Gander Mountain seems to be Twitter Challenged…

Those who know me, know that besides my being an Artist and am very good at Marketing/Advertising and my use of what is now called Social Media, that I am an avid Outdoorsmen, enjoying hunting, fishing, hiking and camping… I also often shop at Gander Mountain in Johnson City, NY for my outdoors needs since they opened their store there…  I have bought camping equipment, tent, sleeping bag, cooking supplies, fishing gear and hunting equipment there, many hiking boots, hunting cloths and hunting equipment & supplies such as my .50 caliber inline muzzle loader…  I even called them recently as I had need of supplies for this coming hunting season and they where very helpful!!!

Hunting photo of me while hunting whitetail deer in Central New York State with my CVA .50 Caliber Muzzleloader CVA Magna that I bought at Gander Mountain…

That being said, after I called Gander Mountain the other day, I looked them up on Twitter, then on Facebook…  I found it very interesting; I have more Twitter followers then one of my favorite outdoors shops- @GanderMtn… So I started to look into it from a Marketer & Advertising viewpoint, since that is part of my studio services…

As an artist who has designed many websites in the past locally in my small town without a stoplight with business sites increasing their sales of up to 1200+% and a hunting lodge that received two calls before I had the opportunity to drive the 5 miles to show him the hunting lodge area updates to his site, and also the marketing behind a Major University Cartoon logo that was originally just a game logo- I do know my way around the internet & marketing…

So I used some basic tools online to look a bit deeper into their online presents…  Their Website: www.gandermountain.com received 1,088,251 Unique Visitors out of 1,656,435 Total Visits during the month of September 2010…  These stats I gained through using Compete.com website…

Using WhenDidYouJoinTwitter.com I was able to find out when they joined Twitter…  They joined Twitter on January 22, 2009 and now have 1,869 people they follow and 3,724 who follow them on Twitter and with only 254 tweets since their starting the account…

I joined twitter on December 8, 2008, and now (as I am writing this) have 5,388 people I follow, 4,900+ people who follow me and have tweeted 24,383 times…  Not bad for an artist in a town without a stoplight that will soon be re-opening my studio & services next month…

Of the 165 million users of Twitter, there should be more followers that go to Gander Mountain and use Twitter then are following them… With so many visitors to their website each month, visit their stores and even their Facebook Fan page, I believe they should have far more people following them on Twitter and should be posting far more often then they do…  Though I am not going to give here all of my recommendations on how to use Social Media in Marketing…

They do have a great Facebook Fan page with 77,812 people who “like” their Fan page…  Though I haven’t looked much into their Facebook use as I think this is not too bad with their following or “Like” of their fan page, but could use some improvement seeing how Facebook has over 500 million users… I also haven’t noticed any sidebar advertising in Facebook from Gander Mountain…  Which I should have with knowing they set up reverse searches based on the subjects and fan pages people follow…

Whom ever is handling Gander Mountain’s Twitter account and Social seem to me to be a bit “Social Media Challenged”… Seems to me their missing a HUGE opportunity in their using Social Media in marketing for Gander Mountain…  Though I will not say here how to improve their Twitter or Social Media followers…

I’m posting this, with hopes others in Twitter and FaceBook will also Re-tweet it and ask the Gander Mountain Advertising Department if they might be interested in hiring me to help with their Twitter account and with their Social Media online presence…

So with this in mind, I offer to Gander Mountain Advertising Department my personal Cell Number to give me a call- (607) 229-5600…

Please be advised this next two months I might be working on re-opening my studio or will be out in the Great Outdoors!!! It is Small Game & Turkey Hunting Season here in Central NY State and Deer Season right around the corner… So I might have my cell phone on vibrate only and might be whispering so as not to scare the game away…

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7 Responses

  1. Great internet detective work Charles! I hope you can help out your favorite outdoors man store. Enjoy the NY Woods!

    • Thanks Melody,
      I am interested if they give me a call… I think many businesses set up their Facebook and Twitter accounts without understanding the key word of Social Media- Being “Social”… Also believe there are a lot of people teaching it or saying they are SM Experts that are just grasping onto the Buzzword of it…

      Had to laugh some at your “Man Store” reference… They have great hiking gear and cloths also;)

  2. It’s really an interesting article about Social Media challenges, Thanks for sharing your experience. btw, have you received the call from them?

