Last month, I was browsing an ESPN.com article on the current "arms race" in college football. It documented the sports' uncanny ability to shrug-off the global recession and proceeded to offer some eye-popping dollar figures to back its claim. But more than the gaudy amounts pledged for stadium expansions and indoor practice facilities, it was comments from Georgia's athletic director Greg McGarity that stood out to me. From the article:
"Georgia's McGarity says he thinks the next big trend will be in technology, as schools tailor their new facilities around the iPad generation's needs and incorporate increased fan connectivity into their game-day experiences. 'That's the challenge all schools face in whatever they design for the future - keeping up with the kids and what's important to baby boomers like me, ' McGarity said. 'You have to make sure you're ahead of the curve as much as you can possibly be.'"
Speaking of "ahead of the curve", the same day the ESPN.com article came out, one of my go-to bloggers, Brian Solis, posted a piece on the Boston Celtics' social media / digital strategy. If you have any interest in sports, technology, and / or the future merging of the two, see Solis' post. Fascinating.
The dollars are there. The technology is there. I can't wait to see what comes next in the realm of fan engagement and marketing.
Our new smoke break - ping pong. Shouldn't it be a requirement for all start-ups? Programmers, designers, finance geeks, marketing gurus - your label gets checked at the door if you want a match. We've seen some intense competitions, shared a ton of laughs, and had some much needed breathers over the game. The crazy reality is that the ping pong table has helped bring a real sense of unity to our team.
The other crazy reality is that we spend 70% of our time with our fellow employees. That's a heck of a lot more time than with our spouses, family, or friends. We've learned that it's not a bonus - rather it's crucial - to enjoy the company of those you work with. It enhances our work, our attitudes, and makes the morning alarm clark look much less like the devil.
Creativity and innovation are the things that make working at Fanforce fantastic; but it would be a mistake to say those qualities live solely in our projects. We're also working to find new and creative ways to have fun, because it's almost guaranteed to spill over into our work. Food for thought: Do you Have Fun at Work?
Today I ran across Mack Collier's post about Facebook's recent study on brand engagement. The results of the study are interesting, but I found Mack's comments on the study even more so. In short - people engage with content that "taps into the Bigger Idea behind a product or service" more than content about the product or service itself. It's all about people wanting to play a role in and be part of what the brand is 'about'. That said, here's the link to Mack's full post:
p.s. Still love that Red Bull video and campaign slogan!
I thought I'd share a blog post by Olivier Blanchard that has received significant commentary since its publishing on March 20th. Blanchard restricts his question of fan value to one source of fans (Facebook); but his assertions could apply to any and all fan sources a company or brand may use to build its social media platform.
P.S. If you're really interested in this question, be sure to read the Comments at the end of the post for some good debate!
In her blog post today, Heidi Cohen referenced a post from December 2010 called "Lurkers with Benefits". It's worth your revisiting the archives for a read! The post documents the online persona of some 80 - 90% of fans that may engage with your brand. Heidi calls them "Lurkers"; we prefer "Dabblers" (not quite as creepy-sounding!). These are fans that may consistently follow and observe your brand... but at a distance. In other words, they have not yet taken action to formalize their support.
Heidi offers a number of recommendations to help motivate Lurkers (or Dabblers) to act. All strike me as valid, but apart from the efficacy of these suggestions, Heidi's macro-level assertions are the most valuable - namely that (1) you shouldn't discount the value of Lurkers, and (2) you should work to track the Lurkers within your fan base. Your ability to 'know' and activate this silent majority could make a huge difference for your brand in time.
A great post by Brian Solis about the sea change that is taking place in online marketing and engagement. Well worth a five-minute read: