Is Your Social Media Program Riding with the Peloton or Out There Pedaling All by Itself?

Cycling Peloton

Anyone familiar with cycling understands the benefits of riding in a peloton or group of riders. Not unlike a flock of birds flying in formation, riders in a peloton save energy by riding just a few inches behind the rider in front of them, taking full advantage of the phenomenon known as drafting or slipstreaming. The reduction in drag is dramatic; a rider in the middle of a well-developed group can gain as much as a 40% advantage compared to being out there riding on their own. In other words, the riders in front are literally pulling along the riders behind. As a cyclist myself, I have enjoyed many times the benefits of catching a free ride by hugging the rear wheel of the guy in front me.

Recently, I had a similar experience where I caught a free ride, not on a bike however but part of another company’s national advertising and social media program. And as much as I’d like to claim credit for this accomplishment, the truth of the matter is it was purely dumb luck. Now be this as it may, the result for both companies, Pacific Life and Jeanneau has been beneficial for sure.

This terrific video of a retired couple sailing to a beautiful tropical island on a new Jeanneau 409 is the latest commercial from Pacific Life promoting their retirement services. It has been running regularly during 60 minutes and many nationally televised sporting events.

The idea of cross-branding is nothing new, Eddie Bauer has successfully done this with both Ford and one of my favorite companies Airstream Trailers for years. However, cross-branding on a formal scale is a big deal and usually reserved for big companies. What I am finding however is that cross-branding using social media can be easy, informal and fun.

I have always believed that many hands make light work and this idea of using social media to help give my brand a lift, has a good ring to it. So in the future, I’ll be looking to join a strong peloton going in the direction I want to go. And in the words of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, I’ll get by with a little help from my friends.

On we go…

 

Why I Changed My Mind About Social Media

Social Media

One of the many things that come with growing older is the inability to accept new ideas and new ways of doing things. I never really saw myself as falling into this trap but nevertheless, a few years back I viewed the entire concept of “social media” as nothing more than one big gimmick, just a passing fad that would be gone faster than you could say bell-bottom trousers. So what if Facebook has 1.1 billion users, give it a couple of years and it will be out of here like a wet watermelon pit squeezed between two fingers.

Of course social media hasn’t gone away, in fact it’s only gotten stronger. And so I eventually caved in and took the “if you can’t beat them join them” approach. And interestingly enough, I’m glad I did; not only have I found the world of social media rather enjoyable but also a useful and powerful marketing tool. What I really like about it is, it allows people to see our company’s true personality; an ongoing view into our company’s culture and the people who make it up.

I also like it because for the most part, it’s hard to fake what you put on YouTube; what you see is what you get. I think it’s a lot like running a personal ad. If you’re not straightforward and honest with what you’re putting out there, don’t be surprised when the wrong people come knocking on your door.

One of my favorite videos of a sail across the Gulf Stream for a photo shoot in the Bahamas. A fun, casual look at what goes on behind the scenes with the Jeanneau team.

In this global world of ours with increased competition and similar product offerings, I really see social media as being the vehicle to set ourselves apart from everyone else. Our only challenge is to be bold enough to hang ourselves out there and let our charming personality shine through.

On we go….