Why Burton Snowboards Needs Social Media

Okay, so maybe I have a bit of a penchant for action sports when it comes to examples of companies that could use social media, but Burton snowboards is a great example of a company that caters to a niche interest with a wide reach. There are definitely die-hard snowboarders that eat, sleep, and breathe the sport, but it also attracts plenty of fan interest and winter dilettantes. I mean, even Brian Chappell snowboards.473dcf8146b51_filename_BurtonSnowboardsandKidrobotUnveilCollaborativeLimitedEditionSnowboard

The beauty of niche audiences is that social media can be used to create customized networks of communication for them when other more mainstream methods aren’t practical. Producing a magazine is expensive and time-consuming work for a small audience. Hosting a blog, however, is neither.

So I took a quick survey of what Burton already has going on in terms of social media, and where they could use a bit of help.

Widgets –

  • Slopes Widget – Burton has this rad functionality on their website called “Snow Reports,” which lists various slopes, along with their relevant stats concerning snowfall, trails open, and other stuff I probably don’t understand because I’m not a snowboarder. This would be the coolest possible widget for avid snowboarders to grab.
  • Video Widget – Burton’s got massive amounts of videos on their website, and even have something that they call a “video blog.” Right now, all of these videos are just laid out on their site like tiles, and I’d like to see them wrapped up into a widget that could be popped on to a profile and thumbed through.

Facebook –

  • The main Facebook page for Burton doesn’t seem to be officially manned by the company, but it does have 72,213 fans just sitting there waiting for communication. They’ve already uploaded 322 fan photos with absolutely no prompting or incentive, and they’re starting their own conversation threads. They’re primed and ready to go, not to mention the other scattered fan pages and their wayward, directionless fans.

Myspace –

  • With a Myspace page, it’s pretty difficult to tell who is in charge of Burton’s profile, but with 33,342 friends, it’s not hard to see that people are into it. They’ve posted only one blog, dated 2006, and though I can’t tell if they’re posting bulletins, based on their lack of activity in other areas, my guess is no. When you’ve got a friend’s list that’s around the size of a small city, that’s not the best use of your resources.

Twitter –

  • As with the aforementioned example of DC Shoes, Burton has the opportunity to spread its wings in the niches of Twitter, not to mention stay connected with other brands with whom they have already collaborated. They could also connect with users like the Park City ski resort @PCski, and other ski/snowboard enthusiasts @maddogski, @powd3r, and @cldfx.

The great thing about a company like Burton snowboards is that they already have killer content. The videos and visuals they’ve created are perfectly geared toward their target demo. What social media could help them with specifically is customizing better methods for delivering the content to the people who want it. And then those same people can help showcase the content for them. Suddenly 33,000 fans become mini-evangelists. Easy breezy, with enough time left to hit the slopes.

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