Tag Archives: sports

The Elite 8: Top Tips to Get Retweeted

By: Dallas J. Short

The game’s on, but there’s work to do. The struggle is that a lot of America has been going through the past week or so. So much of our office talks involve sports and social media. I was recently reading Krista Bunskoek’s article for Wishpond “52 Methods: How to Get Your Tweets Retweeted,” but caught up in the spirit of March Madness, I figured I’d narrow it down to my Elite 8 and share them with you.

• Keep the content about you and your products to a minimum – Yes, you’re on Twitter for business purposes, and you want to market yourself. But, truth be told, your Followers don’t really care that much about you and your products. Make your Twitter content about related stuff, and cleverly add in your company content.
• Focus on engaging your customer – As above, you are tweeting to connect with your market, not talk about you. Tweet like you actually want to get to know your customers better – engage with those who Follow you.
• Create interesting, witty content – Try to tweet out interesting stuff, and if you have the skills, make it witty and likeable. If people like your Tweet, they’re going to share it.
• Think about your audience – Don’t blindly tweet stuff. Be intentional about actually wanting to interact with your followers, and other twitter users.
• Tweet with your personality – Add character to your tweets. People want to connect with people online. Include a bit of realness in your tweets by mentioning something quirky or specific you like to do.
• Use quotes – Quotes are a great way to connect with your market, and get retweeted. Include a few quotes in your weekly schedule. Use stuff that inspires, makes you happy, or makes you think.
• Keep your tweets cool – Don’t beg for a retweet, or send out spammy messages. This is huge turn off, and you won’t accomplish your goals. Like this example, of a tweeter jumping on the Oreo Royal Baby wave by begging for more followers. Ok, it might be kind of cute, but a little too obvious and spammy for most.
• Be real, and have fun!

Being retweeted is a great way to be acknowledged by others, make sure you acknowledge others as well. With the lifespan of a tweet being 18mins to 48hrs (depending on who you ask), retweets help you stay active and “alive” longer on Twitter and, ultimately, it (retweets) connects more people to each other.

I’m a big believer in personality, voice and fun (if appropriate) when it comes to engagement with social media, which is how I narrowed down the tip tourney to my Elite 8, hopefully leaving no one upset.

You can read the entire Wishpond article, full of amazing and effective tips, here: http://blog.wishpond.com/post/56542607344/52-methods-how-to-get-your-tweets-retweeted
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Let the Madness Begin!

By: Dallas J. Short

March Madness is upon us. If you have not filled out a bracket, time is running out, but be warned: the person who does not watch college sports will probably win. It just happens. If you do not have an interest in the NCAA Tournament, sorry, but it almost becomes unavoidable. There is still a good chance it is the big buzz around your office or by a lot of people you know, it is especially a huge deal on social media. Expect the hashtag #MarchMadness to be trending for the next 3 weeks.

While Facebook will definitely include predictions, outbursts, and reactions – people will be on Twitter and keeping with up the action in real time. According to the research Twitter has done with DB5, “75% of sports fans on Twitter use the platform to follow their favorite teams and athletes, and 61% follow their Twitter feed and/or Tweet while watching sports on TV. Nearly half (49%) say they feel as close to the action following games on Twitter as they do watching them on TV.”

Last year, Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings found that in the US, TV broadcasts of the tournament generated 14.1M Tweets and 1.6B Tweet impressions.

Even if your team was ripped off and wasn’t selected for the tourney (Miami Hurricanes, Temple Owls), this is an exciting time in sports. The college players play with not only skill, but so much passion and heart – that it is not as easily predictable as the major professional sports. Anything can happen and there will be “madness” indeed. Duke (3) was upset last year by Mercer (14) and Twitter exploded and it actually became more tweeted about than even the Championship final. Duke is a #1 seed this year, people love to hate Duke, so let’s see how they do this year. Another story to follow is Kentucky, also a #1 seed – they went the entire season undefeated, how long will the ride last?

There are so many experts and self-presumed experts on Twitter right now, it is easy to learn more about the players, the coaches, the matchups, predictions and more. It becomes fun and addictive to stay in the know and follow along as it goes. No matter if you are using Twitter for personal or professional use during #MarchMadness, you will want to be in the know.

In 2014, Twitter users were as engaged on game days as they were on non-game days, so this a great chance for brands to be involved and jump into the conversation as well. Be prepared to be locked in until at least April 7 (Championship game is April 6), fans are watching and responding, they want a brand they feel like they are watching the tournament with, not being sold to while trying to enjoy it. Brands need to respect the intensity of the game and the fans. People tend to have deep ties to college sports and it is not just a random or forced association.

