March 18, 2014 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
As you might imagine, we talk to a fair amount of budding businesses here at the BMX News Global Command Center. A few dozen advice requests come in each week, asking things like: “what do you think of our new logo?” “Should we trademark our company name before launching?” and “How much should I expect to pay for a ‘good’ website?” We respond to all of them, and are happy to do it.
More and more lately, when the talk turns to the topic of how to create a website for their brand, small business owners are saying “we’re thinking we’ll ‘just’ use Facebook as our website…you know, at first.” Big mistake, guy.
You know there’s going to be trouble when someone interjects “just” into a sentence like that. Second, someone who would say that needs an Internet intervention–STAT!
At first blush, it’s hard to blame them. Facebook is free, easy to update, and (presumably) has a built-in audience of friends and fans who will gobble-up all the content you can serve up. Or does it?
Many people make one tragic mistake when assessing their Facebook game: they think the number of friends or fans they have on their page equals their audience. Not necessarily true (or at least not as clearly as “I post it, they see it”).
People who are unfamiliar with how Facebook works often think that if they have 5,000 (or 50,000, or 500,000) Facebook page fans, and they post something on their wall, everyone will see it. That is called “organic reach,” and it ends up being far-shorter than the fan number you keep your eye constantly-fixed upon.
In fact, your posts only reach a small percentage of your total fans, and that reach is getting shorter all the time.
The company has been trimming organic reach over the past two years (the percentage of your total fans who see your posts on their News Feed). From greater than 50% in late 2011, to 16% in early 2013, to 12% in October 2013, to as low as 6.15% in February 2014, according to a new study by digital ad agency social@Ogilvy.
Charts by social@Ogilvy, via AdAge.com and Forbes.com, respectively
In an article published on Forbes.com this month, writer Ewan Spence said “the unofficial advice from Facebook sources to community managers noted in the report? Expect (organic reach) to approach zero in the foreseeable future.”
This can be plussed-up a bit as fans share your post, or people comment on it, as Facebook’s algorithm gives a little more juice to posts that receive “engagement.” That said, the sure-fire way to goose your reach is via paid “boosting.” This can get expensive real quick, as you fork over cash to reach fans you worked hard to get in the first place.
Facebook has a market cap of $175 Billion, and has enjoyed an earnings explosion of +566.66% in the past year. You do not get that kind of performance giving stuff away for free. Hence the trimmed-back organic reach, and increased prominence of paid reach– to your own fans, don’t forget.
Accumulating fans is a compelling way to “keep score,” because it’s a number, and it’s right there for your viewing pleasure. When it goes up, we feel good. In fact, some *drugs* are measured by the impact and satisfaction they deliver to the user. Facebook fan collection and watching post “likes” is kind of like that. But don’t be lulled into thinking you are making huge reach into your customers’ consciousness on this basis alone.
If someone is a fan of your page, they already know about your brand. It’s good to keep those people informed, but we need to be striving to attract those new prospects–people who do not know about our brand, or don’t know enough to have made a purchase decision yet.
As a companion to–and not a replacement for– your regular .com web presence, Facebook, and all the social tools will do a fine job driving traffic to your place on the Web. But you must not neglect or, dare I say, abandon the use of your .com web site as the primary place for the most up to the minute info on your brand.
Take a quick look: How current is the content (stories, product listings, photos and videos) on your website?
Here are five reasons you should not rely on Facebook (or any site other than your own) as your primary Web presence:
1). Control. Your website, your rules. Nobody can move your cheese, tweak the algorithm and cause your audience to disappear (of course, there are dozens of ways to screw that up all on your own, but that’s another article). When you do it right, you speak, all will listen, or at least hear, what you have to say.
2). Seach Engine Visibility. Relying too heavily on a third-party site for your content tends to put your brand on a path to obscurity on the search engines. When a customer searches your brand name on Google or other search engine, your .com site should be the first result on the list (and maybe a few other of the first-page results, if you do it right). Learn a little about optimizing your site for certain key words and phrases that customers may enter when trying to find you.
3). Market Credibility. Giving your web presence over to another party (whether Facebook, Wix, Weebly or other service where the user goes to some other domain.com/yourname) is the modern equivilent of listing a PO Box on your business card–it just isn’t professional. It costs as little as $1.99 for a .com domain name (with godaddy coupon), and as little as $12 a year to host it. WordPress is free, and you can get a template for less than $50. If a company does not have at least that much in place, any customer or industry on-looker would be right to question the commitment, if not the smarts, of such a business owner.
