Sports On Pinterest Tips

Sports Food on Pinterest   139 Pins

My own personal favorite: My Sports Food Board

 

Sports on Pinterest

Sports on Pinterest can be successful. Really! But, one of the biggest questions I come across when it comes to sports and social media has to do with teams, leagues and brands and Pinterest. How can they make Pinterest a viable platform in their overall strategy? How many resources do we have to devote to it? Can we just schedule the same content as our other platforms? How can we find the time to invest in it? Let’s just pin and see if this works.

sigh

I may be a fan with a journalist’s perspective, but I know enough to know that Pinterest isn’t your average platform. Similar, however, to other platforms, what worked when Pinterest first started, won’t cut it now. I have a lot of followers, but how do you connect with them in a more meaningful way? 

Most sports entities have a built-in advantage – wherever they are, fans naturally follow. But, once a connection is made, then what? With the changes being made to Pinterest and advertising and business, there is a potential to connect even deeper with fans on the platform. 

To examine this deeper, I asked two people I know that use and/or monitor Pinterest on a regular basis: Jeff Sieh and Bob McKamey. Jeff is a marketer based in Texas who hosts a popular Google+ show called, “The Manly Show”. It was formerly known as “The Manly Pinterest Show”. Bob the founder of a Chicago-based studio, Uncommon Thinking, that works with major brands, athletes and schools for their branding needs.

After reading some of their answers to my questions below, I have some serious updating to do on my boards. 

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Q1: Pinterest. A hugely popular social platform. What is your level of involvement on Pinterest?

Jeff – I don’t have a set schedule, but I try to touch Pinterest twice a day.  I pin once in the morning and then again in the evening.  I believe that any success I have gained in Pinterest is because of this consistency.

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Bob – I first became aware of the platform in early 2012, when it started to get a lot of buzz, and decided to do a report on how pro teams (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, NASCAR, WNBA) were using it. Since that initial report I’ve followed it pretty closely ever since, and added the following ones:

  • 10 Insights from Athletic Depts on Pinterest – November 09, 2014
  • Pinterest & Athletic Departments v2 – November 07, 2014
  • Creative College Athletics Pinterest Board Cover Images v2 – October 31, 2014
  • Pinterest & Sports Teams v3 – November 26, 2013
  • Pinterest & Sponsor Integration – October 31, 2013
  • Pinterest & Athletic Departments v1 – October 16, 2013
  • Creative College Athletics Pinterest Board Cover Images v1 – October 15, 2013
  • Pinterest & Sports Teams v3 – December 11, 2012
  • The Pinterest Username Dilemma for Sports Teams – December 10, 2012
  • Sports Teams Not Turning to Pinterest for Holiday Sales – Dec. 10 & Nov. 30, 2012
  • Pinterest & Sports Teams v2 – March 27, 2012

I also manage a popular NASCAR driver’s account, and consult with a few college sports programs on their presence.

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Q2: There is a stereotype out there that Pinterest is just for women. What is your response to that line of thinking?

Jeff – I think there still is that stereotype, but I think that is changing.  Pinterest is really working hard to capture more male users.  In fact, if you look at some of their more recent video promos, you’ll really notice a male element.  http://goo.gl/ue3q1x

Also, more men are currently joining Pinterest than ever before.  Male sign-ups for Pinterest are now growing faster than women, with men accounting for one-third of all sign ups on the site.   What’s really interesting is that more men are using Pinterest in the U.S. than read Sports Illustrated and GQ combined.  That is a pretty big number! (TechCrunch, Nov. 2013)

a certain amount of platform

Bob – The stats do in fact show that women are the dominant audience (most reports have it at 70%) so that should be a major part of the focus when developing a strategy for the channel. The recent Pew InternetSocial Media Update 2014” report noted that: the % of online adults who use Pinterest equals 42% for Women, and 13% for Men.

From a sports category perspective even though women are the focus, the men demo shouldn’t be ignored, and I believe recent stats show the % of men users is growing steadily.

It’s important to understand how your fans are getting to your account. I think you’ll find women have an easier time organically finding your presence, whereas a certain amount of platform cross-promoting and more targeted marketing techniques will be needed to help your male fans discover what you have to offer them on Pinterest.

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Q3: There are sports teams/leagues/schools/brands that are on Pinterest. Are there any that you know of who use the platform effectively?

Jeff – There are a lot of High School sport boards that many schools use to share photos, etc. A few pro ones that have quite the following

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Bob – Quite a few teams do have accounts, but using the criteria for an “active” account as having posted a pin within the last 4 weeks, then the story is quite different (as of 1.11.15):

  • NBA – 28 teams with accounts, only 7 active (25%).
  • NFL – 27 teams with accounts, only 13 active (48%).
  • NHL – 29 teams with accounts, only 4 active (13%).
  • MLB – 30 teams with accounts, only 11 active (36%).

*From my Athletic Depts report last November, I looked at 78 Depts with accounts and only 29 (37%) were active using the same 4 week posting criteria.

Despite the overall inactivity in the sports team category, here are some that do a good job on Pinterest. 

Golden State Warriors

The Warriors are doing the best job of any team when it comes to Pinterest. They have the 3rd most Boards (55), and are the most active with an amazing 10,037 pins. From Board maintenance, to retail promotion, to social integration, to featuring a great variety of interesting content, the Warriors have a well thought-out strategy.

St. Louis Cardinals

Impressed with overall strategy from the Cards, three recent examples that standout:

Colleges:

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Q3a: Any that don’t?

Jeff – There are still quite a few.  But I think that will really start to change this year as they see that Pinterest has the consumer that they are trying to reach.

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Bob – If we’re talking about Board Maintenance, unfortunately from what I’ve seen I could probably give you examples from every team or close to 95% of them, but four that specifically stand out for the wrong reasons to me include:

NFL — Couple issues with the NFL:

1. It’s hard to tell if the NFL has an official league account or not. I used to cite /NFLOfficial as their account, but don’t believe that to be correct anymore. /NFL doesn’t exist, and since the league does an absolute horrible job of promoting their own social accounts on NFL.com it leads you to believe they are the only major sports league without an account.

2. There is an /OfficialNFLShop account (has only 1,857 followers), but from the first board’s cover image showing guys training, to not including boards for every team, it’s just lacking in overall strategy.

For a league that is spending a lot of time/money trying to market to female fans, why would you not be killing it on a platform that has a 70% female audience and reaches 42% of ALL women online?

College Football Playoff  — You have to question why they even activated the account. It’s promoted on their website, but no updates in 16 weeks, no Boards for the four teams, no Partners Board, no Promotions Board, no Game Boards, no retail Boards promoting their own store. Just an overall missed opportunity.

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Q4: What are the benefits of a sports entity being on Pinterest? How can they leverage it properly?

Jeff – Traffic hands down.  Plus most sports marketing is based in images.  If you’re doing any sort of marketing in the sports field, you should already have a library of great images of your sports brand or team.  People like looking at sports images.  We’ve been trained to like those types of images from various magazines like Sports Illustrated.

SALE

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Bob – Some of the most obvious benefits include:

  1. Marketing – Pinterest and Tumblr are the fastest growing social media channels. (Mashable)
  2. Targeting Female Fans/Customers – 70% channel demo and reach of 42% of all online female users. (Pew Internet)
  3. Retailing – Number of orders through Pinterest is up 79% from last year, with the average order at close to $60 (Shopify).
  4. Traffic Driver – Pinterest drives more web traffic than any other social network (Shareaholic).
  5. Another perhaps not so obvious benefit from Pinterest is using the Secret Boards feature for competitive intelligence. For example, in our business this past year we saw a heightened use of custom graphics throughout social media, so we created six categorized secret boards and have pinned 300+ samples so far that we internally share and review to improve our own offerings.

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Q5: Who/what are the best Pinterest accounts that you follow (doesn’t have to be sports-related)?

Jeff – Since I do a lot of marketing. I follow people like Cynthia Sanchez, Peg Fitzpatrick, Rebekah RadiceTailwind has some great boards that crosses a great deal of subjects.

The great thing about Pinterest is the ability to search any subject you’re interested in.  With the recent changes to their search algorithm, it’s easier than ever to find content you’re interested in.

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Bob – I’d recommend the following:

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Q6: If a team/league/school/brand or even athlete came to you asking how they can use Pinterest as part of their overall social media strategy, what advice would you give them? Where should they start?

