Brad Besancon talks to Mike Ring of the Ringbrothers at SEMA 2017 about how Facebook marketing expanded their custom car business to an international market. If these Baby Boomer hot rod builders use social media, don’t you think it’s about time you started?
Mike Ring: It is, yes. It’s the end of 2017, same line, it’s been all cars.
Brad: So yesterday, we were in a Hot Rod Association panel with you and listened to you, and you indicated how important social has become to your business in kind of bringing on the passion of the next generation. Tell me a little bit about when you guys realized that social should be a part of kind of your overall business model.
Mike: Well, I got to tell you, we were pretty late in the game. I mean social has been around – we didn’t pick up on it until probably five years ago, how important it was and I’ll tell you, it was truly important. I mean, it got us to be able to reach out and find people and have people find us that we’d never have the opportunity to get. That includes all over the world. I mean, we’ve got customers from London, England. We’ve got a customer from Russia. You can’t get that without social media.
Brad: Right, and it just helps you spread your message and what you’re doing, and your passion for cars because you guys are very unique in what you do. You guys talked about that yesterday, about how it’s your kind of model and what you do, so you realized that, and then what did you start doing? Did you just jump in there full-fledged or did you like, “Hey, what do we do with this stuff?”
Mike: It was honestly way over our head. We had to hire a company to do it. Our sales went up, everything about it was good. Today, I don’t know how you could be without it.
Brad: Yes, and so let’s talk about that. So here we are, it’s not a typical business. We heard that also in the seminar, “I don’t use social, I don’t use social,” and then here’s The Ringbrothers using socials. How has it influenced business from a standpoint – because you guys do a lot – you don’t just build cars. You do parts and some other things.
Mike: We also do collision work.
Brad: So how has that affected your overall business?
Mike: It’s tremendously, like I said, you could get customers that you could never get without it and it also allows people, to really show them what you’re doing. The followers we have right now, I mean, I don’t even know the exact numbers, a couple hundred thousand Facebook, which that’s a couple hundred thousand people. That’s a lot of audience for just kind of starting out into this.
Brad: Yes, and you never know which one is going to pick up the phone and call you and say, “Hey, man, I really liked what you did. Can you do that for me?” So let’s talk about what you are doing. How do you use, let’s say Facebook or social media now in kind of keeping that connection with your customers and your fan base?
Mike: I think just showing everybody what we’re doing from start to finish is a big part of that. It’s one thing to show somebody a final product but it gets them engaged when you’re showing them little pieces here and making them wait for the final, the final ending.
Brad: It makes them a part of it, right?
Mike: It does, it brings them around, makes them part of the build, part of the process, and I think it’s exciting.
Brad: Yes, I think it is too, and they are killing it on social so if you guys are into cars and like custom builds, get over here and watch these guys. They are doing a great job. Hey, thanks for your time.
Mike: You’re welcome.
Brad: I really appreciate it.
Mike: Thank you so much.
Brad: Congratulations on everything.
Mike: I appreciate that.