At the Bicycle Leadership Conference that took place in Monterey, California, just before Sea Otter this year, I gave a presentation to the attendees on the topic of social media marketing. It was an interesting opportunity given the make up of the audience at the BLC: primarily the executive leadership of all the major brands in the bike industry. That’s an interesting group to speak to on the topic because at most other seminars, talks and panel sessions on the subject, the audience is typically made up of people in marketing that already “get it” about SM for the most part. What many of these marketing professionals and SM evangelists are looking for are tools to use when trying to explain the value of SM to upper management at their companies – exactly who I would be speaking directly to.
In framing the “why” of SM to executives, I believe that it’s imperative to address the value proposition that SM can bring to their companies. What is it that CEO’s and presidents need to hear to be convinced? It’s not just the fact that conversations are happening online (yawn…) – it’s how engaging these people through SM can add value to their companies and empower and excite employees and customers. I hope that we – I asked Chris Matthews of Specialized’s marketing department to co-present with me – were able to do that. (I’m still planning a full post on this as soon as I can finish writing it up.)
With that said, one of the examples we gave in our presentation (along with the photo above from fisherbikes.com) when describing the importance of *authenticity* and *personality* when engaging in social media, was Mr. Gary Fisher. If you’re at all familiar with the bike industry, you know what we mean about Gary. I was really hoping to run into Gary in the expo area of Sea Otter to ask him a few questions about his use of SM since he’s become a very active – and interesting – user of Twitter over the last few months. As you can see below, I did and was able to get some great insight into his use of the tool and what it means to his mom, of all people. Again, with the great video skills of Markus from Cyclefilm.