4). New Customers. It is a grave mistake to assume that new customers will find you exclusively via your Facebook page. It may happen, but you must not discount the power of the organic Web search. Put your brand’s footprint in many places, but your .com site should always be the “anchor.”
5). Longevity of Content. Social media platforms are, by design, all about the here and now. Content you posted last month, or last year is likely never going to be seen again when posted on Facebook. Posting this content on your own site helps to develop the “legacy” of your brand. What were you doing three years ago? Five years ago? 10 years ago? Each piece of content acts as a lawn sign for the search engines to recognize you, and serve you up to potential customers. It’s a big world out there, and billions of web searches are made every day get in on that! When your content is lost under the “silt layers” of social media, the richness of that legacy content is, essentially, nil.
I could go on, but we are already over-time on the attention span meter.
This isn’t to say that you should take a “protectionist” posture to your content. It boggles our mind when a brand says “we want to put this out on our Facebook page first.” Why would you want to do that? Cozy up to your favorite media outlet (BMX News, as one example :D), and work with them to leverage their audience to get more eyes on your story. Then, yeah, post it up on your Facebook page too. But, this way, you have given the media guy a “win,” and he’ll be stoked to work with you again next time. Just make sure that the ultimate place the user ends up is on your real estate.
The days of free reach on Facebook are over. More to come as it develops–and it is always developing. Just know that, where your Facebook audience is concerned, you are on a stage, blindfolded, and someone is whispering “you are speaking to 5,000 people!” in your ear. Only, there are 250 or so actually in the room to hear you.
March 17, 2014 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
Whether you’re a rider in need of a day job, or a BMX mom/dad who wants to put your career on a new track, a BMX Industry gig could be just the ticket. If you have the gift of gab, and a passion for product, a sales gig could await you at big-time distributor QBP.
Here’s what they told BMX News, in a release:
Quality Bicycle Products (QBP) of Bloomington, MN is hiring a full-time Sales Representative to join our BMX team (QBMX). Love BMX? Love sales and have experience? You might be the right fit, and we want to hear from you! Help connect the best dealers in the country with the best brands in BMX. See the details and apply at the link below.
QBP is a leading distributor to the bicycle and outdoor industries. Committed to advocating for the bike industry and creating safe places to ride, we are a center of bike culture in the Twin Cities. Many of our employees are deeply passionate about cycling and participate in every discipline, from fatbike to freeride (and BMX race/freestyle, of course).
September 20, 2013 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
By Bryce Betts, with Mike Carruth
Day Two of the 2013 Interbike show was another great chance to see what cycling consumers of all disciplines will see on store shelves in the coming year. There was literally too much to write about, but we got some photos of the highlights on the show flow and in the aisles.
In the coming days, we will bring you individual stories on products from Redline, Staats, Ciari, Chase BMX, BOX Components, Promax, Solution and Strength BMX (part of the Answer/SSquared family), Supercross and more.
Here were some of the final day highlights.
There are lots of rumors of companies working on instant engagement hubs going around, but Stealth truly is the “Original Recipe” of the instant engagement hub movement. This year, they were showcasing their all new 20mil rear hub. This hub retails for $385 and is available to ship in an assortment of colors today. To go along with the stealth hub, True Precision is also adding separate 20mill axles to their line, and these axels will fit into any 20mill hub/fork combo.
The new Haro Clutch seemed to be the star of the show this year, stopping just about every other person who walked by it. The frame comes in four sizes ranging from a 20.5″ pro, a 21″ pro xl, a 21.75 pro xxl, and the “Nic” Long which is the 21.75 frame with it’s monstrous back end. On the Clutch frame, you also see a prototype carbon CLiQ fork. This fork has a tapered steer tube, but they are also coming out with a 1 1/8″ straight head tube. DB44 is looking at a January release date for this $285 20mill fork that weighs in at only 1 lb 3 ounces. Also take note of the hubs, if you look closely you may notice the prototype 20mil CLiQ version.
The British bike company Identiti had a bike on display that showcased all of it’s Halo parts. The Halo tire stood out the most to me on this bike. This is a brand new tire so the distributer didn’t have the details on weight or sizes, but the extra foldable tire they had laying around felt extremely light.
Tioga still had their O/S 20″ tire and rim on display. Things seen to be slowly be falling into place with this tire. Pete Dylewski, who was the first person to race the oversized set-up in Louisville, informed us that in 2015 two large companies will include O/S 20 frame bikes in their line up. If the O/S 20 wheel interests you, stop by the Chase Bicycles both in Chula Vista and test ride it for yourself.
