How Fender Is Using Social Media Analytics To Influence Their Marketing Campaigns



A bird’s eye view of the evolution of machine learning.


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For years, the smartest brands have used social listening tools to keep tabs on their brand image and audience. But today that’s not enough—which is why companies want to get to the “why” behind these metrics.

New social media analytics tools, built on powerful machine learning and AI technologies, dive deep into the nuances of consumer sentiment and purchase intent and surface new trends and audience affinities as they evolve. Crimson Hexagon is the leading social media analytics platform providing consumer insights to top brands and agencies.

At #SMWLA Stephanie Nordstrom (Head of Social Media Strategy, Fender) spoke about how using the tools provided by Crimson Hexagon helps Fender stay ahead of the competition.

Since 1946, Fender has revolutionized music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers, and distributors. Nordstrom and her team at Fender uses Crimson Hexagon brand analytics to understand their current audience, decide how to reach new audiences, monitor for potential crises, and develop campaigns around new products.

Nordstrom explained that Fender’s social channels are a key function of their marketing efforts and they focus on telling the brand’s story, as well as build their community. They use the brand’s social accounts to not only use as direct sales tool, but to also build brand affinity by increasing awareness, building brand loyalty, driving conversations, and creating a positive sentiment.

By implementing these listening and monitoring strategies, Fender was able to understand their audience and adjust accordingly. Nordstrom and her team achieved 28% fan growth and added more than 1 Million new fans to their social accounts last year.

Reaching New Audiences

They are also using social listening to reach new audiences especially the female demographic. Their audience is mostly older male guitar players who are experts on all things Fender. They wanted to turn their attention to reach younger female acoustic players and used Crimson Hexagon to listen to what the females were saying when it came to purchasing guitars.

Fender originally thought that females mostly wanted to play acoustic guitars, but using social listening tools found out that girls were also interested in buying electric guitars. This led to Fender creating campaigns to include women.

Monitoring For Potential Crises

The brand also uses social listening tools to monitor for potential crises. When Fender’s trademarked guitar was used as a logo for the Republican National Convention, the brand was worried that their fans would have a negative reaction to their guitar being used to represent a specific political party. The brand is nonpartisan and the logo was changed so that it didn’t exactly match their trademarked logo, but they still used social listening tools to see what fans would say about the situation. Fans weren’t mad at Fender, they were upset at the RNC for using the logo. So, they decided to not release a statement or comment on the matter as to not drum up more attention on it.

Developing Campaigns Around New Products

When it came time to release Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers signature bass guitar, Fender used social listening to help build the campaign and spread it across their social channels.

Prior to the launch of the Signature Flea Bass, Fender’s social team reviewed conversations about Flea to determine the best type of campaign to launch to the Fender audience. The research revealed that fans of Flea and RHCP pointed out his unique personality and individuality. This led to Fender creating the #MyFleaStyle contest and campaign.

Fender used Crimson Hexagon to track the entries of the contest, as well as the reactions to the campaign.

Nordstrom finished her session with four key takeaways:

  • Use online listening to get to know your audience
  • Identify opportunities to reach new audiences
  • Monitor the conversation
  • Use online tools for brainstorming new campaigns

Further analysis and commentary from ‘Fender Case Study’ session:

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