Writer’s note: For Jeff’s answer, I chose this quick video 

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Bob – Initial starter checklist I would run through with them:

  1. What are you currently doing on your other social media channels – how do you foresee Pinterest fitting in with your strategy (ie being unique)?
  2. What are you looking to get out of being on Pinterest – Goals/KPI’s?
  3. Are you, or is someone that’s part of your team, committed to maintaining the channel?
  4. Have you done a review of what your competitors are doing on the channel?
  5. Have you made a draft list of possible Board Topics you want to include?
  6. Have you done an asset inventory to see whether you have existing content that could be used to populate your Boards?
  7. In looking through your list of sponsors – are there any that would possibly be a good fit to being involved (Channel sponsorship, Board sponsorship, Board content, marketing/promotions)?
  8. Do you have a budget for any potential channel advertising (ie Promoted Pins)?

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Q7: Top Pinterest tips?

Jeff 

1. Be consistent.

2. Check your links.  Make sure that you’re not repining broken links or spam..

3. Pin what you want.  Don’t just pin content related to your business.  People want to see that you have a life outside of work! (Writer’s suggestion: Jeff’s “Geek” Board)

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Bob

1. Board Shelf-Life: Try to create Boards that warrant an ongoing shelf-life, ones that lend themselves to built-in content (i.e. frequent pin updates). Example from Danica Patrick’s “Fans” Board below

danica

 

2. Use Board Descriptions: I’ve noted this in every larger report we’ve done, it’s that important. It’s shocking how many brands, teams, athletic departments, and athletes think that the short Board Title provides enough description/details.

3. Board Organization & Maintenance: Strongly recommend doing a periodic audit of your boards – way too many accounts have outdated boards and pins.

4. Promote & Cross-promote Your Channels: What’s the use in having an account on Pinterest if nobody knows about it? One of the easiest ways is to promote it on your website, and also through your other social media channels. We do studies every year looking at the social media integration on team websites, and far too many don’t promote all of their accounts (especially anything other than Twitter and Facebook).

5. Analytics and Exit Strategy: Pay attention to the analytics offered from Pinterest. Also, if for whatever reason you decide to leave the platform, pull down your outdated boards and just include a Connect Board featuring links to your websites and other social channels. Here’s a great Connect Board example from the Warriors

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Q8: Final thoughts on Pinterest in sports?

Jeff – Get on it now.  If you don’t, your competitors will.  I still believe it’s a ground floor opportunity to get traffic to your site and build brand recognition on Pinterest.

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Bob – Pinterest as a business and platform is still evolving, and the true best practices in the sports category are still to be determined in my opinion.

Consider that only 30% of teams in the big four sports leagues that have accounts believe it’s worth it to keep them updated. So either the majority is right and there’s not much benefit to the channel, or there’s a huge opportunity for a team to come in and be a category killer – make your goal to set the standard on how a team should use Pinterest to their benefit.

In closing, it’s important to remember that like any social media channel if you’re not committed, then really you’re just wasting your time – and unfortunately probably the time of your fans/customers too.

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My thanks to Bob and Jeff for taking the time to answer my questions. They have provided great insight and thoughts on using Pinterest successfully. Be sure to connect with them below:

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FINAL THOUGHTS: Pinterest doesn’t have to be the great unknown for those working in sports social media. Do your research and see if it fits in your strategy. As Pinterest continues to grow and focus on tools for business, it’s proving to be a player in the social media marketing landscape. Connecting with people who understand the platform like Jeff and Bob can go a long way toward success.

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CadChica Sports

Cristiano Ronaldo, Golden Again

Another golden moment for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Portugal and Real Madrid star, Cristiano Ronaldo, won the 2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or. Ronaldo won the award over arch-rival Lionel Messi (Argentina, FC Barcelona) and Manuel Neuer (Germany, FC Bayern).

Based on voting tallies, the results weren’t close.

There were other awards at FIFA’s gala tonight. Not all of them were without controversy, however.

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FIFA XI

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WOMEN’S BALLON d’OR

PUSKAS GOAL OF THE YEAR

The nominees: Colombia’s James Rodriguez, Ireland’s Stephanie Roche and Netherlands’ Robin van Persie. It was a relatively close one, but Roche was unable to overtake Rodriguez’ World Cup golazo.

THE NIGHT WAS REALLY ABOUT ONE MAN – DESPITE WHAT SOME DESIRED

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SOCIAL PERSPECTIVE

According to Topsy.com, the breakdown for number of tweets in the past day (below):

topsy ballondor

 

Ahh, the vote. Well, it is FIFA we’re dealing with here.  

