Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Yes, I AM Specialized. Do you care?

Dear @iamspecialized, 

I would like you to know about my raging love affair. With my new Specialized Roubaix road bike. 

Like your other 433 Twitter followers, I would actually like to have a relationship with you and your brand. But, since you are only following 20 of us, and using your Twitter feed as a one-way news and content feed, you are missing that opportunity. 

I have tweeted about my Specialized bike. Had you been listening and responding, imagine the impact it would have had on me to have received a simple reply from you, saying "Hey, Spaight, thanks, welcome to the Specialized family." I am what marketers dream of - you give me a little love in return, and I will spread the love like you won't believe. And I'm sure there are others like me, with much more social clout that you are missing, too. 

I really like Masi bikes, too. And @timjackson from masiguy.com talks to me. Funny thing, because I post so much about biking in all of my social haunts, lots of people have been asking me lately about what kind of bike to buy. What should I tell them? Are you interested in a relationship with us "regular folks", or if I am not an elite rider, do you not care? Because that's the impression I am getting from you. Your website is sweet and a joy to navigate. Your rider blogs and videos are entertaining, but from what I have seen, pretty much one way. 

As @getresults tweeted this morning, "Listen, so they don't vote with their feet." 

Are you listening? 


  1. I was just whining to a friend about this very problem. A brand we care about gets on Twitter and then does zilch. Well, worse than zilch. It broadcasts dumbly and refuses to realize the opportunity in conversations, and putting names and personalities behind their products / services.

    Thanks for speaking for me, and, undoubtedly, many others!

  2. Thanks Jeff. I really appreciate the feedback. The "broadcasting" mentality reflects an old school approach - they are trying to treat Twitter and other social channels as if they were advertising media. At one major brand I know, the person responsible for social media is actually called "Director of Electronic Advertising and Direct Promotion". While this is a holdover from pre-social media involvement, it is extremely telling, I think, of how too many brands are approaching it. Optimistically, that should change as brands get more experience and more insight. I hope.

  3. It's like they say, doing it wrong is worse than not doing it at all. If these companies could only realize how much brand loyalty they could gain by interacting with their customers. @BlatzLiquor gets it...now I may have to go sample some free beer tomorrow night.

  4. Thanks, Jason. I totally agree. Specialized just keeps pumping out its tweets with blog posts from riders I couldn't care less about, in spite of that fact that I have basically handed them instructions on how to interact more effectively with customers like me. Which, at this point, is just making me annoyed and mad and less happy about getting on my new bike every day. The thing that kills me is it is so EASY to do it right. If they had a running Twitter search, or Radian6, they could shut me up and make me a happy customer again in about three seconds flat. I'll start following @BlatzLiquor, though I'm not likely to become a big customer ;)

  5. I ride a loyal Trek bike rider. @TrekBikes follows me and has sent me an @ reply.

    Live to Ride. Ride to Live.