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Social Media and NFL Football – Do NOT Drop the Ball

Social Media and NFL Football – Do NOT Drop the Ball

I have spent the last weekend doing diligent “research” for today’s sports blog :). My hometown Denver Broncos lost to New England, and they are a small part of my story. However, Green Bay and New Orleans gave me plenty of hard evidence that confirms a simple truth: You drop the ball, you lose!

  1. Denver Broncos – 1 fumble, 1 interception, at least 3 crucial dropped passes
  2. Green Bay Packers – 3 fumbles, 1 interception, 6 dropped passes
  3. New Orleans Saints – 3 fumbles, 2 interceptions

We do not want to drop the ball in social media and have our company and our brand lose. What are examples of dropping the ball in social media? I give you three examples:

1. Fumble with your Brand

I covered this particular example in a separate post called Social Media – Football – Brand and Ball Protection. Do not drop the ball by fumbling with your brand’s reputation by over-selling and under-delivering, or letting customer service issues go unattended.

2. Failing to Acknowledge Shout-outs

As you build an extended tribe, followers may “Pay It Forward” by giving you and your brand an unsolicited shout-out via a tweet, a Foursquare check-in or a Facebook tag. Do not drop the ball by letting these mentions go unnoticed and unappreciated! Reply, retweet and share their content. Thank them for their unsolicited advocacy and find creative ways to reward your brand advocates. Show that you are an engaged and courteous brand who recognizes and appreciates their influence (regardless of their influence score).

3. Fail to Monitor

This extends beyond the simple shout-out expressed in #2. Customers are talking about your brand at all times on multiple channels. They may not tag one of your official accounts (like a Twitter ID or geo-tagged location) or make their comments on your Facebook Fan Page. Instead, they may have wall-to-wall or group discussions. Perhaps they choose to submit an Amazon or CNET review. They could even be an influential blogger who dedicates a blog post to commending your brand -> or blowing it out of the water! Do not drop the ball by missing these opportunities to discuss your brand! Recognize that any mention of your brand provides you a platform to educate the consumer. Mentions mean you are relevant! Find these discussions and engage the customer.

A robust monitoring tool can protect against all three scenarios described above. You can even measure sentiment and track mentions across topics. You can aggregate mentions and tie them to different internal calendars (promotional/marketing, financial reporting, product release/recall). A full monitoring solution goes beyond tracking numbers of mentions and fans/friends/followers. By tying sentiment to topics and events, it takes your company to the next level in using social media as a proactive component in both marketing and customer service strategies.

Is your company dropping the ball? Perhaps it is time for a rousing “halftime speech” to get your company’s head back in the game. By the way, I’m great at rousing halftime speeches ;)!

Photo Credit: Damian Williams dropping a pass by San Diego Shooter, on Flickr

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Brian Vickery

I love my Vickery Girls - and grandsons! My career has blessed me to the point I was able to start a new consultancy in 2018: Analytic Integrity. I look to provide analytic experience, and business integrity, to an Analytics world while helping data-driven organizations mature. I enjoy teaching and coaching, watching football and basketball, and playing tennis. I graduated UT-Austin.

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  1. Brian, aloha. Leaving for the airport so will respond tomorrow. However, I have to tell you that you were very much in my thoughts this weekend. After what all happened with the Broncos and the up Surprises, I knew you would have something to say.

    So appreciate that you take researching so seriously. Until tomorrow, aloha. Janet

    • Thanks for stopping by on the way to the airport, Janet ;). I knew my Broncos were a long shot, but I expected both the Saints and Packers to win. Turnovers and dropped passes led to their demise. Both of those mark missed opportunities as well as giving an advantage to our opponent. We cannot afford to do that on a football field or with our social media/marketing/customer service efforts!

      Safe trip, Janet.

  2. Nicely done, BV. I am not much of a football fan but I was into Tebow and the Bronco’s especially after that amazing pass to close out the Steelers. The next games were hard to watch with all those dropped balls. Great analogy. Now, hopefully I’ll hold onto the ball against my #DadChat co-host Thursday night in our first Gender WAR!

  3. Brian,
    So right on, no matter which team or social media, missed opportunities will put you so far behind you can’t catch up…. Lose!
    This season reminds me of 80s, Elway days!

    • Yep, and now we discover that Tebow played with torn cartilage and a bruised lung. Wouldn’t have changed the outcome even if he was healthy, but yet another indicator of the “It Factor” this kid has. Get him more accurate, and get his receivers to hang on to the ball, and we will be good. As for brand protection and monitoring -> folks need to ring us up for a Pulse Analytics demo!

  4. Great post Brian! I am curious though, do you think there is a thing as acknowledging readers too much? I’d hate to be “that guy” who fills his Twitter stream with thank yous and mentions, especially since I am relatively new to the blogosphere. I’m inclined to believe we should handle a personal brand different from a business brand.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Andrew. I agree with your concern; however, I think it is imperative to acknowledge every shoutout unless it is a blatant attempt to create noise with the thoughts that mimics engagement. For example, I will respond to a #FF shoutout -> but I am not going to respond to every reply to that original shoutout. You can pull up some feeds, and that is all you see all-day, every day.

      I will pace my acknowledgments throughout the day, so they do not clutter and appear as noise in my followers’ feeds. They can then expect good content curation while still seeing that I am engaged enough to be personally thankful for mentions. Some of these lead to more in-depth discussions and dialogue, so again I think it is great if you can space them out in your feed.

      I think personal/biz brands are handled differently regarding the type of content you curate and perhaps the tone you convey (more “familiar” with personal). However, social media allows you to attribute a face/tone/values to a business brand. And people like doing business with people vs just a name. Don’t be afraid to inject a little humanity and personality into that brand.

      • Thanks for your response. I agree that a personal tone can be more “familiar” or conversational–it is more welcoming to a dialogue with others. I will definitely take that into consideration when responding to mentions and when people start leaving comments on the blog. Appreciate your insight!