 

 

For a full list of voters and their selections, click the link in the tweet below: 

 CRISTIANO’S SOCIAL DAY

When I monitored the Ballon d’Or last year, one of the things I paid close attention to was Cristiano Ronaldo’s social strategy. In 2013, Cristiano and his team released his own site (app): Viva Ronaldo. Shortly after he won the award last year, the news was shared first on his own site. This year, it was shared within moments of the announcement – before any of his other social accounts were updated.

2 Viva Ronaldo   The Cristiano Ronaldo Social Network

 

 

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One thing I watch for from teams, brands, athletes is what they are sharing on each platform. What I say is not gospel when it comes to social media. Too many in social media believe that how they use social meida is how it should be done. I used to think like that. But, social media has become too big, too embedded in our daily lives, too varied for me to say it should be done a certain way. 

That said, I do believe that the content should vary from platform to platform. Give followers a reason to follow on that platform. Otherwise, why should they follow on Twitter if it’s the same content on Facebook? 

Ronaldo’s team shared the same content on each platform.

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Instagram

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Twitter

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Facebook

[fb_embed_post href=”https://www.facebook.com/Cristiano/photos/a.407367867163.178908.81221197163/10153091432822164/?type=1&theater/” width=”550″/]

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Google+

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FINAL THOUGHTS: Notice a pattern? Same content. Same time. Different platforms. Side note: the Facebook post shows up on his VivaRonaldo.com.

Granted, an athlete of Cristiano’s magnitude, his fans will follow him anywhere and everywhere. But, that’s not the case for every athlete and team. A team, league, school or athlete, even a sports brand, that isn’t of Ronaldo’s stature, shouldn’t be on every platform. Each platform requires observation and trial-and-error. Find what works within your strategy. Devote time to making it work. Success on the pitch, field or court doesn’t happen overnight – so why expect it to happen on social media? 

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CadChica Sports

Tuesday Ten: #smsportschat

1-6-15 SHOW

 

Tuesday Ten is a chat with leaders and up-and-comers in the world of sports in: media/broadcasting, business/marketing, social media and more. On Tuesday, January 6, 2015 was a special night for two reasons. One, it was the season premiere for year two (!!!) of Tuesday Ten. Second, I joined forces with the host of one of the best Twitter chats around, #smsportschat. 

Tariq Ahmad, host of #smsportschat, joined me as co-host of this special edition with a stellar cast from the worlds of sports-social media and sports business: Lisa Bregman, Neil Horowitz, Adam Navarrete and Jessica Smith. Due to technical issues, Mark Burns was unable to join the show. But, I hope to have him on again in the future. 

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TUESDAY TEN CAST

Tariq Ahmad is a Social Media Business Manager for IBM and a Social Media Adjunct Professor. He completed his PhD research on social media and the NBA. Tariq co-created SportShadow, a site that tracks check-ins at sports venues. He is also the host of #smsportschat on Twitter, a chat focusing on sports and social media, every Thursday at 9p ET.

Lisa Bregman has worked for 10+ years in the sports industry in the areas of digital & social media, marketing, partnership activation, business development, PR and emerging technology consulting. She has experience in international soccer, college & action sports, Olympics, Major League Lacrosse, sports agencies and extensive team experience with Major League Soccer. She currently works for Wasserman Media Group as part of their digital team where her responsibilities include strategic consulting in digital & social media for various brands, sports-related entities and teams, as well as business development and the management of athletes’ brands and endorsement activations. Lisa is a former Northwestern University cheerleader and completed her graduate studies at George Washington University.

Mark J Burns is currently an Operations Coordinator in Talent/Athlete Marketing at CSE, an Atlanta-based sports and entertainment agency. He is also a Sports Business Contributor with Forbes.com and Entrepreneur.com. 

Neil Horowitz is a social and digital media marketing professional with experience in the NHL, collegiate athletics, and more. He also produces and hosts a bi-weekly podcast, the Digital and Social Media Sports podcast, on which managers and thought leaders from the sports business and media world discuss their work in social and digital media. In addition to iTunes, all podcasts can also be found at Neil’s blog and website: www.dsmsports.net.

Adam Navarrete is a Digital Media and Sports Marketer – www.adamnavarrete.com.

