Tags: Foursquare, Google, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest, Social Media, Sports Marketing, YouTube
- Google Plus
Not that long ago, it was a binary system of Facebook and Twitter. Back in 2009, Twitter was struggling to be considered as a worthwhile platform. It was a “Twitter, too” approach. 3 years ago, most teams met social networking and marketing tasks with a “platoon approach” of multiple resources each contributing time to maintain the networks. It made sense at the time, but (I was right) this was a rapidly growing mandate – not just in terms of scalability (increasing populations), but now in terms of multiple platform management.
In 2009, one of the main elements of my work was to provide a focus on social media sports marketing to prove a business case to increase head count to manage the space effectively. Now, many teams have made this investment. What we are seeing now, is social media segmentation – niche networks that offer different value and benefits to fans and teams alike. The space is now a much more dynamic one than the binary Facebook/Twitter paradigm.
I’m not going to focus on Facebook or Twitter – we’ll take these at assumptive value. YouTube has huge value for many sports brands, but for upper tier leagues, hosting video on your own assets like your website or app makes the most sense. YouTube can still be a great value add, however.
Google Plus is a place you should be from a search value alone. This not about G+ vs. Facebook, it’s about Google enhancing what it already does best – search. A G+ presence will improve your search rankings and help your peripheral market find you. Here’s where casual fans start – by searching on you. I had initially cautioned teams to hold off and to add G+ strategically, not just because it was there. Now’s the time to move (shout out to @peterstringer)
That leaves 3 social networks to focus on: Foursquare, Instagram and Pinterest.
Many teams have dabbled here, but Foursquare belongs in your digital asset mix. After all, you are in a location focused business. Your building, arena, stadium or field is a destination for thousands, and in many cases one of the prominent buildings in any city. You’ve already got this going for you, so make the most of it. Reward fans for checking in, and look to corporate partners to provide innovative activations. Try to get as much immediate gratification as possible with the reward, something they can redeem or benefit from during the event.
In addition to the building, having your team check-in while it’s on the road as well brings fan value and reinforces your Foursquare presence. It’s also a chance to share “insider” photos and content. Remember, Foursquare is a social network – not just, “Look where I am now.” Providing content and conversations here is what it’s all about. It also integrates with other sites like Facebook and Twitter which is important.
Lastly – Foursquare is all about mobile. And unless you’ve been living under a rock, mobile is where you need to be (now, go claim that rock on Foursquare!).
In continuing with the focus on mobile – Instagram is a mobile photo sharing app. There is no destination site behind it. It’s a simple concept with a cool twist – there are a number of cool effects and retro filters you can apply to your photos. Users follow one another and can “heart” (read as “like”) photos and comment on them as well.
A number of teams are quite active (and effective) in Instagram such as the Dallas Mavericks. While the platform is becoming immensely popular, its still relatively small and the team to follower ratio is lower – so there are a lot of engagement opportunities.
Instagram also let’s you share with Twitter, Facebook, Foresquare, Flikr, etc… so it’s well connected. You can leverage it to enhance the photos you’re sharing, tap into a niche platform and look to host contests by searching for tags (much like Twitter).
The new kid on the block, Pinterest has got a lot of people “Pinterested” to say the least. One of the key factors here is the largely female user base – initially as high as 97% (!). So the obvious take here is how teams can look to market to their female fan base on a site like this. Pinterest is essentially a larger pin board in which users can display things that they like. It’s gotten a lot of legs very quickly, and some teams have been quick to take note, such as the Pittsburgh Penguins.
While the jury may still be out on Pinterest (was this simply a case of #Pinsanity?), it’s carving out a place in social marketing that it worth taking note of.
In summary – with dedicated resources for social marketing, the goal is to be nimble and use a multi-platform approach:
- Be where your fans are – and there are millions of them in these places
- Provide unique value and content pertaining to each platform’s strengths
- Avoid redundancy in what you post
- This is a dynamic space in terms of platform scalability/features but also in niche
- Fans First. Social media should be social, don’t just post – interact, engage, share, thank and converse
Tags: Brand, Entrepreneurs, Networking, Sports Marketing
The other night, I presented to a group of Vancouver entrepreneurs on the topic of social media – specifically on how non-sports brands can leverage the passion of sports marketing for their own brands.
It’s a topic that had been on my mind recently and I was happy to take advantage of the opportunity to speak at the event. I used to do presentations to entrepreneurs back when I lived in Toronto. When I started my business in 2005, I benefited from a great program that supported entrepreneurs so I’ve always been happy to give back.
