So far the ORSM09 has been great! A HUGE thanks to Hotcakes for “sponsoring” me to get in. As previously mentioned I’m on a hunt for Social Media at the OSRM09 (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market) and let me tell you… I found it!

There are 2 brands that stand out from the pack in all of this. One is a great company called Horny Toad which makes great clothing and is involved in a multitude of charities. The second is a slightly larger company called Keen.

Horny Toad not only has some amazingly soft clothes, but they have a social media presence that is helping create and maintain a community of loyal fans around them under both the Horny Toad and Nau activewear brands. Talking to their rep Tami Snow they are a brand that truly believes in social media and have seen it’s power first hand. Everything from tweeting about events and sales to finding nominee’s for their Grant for change program.

Besides their website you can find them online in here:

From talking to Tami Snow it’s very evident that both brands love the way they can interact with their community to get ideas, feedback, and that to them social media is all about learning. Learning from your customers and how they use the products, how it fits into their lives and through these types of communication the brand is growing. They definitely understand the impact of social media.

The second company that blew me away when talking to them was Keen. I had a chance to sit down and talk to their marketing coordinator David Schott and it was an all around phenomenal conversation and what prompted it was the way they were promoting their social network for active people and fans of Keen.

After seeing this I decided I had to ask some questions like How has it helped their business, why did they start, who decided to begin, do they use other social media, and what’s in the future of Keen and social media?

It turns out they started by basically sitting around in a room talking about it and so they decided to do the first and most important thing in social media. Listening. To their surprise they found fan groups and people talking about them all over the web and already sharing their love of the outdoors and the company.

According to David their involvement in social media has given them invaluable insight into both their consumers and why they love the products. After talking to David he said that they have just scratched the surface and are excited to start delving deeper, which is a great thing to hear. And speaking of hear I wish I was recording this with my phone because David produced the greatest sounds bite ever. “It’s about sharing stories” yes it is David, and glad that your company is getting interested.

Now as i mentioned they have quite a few other ways they communicate and interact with their community.They’re listed below and worth checking out.

Both Horny Toad and Keen are making great progress and starting to see the benefits but after looking at their sites and profiles I’d like to suggest a few things (so hopefully you’re reading this).

  1. INTEGRATE! None of your social media entities even mention the other and your sites don’t link to your profiles. At the very least your blog should have the links to your accounts. This not only gets people to go to them, but it authenticates that you are who you say you are on those networks.
  2. INTEGRATE! If you have something awesome going on in your FaceBook fan page Tweet (or blog) about it. If there is a great conversation happening on Twitter, bring the subject up on your FaceBook fan page (and or blog). If you already are doing that, then awesome. I just didn’t see it when I was giving everything a quick look over.

Keen you’ve just recently started and from talking to David it sounded like you are heading in the right direction, but first thing you should do is switch from a FaceBook Group to a FaceBook Fan Page, it’s better indexed by Google and will fit your needs better. Second is TWEET! Your twitter profile has been dormant for a bit too long. Fill out the profile and start engaging all the people talking about your contest for a trip to Africa. This is a great opportunity for you.

That’s it for today. Tomorrow i’ll be back out there looking, listening, and engaging the people at the ORSM09!

(the guys at the OARS foundation know how to do it!)

Thanks for reading,