Jessica Smith is the Social Media Manager IMG LIVE, an experiential marketing agency, where she heads up the Social Media Department. She stumbled upon the social media industry more than five years ago, and needless to say, it was love at first tweet. Before taking on her current role, she spent time at the NCAA and Atlanta Track Club. Jessica has a passion and curiosity about the sports and social media landscape, harnessing her passion into the blog socialnsport.com.

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THE SHOW

  • Opening: Special edition of Tuesday Ten with #smsportschat
  • 01:15 – My co-host, Tariq Ahmad bio and a history of how #smsportschat got started.
  • 03:30 – Intro to Lisa Bregman
  • 04:42 – Intro to Adam Navarrete
  • 05:53 – Intro to Neil Horowitz
  • 06:58 – Intro to Jessica Smith
  • 07:26“Softball” question (Reference:  http://goo.gl/ZTLduY) What is one thing you wish teams, leagues, schools, athletes would do differently in 2015?
  • 08:02Neil: More teams tailor content to the platform. Give fans the content that is truly shareable.
  • 09:53Adam: It’s about the experience. Fans remember the experience at the game more than the score. Bring that into the digital realm.
  • 11:33Jessica: Finding a brand voice that’s all their own. Less copycat and less FOMO (fear of missing out).
  • 13:35Lisa: Many changes since she started. Social media is divided within teams. Cohesiveness is not completely there just yet.
  • 16:20 – The dreaded ROI question from Tariq. Is it absolutely necessary for sports entities to use the “Buy” features being implemented across social media platforms?
  • 17:03Adam: Still a novelty to measure it. The bottom line for teams remains ticket sales.
  • 18:44Neil: Not a native action just yet for the platforms. Focus remains getting them to the owned website. Intangible value of social.
  • 21:28Jessica: From a brand perspective, moving in the direction of customers wanting to buy. Still a novelty, but some gray area.
  • 23:02Lisa: ROI isn’t one patent answer. Every team, league, market is different. Many factors involved. Communication is key.
  • 26:51Question: What has stood out from brands, sponsors, teams or even the bowl games in terms of social media this season?
  • 27:17Jessica: Early season hype videos were stellar. Schools taking it beyond just football. Branding integrated.
  • 29:04Lisa: Bowl games surprised her. Seeing more professional-quality interaction from teams.
  • 31:04Neil: Engaged impressions throughout the game (e.g. AllState’s Mayhem series). Shareable content works with/for passionate fans.
  • 33:59Audience Question: Best campaigns for the past year.
  • 34:32Jessica: U.S. Soccer’s World Cup campaign. Jerseys, outreach program was an innovative rallying point for watching the #USMNT.
  • 35:41Neil: MLB continues to excel combining social media and in-game engagement. Creativity in visual graphics for fans from brands, sponsors, team.
  • 37:42Adam: RE2PECT and Nike was an impressive way for Gatorade to honor the Yankees’ Derek Jeter; first time changing their logo.
  • 38:51Lisa: Brand and UnderArmour’s I WILL WHAT I WANT campaign. Also, the #WeAreWinter hashtag from Canada during the Winter Olympics.
  • 40:25Audience Question: Is there a major company that you’d like to see involved more in college sports?
  • 40:58Jessica: It depends on the school. Each one has different priorities, resources, demographics. Rules & regulations to follow.
  • 41:46Neil: Agreed with Jessica. Also, would like to see more personality from brands.
  • 43:00Lisa: Better activation from sponsors (Pepsi, anyone?). Work hand-in-hand.
  • 44:58Jessica: Indianapolis Colts and sponsored content. Experiential marketing.
  • 46:07Adam: Uber and Lyft have been engaged in MLB. Possible avenue for colleges too.
  • 48:22 – CONNECTION TIME (how to connect with our panelists and co-host)
  • 52:00 – NEXT WEEK

View the full video below or listen on SoundCloud

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COMING UP

Join me next Tuesday, January 13th, when I’ll be joined by Debi Davis, Social Media Strategist with 3D Communications. Based in Eagle, CO, Debi is currently volunteering with the organization(s) heading up next month’s World Alpine Ski Championships in Vail, CO. 6 pm ET/9 pm PT (7 pm AZ time) on Google+.

CadChica Sports

NFL Listens to Jungle Boy Tweets

Jungle Boy

Jungle Boy. 

