The Snowboard Industry’s Presence on Facebook

Since it’s arrival to the web in 2004, Facebook has become one of the most trafficked websites in the world, with over 400 million active users (defined as users who have logged on at least once in the past 30 days).  It has become a resource many business owners have embraced and taken advantage of.  Megan Clarken from The Nielsen Company, which monitors consumers world-wide, recently said “businesses can no longer afford to simply observe the social media phenomenon, they need to embrace it.”  And that is exactly what we’re seeing, and the snowboard industry is no exception.  The presence of snowboard companies, riders, merchants and resorts is increasing on social media sites, like Facebook, by the day.

Ride Snowboards: Ahead of the Game

Ride Snowboards, one of the industry leaders has a strong presence on Facebook, unrivaled by any of the other big manufacturers.  The Ride Facebook page acts as a mini-storefront that links to their official website.  Users can browse their products directly on the Facebook page through the “Ride More” application which also resembles their official website.

In addition to making their Facebook page into a gateway to their online store, Ride has a company representative who frequently updates the Facebook account with news, events, and other bits of information to keep its followers engaged.  Between June 27th and June 30th Ride posted 7 updates to the Facebook account as well as responded to its fan’s comments on the page.  Currently the Ride Facebook page is “liked” by 24,224 people, many of which who contribute product reviews and the like.  These product reviews can be extremely valuable to Ride as the online community puts great value into its fellow member’s reviews.  In addition to the reviews, there has been over 30 videos and nearly 500 pictures uploaded by the Facebook users to the page.  Almost all of these videos and pictures are people using Ride products, which is another great way the Facebook page engages and promotes.

K2 Snowboarding is Ride’s sister company, with mutual ownership, and does a good job with its Facebook page as well.  Like Ride, they have a representative that keeps its followers up to date with frequent posts regarding events, contests and more.  K2, however, is lacking the interactive storefront on the Facebook page and has about half as many followers, user-uploaded videos, and about a third of user-uploaded photos in comparison to Ride.  Having worked in a snowboard shop named Function 4 Sports in Harrisonburg, Virginia, this past winter, I can safely say that Ride is not twice as popular or purchased as K2. So why then does Ride have twice as many friends on Facebook?  I would attribute this to the extra features and interactivity the Ride site provides.

User uploaded image

A user-uploaded image of a Ride Snowboard in action, to the Ride Facebook page.

What About the Other Guys?

Although Ride has K2 doubled on its Facebook page, K2 is still doing well in comparison to the rest of the snowboard manufacturing industry, in terms of Facebook presence.  Even the industry leader, Burton, lacks an official Facebook page.  They, on the other hand, have opted to have their official online community directly on their website.  They allow similar interaction as you may see on Facebook but require you register for an account to interact.  This may turn away potential users who do not wish to spend the time to register, whereas on Facebook they probably already have an account.  Burton also loses the 400+ million people already on Facebook.

While Burton may be missing out, it’s not killing them, as they have been the head of snowboard manufacturing industry as long as it has existed.  Other smaller companies, however, are making their presence seen on Facebook.  Companies such as Lib Technologies, Gnu, Union Binding Company, Forum Snowboards amongst others are using Facebook as a source of free advertising, marketing, and public relations.  Facebook has become a great tool to spread buzz and develop a loyal fan base, and is allowing the smaller guys to compete with the juggernauts of the industry.

Advertisements

~ by Eric Gustafson on July 4, 2010.

2 Responses to “The Snowboard Industry’s Presence on Facebook”

  1. As a Ride snowboard owner, I’m happy to see that the company is utilizing social media. I went and checked out their facebook page and it is certainly impressive. Looks like they respond to EVERY comment on their wall and continue to engage their followers with videos, news, and more. They even respond to very in-depth and specific questions with appropriate and useful answers.
    As for Burton, they actually have a Facebook page with about 153,800 followers. They also have links to Twitter and YouTube accounts. Their “official online community” might be on their website but it appears as though they are also using other social networks. I do agree that Rides Facebook page is more substantial though. Burton has always been on top of the industry so it is good to see smaller companies using social media to compete.

  2. I agree with Sean that it is nice to see that smaller companies are keeping up by using social media. Not being a big snowboarder myself I am not too familiar with the brands but I definitely recognize Burton as a major leader in the snowboarding industry. I am surprised though that Facebook is not a more prominent social media tool for the industry. However, it does make sense that the brands (like Burton) would want to build an individual social network of their own loyal consumers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: