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Posts tagged Social media

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Athlete Influencers Driving Purchase for Consumer Brands through Social Channels

For consumer brands seeking to drive purchase through social media engagement, the solution may be simple: have an athlete mention it.

According to our 2011 Catalyst Fan Engagement Study, sports fans who follow their favorite athletes on social media are 55% more likely to purchase a brand if an athlete mentions it on Facebook or Twitter. Additionally, athlete mentions of brands on social media can have an even bigger impact on young (18-34), non-white fans (75% more likely to purchase) and those with kids at home (62%).  Catalyst Public Relations commissioned Vision Critical to develop its second annual Catalyst Fan Engagement Study, exploring the growing convergence of sports and social media.   Conducted in May 2011, more than 2,000 fans nationwide participated in the survey, which focused on the social media attitudes and usage habits of NFL, NBA, MLB, and college football and basketball fans.

Read more on our press release page.


Indians Win Fans With Social Suite

Great article in SportsBusinessDaily today about the Indians finding new ways to make fans feel special using social media at the games.  

Last season, Indians created something called the “Social Media Suite,” where bloggers and Twitter-friendly fans share about messages about their ballpark experiences and connect with one another - it existed in the outfield bleachers. 

Over the season, the media team realized one key issue - the sun was making it hard for fans to read their screens.

This year, they were given air conditioning, televisions, and padded seats in the third row of loges down the left field line. It’s totally free, but only open to about a dozen people. 

Read more about the Indians and their Social Media Suite on SportsBusinessDaily

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The Rules of Engagement: The NBA and Social Media

Great article recently published in Fast Company about the NBA’s strategy to engage social media followers. This is a terrific read and a good reminder to brands as they engage consumers in this medium. 

Rules of Engagement, from the NBA Social Media War Room

While bored traditional sports reporters wait for quotes from the megastars, the NBA’s elite social media team finds images, videos, and moments that take followers up close and behind the scenes of the Finals. We follow—literally—the social media masters during before, during, and after the action to watch how it all works. Read more at Fast Company

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The Demographics of Social Media

This week’s Ad Age collected social media demographics based upon user profiles. Check it out. Click the image below to read on.

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Building Brand Communities in Sports

By: Bill Holtz, Managing Partner

Sports has always served as common passion point for people, one that numerous brands have tapped into and leveraged. 

Jon Last recently wrote an interesting commentary on MediaPost about the live sports experience as the ultimate brand community, and the opportunity that it presents to brand marketers.  Having attended many sports events, both in a professional capacity and as a “fan,” I understand the power of shared experiences that only come from “being there.”  There is value for brands in activating at live events.

That said, the live event is most valuable…only if there are people at the live event.  Attendance for most sports has fluctuated in recent years, given the many entertainment options and the challenging economy. 

Continue reading…

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Cleveland Indians Announce “First-of-Its-Kind All-Encompassing Social Media Strategy for the 2011 Season”

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@GaryVee’s “Thank You Economy”

If you are a social media, PR or marketing practitioner, or a brand manager on any scale, pick up a copy of Gary Vaynerchuk’s Thank You Economy.  Vaynerchuk’s follow-up to his NYT best seller, Crush It!, is a playbook for how a company could and should develop online, by focusing on the often overlooked basics. 

Gary should know - he’s lived it.

I pulled out a few of my favorite key quotes from it, and provide a little of my own POV on them.



"…the recipients of that information and opinion more often care about the individual sending it to them. Middlemen, pendants and spokespersons no longer have a monopoly on the widespread distribution of a brand or a company’s message."

As much as, if not more than messaging and content, the messenger and the means of delivery matter in having a brand’s message resonate with consumers. This is not the same as an influential blogger simply posting a branded video - it’s about them contributing to the message and content and integrating their expertise while building a relationship with them for a coordinated, sustainable dialogue.

"It’s not about the number of followers you have or the number of “likes” you get, it’s the strength of your bond with your followers that indicates how much anyone cares about what you have to say. In this game, the one with the most real relationships wins."

The way I’ve built my network is based on trust, sincerity and mutual interests beyond economic. Because of that foundation, the business relationships are able to develop over time and when they do, all parties recognize and respect the other’s interest. It’s no different with brands. If a brand is always pitching and selling without first establishing a trusting online relationship, skepticism is inevitable and the relationship is a week one.

"…if you succeed with social media, it won’t be because of the platform; it will be because you acknowledge that culture and consumer expectations can change."

It’s easy to become infatuated with the newest technology, platform, app or digital community - and we should!  Embrace them!  But at the heart of it, an authentic understanding of the community’s interests and needs trumps everything. Don’t be a mile wide and an inch deep.  Online communities will quickly see through gimmicks.  Dig deeper.  There is no silver bullet.

"…the drawback to resisting social media engagement is clear: the longer you wait the farther the competition can pull ahead."

Pretty self-explanatory. Too often we are reactionary to the latest trends rather than investing in building relationships and being out in-front of where consumers are congregating. We wait for someone else to take the risk, instead of being courageous and creative enough to try and succeed in new arenas. While early doesn’t equal authentic, it at least shows your willingness and appreciation for communities and the way they want to be messaged (not how and where you want to message them).

"A lot of companies resist building a Facebook wall, blogging or starting a Twitter or YouTube account because an irate customer might post negative comments. So what? Would you prefer that the customer post them somewhere else where you have absolutely no way to reply? …If you’re afraid of your customer, you might want to take a closer look at how you’re doing business."

If your product or brand is superior, you should be able to address the complaint or criticisms with factual justification. If you can’t, then the complainer is doing you a favor – he or she probably isn’t the only one with the criticism. You can acknowledge publically, express your understanding and appreciation and work to fix the problems.

"Controlling their message and their image explains why so many – too many- companies still refuse to allow their employees to publically blog or tweet about their work…there may be no better way to know for sure you’re making smart hiring decisions. Allow your employees to talk freely, let them say what they want, because then you will have a much clearer picture of who your employees are and how they feel about your company."

If you can’t trust your employees to be honest, transparent and professional enough to carry the message of your own company, how can you justify them doing so for your clients and/or your product?

"Companies that resist the Thank You Economy are going to see an exodus of talent. The people who understand where the culture is going but don’t get the support from their companies are going to find the courage to leave for new pastures."

Such is the nature of not only Gary’s “Thank You Economy,” but also the democratization allowed by the omnipresent social media-driven world we live in where the entrepreneurial sprit strives.  As Gary advocates - put the best people in the best positions to succeed.  Do not look at your social media manager as an add-on or something to throw at an intern.  As the new economy plows forward, and people find new ways of both communicating and consuming information, these are the warriors you want on your front lines - ones that are flexible and creative enough to think, adapt, act and react in real time.


Today at ESPN Audio in Ft. Worth we caught up with Redskins’ TE and social media aficionado Chris Cooley.

At last year’s Super Bowl, Cooley was a part of Motorola’s #OCNN - a marketing program of which he couldn’t speak highly enough.

He is partnering with a company called Sports Buzz to provide plug-and-play tools for athletes to Tweet, text and produce web sites.  He talks about why this is important to today’s athletes.  He should know - as he is one of the leading NFLers in each of these platforms.


Harnessing the Impact of #SocialMedia on #MLB and #NFL Fans in 2010

Online surveys conducted by Greenfield Online – Over 1,300 online interviews with MLB and NFL avid fans who use social media.  Surveys are nationally representative of MLB and NFL fan based on gender and age Margin of error is +/- 5% at a 95% confidence level