As the tweet above explains, “Jungle Boy” was used by long-time NFL referee Ed Hochuli during tonight’s Carolina Panthers-Arizona Cardinals game. The fact that Hochuli uttered the term during a national telecast had Twitter buzzing.

Who is “Jungle Boy” you may ask? And why is an NFL referee using that term? Before things got out of control on Twitter (like the tweet above indicates), the NFL was quick to issue an explanation on, where else, Twitter:

 

ProFootball Talk would go on to explain further:

Ed Hochuli refers to fellow official as “Jungle Boy” on live mic   ProFootballTalk

 

RELATED: NFL Ref Czar on Cowboys Party Bus? (August 2014)

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Think and Listen

Not that long ago I wrote a post entitled “Sweat the Small Stuff in Social Media“. Every little move is analyzed and critiqued in today’s social media world. Twitter has become a landing spot for instant criticism. Waiting on context is an inconvenience in the 140-character Twitterverse. Group-think can become fact. As such, it is imperative for teams, leagues, brands, athletes to be acutely aware of what is being said on social media.

RELATED: Key Weapons for Fighting Social Media Wildfires

“Think before you tweet” used to be the best advice to give for those on social media, no matter how big the person or entity. Now, it is joined by one simple word: listen. Fans, customers, media are using social media to provide their opinions on even the simplest thing, like a tweet.

Or, an inadvertent comment on national television.

That’s where Dean Blandino excelled tonight.

Hochuli mistakenly opened up his stadium

Blandino, according to his Twitter account, is the Vice-President of Officiating with the NFL. Within minutes of Jungle Boy being mentioned on Twitter, Blandino was quick to clarify its meaning. A single opinion can gain a following on Twitter at warp speed. By addressing the issue head-on, Blandino and the NFL kept a potential PR storm at bay. And, it demonstrated that the NFL is listening.

Not every social media firestorm can be addressed. Sometimes there are no-win situations. When the NFL faced the release of the Ray Rice video by TMZ, there was simply no way to appease the masses with a social media response. But, with Jungle Boy a quick response was the best way to go. 

Had it been left unchecked, surely this tweet would have proved prescient:

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CadChica Sports

 

Black and White All Over Instagram

Black-and-White 

I said if you’re thinkin’ of being my brother it don’t matter if you’re black or white.  

~Michael Jackson (Black or White)

What does Michael Jackson have to do with sports? That’s probably what you’re asking yourself right now, isn’t it? Sometimes, I think in song lyrics. I could be watching a game and a simple statement by an announcer can have me thinking about a song.

So tonight, while looking at Instagram, I started singing Michael Jackson’s Black or White. Specifically, while looking at the NHL’s Instagram feed.

 

Black-And-White

I never thought I’d be using a Michael Jackson quote in one of my posts, let alone a post discussing the NHL. But, here we are. 

Why, you ask? Because of the #WinterClassic. 

The annual New Year’s Day event that is the Winter Classic (outdoor hockey on New Year’s Day) was held today. All of the planning both for the game and the social side came to fruition at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. While the game came to an exciting last-minute game-winning goal end, what grabbed my attention was the NHL’s Instagram account. 

Scrolling through my Instagram timeline, I’m used to seeing the varying filters (Rise, Mayfair, X-Pro II). But, there is just something about a black-and-white photo that stops me in my tracks. I don’t know if it’s the lack of the color filters that stops me or how the lack of color that forces you to focus on the subject itself. 

Take this one for instance. 

There isn’t much to the image. At least, not at first glance. Maybe that’s the point. Just a stunning image of Chicago Blackhawks goalie, Corey Crawford.  The commentary that goes with it though, adds an extra touch:

NHL on Instagram  “Stand your ground.  WinterClassic Photo by  jasonmpeterson”

Let the Image Tell the Story

Being a goalie is a lonely job. You can be the hero one minute and the goat the next. You’re the last line of defense. If a puck gets past you, it’s a goal for the other team. It’s up to you, the goalie, to make sure that doesn’t happen.

It’s…all…on…you. 

Just…you. 

Lonely. 

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Marketers call that image telling a story. Perhaps that’s true in a marketing sense. But I, as a fan, just think that’s a cool pic of a goalie on the ice…all by himself. I understand the concept of a goalie being by himself in the literal sense and the imagery of the goalie as I explained above. 

