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Julia Roy Can Re-invent Skateboard Networking Via Social Networks

March 25, 2009

Julia Roy blue cupcake shirt Skateboards

You may be asking who the hell is Julia Roy and what does she have to do with skateboarding. The answer is she's been dubbed "The World's Hottest Geek" and she has no connection to skateboarding. Keep in mind that when Leonardo da Vinci developed an early model for ball bearings in the 16th century, he probably didn't have skateboarding in mind either. Good strategies and ideas can very often be applied to multiple disciplines.

Julia Roy refers to herself as a digital girl- and she's a damn smart one. She has her own web site that serves as an umbrella for all her social networking connections. You can find Julia on every social networking site from Twitter and Facebook to LinkedIn and Digg. She's everywhere! In fact, she's everywhere skateboarding should be. Successful marketing strategies are a sketchy business these days. There is no longer a single strategy for success. Success comes from melding different tactics into a plan that works.

Skateboarding & Social Media Sites

Our pretentious notion that we have any connection to Julia Roy is just that. We wish we knew more highly intelligent blondes, but we know very few blondes at all - smarts aside. We do feel that in between re-fills we garnered a bit of what Ms. Roy has to offer about marketing, connecting with customers and being cool about it.

Julia Roy's ability to juggle all the social media site's she belongs to enables her to reach out to a lot of different people. While there is often an quest to amass as many friends as possible, it becomes difficult to really interact with them. Sometimes you do have to "add" a lot of people to finally reach the "right" people. Having the right people connect with you is very important when shaping a brand or introducing a product.

Skateboard companies, both manufacturers and retailers, need to reach the right people and interact with them in a manageable fashion. Having a web site is good, but not enough. A blog is good, but not enough in it's own. The same is true for any single arm of a marketing initiative. Skateboard companies need to reach out to customers, distributors and resellers across multiple channels. They also need to interact with people. It's not enough to simply tell people things. Skate companies need to engage customers and let them be a part of the company's digital presence.

Julia Roy expo Skateboards expo

Social Media: The Julia Roy Way

Julia Roy is everywhere online, but never says, "look at me!" That's important. She knows her digital life isn't just about HER. It's about the info she conveys and her interaction with those who choose to be a part of her digital world. She advocates adding everyone - not just friends. Many sites allow you to categorize "friends" and communicate with them based on the categories you create. We're not sure we could deal with 20K friends on a Soc-Net, but statistically speaking she may be on to something.

That's an important lesson for skateboard companies looking to engage their customers and leverage the opportunity to have a 2-way communication with them. You'll build better relationships with people by interacting with them rather than sitting passively. Become a part of the scene. there are plenty of opportunities online and can all be tied together at the skate company's primary URL.

Check out Julia Roy's "A Digital Girl" web site and absorb her smarts and beauty.

Stuff YOU Can Do

Using Multiple Social Media Sites for Skateboard Companies

Blogs have become an important element to most web sites. Its a good way to communicate and add content for an SEO friendly site. But to reach out to engage and interact, skateboard companies need to put some muscle behind any social networking presence. Integrate YouTube videos and create a channel for followers to watch. Say on the pulse of your customers with Twitter's micro blog tool that lets you communicate directly with your scene. Flickr is a great way to share pictures across multiple channels and even allows for comments and tagging. By using multiple social networking sites, you can engage skaters with blogs, video and images - each in a unique way. At the same time all these social network sites can tie your message (brand, or whatever) together.

Twitter for Skateboarding

Twitter is a micro blog that gives you 140 characters in which to drop a short burst of text, link to another site or reply to another Twitter user. You can keep in touch with Tweets (as they're called) via several web interfaces and/or your cell phone. Use their search feature to find like-minded followers and begin to assemble a following of users who are interested in your product

Here are some posts from our Skate the Planet Twitter page:



Plurk for Skateboarding

Similar to Twitter, Plurk is a social networking site that lets you group conversations together. It too operates on a timeline, but each convo can be continued in the same location (time-wise) that it began. Twitter follows a strict timeline and everything regardless of topic is laid out by the time it was posted.

Plurk follows the same micro-blog theme of letting you burst 140 characters at a time. It lets you easily jump around the timeline to find posts that others have replied to. It takes some getting used to, but I see it as a more intuitive Twitter. Give it a whirl.

YouTube for Skateboarding

Everyone is familiar with YouTube, but not everyone uses it to it's potential. Make sure you keyword your videos well and write up detailed descriptions. This will help others find your videos when searching. Embed your videos in both primary websites as well as soc-net sites like Myspace. On your primary site (the one with a real URL for your skateboard company) make sure your videos are distributed (embedded) in areas of your site relevant to their content. Video is an insanely powerful medium - more so when used in conjunction with existing textual content on your site. It's one thing to read about something, but accompanying video really drives the message!

The background image and titling can all done with CSS to maintain a consistent look as well as enable a way to embed the video that looked a little better than the bare-bones approach of dropping a plain video window onto a web page.

Myspace for Skateboarding

I love Myspace. OK, I really don't, but it sucks a lot less than other sites of this type... like Facebook. I do hate Facebook. I prefer Myspace as it lets you promote anything you want from a person or company to an idea or specific product. Facebook is geared mainly toward people (and the company's owner wants to dominate the world with this thing which pisses me off much the way Bill Gates and Microsoft do - forget that!).

Presumably you have your own website (www.myCompany.com). Avoid the temptation to use Myspace as a primary site, even though it's free, as you have no control over the SEO factors or any real organization as you would on a real site. Splurge on your own domain and host for about $120 per year. Using Myspace as a promotional tool allows you to connect with other Myspace users and tempt them to click through to your primary web site. As with any soc-net site, the idea is to drive valid traffic to your primary site by way of providing incentives like useful information and more of it.

Putting Social Networking to Work

Use soc-net sites to expand your online presence with video, photos and blogs. Tie your brand, company and/or message together with social networking. Send traffic to your primary site by building relationships on the various social networking sites. Engage and interact with your clients, customers and friends. In the long run, you'll find more valuable folks reaching your site and being aware of what you have to offer.

Julia Roy: Smart and CUTE

Above all else: if you have a good idea- run with it!

Julia Roy Skateboards white tank top

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