Branding // Social Media
Mar 14, 2018

Using Social Media to Promote Brands in Outdoor Markets

Verde’s Laura Friedland Creates Authentic Connections via Social Media

As part of our reporting on the Social Media Marketing World Conference (SMMW18) in San Diego, we’ve been interviewing fellow attendees to discuss their social media programs and learn from each other. We spoke with Laura Friedland, Account Manager for Verde Brand Communications in Boulder, Colorado, and talked about her social media strategies for outdoor markets and how her company promotes brands and seeks to forge authentic relationships with their audience.

Tell us about your background and what you do in social media for your company.

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Laura: I started my career as a snow reporter in Vermont – you know, the person who heads to the ski resort at the crack of dawn, evaluates the snowpack and spreads the word on conditions to skiers and snowboarders across the web. From there, I gravitated towards photography and sharing the story of the Sugarbush Resort through our social channels, which then became my full-time job.

I’ve since moved to bigger mountains and work as an account manager for Verde Brand Communications in Boulder, Colorado. I’m in charge of strategizing and building digital content for brands in the outdoor markets.


Why did you decide to go to SMMW18 and what were your expectations for the show? What were you interested in learning? 
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Laura Friedland, Account Manager for Verde Brand Communications

Laura: I went to SMMW18 because I’ve been religiously following their podcast for a few years now, and I had to see Michael Stelzner IRL! I knew this would be the spot to get the latest on the ever-changing world of social.

I was most excited to hear about the changes in the Facebook algorithm. From this stemmed an emphasis on authenticity – from creating authentic connections between your community members, to reaching your audience authentically through influencers. Social media marketers should never lose sight of this key component – relationships first, business second.


What did you learn at SMMW18 that you can now apply to your company’s challenges (or opportunities)? 

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@APL has a clean and styled feed that speaks to the brand’s aesthetics.

Laura: I attended a great panel at the conference hosted by experts in Instagram community growth including Brian Peters of Buffer and the founders of Athletic Propulsion Labs. The importance of consistency, both in post frequency and image style, really shined through. Your followers should see a photo and know right away that it’s your brand (both in the feed and on your page).

On top of this, I took away Instagram story strategy that I am already testing. Stories are set to overtake regular posts in the newsfeed so this venue is hugely important for my brands to be present on. These two tactics will help us improve our community growth, engagement and searchability on the platform.


What’s an example of a social media program or activity that worked well for your company, and share why you think it worked so well. 

Laura: When folks are shopping for new (especially technical) gear, YouTube is often the preferred venue for research — to see the product from unboxing, all the way to field testing.

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YouTube reviewer ReviewOutdoorGear tests the Katadyn BeFree water filter in the wild.

We’ve found success in working with YouTube reviewers (similar to how we work with journalists) to try out our newest gear and share it with their followers. Now we’ve got a really great base of placements from trusted gear experts that all live on the second biggest search engine out there. It’s worked well because reviewers provide potential customers with an honest and visual representation of the products.

What social media tactic do you want to try but haven’t yet?

Laura: Chatbots! Apparently, you can build one in 45 minutes so I have no excuse now.


What tip do you have for folks that are just starting out in social media?

Laura: Don’t be afraid to go live! I’ve hopped on camera and always encourage my clients to do it too. I think a lot of folks are afraid of saying the wrong thing or messing up, but that’s the beauty of it! Our audiences love the off-the-cuff feel and it’s been a blast for us to run both internally and with influencers. Plus, you’ve got to adapt to the new Facebook algorithm, somehow!


Is there a question you’d like to answer that we haven’t asked?
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The Flatirons in Boulder, Colorado. Image by Laura Friedland.

Laura: Favorite activity when not plugging away on social? Mountain biking and backcountry skiing!



Follow Laura on Instagram and LinkedIn and Verde on Twitter:

You may also be interested in our other Social Media Marketing World blog posts and attendee interviews: