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Thread: social media and the bike industry

  1. #1
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    Default social media and the bike industry

    websites, forums, facebook accounts, flickr, twitter, etc, etc

    clearly social media is important in any industry, but in the last few years, things have really taken off.

    how has social media affected the bike industry?

    positively?

    negatively?

    ---- discuss ----
     

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    Default Re: social media and the bike industry

    positively ---
    viewing inside the looking glass, relative to your "social media" exchange with richie -- moments ago in smoked out ----
    you were able to relate a "zone/force" in tennis custom strokes --- the same traits richie maintains in crafting custom frames ...
    for both of you ... a learned & customized trait....
    smoked out is a prime example of "social media.."

    social media at it's best .... for us students ...

    def: social media -- "an umbrella term that describes the sharing and dissemination of various forms of media using social technologies.."

    ronnie
     

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    Default Re: social media and the bike industry

    robert walgamott (theMasterLink) on Twitter

    Pretty cool. Can't think of any negatives off the top of my head.

    Rather enjoy being able to get "inside". Someone here posted a link to the Behind the Barriers episodes...those are badass.
     

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    Default Re: social media and the bike industry

    Judging from the number of posts the average participant on this site has, we are all fans of social media. I find this particular venue extremely valuable. The greatest gift of social media seems to be that you can get an idea in front of people who are interested far more easily than it has ever been before. I work with some people who are experts in using social media. Someone who is good and has a base of relationships can put a new idea in front of thousands of people in seconds, people who are already interested and will read their posts. This is what the advertising industry has been trying to do since it was new.

    I'm not so good at this stuff, but I do enjoy what I am finding.

    Thanks for the question
    Dovid@dhoffman.consulting



    Fundamentally the marksmen aims at himself.
    -Zen in the Art of Archery

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    Default Re: social media and the bike industry

    Like every new situation, it brings it own set of pros and cons (which is the tension that helps all this crap evolve over time anyways).

    Primarily it creates transparency. Both the good and the bad can spread quite quickly and are pretty much impossible to erase. Staying on top of tracking what is being said about you is paramount, and providing stellar service essential. People come to expect quick response over email, which can be a bit of a hassle (I always aim for 24-48 hours max). I think with the overload of information we are exposed to on a daily basis, the testimonies of our peers are becoming more and more important, which IMO is the main strength social media provides to smaller businesses - it's good ol' word of mouth advertisement on steroids.
     

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    Default Re: social media and the bike industry

    It's bad.
    As a consumer, I never knew what existed before, so I was blissfully unaware.
    Now that I know, I'm spending too much and want more.
    Bad, bad, bad.
     

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    Default Re: social media and the bike industry

    Full disclosure - I manage a bike shop and run the twitter/facebook/email side of the business.

    I'm all for it. I'm a techy nerd and find the connection to tech insiders much closer than third party journalists writing about certain topics. I get firsthand comments/views from David Pogue daily rather than waiting every thursday for his tech column in the New York Times. I can read 3 or 4 articles on a new HTC phone in a single day when certain people write about new technology going on. For the bike industry it is the same. You can follow bikeradar, velonation, velonews, cyclingnews, leonard zinn, sram, lance armstrong, etc etc and get all the info you need from a single source (IE twitter or facebook) rather than going to each of those sites individually. It is also a powerful tool for crowd sourcing info. I want to know about shimano Di2 on twitter. type that into the search box and read EVERY post that has Di2 in it. articles, reviews, nerds, bad stories, funny quips all appear.

    30 years ago, when you needed a new bike you'd go to a couple of shops and ask some of your friends what kind and where to get your new bike. Now, its the same thing but it is on this forum. Same behaviours, different medium.

    As for the specialized MasterLInk i think it's a great idea. It can be a little hard to manage your image as it is crowd sourced. Comcast and jetblue have similar customer service channels that are great for instant responses, but it is very public dirty laundry. Specialized/bike industry in general will have a hard time dealing with it but good on them for doing it.

    Social media is a huge topic and can't really be broken down in a single post on a single thread. Short answer - its great but can be a slippery slope.
    I'm not normally a praying man, but if you are up there save me Superman.

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    Default Re: social media and the bike industry

    No more blissful ignorance, eh?
    Social media without inherent purpose purpose ("... a social utility that connects you with the people around you"--great now what?) and responsible users to harness its powerful, immediate nature is dangerous, inane, and dare I say it, degenerative. Sometimes I feel that the ease with which we can share any and all details of ourselves trivializes our human conversations in the flesh, and this effect is potentially very potent with children who are still learning how to engage and present themselves to the world at large.

    I must admit though that social media within the larger internet, has allowed me to develop life interests, pursue them and seek competence of real, physical skills through tutelage in masters of their respective fields. I often would have no knowledge of these disciplines or teachers otherwise. This has certainly broadened the scope of my thought and practices. Because I am able to connect with valuable education and sometimes teach myself by utilizing web resources, I've come to generally expect others to do the same. Since the fight to eradicate illiteracy has largely been won (in N. America at least), I find myself wrongly impatient with those who remain ignorant, to a degree at least. We now have an increasing ability to move ourselves upward through the socio-economic strata though knowledge and self-mastery.The web and social media is no cure-all, but I believe that when administered properly and thoughtfully to oneself they can aid us in becoming responsible local and global citizens; renaissance men or polymaths if you will.