    • Thank you for taking the time to read my article and leaving a comment…

      I try not to put people down by name so won’t use the person’s name or twitter account name… I feel this is kind of a prime example of how NOT TO USE Social Media and an Unprofessional use of it…

      To answer your question, I received No call from Gander Mountain… I think it never truly was read by anyone who truly works at Gander Mountain… I did however get a response from the Manager of what I believe is the company who handles Gander Mountain’s online presents… I received a Twitter response saying; “Thanks for your thoughts.”… That was all the response I received and felt this highly unprofessional…

      This was from a website design service manager that is hired by Gander Mountain, I believe… He used his personal Twitter account to respond instead of the Gander Mountain account and in looking at his Tweets, he talks football and spends a lot of time drinking… An Example of his tweets include: “mayor of Dolce Vita Wine & Beer on @foursquare! This I think is highly unprofessional and I feel also paints a bad view to Gander Mountain, as the business name is in his twitter bio… One should never tweet things like: “Was going to call you an alcoholic”, or complain about a beer brew store not being open- gives a bad and unprofessional impression…

      As one of my friends whom is highly respected in Social Media Marketing, (whom I will not mention his name at this point as I haven’t called him to ask if I could quote him) has said in past Social Media interviews at BlogWorld and other major events- “If your going to use Social Media for branding and marketing, then have people that live and breath your brand handle it, not just a college intern or subcontract it to a firm that thinks they understand Social Media… What is the cost to a company who has a college intern make a statement of getting drunk or a night of drinking- how much does that cost a company’s reputation? Hire people who live and breath your brand and have experience with the products and services you offer”… He has a great point in this and this is a great example of what not to do in Social Media…

      If I where to be handling Gander Mountains Social media, I would be talking about Hunting, Fishing and Camping with people who follow the account, not just highlighting daily deals- creating relationships with those who follow Gander Mountain… I would also be using some of the applications to do searches for those interested in the products they offer in Hiking, Hunting, Fishing, Camping and their sports wear… Like I mentioned in the article, I would be embarrassed to have so few followers given they are such a large major brand name and receive over a million hits on their website a month… Their numbers in Facebook are all right, but again, I feel this company is handling their Social Media very unprofessionally, given their being such a large brand name in sporting goods… If you look at Gander Mountain’s twitter account- @GanderMTN, they are tweeting only 1-2 times a day and only highlighting the Deal of the day… No interaction with any of the 4000+ followers they now have an increase of 335 people in the highest time period of the hunting season and beginning of the holiday shopping season)… I have increased over 200+ people and have been off line a lot while working on my office renovations and out hunting this past month…

      The keyword to Social Media is within the name- being “SOCIAL” and building relationships, which the company who handles their social media seems not to fully understand… The amount of Tweets he does for them is what I would say is some of the laziest use of Social Media I have come across by such a major company… I would highly recommend to any who do Social Media for marketing and branding follow and buy the books of people like: Scott Stratten (@unmarketing) and Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan) and Mari Smith (@MariSmith) with whom are some of the top Social Media Marketers online who all speak and write about building RELATIONSHIPS when using Social Media…

      When I start teaching Social Media for Business to business owners and website designers this coming spring, I will be using this as a prime example of EXTREME pour use of Social Media for branding and marketing… I contemplating sharing this with some of my university professor friends whom I believe also would use this as a great example to their students of the miss use of Social Media and pore Web Design…

      ~Charles

      PS: I will highlight when I do receive a call or an email from Gander Mountain, as I think I might need to forward this to someone who really works for Gander Mountain’s board of executives… That or I might have to think to shopping at Bass Pro, adding another 75 miles to my travel for quality marketing and better use of Social Media…

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