REI has been a great adopter of social media as a core pillar of it’s marketing strategy. As a local brand I decided to look at some of the things they’re doing. Bill Johnston writes a nice article for Online Community Report http://bit.ly/9QmyVD while interview Jordan Williams, their Manager of Digital Engagement. REI is “transforming from a push-marketing organization to one embracing a truly customer-centric, two-way marketing and communication mode” however, this only embraces the culture they have already built “as a mission driven retail co-op (member based organization) focused on getting people outside” so their many involved are excited “to be working on online community because it’s such a natural fit.” Williams says they “want to honor what’s already there while at the same time enable online and mobile connections that will allow it to grow organically.” For them, they have always had deep ongoing community engagement through events, classes, community and outings so it’s great that they can merely extend this online. For them “Facebook is their most valuable external social touch point” which is “more interactive and multimedia that say Twitter might allow.” However, they too understand that participation isn’t nearly enough and “the way to make an impact is absolutely on the strategic planning and organizational development side” not technology.
Blog Consulting LLC points out that REI, even through their email correspondence with members, diligently redirecting them to their social media presence on various platforms to enhance their ongoing experience http://bit.ly/b2mp5Y. It doesn’t take long while you explore these venues, to recognize the enthusiastic adoption of their audience. As I mentioned their courses above, REI has “uploaded over 105 videos to bring that information right to your home computer.”