Archive for August, 2013|Monthly archive page

Has Social replaced the obligatory movie website?

In case studies, multimedia, Social media on August 24, 2013 at 2:33 pm

68 Days till Halloween. And you know what that means? –A plethora of Scary Movie trailers and advertisements vying to be THIS year’s main horror thrill. Being a horror junkie, its something I’ve been tuned into since I can remember.  I can remember visiting the website for the first Saw Film, clicking around the latest flash innovation with blood &  guts, an attempt to lure me to that midnight movie premiere and get me hooked on the beginnings of a scary movie icon. It worked.

Back in those days, (The early 2000s), every new movie released an obligatory website featuring their new flick. A splash page with the trailer and a few navigations including cast and crew, and the ever-popular downloadable wallpaper were the norm. Digital media time is akin to dog years, though, in that it’s time isn’t the same as ours. The early 2000s might as well have been a century ago and the requirements for a movie to get interwebs attention are ever changing.

That being said “You’re Next” the misnamed, yet aptly advertised horror film about a team of home invaders wearing an array of terrifying Animal Masks has created an amazing Tumblr, further calling my need to go and see the movie. Instead of creating a website, this movie has put together a Facebook, & the aforementioned Tumblr. This is the first that I have noticed a movie putting together a on the mark social campaign and totally forgoing the website. Which begs the question: Are these repetive and short-lived web presences even worth it anymore? Or do the existing social platforms give an upcoming movie all that they need to reach their audiences and engage on a large scale?

Taken from the You're Next Facebook Page.

Taken from the You’re Next Facebook Page.

5 Terrifyingly creative things in this movie’s social presence:

1. No Throw Away Twitter:  On Twitter, The Lions Gate Horror account has been dubbed You’re Next.  There are so many reasons why I see this as such a huge strategic win. In a landscape where the average Twitter user can only follow 2,000 people (and trust me it can be a struggle to not get the error message about this frequently) who you follow is valuable. Creating a short-lived Twitter account which will plateau after the movie is on DVD is a waste of a follow and frankly just a dead social channel. Lionsgate has a history of terrific films and has already acquired a Twitter following. By interchanging their latest feature, they have an already built in and enthusiastic group to pitch their new movie to.

2. Sharp Hashtags:  Beyond just being brilliantly designed and visually pleasing, the You’re Next Tumblr has put together a list of modern, measurable hashtags to gain traffic and user-generated posts.

Appropriately tagged posts and prompts allow for traffic and specification at

Appropriately tagged posts and prompts allow for traffic and specification at

3. Animated, Rebloggable, Scary, Perfect Gifs on Tumblr. Really there is nothing more to say. If your end goal is ticket sales and your target audience is horror fans, this just works. Click for proof.

4. Bold URL Name. It’s a bit of a risk going with a name like they did (see Tumblr URL) but again on point for audience and goals. It’s catchy and memorable.

5. And the debate itself:  With such a social Tumblr, full of shareable and engaging content, will movies return to the old format placing their social media links at the bottom of the page hoping that the conversation will flow onto their peripheral, perishable channels? I think it also speaks a lot to the success of Tumblr itself, becoming a stand in for a web publishing platform. It practically hosts its own major websites now.

Anyone have any thoughts on this debate? (Or also this scary movie?:)


Update: THIS MOVIE IS SO GOOD. Love the plot, love the ending, love the characters. I need to buy these masks as soon as they hit Halloween stores.


Spotted: 5 creative examples of countdown posts.

In NHL, On the look out, Social media, Sports Media on August 19, 2013 at 1:34 pm

With just 45 days until the NHL season begins, countdown posts are becoming ubiquitous. One larger goal of social media for sports organizations is to remind and engage, all the while cultivating the excitement and emotion in their fan base. A reminder post can be a call to action push for ticket sales or just a loyalty boost sharing joy to fans looking forward to the upcoming season.

That being said, I think the “Countdown” post is a fine art. In the coming weeks, my newsfeed and yours will be filled with them. If you are in a content creation rule for a team, I’m sure it is a challenge to come up with new and fresh ways to achieve these goals via social.

Here’s some creative countdown posts I’ve seen recently. These teams have done an awesome job of showcasing their team’s tone while creating shareable, countdown content.

Creative Countdown Social Content:

1. Grand Rapids Griffins. – Historical Facts

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 9.17.46 AM

2. Buffalo Sabres– Hidden Number

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 9.31.38 AM3. New Jersey Devils— Create a number

2013-08-14 11.33.49

4. Portland Pirates– Utilize those jerseys!

2013-08-19 09.02.52

5. Socchi 2014— Torch Countdown: Landscape Shot.

2013-08-19 09.04.45

I think it’s important to note also, that I’m excited about all of these things and that factors into my enjoyment of them. Fan motivations in sharing or commenting or liking should be a thought when creating social media content. Measuring the engagement after a post can help evaluate if it was successful or not. However, if  a team, event or organization knows its fan base, the above content will be just enough to remind and excite.

Using player statistics for Content Creation: #PinnedIt

In NHL, Social media on August 16, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Inspired by an info graphic I saw today on the Colorado Avalanche‘s Facebook page, I realized that teams are missing out on a huge opportunity in content creation. If you have a player-focused communications strategy, meaning you have stars that people connect with or scoring leaders with impressive season stats, there may be a number of ways to create viral social content out of them.

After signing a 7 year extension with their young captain, the Avalanche created an infographic of his most impressive stats.

After signing a 7 year extension with their young captain, the Avalanche created an info graphic of his most impressive stats. (source: Av’s Facebook page)

Not all teams can benefit from highlighting a player as above. For example, in the Minor Leagues, stars come and go and the backbone of your team can change at any moment. But in markets with Stars who get a lot of attention, ahem Lebron James, number minded or winning-focused fans will be engaged with an overview of that athlete’s successes.

A word about Platform

While I really like what the Avs did with this info-graphic: timely, well-researched, etc., I think that Facebook was not the right place for it. This is because it is not as easy to see all of the detail and because Facebook is more quickly digested, meaning people don’t always take time to appreciate the visual as much as they do on Pinterest. More and more sports organizations have been taking to Pinterest recently for competitions, user-generated content or other visual appeals. Because I think infographics about almost anything work great on Pinterest, I think infographics about stats can be a huge source of content creation for sports organizations.

Here’s why you should pin some infographics about your team, player, or top line: 

  1. Highly Shareable: It’s a quick repin or repost & absolutely eye catching.
  2. It’s Informative: News stories about a team or box scores have short shelf lives, the next game will be tomorrow. But stats that are long term, or career-based, highlight-based can inform your fan base. An informed fan base can be a more loyal fan base, proud that their team holds certain records or boasts certain successes.
  3. Bragging Rights: Let’s be totally honest here. All a fan really wants is the ability to show that their team is better and “here’s why.” Give them those nuggets of bragabilty in a quick shareable form and it might just draw traffic to your sight.
  4. Help with short-term ticket sales: This one might be a little bit of a stretch, but I feel that if done correctly, statistics that do have a shelf life or show how well a team is doing could catalyze last minute ticket purchases. If you are a team like my hometown Pittsburgh Pirates, a brief winning streak can attract sales on a short-term scale. Quantifying and sharing these statistics can draw in the more casual fan by showing them that there is something worth seeing live, something they want to be part of NOW.


Three ways Sports teams should use Google+

In case studies, NHL, Social media on August 11, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Inspired by HootSuite’s recent G+ for business series, I’ve done some thinking about how sports teams can utilize the platform to reach their fan bases and engage more frequently during game times and off season. I’m surprised how many late adopted or skimpily utilized Google + pages exist in major league sports. A number of teams are not even using the platform yet. And while I’m never an advocate of using a social media platform “just because,” I feel that not taking advantage of Google +’s unique features and connection with the search engine giant is a mistake.

Three ways Sports Teams can Utilize Google +

  1. Hangout with the team. During the off-season to remind your fans why they love you or during a player’s winning streak, putting together a Google hangout can be an awesome way to allow fans ownership in the team and create content with a lengthy shareable shelf life. With the easy connection to YouTube, a player Q&A or team hangout can invite fans to have a close look that is broadcasted to all of a team’s social channels. The video is then auto-recorded and editable allowing for content which can be shared later. Google + Ripples allow the creator to monitor the content’s reach and allow for evaluation of whether that type of hangout is worth the time investment later.
  2. Communities. Sites like Sports Yapper and even Twitter get traffic during game day. Fans respond constantly to plays, wins, losses and whatever is going on in the sport sphere. While these are sites are commonly monitored and contributed to, Google + communities allow a team to create a controlled game discussion environment.  By creating a community on G+ for your sports team, you can work to provide exclusive content, drive discussion and respond one-on-one with fans. The appeal here is the direct connection and the ability to bring in quest speakers or contributors such as allowing athletes to join the discussion during certain planned, communicated hours or having other team reporters or personalities jump in with their exclusive viewpoints.
  3. Corporate Partnerships. Its no mystery that teams rely on strategic partnerships in many aspects of their existence and unique social partnerships are arising more and more frequently. Google+ allows for segregation of followers and followings into circles. Consider this: there is a fan circle, a corporate circle, an athlete’s circle and an influencers circle (perhaps to monitor or engage with other teams in your division or league.) Conversations can be started with the Google pages of sponsors or partners communally driving traffic to both pages either with contests, cool content or maybe sponsored hang-outs or virtual events. Reports of success or statistical check ins, even great fan feedback and comments can then be shared uniquely with the partners circle. Tangible events at a game can bring to light awesome social snippets too. I think Google+ partnerships circles, if properly executed, could allow for relationship building and a more involved, beneficial conversation between teams and their sponsors.