On the protection side of things Leatt debuted their new brace at the show. This new brace is low profile, and includes a redesigned back. The back of the brace now has a split design to help take some of the load off of the spine during impact. I know they aren’t the first to do this, but it’s cool to see something new from the first name in neck protection.
Chase/BRG had a few new products to showcase this year at Interbike. The complete bikes we talked about on day one made a strong showing, but Pete wanted to emphasize the new Chase RSP 2.0 frame and LSP crankset from Excess.
The RSP 2.0 features a new headtube, lighter bottom bracket, internal brake cable routing and bold new graphics. Street date: end of October or beginning of November.
Excess is expanding it’s product line with affordable sprockets and cold-forged 2 piece alloy cranks that start at 160mm and go all the way up to 180mm. Those should be ready for the consumer in time for Christmas.
Back to Haro for another hit: CLiQ has a lot of products in the works. On top of the new fork and hub, they also were showcasing Nic Longs signature “Helm” handlebar, and Corben’s signature “Maverick” bar. They didn’t stop with only pro size bars though, CLiQ also was showcasing 5″rise expert bars and 3″ rise junior bars. Derek also introduced a sleek new CLiQ stem to clamp your new CLiQ bars into.
It seemed like everywhere I went I ran into TJ Johnson or Rich Pelton. In the giant Fly/WPS booth, the new Rift frame and various tangent parts were shining in the far corner below the framed picture of Riley Stairs new BMXPLUS! cover. The Rift bike on display looked great and according to TJ they will be ready to hit the market on Halloween. Also showcased on this bike was Tangent’s new flat pedal, and their stylish new pivotal seat.
Keep your eyes on BMX News each day for individual “quick hit” stories on more of the products and people we encountered at the show.
If you just can’t wait, check out the photo galleries from our two days of walking the show.
September 20, 2013 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
Scrolling through instagram yesterday we noticed that the self promotion king of Florida, Tyler Faoro had a new bike on display during an autograph session for Maxxis tires. A light blue “Dkoi” frame, which showcased his signature Optimum Nutrition and Dans Comp co-spos. We asked Ferocious if he is going to suit up in a full “Dkoi” kit or stay in his “Profile” kit. He quickly answered that he will still be riding for Profile, but his uniform will also display the Dkoi logo.
Here’s what else he said:
I am super-pumped to be partnered up with Dkoi Bike frames, awesome USA made frames that are priced at a very affordable price. Super stiff aluminum and all the perfect geometry for BMX racing. Check out Dkoibikes.com to see more on their race frames and specs. A perfect combination to go along with my other amazing sponsors: Profile Racing, Optimum Nutrition, ABB Performance, Maxxis Tires, and Dans Comp!
Tyler has had a rough year this year, with an injury during the off season, and another injury just a few months ago. He has still been working hard in the gym, and has recently been cleared to ride again. If Tyler’s injuries came as a surprise to you, that’s likely due to how great he is with getting his name out there through giveaways and clinics.
Tyler is definitely off the sheets for Chula Vista, and is still on the fence about racing Fresno, but either way he will be working hard on his new Dkoi frameset to make a strong debut performance at Disney.
We don’t know a whole lot about Dkoi as a company, but having Tyler tooling around the country will likely change that pretty soon.
September 10, 2013 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
Earlier this year, we brought you the first in a series of Factory Tours, showing how the bikes you ride go from raw materials to the shelves of your favorite dealer or mail order emporium.
Today, we’re happy to bring you the another installment in the series, as we visit Yess BMX in Surrey, British Columbia.
BMX News contributing photographer Lee Cejalvo was snapping the photos on this one, and I think you’ll agree, did a great job. Thanks also to Bill and Renny Husada for opening up their shop to us, and helping us understand what the photos said.
Top: Father and Son, Bill and Renny Husada rolling a finished-welded rack of Yess BMX frames to the next step. Yess has been in their location for nearly 20 years.\
Very cool to see all the TLC that goes in to making a great product. Thanks again to Bill and Renny Husada and Lee Cejalvo for making this article possible.
July 18, 2013 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
Last week, the bicycle industry lost one of it’s giants. A life-long devotee of the industry, and everything to do with bicycles. How fitting, therefore, that Howie Cohen’s company was called “Everything Bicycles.”
As I said above, he was one of the “giants.” I mean that in every sense of the word. He was a bigger-than-life kind of guy. You often hear people talk about the guy who would be the center of the room, wherever he was–a person whose presence would shift the gravity in the room. That was Howie. You knew where he was based on the crowd of people shaking hands, saying hello, and remembering every last detail about the last time he saw an acquaintance from the Far East. He had a booming voice, a booming laugh, and was a salesman in the most complimentary way that term could be applied.
