How Cervélo Cycles Uses Social Media to Get the Word Out
Cervélo Cycles was established in 1995 with 2 engineers. Their passion is to create bicycles that are aerodynamically designed for speed and winning races—and they deliver. They were the youngest and smallest bike company to ever sponsor a top-level cycling team. In the 2005 Tour de France, David Zabriske rode the fastest time trial in the race’s history on a Cervélo P3C. Carlos Sastre won the 2008 Tour de France on a Cervélo. Cervélo bikes were ridden by more than 40 athletes in the Beijing Olympics, resulting in three gold, five silver, and two bronze medals (Scott, 2011). Cervélo designs some of the fastest bikes in the world. Their bikes cost anywhere from $3,000 to more than $5,000. They are a small company with a niche clientele of elite athletes and serious amateurs, yet their bicycles are sold all over the world.
Cervélo cofounder, Gerard Vroomen, will tell you that, although he initially wrote all of the content for the Cervélo website, he is an engineer and not a marketer. There are no marketing people at Cervélo. But Vroomen is wrong. He is the ideal social media marketer. His online content is comprised of compelling stories, product education, engaging conversations, and entertainment (Scott, 2011). The content is valuable and authentic. It appeals to people that are ready to make a purchase and to those that are just browsing. You can find Cervélo on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and iTunes Vodcasts. You can subscribe to their newsletter or contribute to their online forum. Vroomen says, “We take as gospel that people have to see the product five different ways [for us] to really get the credibility” (Scott, 2013). Cervélo makes a great product, but you don’t have to take Vroomen’s word for it. You can listen to audio interviews and videos with the Cervélo TestTeam and professional athletes that ride Cervélo bikes.
If you are reading about the variety of social media channels that Cervélo utilizes and getting overwhelmed, that’s understandable. Success in social media does not happen overnight. Reputation, reach, and influence in social media must be earned and developed similar to how friendships must be earned and developed (Blanchard, 2011). On the other hand, one of the great things about social media is that businesses can start out small and grow their social media presence over time with very little cost. In the beginning, Vroomen wrote all of the content for the Cervélo site himself and the design work was done by a moonlighting chiropractor (Scott, 2013). As the company grew, so did their web presence and their social media reach.
Blanchard, O. (2011). Social Media ROI: Managing and Measuring Social Media Efforts in Your Organization. Que Pub.