As I said in my blog for Get in the Game: Tips for Tweeting on Super Sunday, this is an opportunity for you and your brands to connect and engage on a more natural level and develop meaningful interactions and relationships. With games starting March 17 and ending on April 6, this gives you a lot more time to build and strengthen those bonds with fans, followers, and possible/future fans and followers. Do not waste any more time, jump in now.

As far as who my predictions are to win? Well, we are doing an office pool and I believe in the jinx. So, let’s talk more in a few weeks. When I’m not at work, you can be sure I’ll be tweeting along. @Meddafore If you feel like throwing your predictions out there, feel free to do so. If you think there is a better platform for #MarchMadness engagement, please let me know that too.

As always, I welcome any and all comments and if you like what you read be social and share.

#FerrellTakesTheField and Spices Up Spring Training

By: Gina Mason

This year’s Major League Baseball Spring Training is one for the record books and one player is sure to go down in infamy for pulling off one of the most bizarre antics in baseball history. On Thursday, this player was traded to 10 different teams and played 10 different positions during five games in the span of one day. However, this was not your average professional baseball player. This type of accomplishment could only be pulled off by the man, the myth, the legend, Will Ferrell.

The comedian/actor laced up his cleats and hit the baseball field in a stunt of epic proportions to defy the odds of baseball, honor baseball legend Bert “Campy” Campaneris and most importantly, raise money and awareness for the fight against cancer.

Thanks to the brilliance of HBO and Funny or Die, Ferrell played all 10 positions (including DH) for 10 teams in the Cactus League in Arizona as part of an upcoming TV special that will air later this year. Relying on cars and “choppahs” (helicopters) to get from game to game, Ferrell managed to go 0-2 (2K) with one foul tip on offense, he also intentionally walked one batter while pitching, skillfully coached third base with awesome signs, grew an impressive beard and was traded for a Churro Dog and a D-bat Dog.

Prior to the games, Ferrell said that he felt confident going into the day and that “these teams need a clubhouse presence and my presence is a flabby 47-year-old guy that doesn’t know how to play. But I have life experience and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done,” during a pre-game(s) interview with ESPN’s Mike & Mike.
Not only did Ferrell pull off this crazy stunt, it was all documented via live-tweeting with the hashtag #FerrellTakesTheField.

Here is a recap of the day, thanks to ABC News:

“GAME ONE: Ferrell kicked off the first game by playing shortstop for the A’s. However, his time with the team was short, as he was traded to the Mariners almost immediately. “The A’s announced that Will Ferrell has been traded to the @Mariners for a CATBNL (Comedic Actor To Be Named Later). #FerrellTakesTheField,” the Mariners announced on Twitter. He played second base for the Mariners.

GAME TWO: Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
As a kid, Ferrell rooted for the Angels, “before they became the L.A. Angels of Anaheim, Adjacent to L.A., Just Southern California, South, North of San Diego Angels,” he joked. He kicked off game two playing for his hometown team, taking center field in place of Mike Trout and during his time on the field, successfully fielded the ball.
Afterward, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs, where he played first and coached third base.
Ferrell also batted, though he struck out!

GAME THREE: Cincinnati Reds at Arizona Diamondbacks
In a blockbuster trade, the Arizona Diamondbacks acquired Ferrell from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for two specialty hot dogs — a Churro dog and D-Bat dog — before playing Cincinnati.
It’s unclear if the hot dog he was later seen eating was one he was traded for.
Ferrell lined up in left field for the Diamondbacks.
Ferrell was later traded to the Reds and suddenly grew a lengthy grey beard. He played third base for Cincinnati.

GAME FOUR: San Francisco Giants at Chicago White Sox
Ferrell was on the move again later, arriving as a member of the Chicago White Sox via helicopter.
He struck out as a White Sox player and was quickly traded to the San Francisco Giants.
GAME FIVE: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres
Ferrell pitched for the Dodgers before he was traded to the Padres to become San Diego’s right fielder.”

What may seem like an extravagant ploy, the craziness of the day did not go unnoticed and was extremely successful in terms of fundraising. According to @CBSSportsMLB, Ferrell was able to raise $1 million dollars to fight cancer and he will also auction off all of the uniforms and equipment he used during the day for the cause. It seemed as though the players, fans and all involved really enjoyed the comedic relief of Ferrell’s absurdity, but not all appreciated what he was doing. Former NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden found the stunt offensive, ““That’s a lack of respect. That’s a lack of respect for the game and a [lack of] respect for what players have to do to get where they are.”