Sports fans get it. We watch the games. We know what we’re looking at when we see sports images. Usually, they are in color. Especially on Instagram. Even then, some color filter has been used to jazz it up and make it stand out. For me though, the black-and-whites clear out the color clutter and just lets the picture tell its own story. 

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As I went through a few of the other pictures,  there were other great black-and-white images on the NHL’s feed. And, not just today either. But, the ones from today were eye-catching enough for me to tweet this: 

That lower right picture that you can’t see? Yeah, it’s good. See below.

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The NHL Is Not Alone

The NHL isn’t the only league using black-and-white effectively. I received this tweet reply earlier this evening from the UFC’s Social Media Manager, @UFC_Shanda

Needless to say my curiousity was piqued. A peek at their Instagram feed was spot on. This, in particular, was terrific – behind-the-scenes footage leading up to a marquee event. Showing the fans the work and effort the fighters go through in preparation for a fight. ufc on Instagram  “It s a wrap for day 2 in Phoenix Arizona. Fighters head back to the UFC host hotel for a late night training session in preparation for  UFCPhoenix.”

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FINAL THOUGHTS

What is it about black-and-white photography that is so appealing?

I don’t think there is one answer for that question. Art appreciation, in any form, is subjective. What appeals to you might not appeal to me. But, I keep coming back to the word “simplicity”. There is just a simplicity to black-and-white images that can take a colored image to a different level. For me, it helps me to focus on just the subject, realize the story in it…and yes, even imagine the story behind the story. 

Powerful and appealing. 

To see this in action, read this fstoppers.com post on a recent sale of a black-and-white photo that sold for…wait for it…$6.5 million. 

By the way, the photographer sold another image on the same day for $2.4 million. 

It Don’t Matter If You’re Black Or White

Great job by both the UFC and this crew from the NHL

If they continue to include stadium images like this, I will gladly double-tap it every single time.

 

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CadChica Sports

Social Media Gives Athletes A Voice And An Ear

Hands Up, Don’t Shoot

I Can’t Breathe

 

arangure quote

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Athletes Social Media

December is a time for social media reflection and prediction blog posts. Most read from the same premise, albeit with different words. Some, however, are worth the time to read. Take this one from Jorge Arangure Jr on VICE Sports on athletes finding their “social” voice. 

Back in October 2013, having seen the evolution of social media and the effect on sports, I decided to dig a little deeper with a series of social media q&a’s. I wanted to get perspectives from different people across the social media landscape. I interviewed people in Australia, the U.K., Canada and here in the U.S. They worked in digital media, sports writing, sports business, broadcasting and yes, even an athlete. Not just any athlete, but one who played at the highest level in soccer (football) – the Premier League. I interviewed Rohan Ricketts. 

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Rohan Ricketts is a former footballer with Tottenham Hotspur, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Arsenal and Toronto FC. Ricketts was part of my q&a series. I chose Ricketts because I observed his interaction with fans and media on Twitter. He didn’t talk down to people. He was engaging and interacting – he “got” it. 

One of the questions I asked (you can read the entire Q&A here) was about his outlook for social media in sports. Being as it was the last quarter of 2013, I suppose you can look at that as a prediction question. I didn’t mean it in that way, but rather, I wanted his perspective as an athlete. How athletes view social media isn’t always how marketers, fans or media view it. I thought he’d bring a fresh outlook.

And, he did.  

Social Media Q A With Rohan Ricketts CadChica Sports

It was Ricketts who I thought of when I was reading that VICE Sports piece on Saturday. It was amazing to me how spot on Ricketts was. Whether it’s on social media or through a t-shirt, the social voice of athletes is on the rise. Are there “PR issues” that athletes need to be aware of, as Ricketts suggested? Yes. Right or wrong athletes who desire or have sponsorship dollars still need to be cognizant of what issues they weigh in on.

Along with giving athletes a voice, social media has given them an ear (so to speak). It’s an outlet they can access to “hear” what’s going on in the world. What is the hot topic. What is the outrage. It helps them become aware. Perhaps even validating their own thoughts and ideas on an issue. 

Does it empower them? Impossible to provide a blanket-answer for all athletes. But, it cannot be denied that for some, it does embolden them to take a stand.

Even a quiet one. 

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CadChica Sports

 

Video Makes the Twitter “Star”

Twitter video

Two thoughts crossed my path today. Two video thoughts and how it relates to Twitter, my most often used platform. They seem unrelated, but, yet, they’re along the same video path.

