I’ve looked hard at this whole issue of ‘social media’. My web marketing company, as you can imagine, are always banging on “Are you on Twitter?”, “How are you using Facebook?”, “Write a blog posting, then put it on Facebook and get people to ‘Like’ it”, etc.
In truth, their understanding of what a business like The Chain Gang should actually do isn’t very good, in terms of what the objective should be. I don’t really blame them, they advise a local gun shop, the Devon Air Ambulance, a commercial plant supplier, and loads more. Sauce for one of those geese definitely won’t be sauce for this gander. One of our issues is that our customers are all over the world – more than 60% come from outside the UK. So a good idea for a shop might be the stupidest waste of time for me.
I have a vague picture in my mind of where I’d like to get to. I’d like Chain Gang cyclists who return home from a week of cycling to be able to find the people they’ve just cycled with. I’d like them to be able to share photographs, stories and advice with each other.
We get a huge amount of repeat business – I’d like people who have cycled in the Dordogne with us, for example, to be able to find a ‘friend’ who they cycled with and ask whether they know anybody who’s been on one of our Italian tours. And they might be told “Yes, I’m pretty sure Roberto from Brazil was going to cycle in Tuscany, you should find him on the Chain Gang Facebook page”, etc.
I’d really like it if I could somehow persuade people to write to us, and to each other, to make my Blog more interactive. It’s interesting to find out how many of our customers read our Blog, but very few people ‘Reply’ – I’d love it if they did (and whoever is reading this, that means you!)
Anyway, what prompted this stream of consciousness? I’ve just set up a Chain Gang Facebook page . I’ll be able to add links to archived Newsletters, my blog, our Flickr galleries, etc. I’d be delighted if you joined in – see you there!