Posted on Jun 21, 2012 by Tory Barron
In my brief time at Sports Media Challenge I’ve been exposed to and am learning the ins and outs of social monitoring and our proprietary tool: BuzzMgr. In today’s world so much of our daily lives involve the use of social media. Whether it be browsing through our friend’s photos on Facebook, tweeting about the NBA finals, putting together outfits via Pinterest, Instagraming the decadent meal we enjoyed last night at a happening new restaurant, or finding job opportunities through LinkedIn, the vast majority of us are involved with social media in some fashion. When Jay-Z and Beyonce gave birth to Blue Ivy Carter, how did I find out? Twitter. When Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in Mets history, how did I find out? Twitter. Realistically many of us seldom put down our smart-phones for an extended period of time during our waking hours (I know my parents and professors aren’t always thrilled about it.) This makes social media an excellent catalyst for businesses, sports organizations, and the like, who are attempting to launch a campaign, spread awareness of an upcoming event, correct costly misconceptions, etc. There is no better way to engage a slew of fans then through a popular social media channel.
Proper Use For Maximum Impact
When used properly the impact of social media can be monumental. But how do you achieve a maximum impact? How do you know what the fans care about? The answer is simple: by enlisting the help of a social monitoring tool. This past Monday, my boss (Kathleen Hessert) attended the annual Shane Victorino Foundation celebrity/all-star charity fashion show in Philly. The Shane Victorino Foundation is dedicated to promoting opportunities for underprivileged youth in Hawaii and Philadelphia. While Kathleen did social media coverage live from the fashion show, she had me monitoring via BuzzMgr back here in Charlotte, NC. The show was a great success and raised over $325,000 for the foundation, while providing some laughs (courtesy of Cole Hamels and his vibrant red capri pants) along the way.
Monitoring Generates Business Insights
Through my monitoring I discovered some interesting insights. Buzzmgr enabled me to hone in on what topics sparked the most fan engagement, what things they loved, gave thumbs down to, and what they wanted more of. This was the first year the fashion show was streamed for live viewing (on CSNPhilly.com) and it was a huge success! The buzz generated by the ability to watch the show from the comfort of your own home and multiple sites was overwhelming, especially because they sold out in person. The fashion show was even trending on Twitter in the Philadelphia area at one point in the evening. Victorino’s foundation also did a Twitter fan give-away of a Samsung Tablet prior to the start of the show. Despite all these strong points, there are also ways that social media could be used to benefit the foundation even more next year. And we wouldn’t have known this without comprehensive monitoring.
Buzz For Buzz Sake: Not Enough
While the players generated a great deal of media attention the day of the event, they could have lent even stronger influence if they had tweeted about the upcoming event in the days prior, and directed attention to the foundation’s Twitter account as opposed to their own or even the hosts (@ShaneVictorino @MsFlyinHawaiian). By having players “guest tweet” through the foundation account, fans would have been directed to the foundation and kept the focus on the cause of the fashion show, helping the kids. And although numbers aren’t the end game that would probably have cross-pollinated @SVictorinoFdtn with other serious Phillies fans.
The power of social monitoring tools in deciphering what the fans care about (and don’t) is undeniable. Monitoring what essentially is an unaided focus group enables brands that use social media to reach a whole new level of effectiveness! As Kathleen Hessert says: “That’s real time business intelligence.”