, is the closest in image to Ed Hardy TapouT is revolves around sports True Religion is focused on denim and clothing for men, women, and children How they stand out All three have stronger Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest presences than Ed Hardy. The various social media accounts have some overlap, but mostly diversified content on each platform. Solid branding with MMA, UFC, and other prominent endorsers. True Religion is the only brand of the three to have a Tumblr page Affliction and TapouT both have blogs that are linked on the main website How they fall behind Despite solid Facebook likes for all three brands, they still fail to match the volume that Ed Hardy has accrued. No ties with other brands mean they have more flexibility.
Conclusions The theme across all of the mediums was consistent. They focused on the brand merchandise, tattoos, and pop culture. Posts featured links to discounts on various items, old and new photos of tattoos, and music videos, photos, and other media related to pop culture. On the other hand, the individual platforms are so similar that updating the other accounts becomes redundant. Facebook, having the biggest audience, stands out the most. However, a user who likes them on Facebook gains nothing new from following them on Twitter. They have a surprisingly small following on social media for how popular and big the brand is. They attract the kind of fan base that thrives within the social stratosphere, however, are not leveraging them for their full potential.
Recommendations Diversify the different accounts. Different content needs to be created for each platform. The brand has yet to create a reason for fans to follow them across the different social media accounts. Making the various platforms different will help attract more users, and more engaging users. Utilize the accounts Pinterest and YouTube are currently wasting space for Ed Hardy. Adding boards on Pinterest and generating new, original videos would help the accounts grow and evolve. Give a backstage pass Ed Hardy is currently missing the behind-the-scenes angle in their social media. A regular blog or tumblr account would give fans a glimpse at the world of Ed Hardy while also diversifying the content they are providing. Promote the accounts on the main site Outside of Facebook and Twitter, all other social media accounts for Ed Hardy are not linked to the main Ed Hardy site. A simple link with the proper image for Pinterest and YouTube would add several hundreds of users instantly.
Links Facebook Official Page http://www.facebook.com/edhardy http://www.facebook.com/search/results.php?q=ed %20hardy&init=quick&tas=0.7293323688209057 Twitter https://twitter.com/EdHardyOnline https://twitter.com/search/users/ed%20hardy Instagram http://web.stagram.com/n/officialedhardy/ YouTube EdHardyTV http://www.youtube.com/user/EdHardyTV Ed Hardy Brasil Shop http://www.youtube.com/user/EdHardyBrasilShop Ed Hardy Tattoo Movie http://www.youtube.com/user/edhardytattoomovie Pinterest http://pinterest.com/edhardyofficial/ http://pinterest.com/search/boards/?q=ed+hardy http://pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=ed+hardy App https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ed-hardy-tattoo-artist/id408945425?mt=8