If you care about social media, this is the week to remember. The social media world exploded with activity and it’s no coincidence. This is going to be the week when we finally make the change into the Web 3.0 world.
Everything that happened this week is a precursor to the new social media reality we are about to witness. Users are no longer satisfied with easily finding what they need at their finger tips. Instead, the expectation is that the user’s device, whether that be a computer, phone, or tablet will know exactly what they want and customize information to the user without having to ask the computer.
Ignore whatever it is college Athletic Directors are saying these days. Conference realignment has everything to do with the ability to make more money and that’s it. Those who think otherwise are only kidding themselves.
Those schools have every right to do whatever they think is going to help them maximize profits. In that process for pursuing more revenue, however, they are hurting themselves drastically in public relations.
I’m not saying that schools are going to lose money. Between the insatiable demand to watch the top college football/basketball school in the country regardless of where the venue happens to be, there’s no reason to worry about ROI.
Today isn’t the same promotional world you’re used to growing up in (or if you’re young enough, your parents). The days where having a big advertising budget translates into big profits simply isn’t true anymore, or at least not without other factors coming into play.
While raising brand awareness, segmenting a target market and positioning strategy are all crucial to selling a product or service, the world where companies can make their customers believe anything that’s advertised is simply no longer the case.
Just like a company can find out as much information about its customer base as it wants, customers are also open to researching the good and bad about any company they want. This gives the business owner an opportunity to either accept the challenge that comes with engaging in a two-way dialogue with their customers or assume that if they ignore bad feedback, that the problem will go away.
I came across an article on July 25 by Edelman about how sports teams should use social media to engage in a conversation with fans without harming the team’s image. Here are some suggestions Mitch Germann, Edelman’s new Vice President in the Seattle digital office had for teams.
- PR should consider everyone on staff to be a potential spokesperson, not to traditional media but to their friends, family, customers, prospects and partners, knowing many of these conversations will take place in the digital space
- PR should have messages for everything relevant and distribute them internally so everyone is communicating consistently
- Staff posts on social channels should mirror the approved messages the owners, GM, team president or other team spokespeople are using with the press
- Create a social media policy for the organization that clearly outlines the do’s and don’ts, best practices and possible consequences
- Conduct interactive in-person training sessions with small groups to teach the policy to the entire organization
- Create a digital communications monitoring and response team to track conversations about the team in the social space seven days a week and flag issues for the PR team for immediate follow-up
You can read the rest of the article here. I believe that having a social media policy is crucial in any professional environment, but it’s important for staff members to not become PR pieces and actually engage with fans.