Gear Patrol Social Marketer: Listening to Passionate Enthusiasts

Kyle Snarr / April 6, 2017

Flipboard is designed to let you dive deep into quality content around your interests and passions. And Gear Patrol is actively creating and curating amazing passion-fueled content on Flipboard. We sat down with Gear Patrol’s social media coordinator and curator extraordinaire, Caitlyn Girardi, to learn about their ongoing success on Flipboard. Every social marketer can learn from her tips for growing an audience and tricks for curating compelling content on Flipboard.

Can you tell us a little about Gear Patrol? How’d you get started there?

Gear Patrol is a NYC-based publication (digital and print) focusing on the best products and product culture for men. I stumbled upon it while searching for beard oil recipes (for my fiancé, of course), then fell in love with its excellent design and adventure content. I knew right away that I wanted to work there. I interned for a summer, then contributed style articles remotely while finishing my degree. Now I’m back NYC working on the social media team.

What do you love about working at Gear Patrol?

There’s a lot to love about working here. We have a fantastic team and excellent leadership. On a personal level, the fast-paced environment of digital media suits my blessing/curse of being both annoyingly work-obsessed and easily bored. One day I’m driving around with our Automotive Editor (well, he doesn’t let me drive) in a Lamborghini Huracan filming a Facebook Live video; the next, I’m staring at three windows of HTML trying to fix our email newsletter.

I also love our readers, and the privilege of being on a team that serves as the bridge between them and the editorial team. Seeing readers’ reactions to our content firsthand (and during videos, in real-time) keeps us on our toes, and has even led our team to begin crafting its own content. Specifically, the car guys who follow us are hilarious and consistently make my day with their comments.

What brands or publishers are doing it right out there?

That’s a big question. I’ll be biased for a moment and say that our transparency at Gear Patrol is impressive; anything sponsored, we’re going to label as sponsored. It’s something I’m very proud of. Externally, I appreciate publishers who have taken new mediums and really excelled with them, while still staying faithful to those platforms; the New York Times on Instagram Stories, Hodinkee on Facebook Live, Travel + Leisure on Snapchat. On Flipboard, I think Business Insider is doing great things. They maintain a professional, deep voice that’s consistent with their brand, but they have fun, too. They have fun naming their magazines; my favorites are “Clusterstock” and “The Life.”

Besides being a publisher within Flipboard, Gear Patrol’s also an amazing curator on Flipboard. What do you enjoy about curating Flipboard?

Besides the amazing design and intuitive interface, I dig the fact that Flipboard allows users to make content their own. While we have a variety of magazines with varying degrees of specificity on our feed, people constantly take our content and put their own editorial spin on it. I’ll flip something into our “Cutting Edge Products” magazine, for example, and a reader will add it to their “The Good Life” magazine. I also recently discovered a magazine called “We Play Dirty,” which is a Land Rover enthusiast community on Flipboard where our recent content has found a home.

What are some of your tips and tricks for growing and giving your fans what they crave? What’s the trick to curating compelling online content on Flipboard?

Honestly, just listening to passionate enthusiasts. It can be tempting to think that listening to them is just looking at clicks, but clicks don’t mean anyone liked your content. We dig beyond the click. On Flipboard, the easiest way to measure success is in reflips or site visits, which you can use to strategize what you post in the future. For example, we recently noticed that our audience tends to share and read stories about vintage cars over modern cars, so we’re giving them ways to do that. (Check out our new “Vintage Cars and Trucks” magazine!)

What’s been your most successful magazine and/or story so far?

You’d think it would be car-related, but it’s actually “Holiday Gift Guides.” We made that magazine as an experiment in December, and a day or two later, saw that we’d gained something like 70,000 followers overnight. Beyond being a success in the numbers, that experiment was also a success of vision—helping people buy gifts for loved ones is a perfect application of our editorial mission.

We’ve found a great sense of community on Flipboard, specifically within the gifting, classic car and photography communities. The members of these have become loyal parts of our audience, on Flipboard and on our site and other channels.

~KyleS is curating Work Space

All images courtesy of Gear Patrol.