He was an amazing mentor to the young people that entered his world; riders, warehouse workers, sales guys, and hot-shot BMX magazine types, myself included. We all thought we had a pretty good handle on what we were doing. That is, until he told us frankly, but from a position of empathy and mentorship, how far short we were in where we needed to be. That made us better at what we did, and want to rise to the next challenge.
He made a huge difference in the trajectory of BMX as an industry. Startup companies back-then needed distributor representation in order to jump from the one-guy-with-a-welding-kit stage, to being a legit company. Everything Bicycles was that connection. Howie bought two-page spreads in Bicycle Motocross Action magazine–something that did not make sense to many onlookers. The kids reading the magazine, after all, were not his customers–the dealers were. Of course, 30 years later, it makes all the sense in the world. Those ads created demand, linked his company with the hot brands of the day, and gave dealers leafing through the magazine a quick, at-a-glance look at what they should be ordering, and from whom.
Howie was responsible for bringing Kuwahara to the United States, and soon after, for the famous special edition “E.T.” bike, ridden by the main character in the 1980s film. This was recently documented very well by New York-based journalist Emon Hassan entitled “The BMX Boys of E.T.” It’s an awesome piece, and includes audio interviews with Howie (link below).
His rich experience in the bicycle industry did not start, or stop, with BMX. He was around the bike industry since he was seven years old, and was armpit deep in it–at least until last week.
Howie passed away on July 11 in Colorado, with family and long-time friends by his side. It took me this long to write this because, frankly, it was very tough to write it. We all know we will face the loss of friends and family at some point, but putting that loss into words and posting it on the Internet is very tough, almost feels inappropriate in a sense. I somehow feel these feelings should be private but, at the same time, I wished more people of the modern BMX era knew him. That was the deciding factor.
And while it had been more than 20 years since I had last seen Howie, I mourn the fact that we, as an industry and a planet will be without someone so genuine and generous.
The image at top is a scan from his 1982 Holiday Card. E.T. was released June 11 of that year.
February 3, 2013 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
Since popping up on Vintage back in November, we have been following the progress of Cruisen’ Chris Hoffman, and the revival of his CCH product line. The line, which will include US-made components, as well as frames, took a giant step toward the market this week, with the arrival of the first production samples of their stem and seat post clamp.
The 53mm XL stem is a top-load design that has a CNC-machines middle to drop weight, and increase the cool factor. The clean lines on the clamp are also pretty sweet, with “keyholes” machined into the sides for the aforementioned reasons.
CCH is a “one who has returned” company, originally started in 1997. It’s awesome seeing old friends coming back to the loving arms of the BMX Racing scene.
Here’s a little ditty Chris wrote up, that he sent over to News first.
Cruisen’ Chris here at CCH Bikes. The FedEx man brought us a super cool goody box today friends! PRODUCTION SAMPLES of the NEW CCH racing stems and seat clamps!
These stems are extruded from aircraft aluminum, then FULLY CNC machined for maximum strength to weight ratio. And of course to look Radabonzical!
Anodized matte finish, Black, Red, Gold and Holy Moly Look at that Gun Metal Grey! Laser etched logo on top and bottom for style. First production run will be pro size (53mm) XL’s coming soon! These Masterful BMX treasures weigh in at a mere 10 oz and retail for $69..
Next up in our goody bag is our super cool seat clamps. Forged aluminum sweetness, anodized matte finish to match the stems, Laser engraved CCH logo so you can show the posers what up! Should retail around $12
First production run should arrive end of March and be available at better shops near you and of course on CCHBicyles.com Check us out Facebook for more updates!
We are in agreement on the gun metal–lookin TIGHT!
Chris has a solid reputation for quality and an eye for details-in-workmanship; we’re anxious to see the final production parts on one of our test bikes soon. We’ll keep you posted.
February 1, 2013 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
Unless you’re training like Willers, Maris and Sam, one way to turn your BMX racing career into some consistent greenbacks is to turn your BMX experience into a career in the BMX industry. Start with something entry level, and work your way into something with more oomph. A lot of us started started that way: truing wheels at GT, stickering up plates for Bob Haro, or selling plates and jerseys for Owen Scheppman at Zeronine.