    Like with the advent of the printing press, the knowledge and experiences of so many are instantly available to us. We must simply have the will to seek out and listen to whom and what matters to us each, and internalize.
    Choice: We can learn and grow and be better for it, or just carry on the neverending, unpunctuated inflammation with ever-increasing speed and audience.
     

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    Default Re: social media and the bike industry

    A couple thoughts: I consider the forums as a type of social media, and I think our framebuilder friends would agree that the internet forum landscape has shifted their business models profoundly. The builders and shops with well-crafted blogs really stand out to me as well.

    Beyond that, I think Brendan at CC is at the forefront of Facebook and Twitter promotions, offering extra incentives and specials to only those audiences. This approach has definitely worked in reaching me as a willing customer.
     

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    Default Re: social media and the bike industry

    great topic
     

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    Default Re: social media and the bike industry

    We are instant gratification culture and some of the info you can find at your finger tips allows us to feed those needs. Learning more, wanting more,spending more,making more are all byproducts of that desire. We can connect to ideas and people cheaply and safely giving us e-friendships with a wide range of people. I have learned more through these media types form folks who know way more then I do about cycling as a culture not just someting you get on and do. People have developed personnas or have extended us a handshake into their worlds allowing us to as someone said peak over their shoulders at a life we only dream about.

    I dig it, good discussions, info, and more important contact with individuals to spur imagniation and and thought.
    Dave Bradley...not the grumpy old Hogwarts caretaker "Mr. Filch" or the star of American Ninja 3 and 4.

    formerly "Mr.President"

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    Default Re: social media and the bike industry

    Quote Originally Posted by Dude View Post
    Full disclosure - I manage a bike shop and run the twitter/facebook/email side of the business.
    cool stuff. this is the sorta thing i was thinking about. a shop with a organized email list can

    a. email sales
    b. birthday discounts
    c. club rides

    its endless.

    facebook helps as well.
     

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    Default Re: social media and the bike industry

    Does Facebook really help either the consumer or the retailer? How many of you are linked to a company you like via Facebook?

    I think about creating a facebook page for Wabi Woolens but 1) I have no experience there and 2)I don't need another time sucker in my life.

    But if people think it is worthwhile for some retailers, I would love to hear about how it is used effectively.
     

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    Default Re: social media and the bike industry

    for the industry itself- it's priceless
    for the athletes within the industry (or any other sport)- i see way too much self promotion that has the potential to turn off prospective buyers(me) to the product he/she (wow that actually makes sense in this example) represents.

    a few examples here: Brendan with CC- awesome updates. Mickey with Spooky- great insight and open questions to his audience. I know there are others, but with these two and their twitter/fb (linked) they spawn direct dialogue that is relevant and very fluid.

    oh and Pucci talking smack with TJ is worth it all! e-browbeating
    "make the break"

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    Default Re: social media and the bike industry

    Quote Originally Posted by pdxharth View Post
    Does Facebook really help either the consumer or the retailer? How many of you are linked to a company you like via Facebook?

    I think about creating a facebook page for Wabi Woolens but 1) I have no experience there and 2)I don't need another time sucker in my life.

    But if people think it is worthwhile for some retailers, I would love to hear about how it is used effectively.
    Facebook is free. It takes less than 5minutes to setup.

    Competitive Cyclist has over 3000 fans

    Again..... It's free
     

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    Default Re: social media and the bike industry

    Social media is a communication platform - just like an email address or a phone line. If you make it available and start promoting on it, then as you business you have an obligation to the consumer to recognize it as a communication medium. As a consumer, it bothers me to see stale content or an orphaned account which breed suspicion on the health of the business or general communication hygiene.
     

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    Default Re: social media and the bike industry

    Quote Originally Posted by pdxharth View Post
    Does Facebook really help either the consumer or the retailer? How many of you are linked to a company you like via Facebook?

    I think about creating a facebook page for Wabi Woolens but 1) I have no experience there and 2)I don't need another time sucker in my life.

    But if people think it is worthwhile for some retailers, I would love to hear about how it is used effectively.
    Oh definitely. The amount of time people spend of FB staying up to date of their own little sphere makes it in my (in this case professional) opinion one of the main tools for a small business to use. Excellent tool for updating people of new products, sales, discount coupons, etc etc. It's easier than sending out a newsletter too...

    As somebody already mentioned, I think competitivecyclist does a very good job with theirs if you want to look somewhere for inspiration.
     

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    Default Re: social media and the bike industry

    Quote Originally Posted by -HvA- View Post
    Oh definitely. The amount of time people spend of FB staying up to date of their own little sphere makes it in my (in this case professional) opinion one of the main tools for a small business to use. Excellent tool for updating people of new products, sales, discount coupons, etc etc. It's easier than sending out a newsletter too...

    As somebody already mentioned, I think competitivecyclist does a very good job with theirs if you want to look somewhere for inspiration.
    same with above category, richard sachs, luxe wheelworks, etc.....
     

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    Default Re: social media and the bike industry

    i guess what social media really does with things like the Bicycle Industry, is that it can portray the use of goods in a lifestyle.

    I think thats a big difference.

    i.e. Patagonia would publish their catalogs with real people in real world context, while they are actually using the product. No models, no product demos, no promos.

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    Default Re: social media and the bike industry

    Great thought-provoking thread D!

    Being a private person, there's a big part of me that does not like it,but once trusted, like the Velocipede Salon, I'm willing to participate.

    What I don't like is the marketing mining that comes from general computer use. I think it is favored to the side of business and less to the side of the individual. Lucky for me, I'm way smarter than any computer algorithm and can make my own decisions !
     

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