Friday, January 25, 2013
Seeing how I am the self appointed “Tsar of Anti-Social Media” I wanted to take a moment to talk to you about social media and how it fits within Surly. I understand some of you do not particularly care for things like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, so on and so forth (the names alone make me want to hate them right away). Not everyone that works for Surly likes the whole social media thing as well; but everyone understands it has its place and its uses. I get the feeling that most of the angst revolves around the fact that it’s not cool because everyone is using it. It’s not punk rock enough for you and you’re way too cool for that. I get that. I mean, why would you want to be just like everyone else? After all, you’re a unique and very special snowflake, right? You’re not going to fall in line with the rest of the cattle. Just because everyone is doing it doesn’t make it right, right? That’s all well and good but I’m here to tell you no matter how hard you try and ignore it, it’s not going to go away any time soon. For some companies it’s become the way they do business, they live and die in that world. Other companies try too hard and it becomes blatantly obvious that they have no idea what they’re doing. We tend to do things our way around here.
Even at deer camp I'm working.
Here’s what I think about social media: Social media should be used by companies to be nothing more than social with the people who use and enjoy your products. I know that may be pretty hard to wrap your head around so give it moment to sink in. I believe that you shouldn’t use social media to sell your products; there are far too many better ways to do that. I’d much rather see you go to your local bike shop for some real world human interaction than have you click on a link on your Facebook page. Trust me, its way more rewarding to do that and you are doing your part to keep cycling alive in your community. I view social media they way Surly does it as an insight to who we are, what we do, how we do it, and the world we live in. Most importantly I think it should be fun. It’s not always going to be politically correct, prim and proper, and even relevant all of the time. It’s not our soap box, that’s what our blog is for. We don’t use all of it all of the time and days can go by with not a peep from us. We don’t have a ton of fans on Facebook or a shitload of followers on Twitter. What we have are honest people that follow us that are true fans of Surly Bikes, not inflated numbers from “fan gating”.
Everyone that works for Surly has administrator permissions for all of the social media we chose to work with, but not everyone chooses to use it. It’s not just one person speaking for the entire brand; that would be boring and transparent. I work closely with our marketing department to make sure we’re all on the same page so to speak and kind of oversee all of this. It’s not perfect in any sense of the word. If it was it wouldn’t be Surly.
One more thing I’d like to mention: I’ve created a dealer only Facebook group so Surly dealers have a way to communicate with one another as well as a way for us to get time sensitive information out to them. If you’re a Surly dealer and you don’t know about this for some reason feel free to contact us about it.
The bottom line is that if you choose to interact with us through social media then that’s cool. If you choose not to, that’s cool as well. I just hope that you choose to interact with us in some manner - be it email, phone or snail mail.
Oh yeah, don’t forget to vote!