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Andy’s Answers: How REI created a local social media strategy

2 min read

Brands & Campaigns

With more than 100 stores nationwide, REI is the country’s largest co-op. And despite the big national presence, REI fans tend to have a strong connection to their local store.

This loyalty, along with the nature of REI’s business — stores in Texas have a much different sleeping-bag selection than those in Alaska — became a big motivator behind the company’s recent push to take its social strategy from a national focus to a local one.

In his recent BlogWell presentation, REI’s Jordan Williams walked us through how the company developed this plan, how it trained its staff and a few early results and take-aways.

A few of his great ideas:

  • Focus on the market level. Instead of going to every store with a strategy, Williams and his team broke it down by 53 regions, each of which has its own Facebook page and Twitter account.
  • Create a central hub to direct people. With so many accounts serving so many regions, REI needed a single place to promote and direct customers. The company did it with a simple directory on its corporate website at, making it easy to promote all of its social media profiles at stores and in traditional media.
  • Train them on the do’s and don’ts. Through this project, Williams and his team trained more than 300 practitioners with a “201” class, and they offered an optional “101” class. They focused on the basics: copyright law, covering local topics, being responsive and how to reach out to local social media influencers, such as nonprofits, parks and outdoor enthusiasts.

Hear all of Williams’ great ideas in his presentation. Slides are available.

P.S. To see more great case studies such as this live and in person, check out our upcoming BlogWell conference in Dallas.