I’ve spent a lot of time managing communities online. I love this aspect of my job; I get satisfaction in connecting directly with passionate fans, receiving instant feedback and seeing how people consume and engage with brands / content. In full disclosure, I even get a “case of the refresh” every now and then to see how much traction a post is getting. Come on, I know I’m not alone.
As a community manager, I get to learn about the heart of my company’s online audience everyday- what makes them tick, what they are passionate about, how they react, what they share, what they don’t like, etc. Over time, I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade to maintaining a happy and engaged social community . Below are four of my simple rules, along with examples from others that back it up. Hopefully they’ll translate for you, but I understand every audience is different:
Today I stumbled upon the latest college athletics video sensation (thanks to USA Today’s article here)… the Trackstreet Boys. The video features members of the Duke track and field team in a mock music video of the Backstreet Boys’ I Want It That Way?
Yes, it’s an instant classic:
The video might not be viral (yet) by YouTube standards, but for Duke Athletics, it’s certainly a hit. Posted just two days ago, the video already has the most views out of any YouTube video ever posted by Duke Athletics. After watching the video, I started thinking… what makes great video content?
Every video has a different objective, but there are certain things athletic departments, teams and leagues can keep in mind when they go about creating video content. Below is a sample of the questions to ask before filming. If you can nail a couple of these things, then you just might have a winner:
Is it funny?
Does it humanize the players, team, etc.?
Does it evoke emotion?
Is it relatable to your audience and fans?
Is it surprising?
Is it different than anything you have done before?
Is it exclusive footage that only you can get?
The duke video works for me because it’s funny, relatable (come on, we all know that Backstreet Boys song / video) and it humanizes their student-athletes.
So, what do you think… what elements are needed to create great video content?
Many of us watched earlier today as the @SeppBlatter & @fifaworldcup went array on Twitter. Yes, in case you missed, they got hacked. Here’s a recap of the action here.
Unfortunately, it is not the first time we’ve seen a brand get hacked on Twitter and it won’t be the last. For those of us who work in social media and the communications world, it’s extremely painful to watch these types of scenarios unfold. Today I kept thinking… what can we all learn from this? So, here are four simple takeaways from the @SeppBlatter & @fifaworldcup account hacks today (or from any hack for that matter):
Last night the Louisville men’s basketball team and Michigan men’s basketball team played on the biggest stage college basketball has to offer; millions of people tuned in to watch the top-notch programs compete for the NCAA men’s basketball title.
Since the programs had a captive audience last night, I was interested to see how they would capitalize on the excitement throughout social media. So, I decided to pay close attention to how the programs handled themselves on Twitter.
If the programs were judged by their Twitter game alone, Michigan won. Below are my thoughts on how each program handled coverage on Twitter during the championship game and why Michigan stole the Twitter show.
Sunday afternoon millions of basketball fans watched Kevin Ware’s gruesome injury happen right before their eyes. There was no getting around it; everyone in the arena and anyone watching on TV knew the injury was significant. As expected, there was an outpouring of condolences for Ware on social media. Yet, for some reason, Louisville was all crickets when it came to Ware.
On Facebook, Louisville celebrated the win, pushed merchandise sales and rallied around their team without one single mention or acknowledgement of Ware at all:
Quality over Quality I’ve seen it before, not just in sports, but with any brand: A large fan-base, little engagement.
It’s not a new approach, but I firmly believe engagement (clicks on links, shares, comments, etc.) is just as important– if not more important– than the number of fans or followers. If fans aren’t engaging, consuming, or seeing content, then what are they really worth? Think about it.
Long gone are the days of focusing on number of fans alone; here to stay are the days of creating killer content, telling a story, building a community and humanizing your brand.
A group of women– and Under Armour brand ambassadors– just got back from UA Camp Sweat at the IMG Academy in Clearwater, Florida. They won the trip through Under Armour Women’s latest What’s Beautiful? contest. Here’s a video explaining the campaign (take the time to watch, or you’ll get lost with this post):
For anyone interested in social media and digital, their campaign is worth noting. Below are thoughts on Under Armour’s wins throughout the What’s Beautiful campaign, and also, a few lessons learned:
1. The Point of Entry is Clear and Defined Users need to be extremely engaged to win and get noticed in UA’s What’s Beautiful contest, but that’s okay, because the point of entry is extremely clear and defined:
We all talk about the idea of using fan-generated content to help tell our story, but what about using student-athlete generated content to help tell the story of teams, athletic departments, etc.? I think it has leverage. Here’s why:
1. Humanizes If anyone can capture the personality of the teams, it’s student-athletes themselves. With the rise of social media, there is a greater demand for content beyond the stats, wins and losses. Social media isn’t about spitting off stats or the next game time; it’s about giving fans an inside look into the athletic department, the teams and what it’s like to be a student-athlete. Social media is about the people; it’s about humanizing your brand.
Student-athletes can tell an athletic department story better than anyone else. It’s time to empower them to share a story idea, give them an outlet to blog or allow them to submit photos from practice, on the road, etc. to be shared on social platforms.
During the NASCAR Nationwide race at Daytona International Speedway, Kyle Larson crashed on the last lap, slammed into the fence and sent debris flying into the stands where fans were sitting. It’s no surprise people were tweeting, taking pictures and filming during the moments of the crash; firsthand accounts popped up all over social media.
Among the things circulating on social media was a video of the crash a fan posted on YouTube (see video below). Though the video does not show anything graphic, the view from the eyes of the fan is terrifying. It is also apparent through the clip that a tire flew into the stands, injuring a fan.
This one video (below) would turn into a social media / PR debacle for NASCAR:
NASCAR had the video taken down from YouTube, without any acknowledgement of doing so. People were outraged that NASCAR censored the video and conversations unfolded with people trying to explain their copyright laws, reason for removing the video, etc. Through all of this, NASCAR had no voice in the conversation.
The secret is out with Instagram… it’s a place where brands should play. The recent numbers, according to Simply Measured, validate the need to have a presence in the space:
90 million monthly active users.
40 million photos being posted per day.
8,500 likes per second.
1,000 comments per second.
Why Instagram? Instagram is a visual tool that uses photos to tell the story. The rise of brand engagement on Instagram proves that using social media as a branding tool– not a hard sell– is a powerful, powerful punch. In addition, Instagram is easy to use and requires little resources (except for the access to photos). Continue reading →