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Every month Channel Signal will share some of its analyses of the major topics online in the outdoor industry with SNEWS®. The topics will range from promotions to marketing initiatives, to issues that have virally exploded into crises. What are the online conversations? What issues are bringing people into the conversation? And which ones are helping or hurting the growth of the outdoor industry? You’ll find out Channel Signal’s viewpoint here.
Channel Signal has recently been in a lot of discussions and presentations, and social media keeps coming up. Here’s the typical exchange:
Brand: Well, we are on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. And we have a blog. But there is no action.
Channel Signal: True, you have built these new media distribution channels, but our analysis says you have not engaged and you have not supplied content. You are simply using these channels as broadcast centers to sell product and you are not gaining traction.
Brand: OK. Let’s say you’re right. Then what would you do?
What would we do? Perhaps now is a perfect time to show SNEWS® readers three examples of organizations that are strongly using new media distribution channels and building their businesses through them. They are all retailers. Each is from a different region of the country because when it is done right, location doesn’t matter — community does.
Rock/Creek Outfitters – Chattanooga, Tenn.
Rock/Creek does an exceptional job of sponsoring many projects and events in the community. Rock Creek this. Rock/Creek that. All effective.
>> Website: Strong focus on selling because other channels are doing the branding and community-building.
>> Facebook: Good use of selling the outdoors in the Tennessee area: rivers, mountains, water sports and single-track trails. All there. And often written with a twinge of history.
>> Twitter: Uses Twitter to broadcast opinions and statements in its blogs, which are frequent. Plus, good engagement from Rock/Creek with its customers.
Click through for your own look:
Evo – Seattle
The website places more of an emphasis on selling product because other channels do the other stuff.
>> Blog: Good local storytelling. “Grease Bus” video is very well-done.
>> Facebook: Great use of pics, people and events. Evo brings local people and culture out into the Facebook space. Customers engage because the content is interesting.
>> Twitter: The conversation is about the weather, promotions, brands and accomplishments. Twitter is also used as a broadcast center for the other new media channels.
>> YouTube: Videos are not professional but authentic, and that’s what counts. Customers and employees are seen boarding and biking, or a community event is being spotlighted.
Take a look:
Moosejaw – Madison Heights, Mich.
Moosejaw has a rabid following that talks and talks in the new media channels. And Moosejaw listens, talks back, and manages to wrap its attitude and culture around the community and the people.
>> Website: Selling gear. We like that the company puts customer comments on the front page.
>> Facebook: 22,000 fans. Need we say more?
>> Twitter: Amazing amount of chatter between customers, and between customers and brand.
>> Flickr: Great shots of customers doing outdoor stuff with, of course, Moosejaw T-shirts and flags always visible.
Take a walk through its channels:
All of the above retailers have social media sites that are vibrant and are providing a good return on investment. Why? Because Rock/Creek, Evo and Moosejaw are committed to three things:
Channel Signal reminder: 84 percent of all brands launching new media programs do not measure ROI – Mzinga and Babson Executive Education.
If you don’t measure, you can’t manage. Channel Signal is a social media management program offering search backed by analysis, a focus on the outdoor industry, a work flow process for easy execution, and reporting for effective measurement. Channel Signal is a soup-to-nuts, cost-effective package. For more information, email Paul Kirwin at email@example.com or go to www.channelsignal.com.