As a huge Will Ferrell and baseball fan, I loved this stunt and that fact that it raised money for a great cause. Some view the game of baseball as “boring” and I think this spiced it up a little and showed the MLB as an organization may not be so “old school” as many previously thought. While I understand how some view the stunt as “disrespectful” to the game, I think because it was raising awareness for a good cause it was totally acceptable. After all, this was Spring Training not Game 7 of the World Series. I also loved the social media updates from all of the teams involved and hope that baseball as well as all professional sports organizations can take advantage of opportunities like this to generate awareness and give back to charities that need help.

What did you think of this stunt? Did you find it funny or disrespectful?
As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read be social and share.

Get in the Game: Tips for Tweeting on Super Sunday

By: Dallas J. Short
The big game is this Sunday and just because you might not have been able to afford an ad, does not mean you have to miss out on the opportunity for exposure. This is an excellent chance to grow and strengthen relationships. Here are a few tips:

1) Don’t Force It. If sports isn’t something that usually aligns with you or your company, don’t try to be a part of the event, just to do it. You would be the equivalent to a person jumping into a conversation and talking just to hear yourself speak, while others would stare and wonder why you are even there. However, do pay attention to the pre-game, game, half-time, post-game – something could come up or happen that you could be able to tie into with sincerity. The events being talked about are by fans, this is their game and their party, respect that and be a fun guest.

2) Know the Hashtags. Pay attention and follow what is trending and how it can apply to your involvement. You want to be in-the-know and relevant.

3) No Excessive Celebration. Do not try to come up with a clever quip and then think you won the game. Save your “Gronking.” Respond to people and put value into those conversations and interactions. Make people feel involved and appreciated, because they are and should be. Don’t respond to them how Marshawn Lynch might to the media.

4) Consistency is Key. If you are going to tweet during the event, make sure you’re not flooding timelines in the first half and then radio silence in the second. Well, you should not be flooding timelines at all. You want to tweet and to talk, but you do not want to be spammy and annoying.

5) Ear to the Ground. Listening is such an important and overlooked aspect of social media. You need to know who and what people are actually talking about. You need to understand the emotion and intensity, it is not just about the message you want to get out.

6) Don’t Hit the Locker Room Too Quick. Even after the game is over, the conversation and opportunities are not. This is a large scale event and conversations will continue to develop well after the clock has expired. Engage in relevant recaps and summaries. However, do not risk being “the last guy at the party,” if it’s dying out, it is ok to move on.

This Super Bowl is going to be a great game and with millions and millions spent on television advertising; there will also be millions and millions following along on social media. This is an opportunity for you and brands to connect and engage on a more natural level and develop meaningful interactions and relationships.
As always, I welcome any and all comments and if you like what you read be social and share.

Hating from the Sideline

By: Dallas J. Short
Are you a fan of a sports team or athlete? Do you follow them on them social media? There is a good chance that if you said yes to the first question then you said yes to the second question, but here’s the curveball:

Do you consistently respond or engage with them positively on social media?
While it’s easy to like, favorite or retweet, the anonymity of social media has turned the comment/response option into a breeding ground for negativity, sarcasm and quips.

Social media allows us to feel more directly connected to our teams and athletes, but this is a privilege that many take for granted. Game play critiques are one thing, we all have opinions, but there should never be an excuse for death threats, racism, involving a player’s family and other such vile hate that has become all too commonplace.

The irony is most of the negative comments are from people who buy the jerseys and tickets for the people they are insulting. Though a lot of players will say they don’t read comments or let it affect them, truth is – they do and players can struggle when heckling turns into hate.
Trust me, I understand the frustration of being a loyal sports fan – the past few years as a Miami Hurricanes / Philadelphia Phillies & 76ers haven’t been the most cheerful, to say the least. Why would I want to do anything that risks making it worse?

It comes down to this: sports are great, (now I’m going to give you a second to sit down), but they pale in importance to other things in real life. Would you tweet at your boss for a new hire you disagree with? Would you like your doctor to blast you online for unhealthy habits? How would you react if the person you cut off in traffic this morning made public death threats towards your children?

If an athlete angers you to the point where you become so upset it leads to outbursts, rants and colors your view on the game, just breathe and let it go. Seriously, it’s not that serious. Hate is such a wasted emotion – disengage and move on.

Will this change? Optimism aside, this is a growing trend that will probably continue to worsen. The downside to that, it is going to chase away the value of interaction for fan, athletes, teams and everyone involved. Sports should be our break, our getaway, our release. Have fun and remember why you love it. Think before you post and remember there are no championship rings given for being a “tough guy.”
Do you agree? Disagree? There is a comment section below here as well.

As always, if you like what you read be social and share.

