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New Belgium Clips Beer and Film Tour in Boulder

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New Belgium ClipsOn July 11, I volunteered at the New Belgium Clips Beer and Film Tour fundraiser for Community Cycles at Twenty Ninth Street Mall.  I hadn’t been before and being in the thick of the event I saw a lot. The experience confirmed our commitment to a bike culture and got me thinking about the City’s goal to become even more bike-friendly.

Boulder bikers really vary. All kinds of people arrived at the event by bike. There were down-and-dirty riders on funky bikes in shorts and tees; girls in summer dresses pedaling fancy bikes with color-coordinated wheels; families pulling trailers of kids; college kids laughing and hollering as they rode together. There were all shapes, sizes and ages.  It was the place to be by all measures.

I enjoyed working with the volunteers. I saw members of the Community Cycles’ board and staff (and friends of staff), earn-a-bike graduates, business leaders even parents from where my kids went to school. The volunteers were a good representation of our community in general. It reminded me that in Boulder, bikes aren’t just for kids, lycra-clad athletes, or trick-riding high schoolers with pants hitched below their butts. We can, and do, all ride.

The event also made me think about why people–all kinds of people–ride bikes. I like arriving by bike. There is something about “the ride” that just feels right, fresh.  The act of using a bike to get around feels very multipurpose (I love that). I wonder how much biking will continue to gain popularity, not just here but around the country.

The City of Boulder certainly does its part to support biking, and we should be thankful they do.

Finally, a word about New Belgium’s Beer and Clips tour: IMPRESSIVE. The New Belgium staff has been perfecting its process for five years. They are becoming a well-oiled machine – it looked like a carnival crew at set up and teardown. Best of all, not only is it well orchestrated, it’s a win-win for New Belgium and the nonprofits they support.  In this case, proceeds benefited Community Cycles to help them do what they do: Advocate, educate and help strengthen our cycling culture. Good stuff, nice job, everyone.

 

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How to reach customers on Facebook

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Money can’t buy loyalty

You set up a Facebook page for your company or client. You dutifully post according to your social media schedule. The page’s likes grow steadily each month, and on occasion, the same people like your posts and they comment. You think you are doing well but are unsure how to progress.

In reality, your page is probably regressing—thanks to Facebook’s latest stranglehold on organic reach. For several reasons, Facebook recently adjusted its algorithm to limit a company page’s unpaid reach in their fans’ newsfeeds. If you do pay, your reach goes much further—new people see your posts regardless of whether or not your current fans share them. If you have the budget, page progression could mean paying to reach new fans.

Even if you have the money, however, I’d suggest working to increase your organic reach simultaneously. Here’s why: Loyalty.

Brand fans—the ones who like your page and your posts—spend more than the average consumer on the brands they love. They also have higher conversion rates because word of mouth is the highest converter of sales and actions. A 2013 survey found that 84 percent of individuals trust the validity of a recommendation from people they know. For perspective, only 60 percent trust a magazine advertisement. In conclusion, you want your brand fan to see your Facebook post. You want them to like it, and even more, you want them to share it.

Yes, you could reach their friends through paid advertising, but then the information is coming from you and not through word of mouth, which holds more credibility. You or your client will get a lot further with a potential customer if you are introduced by a mutual friend. Get invited to a newsfeed; don’t crash the party.

How to reach customers on Facebook

First off, you should know Facebook parses content by type for each user, so you want to alternate between posting compelling status updates and engaging multimedia content. Some of your fans or potential fans might not watch videos often because their Internet speed sucks. Facebook will learn to only send text their way. If you always post photos, this group may never see your posts. Secondly, pay special attention to fans who already engage with you because they will be your spokespeople. You shouldn’t take them for granted. Preaching to the choir is actually the only way to reach the majority.

If you can get 10 percent of a given demographic to vow by you, you’re golden. According to a 2011 study, 10 percent is the tipping point for an idea to become adopted by the majority. Get your brand fans to spread your message by nurturing your relationship. Cater to what they want to see, respond when they initiate a conversation and reward them for their loyalty.

So what are the next steps for that Facebook page that has lost some luster? Appreciation and revitalization. Don’t go looking for the new when you haven’t fully developed what you already have. Remember: acquiring new customers costs more than retaining old ones. And when considering your Facebook strategy, go after loyalty, not just eyeballs.

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