This week’s Social Media Spotlight will take a look at Burton’s online community and social media efforts. Anvil Media reviews the social media efforts of top brands each Friday on the Social Search Marketer blog. To see more Social Media Spotlights, click here.
Burton Snowboards in one of my all-time favorite brands. Jake Burton has shaped snowboarding more than any pro. Where most extreme sports are defined by their athletes – Tony Hawk, Travis Pastrana, Dallas Friday – snowboarding has been defined by its creator, its icon (for the geeks, think Steve Jobs). Every weekend when I head up to Meadows or on the rare Blackcomb trip, my Burton board, boots, and bindings tag along.
And, out of this level of respect for the brand, I expected more from Burton. I expected a company that got social media. More so, I expected an innovator of the social media space. I hoped to see an integrated marketing strategy that incorporated social media.
What I found was a hodgepodge of contests, communities, and social media properties with no sign of follow through or interconnectivity.
There are multiple Burton Facebook pages with anywhere from less than 100 fans to over 70,000, but all the Facebook fan pages have the same aspects in common – minimal content, little to no activity, and no clear affiliation with the brand.
My issue with Burton not demonstrating a clear Facebook strategy is not just that Burton’s target audience is running rampant on Facebook. My problem with Burton is that they have created great content, and they are not taking advantage of Facebook as a platform to propagate that content.
Burton’s Snow@Home contest is a vivid example:
The Burton Snow@Home Contest encourages users to submit footage of themselves shredding in a backyard park, partnering with snowathome.com to give away an outdoor snow maker.
The concept is great – a cross-promotion built on inexpensive user generated content that emphasizes snowboarding and builds the brand.
Where Burton failed was in the promotion of the contest.
The video application could readily be transferred to a Facebook application or embeddable widget for the Burton faithful to splatter over their blogs, Facebook profiles, and MySpace pages. The benefits of a viral widget – from increased brand awareness to optimized anchor text – have been written and discussed ad nauseam, but Burton appears to have missed the memo.
Social Media Properties
Burton’s lack of a Facebook strategy is indicative of an overall lack of a social media strategy. Burton has a YouTube page that is currently not skinned and does not link back to burton.com.
Burton Twitter account? Non-existent.
As an internet marketer, what scares me is that I will never get to the fun (albeit dorky) part of social media – ROAS measurement, integration into broader marketing campaigns, data crunching & analysis – because companies are still stuck in first gear. If a company as slick and cool as Burton doesn’t get social media, what hope is there for the B2B’s or the local mechanic?