News just got an email from J&R with a few such jobs they are trying to fill at their HQ in Largo, FL (a pull-manual away from Oldsmar, and four other awesome tracks). Here’s what they have going on:
J&R BMX Superstore has immediate openings in our Sales, Service and Race Event Vending Departments. Applicants to all positions shall posess a thorough knowledge of BMX Racing or Freestyle equipment and should be active in the local BMX riding community.
Applicants for the Race Event Vending position are required to be at least 25 years old with a clean driving record.
Applicants to the Service Department positions shall posess excellent bicycle mechanic skills with previous experience as a professional bicycle mechanic.
These positions are hourly paid full time positions with benefits. Starting wage is dependent upon your experience.
J&R features the largest “BMX only” showroom and is located in sunny Largo, Florida. With it’s active cycling community including five BMX race tracks, Skate Park of Tampa (SPoT) and it’s white sandy beaches, the Tampa Bay area is a great place to be!
If you’re into it, gussy-up your resume (or create one, if you don’t have one already), write a well-worded cover letter, and send to Doug Stuart over there (firstname.lastname@example.org). Pro Tip: your “work” resume will differ from your riding resume. We have included links below to a couple “writing your first resume” articles.
December 17, 2012 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
A couple week before the Grands, Bryan Dickerson from Star BMX Products started telling us about a project he was working on. One of the local riders from his home track (Walworth BMX in Elkhorn, WI) was having some hard times, and he was bringing together a posse of BMX brands to brighten the holidays, and put this little guy on a new bike for the new 2013 season.
Luke Barton from “JakeTown” (aka Rockford, IL) is an 8-I who LOVES racing. He is currently sitting District 23 in IL-01, and that shows a solid dedication to the sport. Luke is also afflicted with Asperger’s Syndrome (a form of Autism). Asperger’s tends to make regular activities that the rest of us would find routine, more challenging–meaning Luke’s resolve to improve at racing often has to be twice-that of other kids in his class.
In addition to starting up Star BMX Products this year with his wife, Tiffany, Bryan is also a way-in-the-mix racer, Finishing the 2012 season as NAG 5 in 46-50 Cruiser. Watching Luke on the track, it was pretty clear to Bryan that he needed a new bike. The Barton family was not in a position to do anything about that need in the foreseeable future, so Bryan decided to spring into action, hitting the speed dial with some BMX Industry pals to make it happen.
The outpouring of support was amazing. Renny Husada of Yess BMX came in with a frame (with help from AllTow Wrecking Crew honcho, Renato Pistolesi), Gus Lanzilotta at Profile Racing pitched in cranks and hubs, Ray Hudson and Fly Racing sweetened the pot with a full racing kit and, of course, Star BMX Products came in with one of their “four-star” chainrings, a “nebula” stem and some “Hook” chain tensioners. The executive team at API Healthcare Corporation stepped up with some “finishing” funds to purchase parts that were not donated.
Luke got a big surprise on December 15th, at Walworth’s regularly-scheduled local race. Bryan called him over to the starting hill, and presented the bike, with the whole place on their feet, cheering.
BMX News was not in the house that day but, from all reports, Luke was stoked beyond belief. The look on his face was worth a thousand first-place trophies, which came through, even in the photos.
Bryan said it best in a brief email exchange with us after the big-reveal:
“The BMX community is the best group of people on the planet. A true family.”
Above photos by, and courtesy of, Sam Gillis
Please take a moment to visit the websites of the companies involved in this BMXmas wish-come-true.
November 3, 2011 by BMXNEWS.COM Editors · Comments Off
Pretty much from the moment we learned Toby Henderson would be starting a brand new company (as we were midway to the ABA Land O Lakes Nationals), we were on Toby’s call sheet for an interview. I was pretty much prepared to pull over and do the interview on my laptop at a truckstop, if I had to…it was big news that took the industry, more or less, by surprise.
Well, the truckstop wasn’t necessary, and it ended up being about three months, but today we got the interview. Toby, on the record, speaking candidly and openly about his plans for a new line of “Lamborghini-quality” BMX Racing components, and some later forays into “big wheel” stuff (MTB, Road, CX, etc). He even drop the name of the new brand here publicly, for the first time.
Toby’s trademark timing was helped along today by some news that broke on the Dale Holmes Podcast yesterday. TonyD dropped the big bomba that Marc Willers would be wearing Toby’s jersey in 2012 (012, 013 and 014, as it turns out).
In a 20-minute interview, Toby talks about the vision for his product line, the over-arching goal of bringing a higher degree of sizzle to BMX Racing, and what he sees 2012, with all its changes and big events, netting out to look like.
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