The carry over to my blog is this – give back. The sports business is a niche to say the least. It’s tough to break into, and there are a lot of challenges despite its high-profile perception. I’ve always gone out of my way to support people I’ve worked with and recommend individuals for positions with teams. Like any business, sports is about people and networking is critical.
In addition, I always admire entrepreneurs and those people who go about building their own business. Building a career in sports or building a business requires tireless efforts, bouncing back from mistakes/rejection, adapting and growing. It’s about people and networking – so thank you for being a reader and let me know how I can help you.
Tags: Ferris Bueller, NFL, Social Media, Super Bowl
Sometimes rivaling the game itself, Super Bowl commercials are of big interest for everyone from the hardcore to the peripheral fan and specific interest to those of us focused on sponsorship. This year saw not only “teasers” for some ads, but the outright release of the entire ads on YouTube.
With nearly 10 million views (at the time of writing) The Honda Ferris Bueller commercial debuted this week – does this diminish the “actual” airing during the Super Bowl? I say yes, but if Honda sells a record number of CR-V’s – isn’t that the point?
Last year, Foursquare clocked over 200,000 check-ins in a nationwide Super Bowl event. I’m guessing that should be well over 500,000 this year – and in addition, Foursquare has partnered with Pizza Hut and American Express.
Here’s the official Super Bowl 2012 Foursquare page.
We’ll see a ton of content on Twitter from fans, media and celebrities no matter what happens at the Super Bowl, and there’s potential to break some records here too. With over 9,420 tweets per second, Twitter and the NFL broke some records this past season with the #Tebow playoff pass.
Twitter launched Ad Scrimmage this week, which kicks in for the week immediately following the game to allow users to vote on their favorite Super Bowl commercials, so be sure check that link again.
There’s also a Super Bowl Facebook Page.
When you look back 4 years ago, when the Giants and Patriots last met in the Super Bowl, social media was still pretty new – and now these two teams have fully embraced social marketing. Mashable provides a good breakdown of this analysis here…
The Super Bowl event committee has a Stay Connected Hub with a staff of 50 resources to monitor and respond on various platforms.
Will you be tweeting? Or checking in? See you online…
Tags: Engagement, Fans, Social Media, Sports Marketing
- Complete the sentence: @PlayerOnTwitter hits like a _______ !
- Swap players in and out, use other attributes as well…
- Use #’s to measure and track, also for trending purposes
- RT what fans push out… show em you are listening
- Ok fans, let’s get it trending… RT #GoYourTeamGo!
- Use other #’s depending on the game situation
- Use humor, be fun
- Use other #’s depending on the game situation
- Fans – send us a pic or tweet in your @Team gear
- Who will score the 1st #YourTeam goal tonight?
- RT @SomeFan: What a wicked play!
- RT what fans are tweeting for key moments in games
- Use them for game updates – don’t have to come up with them all
- Hey fans – send a tweet to our opponent tonight, let @otherteam know we’re ready for ‘em!
- If there’s 1 thing that makes #YourTeam fans the best, its _________
- #YourTeam fans – what’s your pre-game ritual?
- Where are you watching from tonight #YourTeam fans? Let us know…
- Post a pic from featuring action from the next opponent: Ok fans – write a caption for this photo
- Do a fan poll once per week as a standard engagement practice
- Why not look for a sponsor for this?
- Ask for pics from fans decked out in their team gear
- Scan for fan questions – answer them/direct them to the right email or phone #
- Thank fans for uploading their photos
- Comment on their status updates/posts
Tags: Digital, Engagement, ROI
Digital Return Optimization. In a nutshell, it’s what I do.
Every team/project is different. Some are focused on fan engagement, some on driving ticket sales, others on sponsor activations. Either way – DRO is a methodology of determining what kind of “return” is desired from digital efforts and investments.
When ever I start a new project, I am often asked, “How are we doing?“. My response is always the same… “I don’t know, what are you trying to do?“
That kind of dialogue usually is in reference to a teams’ social media activities. But a lot applies to web sites as well. It comes down to a Content Management Strategy (or lack there of). It’s no longer ok to simply participate in the social space and have a 3rd party validate your efforts. Goals for social are as important as any other facet of marketing, and the plan of “social too” just doesn’t cut it anymore.
If this has been your process, don’t sweat it. You can change this. Deciding to change it is the easy part – how to change it and what it should look like is another story. That’s usually where I come in…
Teams have been working with social/digital for long enough now to have some things to measure. Start by looking back at your digital returns – the numbers and the dollars.
- Do you like what you see?
- How did you get those returns?
