Spyker at 1000km of Spa – enthusiast goodness

I just wanted to take a little time and congratulate the Spyker Squadron team – not on their race result (I’ve done that already) – but on the way they kept people informed as to what was going on.
I imagine the Spyker enthusiast community, like the brand itself, is reasonably small at this stage. That didn’t stop them from giving everyone the chance to stay up to date as easily as possible.
I’ll get to how in a minute, but the lesson to be learned is this: Size doesn’t matter. With good preparation and just a little time and commitment, any organisation can bring some action and closeness to their customer/fan base.
How Spyker Squadron did it:
Website – the Spyker Squadron website carries all the detail. It has the full releases, which are posted in a timely manner when there’s an event on. These releases provide the meat in the meal and of course, the website also has all the technical and historical information for people to access at the same time.
Facebook – everyone’s on it, including the Spyker Squadron. I don’t tend to use Facebook much as I find it’s got too many tangents. But it’s easy to cross-post stuff from one place to the other and keep everyone who uses it up to date.
Video – The thing that really, really impressed me was their prompt use of quality video – right from the heat of the action. They had a HD camera there and they recorded laps, interviews with the drivers about their laps, the car setup, etc. Best of all, they got the videos online in a timely manner. The qualifying video was up before the race started, so as an observer, you felt like to you were right there watching the action before the next chapter in the story was told.
The other great thing about video is that in comparison to written content, there’s less of it around. Written content attracts all sorts of spambots that copy it paste it in an attempt to attract search traffic. It won’t kill the original author’s ranking or authority stone dead, but it does muddy the waters. When people look for things, it’s easier to rank high in searches when you’ve got quality video.
Twitter – this was the other magic element of Spyker Squadron’s coverage that kept people up to date. Like many Twitter users, I’ve got a Twitter client embedded in my web browser so it’s no trouble at all to stay right up to date with what’s going on. Again, they had someone posting updates as the race progressed. At 140 characters per Tweet, it’s piecemeal stuff, but it gets the message across and keeps the people up to date. They can forward the Tweets along to others, as well, meaning that the reach of your message is virtually without limit.
Bottom line: this was an exercise in things done well. Short of having a live camera in the pit lane or something similar, this was an efficient and useful way for Spyker Squadron to involve their fans in the unfolding story that was the 1000km of Spa.
Put it this way – I was interested but I wasn’t what you’d call a huge fan of Spyker Squadron or the LMS series before last weekend. Now, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be checking in at LeMans, the next race on their calendar.
If you’ve got a story to tell and a fan base that you want to engage, then there’s no real barriers any more to telling it in an engaging way and in real time.
The tools are all there. They’re not expensive. In fact, the biggest expense is the person you get to be the narrator. The rest of it can be as automatic as you want it to be.
So kudos to Spyker Squadron on a job well done – on the racetrack and on the information superhighway as well.

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