3 Ways Sharpie is Engaging Teens With Social Media

From Social Media Examiner:

Take some tips from permanent marker manufacturer Sharpie. Their successful 2012 Back to School campaign helped grow their market share to 89% of their category through a savvy understanding of how teens use social media.

Organization: Sharpie

Social Media Handles & Stats:


  • Gained 5 share points during 2012 Back to School campaign to end with an 89% share of permanent market category
  • Organically grew Instagram following to over 49,000 in 2012 with no ad support or integration into the Sharpie website
  • 86% of Sharpie Facebook followers are age 13-24

#1: Make Content Visual and Engaging

“Teen behavior shifts so quickly; their biggest enemies in the social space are boredom and unoriginality,” said Susan Wassel, director of social media and PR at Sharpie parent company Newell Rubbermaid.

Sharpie has an advantage as an inherently visual brand. But they still constantly look at their content with a critical eye to ensure it appeals to teens.

“Looking at our [Facebook] content from 2011, already some of it looks so boring and flat,” Wassel said. “When Facebook rolled out the timeline, there was this big photo at the top and the opportunity to fill your space with all kinds of awesome pictures.”

sharpie cover photoSharpie’s hand-drawn cover photos are updated frequently.

They make sure to change their Facebook cover photo frequently with striking Sharpie-drawn designs to catch their teenage fans’ eyes.

Sharpie’s newest social media channel, Instagram, showcases drawings and product shots generated in-house. Whitney Kelly, PR and social media associate manager in charge of Instagram for Sharpie, has been surprised by the number of followers.

“It’s all been organic growth driven by the content and authentic presence in the space,” she said. “It shows fans an inside look into who we are and that the people at Sharpie are passionate about the markers and the products too.”

sharpie instagram photosSharpie’s Instagram photos range from intricate drawings to simple text.

Video is also a big part of Sharpie’s social media. “Video content is highly engaging for our teen target,” said Ryan Rouse, global director of marketing Sharpie at Newell Rubbermaid.

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