- What’s missing?
- What is a priority?
Those are the questions I’d start asking you. Then we start writing the story – last page first. Identify what we want to get out of this and then find ways to make it happen.
Tags: Engagement, Facebook, Fans, Social Media, Twitter
Every Facebook Page has a button where you can display posts from the Page or the posts from the fans as a default. Very few teams prioritize their fans’ post over their own – this makes no sense to me…
Social marketing should be… SOCIAL.
Teams would counter that their content gets lost in the stream of fan posts quickly. Social marketing isn’t just about dropping links to the team site. Maybe I’m wrong, but last time I checked, Facebook was all about the fans.
Yes – I’ve preached about corporate sales presence in social media (a lot). And yes, a post with corporate content could get lost very quickly – but who says a single post had any real value to a corporate partner in the first place? Corporate sales needs to be more of a consistent presence/partnership – ideally, well integrated with the brand and fans alike.
If teams find it a problem that their fans are so talkative and engaged with their brand, then I think perhaps its time to return to the basics…
- Up to 2/3rds of tweets should be @replys to fans
- Leverage fan content by RT’ing it
- Comment on Facebook photos
- Thank fans for their comments
- Customer service
- Engaging corporate partnerships
- Featuring content from fans
- Providing exclusive content
- 3-4 FB posts per day (few more on game days)
- 1 tweet per hour on average
- Interact with fans regularly
- Ask for opinions, ideas
Social marketing is a dynamic place – not a static stream of team posts. These are your fans – treat them well. There are other digital assets like your website that are strictly focused on your content. Use social media for what it does best – being social. Build and reinforce those fan relationships and they will be more apt to consume/share your content, buy your product and be advocates of your brand. We call them fans – but they are your customers.
Tags: Jersey, Sports Marketing, Twitter
But sometimes, I’d like to have the opportunity to “own” a brand and market it. This is one of the first things I would do…
Recently, an article hit the web about a Mexican football (soccer) team that replaced player names with their Twitter handles on the backs of their jerseys. Cool idea, I thought – but couldn’t see it happening in major league sports. But it gave me an idea…
I’d start giving away jerseys to my teams’ Twitter followers with player Twitter handles on the backs. Same home or away jersey, use the players real number but instead of their last name on the name plate, place their Twitter handle there instead…
@Mark_Sanchez on the back of a NYJ jersey
@RealStamkos91 on the back of a TB Lightning jersey
@dfreese23 on the back of a St. Louis Cardinals jersey
Give a few of these away, and watch other tech/social savvy fans get on board… imagine how many @BizNasty2Point0 jerseys would get moved…
What do you think? Here’s your free idea of the day…
Tags: Influence, Klout, Soical Media, Sports
I’ve listed these rankings based on Klout – which has gotten a lot of pub recently in changing its influence algorithms. In general, many people have an issue with Klout in terms of exactly what and how it measures, but it is a data point to take note of. I suggest you have a look at how I’ve positioned them, and then play around with the different ranking categories available.
First – the 4 major North American Leagues…
And then have a look at global sports brands and teams.
It’s a pretty interesting site to play with. It’s obvious that total populations do not equal influence – but what might not be so obvious is what the benefits of influence are. Channeling and motivating that influence – beyond loyalty and the often overused term of “engagement” – is what social marketing is all about.
What do you think about what you see here? Does Klout matter – and regardless of the measurement tool, what is your position on Influence that drives the $?
Tags: Boston Celtics, Facebook, Sports Marketing
With millions of fans worldwide and a total of 17 Championships, the Celtics also command a huge presence online. I caught up with Peter Stringer, Director of all things Digital with the Celtics for a brief interview focused on their massive Facebook following…
1. You are one of the most famous brands in sports – is this an asset or a challenge in your social marketing efforts?
This is clearly an asset in terms of amassing an audience in the social media realm. It’s much more natural for people to want to “Like” a sports property, and follow us for updates. There’s a natural affinity built into our brand, and being 17-Time World Champions, that rich team legacy adds to our appeal.
2. How does your current population compare vs. daily users? How many or what percentage of those users are interacting with your Page daily?
Few fans ever re-visit your Facebook page after they “Like” you. In fact, I’d argue most never even see it. They like you by seeing it on their friends’ profiles. So I’m not too concerned about daily interactions with our page. I’m more interested in things like clickthroughs on links and RTs on Twitter. Facebook comments and “likes’ on posts are overvalued as well, I’d say. Most comments are unrelated to the posts, and don’t really represent true interaction or engagement. It may help your EdgeRank score and hence broaden your audience, but I don’t get caught up counting Likes and comments on posts unless a post drastically over or under-performs.
