How to Leverage a Community of Passionate Fans

Jake Jacobson

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Jake Jacobson

Jake Jacobson, Garmin @jakesjournal

Jake Jacobson, Social Media Manager at Garmin, joins the Social Pros Podcast this week to reveal Garmin’s Youtility-esque goals when it comes to social media and customer service, plus how Garmin has been able to educate its wide and dedicated fan base through specialized content.

Read on for some of the highlights and tweetable moments, or listen to the full podcast.

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Tweetable Moments

“I can’t be a nice guy in a video, then be a jerk at a marathon.” – @jakesjournal on #socialpros (tweet this)

“Our goal is to educate and assist our customers.” – @jakesjournal on #socialpros (tweet this)

“Our @brandsocialites checked their egos at the door. Everyone just came to talk.” #socialpros #sxsw (tweet this)

“There is no secret sauce with social. Everyone is just figuring it out as they go.” #socialpros (tweet this)

The Importance of Education Before Promotion

Garmin WatchesMany casual users of Garmin may only know them as a GPS company, but the truth is that Garmin has been around much longer than the portable GPS has been available, working on equipment for aviation, marine, outdoor recreation, and fitness industries. Jake explains that the outdoor recreation department is huge for Gamin, and Jeff speculates that the people who are a part of the outdoor recreation community are extremely serious about their hobby, which makes them very special customers for Garmin. Jake agrees, explaining that each and every market the brand is in seems to be defined by very passionate users.

Garmin mostly uses one handle for all of its social channels, which helps its fans learn about products in other industries that they may want to learn about or take advantage of. While Jake is the sole social media manager for Garmin, he has been able to enlist the help of teammates in PR and colleagues in support and sales to answer questions and offer advice in the industries that Jake is not as familiar with. This has helped the Garmin brand become an educational powerhouse across communities and industries.

Finally, Jake talks about the success of Garmin’s “how to” videos, which have inadvertently helped him gain celebrity status among Garmin’s users. He also mentions the Brand Socialites program, which is dedicated to bringing together social media managers at large brands across the globe to discuss questions, ideas, and best practices in a comfortable and secure environment.


Grumpy CatThis week’s #HolySocial! is brought to you by Grumpy Cat, the miserable feline who took the spotlight at SXSW Interactive this year. Zena discusses the omnipresence of #grumpycat around Austin, including the 2-hour line that attendees put up with just to take a photo with Grumpy Cat and the 3-story building that had a video projection of Grumpy Cat throughout the weekend.

With Mashable as her sponsor during SXSWi, there was a mindblowing amount of recognition for Grumpy Cat. She was mentioned on Twitter every 27 seconds during SXSWi. Grumpy Cat kept her cool, of course, and reminded us that social is evolving more and more into in-person and community-related events.

Social Media Stat of the Week

Jeff’s Social Media Stat of the Week is not your traditional Facebook or Pinterest announcement. Instead, this week’s statistic comes from an eMarketer report about the total advertising spend in the U.S. in 2012 for television, digital, mobile, print, magazines, and outdoor. The report shows that $6.7 billion was spend on outdoor, or out of home (OOH), advertising, while only $4.1 billion was spent on mobile advertising.

eMarketer Stat of the Week

Although mobile is predicted to surpass OOH in the next few years, Jeff argues that OOH and mobile are two sides of the same coin. Marketers must integrate their outdoor advertising campaigns with a call to action that encourages viewers to claim an offer, visit a website, or enter a contest using their mobile device. The companies that have seen the biggest return, Jeff argues, are the ones that do a great job of integrating these two types of advertising.

Social Pros Shoutout

Jake returns to the show with his two Social Pros Shoutouts, the first being Shane Adams of AMC Theaters. Jake praises Shane’s Twitter stream, claiming that you’re either going to learn or laugh if you follow him. He always posts helpful links, but is also quick to start some snarky conversation, including the famous exchange with @Oreo that happened several months ago. The hilarious tweet proved to followers that brand accounts can have fun, too.

Not Cool, Cookie

Jake’s second shoutout goes to Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star, who is a perfect example of someone doing a great job of using social for their brand without actually being a social media manager.

Next week on Social Pros, we’ll be chatting with Alix Hart from Best Buy.

See you next week!

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