There are many marine industry companies that have invested heavily in social media – and we talked to plenty of them in this month’s cover story, Social media: 66 tips and tools to grow your business.
But there are few companies in any industry that have the fans necessary to create their own vibrant social media network. That’s just what BRP Evinrude has done with E-Nation, which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary.
The genesis for E-Nation came from extensive research of Evinrude’s customers, which found that they were increasingly turning to social media and online forums for information, said Chris Berg, BRP Evinrude director of marketing.
“Consumers, like in many other categories, are going to their peers out in the boating space and looking for the quote/unquote ‘inside story’ on this brand and products,” Berg said. “We want to make sure we’re involved in the conversation.”
Evinrude’s employees play a big role in managing E-Nation, but discussions are moderated in many cases by “brand ambassadors” that include owners, dealers and other.
“It’s pretty interesting to see the dynamic – when there is a consumer in need, their peers flock to help them out,” Berg said.
The key to a successful community is the passion people have for the product, something that can’t be easily created, said Dave Racine, vice president of Cramer-Krasselt, Evinrude’s social media agency.
“The Evinrude community has existed long before social media,” he said. “The success of E-Nation is that it brought people together and gave them a place to connect and interact with each other.”