Who is doing it right: 

A ton of creative content is going out on the platform lately. Most recently, I love the Buffalo Sabres catchy cover photo.

Recent World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants are rated the highest on Social Bakers in the United States for Google + pages for individual teams.  The page with the most followers is the NBA but the Giant’s boast over 1,100,000 followers and a verified, decently engaged with page. Posts from the past few days average around 80-100 comments on their page.

World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants must be doing something right on Google+ to have achieved over 1 million followers on the platform.

World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants must be doing something right on Google+ to have achieved over 1 million followers on the platform.


Visions of Social Media with InVision app

In case studies, Community Management, Social media on August 9, 2013 at 6:06 pm

While preparing for job interviews, I came across Hoping to communicate mock-ups of what social media presences could look like, I tried a couple of mockup approaches and began to realize the value of visual, sharable mock ups in social media planning and strategy. After signing up for the service, I was fortunate enough to have been contacted by designer Ryan Duffy and participated in a short call giving feedback on InVision and also learning how to better use it while providing InVision with some basic new user feedback. For one, I have to commend a company willing to take the time and discuss their product with nobody users like me, its the sign of someone who will go far to be willing to take time, listen and reality check! But the experience also showed me the value of such a product in the social space. So without further ado…

InVision makes mock ups, tweeking and sharing easy. See more at

InVision makes mock ups, tweeking and sharing easy. See more at

6 Reasons you should use an app like InVIsion in strategic SM Planning:

  1. A Good Social Presence is a planned one.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but I believe social media is part of a organization’s larger communication goals. Planning just content creation and evaluating target audiences isn’t enough. The design of a page and frequency of occurrence of types of posts (such as video interviews or scoreboards in the NHL space) is crucial in knowing when and what content to post. This can change often for say, preseason, post-season, featuring a player approach and mocking up what a team or company’s social media would look like in various situations is an important part of planning. It gets people all on the same page as well as helps the Social Media Coordinator or manager laser focus their approach.
  2. Various Departments have their hands in social. Everyone from the casual user to the frequent engager will be able to tell when your social media or organizational digital communications aren’t cohesive. Often many hands from marketing to sales have input and touch points with digital and social voices and collaboration can mean the difference. One thing I liked about InVision is the ability to quick share a design via email or link. In turn different departments can comment, change and communicate from any device (even mobile app!) and stay on the same page literally and figuratively.
  3. Archiving and Portfolio. In case social changes frequently or the person running it changes over, it may be useful to have a backlog of say Facebook cover photos and types of typical content. Creating mock ups ahead of time allow anyone in the content creation, measurement or social engagement roles to see the thought process behind various campaigns or redesigns.
  4. Analytical Tweeking. So I know I already mentioned tweeking, but a huge part of successful social is looking at the numbers. Anything from HootSuite to Google Analytics can help you discern almost hourly what type of content is working and what isn’t. A shareable, comment-able, quick mockup tool like InVision will allow for quick modifications to create the best possible twitter page or best possible Facebook design. Responding in real time can be huge for social, say for example, your team just made the playoffs unexpectedly or your company just won a huge award. This is something you’ll want to highlight on your social. Put together a quick mock-up of what the cover photo and type of content for an upcoming campaign highlighting that success and reaching for fan/user engagement will look like and blast off a link to your co-workers or superiors. Quick approval and comments can allow you to put it into action fast with a croudsourced, agreed upon approach.
  5. Responsive Web design, Consistency. With the introduction of a cover photo type box in Facebook, Twitter and Google +, the question is posed: Should all platforms look similar or does each have a different goal? The answer to this will be different for each department, company, organization, etc. but having a slideshow of mock ups can help you get to the answer. HootSuite for example has a large number of social presences from @HootCampus, which I’ve been involved with, to twitter accounts dedicated to each country in which it operates. I think they are the perfect example of consistency in the way that Owly changes and their design looks so similar across the board that you can immediately identify that it is them. I don’t know how their design or planning team approaches or operates at all, but if I were in a position at a company or organization attempting to achieve similar consistency, a mock up tool like InVision would be a huge help.
  6.  Collaborate, Preview, Post. Processes that are consistent and multi-person are more and more common in social strategy. Using mock-ups can allow interns or anyone to submit an approach and allow that idea to grow and be perfected before launching.

All in all, I think I’ll be using Mock Up platforms and mock up sharing more especially in my consulting ventures to get opinions and visually convey to clients. I think it’s an important tool and an awesome way to spark conversation about expertly planned and executed Facebook, Twitter and any other digital presence pages.

Is anyone else using these tools? I’d love to hear how and why!