Social Media the Hammer Way
BY BRIAN FRANK
Fourteen years ago, in July of 2008, when the Hammer Nutrition Facebook account was created, it was a new-fangled thing for businesses that was more of a novelty than a necessity. Before the pay wall went up, our clients and staff were having a great time interacting together in an organic community. Fast forward to today, and you’d be hard pressed to find a company with no social media presence, and most are throwing increasing amounts of their marketing budget at it, trying maximize ROI. Not Hammer! We devote a lot of human resources to SM, but that’s it.
Like event sponsorship, customer service and every other aspect of the business, at Hammer we do it differently. We are a 35 year old, innovation driven, customer facing, service oriented brand. We view social media as another way for clients to reach us and vise versa. Social Media is a big part of Hammer, but we have zero ad spend/budget, don’t care about ROI and aren’t interested in trying to get everyone to like us, or buy something – unless you want to! This is the crux of our philosophy – We still view social media like we did in 2008, as a way to connect with our clients and offer a platform on which to share their stories of success, redemption, injury, recovery and so much more!
The early days
When Vince Arnone, our then 18 year old junior web/IT expert, created the Hammer Facebook page, there was no monetization and no algorithms to put walls up between clients and businesses. In fact, the original corporate pages were more like electronic bulletin boards and anyone could put up a post. The most amazing thing was happening, totally organically – this new community was completely unmoderated, and perpetuated exclusively by clients. Long-time clients were answering questions for new and prospective clients, talking about usage experience and practices, sharing race stories and more! Within a few months, we reached 10K likes, which was some kind of huge milestone back then and everyone was having fun.
Then, as they always do, things started to change and it became about money, a lot of money. First it was the “get rich with social media” craze, with the attendant ebooks, seminars and home study courses. All promising to show you the key to easy money. After that short lived phase, the social media companies decided to “monetize” their products and created algorithms to put a wall between companies and their clients, unless you paid them a fee. Today, billions of dollars per year are paid to social media companies for advertising and the offerings are substantial.
The first monetizing was just selling ads to companies and then placing them on the sides of your page/feed that were just based general demographics from your profile – like buying ads in magazines that cater to your market. Think back to those days, you never saw a Hammer ad on your feed and still don’t today! I believe that you know how to find us and if you want to engage with us on these platforms, awesome! If not, totally fine and well – we still answer phones, emails and live chat!
“Social Media is social – Not sales”
Next came “retargeting” – a fancy word for presenting you, repeatedly, with ads for companies/brands that you had some interaction – visited their web site or a competitor, etc., until you relent and make a purchase. Then came “listening” – not even sure what it’s called or how a company goes about buying it, but everyone knows what it is. All you have to do is talk about a product, service or anything else near your phone or smart device and within minutes, you are being presented ads from companies selling the exact thing you were talking about!
We’ve never done any of this and have no plans to start in the future – social media is social, not sales. My singular goal for our social media presence is to engage with all who want to and honor them and the amazing things they do, while using our products and protocols! Smiling, happy people fueling right and feeling great and sharing that with the world. If you want to be a part of the Hammer family and community via any social media platform, we are glad to have you on board and look forward to hearing from you often!