21 April, 2014

VO in Social Media

by Igor

Our blog (meta right?) is an amazing source of information for VO news, products, bike stuff, tips, instructions, and happenings; it is also our foray into social media. Now, we have more outlets than ever to get info into the virtual hands of our customers.

Twitter is a very unique way to convey information. Within 140 characters, you can post original content, repost, comment, interact, and hashtag. Sometimes, 140 characters is not enough to convey a lot. Therefore, links, pictures, and mentions are the best tools. In addition, posts can be buried quickly if you have a lot of subscriptions.

Facebook has been a great avenue for us. Great viewership, excellent communication, simple interface, ability to share with friends, and ease of use from mobile devices. In recent months, FB's algorithm of "who sees what" has hurt small businesses. They have essentially throttled "reach" and now only a small percentage those who "like" our page see what we post. Now, FB "encourages" us to "boost" (pay) posts to get back to where our reach used to be.

Enter Instagram. I really like using this program. In addition to using my in-device camera, I can plug in the memory card from my DLSR camera and directly upload. It's a fun program where users can easily post content, interact, hashtag, and like posts. The only functionality it's missing is the ability to share, which I'm sure they're working on. An additional gripe is "#shellac". I was hoping to see cloth tape with different colors and layered shellac, but no. Hundreds of thousands of pictures of glittery fingernails. Kind of weird.

Next is Tumblr. It's very cool that you can write your own HTML to customize your site. Also, people can like and share posts. Unfortunately, there is no functionality to comment directly on content. What I really like about Tumblr is that pictures can be viewed at high resolution, as opposed to the former which compresses photos.

Recently, we have set up a Flickr account. I've used it for my personal stuff and I really dig it. It's a huge network, loads of groups, hashtag functionality, commentary, and excellent resolution on desktop and mobile devices. I know many long time users of the service don't like the new interface or that Yahoo is required, but once you get used to it, it's super easy to use. Since we have so much content, it's hard to pick what will go up, but the uploading spree will start soon.

What social media outlet is your favorite? Should we start Pinning? YourSpace? Chat Snap?


we like to food said...

Ha, my girlfriend was complaining about the shellac tag just last night.

Doug Mayer said...

Flickr user since January 2006. I too don't like many of the new UI changes, but it has too many great contributors in every genre imaginable to ever think about abandoning it.

Brendan said...

I'm most likely to see an update via Instagram, and like when you mention in the description that it coincides with a new blog post.

somervillain said...

Like Doug said, flickr is a biggest trove of image data out there, and its searchability is excellent. Flickr is about photo, photo accuracy and resolution. If you want to convey a subtle detail in a product, flickr is the way to go. Hands down.

If you want to convey a thought and measure reaction to it, facebook is my bet.

The social media complement each other, rather than compete. You should be using several venues, but differently. Don't post the same content to all, as that would just be wasteful.

Often when I write a blog post (I post on ridingthecatskills.com) I will include the most relevant photos to my commentary. But then I will take a couple of my discarded photos from the event or ride I blogged about, and post them on flickr or facebook, and write a short (or long) caption about that particular photo, with a link to blog post. Each form of media can draw in the reader from a different perspective, and if well done, point the reader to the other forms of media. The multiple forms of media, together, form the whole of your story.

I am not too familiar with pinterest, but from the uninitiated it appears to be a flickr wannabe. I only wish flickr had the capability of allowing you to categorize your favorites. I have thousands by now, and they're only chronologically ordered. I'd love to categorize them.

Anonymous said...

For your Velo's great images, there's nothing better than Tumblr. And people can post comments as part of the re-post feature (comments sort of come back to the post in the re-post notes). Of all these, Tumblr is most like a bike. Instagram being owned by FB, will have to go toward generating revenue just like its parent, and then all your old content will lose value.

Anonymous said...

Facebook owns Instagram, so don't expect that to continue any longer than it benefits Facebook.

bill said...

I think a vo news letter...one actually printed would be very classy. Electronic media is ok but a monthly/quarterly news letter that you receive in the mail would be special.

Anonymous said...

When shopping for a new bike and built up, I tried all the sites you mentioned.
Flickr was the most useful for seeing images of what VO products looked like in the wild. Tremendous resource.


A said...

I use flickr for its content. I find social media for noncommercial use to be a bit creepy so tend to avoid interacting with the other platforms.