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Twitter’s Auto-play Dilemma

An Adweek article written by Garett Sloane today outlined a current issue being debated behind closed Twitter doors. It’s the dreaded “auto-play” feature.

The auto-play feature is not a foreign concept to Facebook/Instagram users. Ever scroll through your timeline and you suddenly hear a sound coming from your phone, tablet or desktop? Yes, that’s the dreaded auto-play video you just came across. While it is a feature that can be easily disabled on Facebook, it’s not as easy to do on Instagram.

Long-time Twitter users don’t always like changes to their Twitter-experience. Ask any sports journalist about “old TweetDeck” (before it was bought by Twitter) and you’re bound to hear a long, wistful sigh. [For those who didn’t have the privilege of old TweetDeck, it was the perfect third-party app for Twitter. Perfect. sigh] This year, we had buy buttons, mute buttons, tweet-sharing via DMs, tailored audience experiment (ugh), promoted tweets – if there’s a change to be made to increase users, Twitter will make it.

There are more changes to come.

But, the auto-play feature is a new one to me. Perhaps the biggest yet. As Sloane said in his Adweek piece, Twitter is playing catch-up in the video space. According to Sloane, Facebook is seeing tremendous growth in terms of videos being shown on a daily basis. Growth numbers that Twitter cannot begin to compete with in its current format. 

If the potential is there, then Twitter would be crazy not to test it out. As a long-time tweeter, I personally would hate the feature unless it can be easily disabled. Twitter is my news-feed. When a story breaks, I don’t need videos automatically playing while I’m trying to find information on it. That would be annoying. 

The crux of the matter is long-time users don’t always matter to Twitter. They don’t bring in the revenue like big-money brands. And, what brands want – they usually get.

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A Reporter’s Dream

Do you ever have a moment where you check Twitter and you see a tweet that resonates with you? That happened to me today. Unfortunately, the tweet has now been deleted (no idea why, either). But, through the magic that is Topsy, I found a retweet of it: 

Luckie tweet

 Mark S Luckie is the Manager of Journalism and News at Twitter. He posed the question with the hashtag, #TwitterWishList, asking journalists what Twitter tool they wished they had. It couldn’t be one that already existed and they just didn’t know about or have access to it. It had to be one that wasn’t created yet. 

Checking his @ mentions (like a good journalist), I saw this terrific one: 

Watermarking capabilities within Twitter itself would prevent the “stealing” of photos that is so prevalent today on the platform. A third-party app is required in order to watermark any photos you have taken, if you don’t want them used without your permission. A cumbersome task, let me tell you. 

I liked that idea…but I wanted more and tweeted as such: 

That’s my idea. Doing a live-video within a tweet. Call it Google+ Hangout meets Twitter. Sort of. I’ve done a Google+ Hangout on a live remote before. It’s not the easiest process to do a show that way, but it can be done. That’s the only way a simple journalist like me can do a video update currently. I have used an app called VoiceByte, but it’s a still image with audio only, not video. 

There are times when I’ve been at a game and thought, I wish I could do a live-update within Twitter itself. Twitter is where sports journalists are at. We share information and converse with each other, fans, teams, athletes – all through Twitter. It’s what has helped make Twitter what it is today. A live-update feature would be a natural fit. 

It doesn’t have to be a long video. A short, simple update is all it would take like what you see on a newscast. In sports terms, think of it like when ESPN or Fox cuts away to a sideline reporter during the game. They give a quick update on the team from the sidelines. Nothing fancy needed. Just straight and to the point. 

How great would that be for journalists covering a live event, whether it’s sports or some other news event? Journalists share events on Twitter as it is, why not add live-video capabilities too? 

Are there risks? Yes. There is the potential for it to be used in illicit or unsavory ways. Twitter would need to start slow with access for the feature. It shouldn’t make it available to the masses at first, if ever. Start with journalists. If they do that, I’d be more than happy to test it out for them. 

Hint, hint, Mr Luckie. 

For now, it’s only a wish. A #TwitterWishList.

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Final Thoughts: Twitter is second-fiddle to Facebook. There is no disputing that in terms of number of users globally. Whether their goal is to overtake Facebook or not, Twitter needs to keep evolving to satisfy shareholders and gain new users. Will either or both of these options improve the Twitter user’s experience? Maybe. Twitter’s bottom line? That’s a strong possibility. 

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CadChica Sports

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