Four Bike Companies On Facebook That Your Business Can Learn From

Cyclists, casual and professional, have a unique relationship with their gear. They really depend on it day in and day out to get them where they need to be, and a bad piece of equipment can mean being stranded. This trust and dependency breeds a strong brand relationship between cyclists and their chosen brands -- the kind of connection all businesses should aspire to create. We took a look at the timeline pages of four large manufacturers to see how they were fostering that relationship. We also pulled out some best practices that your business could take away from them.

Cyclists, casual and professional, have a unique relationship with their gear. They really depend on it day in and day out to get them where they need to be, and a bad piece of equipment can mean being stranded. This trust and dependency breeds a strong brand relationship between cyclists and their chosen brands — the kind of connection all businesses should aspire to create. We took a look at the timeline pages of four large manufacturers to see how they were fostering that relationship. We also pulled out some best practices that your business could take away from them.

Giant

Giant has gone through the effort of establishing and maintaining Facebook pages for its brand in many of the major markets it serves. Although you can circumvent this need now by targeting individual posts for relevant regions, for some use cases, it might just not make sense to roll them all into one page. If your brand chooses to go this route, don’t forget to take advantage of cross-promotion opportunities by tagging relevant pages on your top-level brand page. This also has the advantage of funneling region- and language-specific users into regional brand pages that they might not have found. Another additional way to help segment your users into those pages would be to highlight them in your top-level brand pages’ likes section. Finally, you can drive more users to those pages by posting a targeted post in the language of whatever region you wish to separate users into.

If you segmented your brand pages regionally in the past, you can merge them again now. This might be beneficial for a brand looking to simplify its community management and fan base now that region-specific posts are available. In order to merge your pages, take the following steps:

  1. Make yourself an administrator of all relevant pages.
  2. Make the physical address information for each page identical.
  3. Go to the page with the most likes — this will be the one you keep.
  4. Select “Update Info.”
  5. On the left sidebar, select “Resources.”
  6. Click the “Merge Duplicate Pages” link.
  7. A box will appear listing pages that you admin that can be merged.

If your page doesn’t qualify or you don’t own the page, you can still report the page as your intellectual property, and Facebook will respond. In order to do that, head to the page you wish to merge, select “Settings” underneath the right-hand side of the cover photo, and select “Report This Page.” Select the appropriate reason for reporting the page, and Facebook should be able to help you get ownership.

As another alternative, you can create a branded application where users can enter in their own ZIP codes for local content. This can be a simpler option to manage, but it has its downsides as well — you need users to engage with your page, and most users never return to pages after the initial like. For most cases, your best option is probably to manage a top-level page that occasionally starts conversations with region-specific targeting.

Another thing that Giant is doing particularly well is engaging with its audience. With nearly 85,500 fans as of this writing and 2,940 people talking about this, Giant has more than 3.4 percent of its fan base engaged with its page. Larger pages typically score somewhere closer to 1 percent. This indicates that the company is doing a good job of creating content that engages with its fans, and probably keeping an eye on its engagement and PTAT analytics.

Cannondale

Cannondale has done an excellent job of really making full use of the timeline format. In particular, it has a good register of apps with optimized preview images that pop and really take advantage of the real estate they have. Apps are the best place to engage a visitor to your timeline in an outside competition or social channel, and Cannondale has taken advantage of this opportunity with a contest app and a newsletter subscription app. Since it takes an extra click to get users deeper into your available apps, be sure to highlight the best or most valuable conversion for your business as your first app in your lineup. Additionally, be sure that the preview images for your apps are optimized for the 111-by-74-pixel space that they get on your timeline. This will ensure an attractive look and feel to help entice your customers to check them out.