Jack Dob­son

Jack re­veals why so­cial me­dia is good for us

Land Rover Monthly - - Welcome -

“My aim was to cre­ate con­tent that gives peo­ple a flavour of a life down un­der with Soli­hull’s finest”

This month I want to talk about so­cial me­dia. For those of you al­ready rolling your eyes, please stay with me, there is Land Rover con­tent I prom­ise.

Un­less you have been liv­ing un­der a Land Rover for the past ten years (ac­tu­ally per­haps not en­tirely un­likely for some of you) I should think ev­ery­one has had some de­gree of ex­po­sure to so­cial me­dia. For those of you not in the know, essen­tially it is a web­site or web-based ap­pli­ca­tion that en­ables users to cre­ate and share con­tent or to par­tic­i­pate in so­cial net­work­ing. We are talk­ing Face­book, In­sta­gram, Snapchat, Twit­ter and Youtube (plus many more!).

My in­tro­duc­tion came via Mys­pace – does any­one else re­mem­ber that? Then, like ev­ery­one else, I moved onto Face­book. It was a time when cam­era phones did not re­ally ex­ist, so thank­fully my mis­spent time at univer­sity re­mains much of a mys­tery with lit­tle by way of in­crim­i­nat­ing ev­i­dence.

Whilst Face­book may have started as a way of keep­ing in touch with peo­ple you know (and in some cases, peo­ple you ei­ther do not know or never re­ally liked), over the years it has grown to in­clude com­mon in­ter­est groups for all man­ner of things, in­clud­ing Land Rovers. On dis­cov­er­ing the ex­is­tence of such groups I, of course, sub­scribed to all of them. Now, when I logged on, no longer was I greeted with the pic­tures of friends and fam­ily, in their place were scores of Land Rover pic­tures. At last, I had found my slice of so­cial me­dia heaven. Trou­ble was, all my friends were also find­ing their news­feeds full of my Land Rover ‘likes’, ‘com­ments’ and up­loads. My pic­tures of Grandma (my Se­ries IIA) were usu­ally met with a cou­ple of ‘likes’ (thanks Mum – speak­ing of which, at what point do you ac­cept that friend re­quest from your par­ents?), but the rest of my friends were get­ting in­creas­ingly tired of it all.

I de­cided it was time to turn my at­ten­tion to an­other out­let, and so came In­sta­gram – a plat­form that focuses on the vi­su­als rather than all the other stuff you are sub­jected to on Face­book, like cat memes. I started my ac­count as a bit of a repos­i­tory for all my ran­dom stuff, which in­cluded a heavy blend of Land Rovers in var­i­ous stages of un­dress. All the pic­tures were taken us­ing my mo­bile and I hon­estly had no idea what I was do­ing. Ini­tially most of my fol­low­ers were friends from Face­book so it seemed there re­ally was no respite for them.

Three years later and I al­most have my head around the in­tri­ca­cies of In­sta­gram and I like to think I have built up an ac­count that of­fers my fol­low­ers some­thing a bit dif­fer­ent from all the other Land Rover-re­lated ac­counts out there, and trust me, there are many. My aim was to cre­ate my own, orig­i­nal con­tent that gives peo­ple a bit of a flavour of a life down un­der with Soli­hull’s finest. I now have nearly 100,000 fol­low­ers. It would seem there are many Land Rover fa­nat­ics out there.

You would be for­given for think­ing it is easy tak­ing pho­tos and stick­ing them up, but it re­ally does be­come quite an in­volved process. I now use a DLSR cam­era and it seems I am for­ever plan­ning the next pho­to­shoot. I guess it is lucky that Land Rovers are so pho­to­genic and I en­joy this new-found cre­ative re­lease. I have been re­ally sur­prised by the peo­ple I have got to know across so­cial me­dia as well as the col­lab­o­ra­tive op­por­tu­ni­ties it has opened up for me. Over the last cou­ple of years, I have worked with a real mix of com­pa­nies in­clud­ing a brew­ery, toy mak­ers, parts sup­pli­ers, cloth­ing lines and ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers. With­out doubt, one of the high­lights was be­ing in­vited by Jaguar Land Rover to sail with their BAR team in Syd­ney Har­bour as well as get­ting my hands on the all-new Dis­cov­ery and F-type Jaguar.

All that on the strength of an In­sta­gram page… it is sur­pris­ing, but I think it goes to show that com­pa­nies are in­creas­ingly recog­nis­ing the power of so­cial me­dia in pro­mot­ing their brands. On that ba­sis, per­haps JLR should give me the keys to the all-new De­fender when it comes out. #wish­ful­think­ing

Do not get me wrong, I do not think so­cial me­dia Land Rover pages are a re­place­ment for a sub­scrip­tion to LRM or even some of the in­ter­net fo­rums – the Se­ries II fo­rum is an amaz­ing hub for tech­ni­cal in­for­ma­tion, for in­stance. How­ever, I do think so­cial me­dia pages are a great way of shar­ing your passion with oth­ers and see­ing what ev­ery­one else is get­ting up to. If you have not al­ready – take a look.

With the im­mi­nent ar­rival of my Se­ries IIA from the UK I have de­cided it is time to over­come my fear of video and give Youtube a try. I have been prac­tis­ing and can safely say I have not quite mas­tered it yet. I do not know what it is, but it seems the mo­ment I set eyes on a video cam­era I adopt a com­pletely dif­fer­ent per­sona – I shift be­tween sound­ing like a game show host and look­ing like I am record­ing a ran­som de­mand video. Would that be of in­ter­est to you?

When Brit Jack Dob­son em­i­grated to Aus­tralia in 2010 he brought his passion for Land Rovers along with him.

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