Great Tips on How to Strategically Build Your Social Media Following

By: Gina Mason

Creating a loyal and interactive fan base is extremely important when developing a successful social media marketing strategy, but it can also be very difficult. After all, if you don’t have many followers, your messaging is not going to get far.

We often see people try to boost their following overnight by purchasing followers and while this method may look great on paper, they are wasting time and money spreading their message to fake accounts and completely missing their target audience. So how do you build a quality following organically? Well, let me start by saying that this process isn’t simple and it may take some time, but the quality vs. quantity theory applies when it comes to getting your company’s message out there.

Outside of the common tips such as “follow more people” and “be more engaging or interactive,” there are so many additional ways to increase your following and build buzz around your social media accounts and business. I recently read a fantastic article from Inc. written by Jayson Demers called, “39 Ways to Get More Social Media Followers” that I found to be extremely beneficial and useful. Here are 10 of my favorite tips from the article and I hope you find these to be as helpful as I did.

1. “Reach out to influencers: Find influencers in your niche using a tool such as Buzzsumo, and then share their content, tag or mention them, or comment on their blogs. As you build relationships, they are more likely to share your content with their followers.
2. Identify popular posts to get more shares: Getting new fans often comes down to how often your content gets shared. A tool like Fanpage Karma can help you identify the most popular posts in your niche.
3. Use relevant hashtags: Use a tool like Hashtagify.me to find relevant and trending hashtags. Use these in your posts to attract new followers who are searching for those hashtags.
4. Post viral content: Easier said than done, right? Post Planner can help by providing you with images and content that have been proven to go viral.
5. Add Facebook and Twitter widgets to your site: Go beyond simple social media icons, and use a Facebook Like Box or Twitter Embedded Timeline on your site or blog.
6. Build network-specific landing pages: Create landing pages on your site for visitors from each social network you’re on, and then link to these pages in your social media bios. This may increase your follows only marginally, but you should see an increase in traffic and conversions.
7. Use humor: Evoking emotions (positive or negative) through your posts is great for increased sharing; however, posting funny or happy content will net you more sharing overall.
8. Reshare other people’s content: Share posts, images, and tweets from other businesses, and they’ll be more likely to share yours.
9. Be relatable: Let your fans and followers know you’re a real person rather than a faceless business; this will make sharing your content with their friends feel like less of a risk.
10. Make your blog content tweetable with a click: Use a plugin such as Inline Tweet Sharer to encourage visitors to share your tweetable content.”

To read the full article, visit: http://www.inc.com/jayson-demers/39-ways-to-get-more-social-media-followers.html

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As always, if you like what you read be social and share.

Productivity Tips for the New Year

By: Gina Mason

As we welcome 2015, many of us reflect on the past year and begin to think about all of the things that we can improve upon. One common New Year’s resolution that many people have (outside of losing weight or joining a gym) is to be more productive. In our world of constant connectivity, smartphones and multitasking, it is hard to stay productive when we have millions of distractions a day. For most of us, it seems like the days get shorter and we find ourselves saying, “if only, there were more hours in the day.”

I recently read a fantastic Huffington Post article titled, “12 Habits of Productive People” with some great tips on how productive people get things done effectively and efficiently. Here are a few of my favorite tips from the article, in hopes to help us all make 2015 our most productive year yet:

Don’t be chained to your email.
We have all done it, spent hours and hours scanning our inboxes and constantly hitting reply, send or delete. According to the expert, Robert Pozen, “email is one of the biggest barriers to productivity” because people “are overwhelmed” by it and “don’t know how to deal with it.” He suggests checking your email every hour or so and save time by skimming the subject lines.

Make your to-do list count.
One of my favorite things to do is to make to-do lists. Call it my Type-A personality or simply call me crazy, but I find them to be an incredibly helpful tool to stay organized. However, expert Adam Grant suggests, “starting off [your to-do list] with an easy task to provide a sense of momentum, then moving on to a grander or more important task. That way, the positive energy from the first task carries over to the second task.” Feeling sluggish after all of that work? Try “switching back to an easier task to rejuvenate and regain a sense of progress before going back to a harder, more time-consuming task.”

Have a plan for distraction.
Things happen all the time that keep us from getting work done. Keep yourself in the game and one step ahead by planning for distraction. Grant suggests trying to “anticipate any possible distractions and then come up with solutions for avoiding them.”

Sharing is caring.
The term “sharing is caring” comes to mind, but not for the traditional use. The article suggests that telling someone that you are working on something makes you more accountable. This “self-imposed accountability” will keep you on track because you won’t want to let that person down.

It only takes a few small changes to make you more productive and with time, these small changes can make huge difference. Here’s to a very happy, healthy, prosperous and productive New Year! Cheers to 2015!

As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read be social and share.