3. The Celtics Facebook population continues to grow rapidly at several thousand per day. Many teams would envy just a day’s growth at those rates – are there any “be careful what you wish for” aspects of this for you?
Well, you have to be very careful with an audience of 5.3 million. Once the toothpaste is out of the tube, there’s no going back. So you have to be extremely thoughtful about what you post to this type of an audience.
4. The Celtics Facebook Page features a team store integrated right into the page itself – do your fans purchase from there more than from your website? Does one of those stores have priority over the other?
Celtics.com’s store wildly outperforms our Facebook commerce, mostly because fans don’t end up on your Facebook page unless you direct them there. I think average social media users are still wary of transacting on Facebook, much like people were reluctant to buy online in the early days of e-commerce. But again, if people aren’t going to your actual Facebook page organically the way they visit your website, you’re not going to sell much there. And the tests we’ve done on in-post shopping have failed to produce sales as well. I think there’s a long way to go before “f-commerce” becomes a reality.
5. The “3 Point Play” tab on Facebook – How well does this work to provide email addresses? Is email a primary focus of your communication with fans or is this a way of gaining some user data from the Facebook platform?
3-Point Play helps us gather data on our Facebook fan base, while offering fans the chance to win tickets to games. I wouldn’t say it’s a communication platform by itself, but by gathering that data, it allows us to identify our Facebook fans, get them into our database, and then continue the dialogue with them via email and special offers, and hopefully turn them into customers down the road.
6. How does your organization handle the duties for social media? Do you have dedicated resources, or do certain people “platoon” these efforts?
There’s a few of us here who handle different aspects of social media at times. But we’ve integrated it into all of our marketing efforts and work closely with various departments across the organization to get their messages out. It’s a critical part of our marketing efforts.
7. How do sponsors fit into your social media marketing and activation?
The NBA is very restrictive on how we can use social media for partner activation, but you’re going to see more and more team partners across sports being a part of social media. Every partner who comes to the table these days wants to know how they can activate with us across these channels. It’s just a matter of time and the league loosening restrictions, something we’ve pushed for pretty aggressively.
8. What’s in your social media tool kit (mobile device, apps, sites, networks you participate in, etc… )?
I’m a Mac guy, so for me, it’s Twitter on the Mac and my iPhone, and Facebook.com on the web. I still don’t completely trust third party tools, and when you have a massive audience like we do, you just can’t risk getting hacked.
Tags: Contest, Facebook, Promotions, Rules
There have been a lot of changes regarding what you can and cannot do on Facebook. Likewise, a lot of people have a lot of questions about the rules to holding a contest on Facebook – so here it goes:
Rule #1: First and Most Important
You cannot leverage the Facebook platform as a method of entry. No status updates, no comments on status updates, no “Liking” something, no photo uploads. None.
Yes, this is frustrating. These interactive elements are what Facebook does best (!). They were fun and engaging methods of entry that had real strong benefits for fans and brands alike. This is all about liability and privacy issues – somewhat of a sensitive area for Facebook. So, yes – this kind of sucks and this is why many contests out there now are “illegal” – so let’s get over it.
Rule #2: Keep it off Facebook
You may promote your contest or promotion on Facebook but it must be hosted on a 3rd party site (like your website or an app).
There a number of 3rd party apps that comply with Facebook’s rules – the most commonly used being Wildfire. There are several more 3rd party apps available as well. You can of course, host the contest on your own website – this is a good idea if you are looking to increase referral traffic to your site.
Rule #3: Follow the Rules
If you do not adhere to these rules, Facebook may freeze or shut down your page.
Take my word for it – it’s happened to me, this is how I found out about these rules 2 years ago. If you are not following Facebook’s guidelines, you run the risk of having your page shut down. Simple as that. Beyond that, not adhering to the rules makes you look out of the loop and amateurish. Lastly – this is your FAN PAGE. It belongs to the fans – don’t risk it.
Got a specific question? Contact me.
Digital wing man and social media consultant.
TopicsApps Brand Branding Canucks Capitals CRM Delicious Engagement Entrepreneurs Facebook Foursquare Google Google Plus Leadership Linkedin Maple Leafs Marketing Marshall McLuhan NBA Networking NFL NHL Olympics Personal Brand Positioning Productivity profile ROI RSS Sales sales process Sales Tips Sales Training Selling Social Marketing Social Media Social Networking Sponsorship Sports Sports Marketing Super Bowl Tools Twitter Voicemail YouTube