On September 5th, Bloomberg Business Week published an article with the title “How the NFL Woos Female Fans.” Within the article the NFL’s Vice President Brand & Creative, Jaime Weston explains some of the reasons behind the push:
“About four years ago, there was a push, recognizing how many women fans we have, that we need to speak to them. And while they follow the game like every other fan, like our male fans, they do want to be spoken to in a little bit different way.”
The article goes on to share the efforts the league will make to reach out to female fans, including a special insert in Marie Claire, print ads, TV spots and the pop-up boutiques called “style lounges.” Note that this push began four years ago.
This morning, I watched the 10am Chargers game, drank my coffee and perused Pinterest. I checked out the NFL’s account. I am disappointed. Where is the strategy? Knowing that (still) nearly 80% of pinners are women, it would seem that a well developed Pinterest strategy would help the NFL connect with precisely the audience it wants to woo. I would think that the stats for purchasing power alone would lure the NFL to Pinterest. Here’s a screenshot of what the NFL has going at the moment:
Haphazard attempt, it appears. In the “NFL” board, there are roughly 530 pins. And the content is all over the place. Some of it is news, some of it is cool photography, some of the pins are uploaded, some are repins. For many of the photos which are uploaded by the NFL, the URL redirects you to the Pinterest account, not to the NFL site or blog or press or the store. There is no care in the captions and no strategic use of hashtags. All I can think is, “Some dude who totally doesn’t get Pinterest must be running this account.”
In fact, on the board titled “NFL Store,” many of the products are not from the NFL store, but from Amazon. The seven pins on the “NFL- Women’s Fashion board have nothing to do with football at all and look like an Amazon wish list of the person behind Pinterest. Speaking of which…The two main boards are managed by multiple people, people who do not look to be affiliated with the NFL. On the “NFL” board, these accounts are also pinning.
And on the “NFL Store” board, these two accounts have been added as managers.
Who are these people and how are they representative of the NFL? Is this is an NFL Official account at all? And what do you know … This website, note the address – nfloffical.org – and the random Pinterest accounts behind it appear to be the very unofficial NFL organization presenting themselves as the real National Football League.
FUMBLE! Wow. I cannot possibly be the first person who has followed this train of thought.
The NFL needs to get a handle on this – and quick. This nflofficial.org account has accumulated 15,570 followers (people who likely believe that this is the real NFL account). NFL Official, the largest of accounts with “NFL” in their name, is completely misrepresenting the league. Essentially, the NFL has NO presence on Pinterest. The NFL is SO missing an opportunity to woo its female fans via a major social network dominated by women.
How can the NFL get set up on Pinterest and truly connect with female fans? Here are a few of the boards I would set up:
- One board per team (and work with each team’s digital media director to insist that all 32 teams are following a similar Pinterest strategy so that repins are stategized).
- NFL News (linking back to the NFL site and the blog and news stories)
- NFL Players (stories featured in any publication or news outlet)
- NFL Moms (Think Campbell’s soup)
- NFL Biggest Fans (Feature fans from around the league)
- Together We Are Football (Feature the stories of fans as on the site. Let most likes, repins, comments help decide who goes to the SB.)
- NFL History (great old photos from the archives)
- NFL Films (also from the archives)
- NFL Fantasy Football (feature what’s happening in the leagues)
- NFL Store (general products)
- NFL Women’s Style
- NFL Men’s Style
- NFL Kid’s Style
- Homegating (term pulled from the Bloomberg article)
- NFL Sponsors (always good to place nice)
- Superbowl Champions
- Superbowl History
- Football Movies
- NFL Guest Pinner Week #1(this could be a contest and feature one new pinner each week)
….I could go on, but I think you get the idea. The pins of each of these boards would strategically link back to nfl.com, the NFL store, sports publications, etc. Of course, the account would repin, comment and use hashtags just as strategically. And all of this effort is measurable. Through web analytics and even Pinterest’s analytics. Is the Marie Claire insert measurable? How much will the TV spots cost? How will the NFL measure the direct impact of a TV spot?
It’s almost inconceivable that the NFL has completely ignored Pinterest and even worse that some totally random people (who don’t even appear to be football fans) have intercepted the NFL brand on the network. It’s 3rd and goal, NFL. Will you take it into the endzone for a touchdown? I’m always wooed when my team scores.
(Feature image directly from the Bloomberg article: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-05/how-the-nfl-woos-female-fans)
Last night I spoke with another group of undergrads, this time at UCLA. I was, again, surprised with the small numbers of students who have LinkedIn accounts, especially students who are graduating. We have got to get these young adults up to speed on better use of social media!
When I conduct these seminars, I provide students with both the good and the bad of social media. It’s important to show them how easy it is to make a major mistake, but also give them some good examples to follow. They need inspiration as much as they do a wake up call.
One of the things that stuck with my group last night, was the lesson that it’s not just about what you say, but also what you like. Facebook’s search has become much more powerful with the release of Open Graph. You can search for things like “My friends who like dogs,” or “People who live in San Diego who go to SDSU and like surfing.” These searches will produce results with a list of profiles. At UCLA, I targeted the search for members of the group who like “partying”and “Drinking” and such.
Luckily enough, one of the audience members popped up in my search results. He was amazed, as well as all of his friends. But it is terrific when this happens in real time. This young man ‘Liked’ almost 300 pages on Facebook. He admitted that he could not remember everything he liked and had no idea that he could be found by non-friends via the search function.
As I’ve said many times, Beaming Bohemian exists to infuse communication with positivity and purpose. In the case of these students, I enjoy to helping them find their positive purpose and new approach for using social media. If they begin to see how the professional world is using tools like Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to conduct business, market, communicate and recruit employees, they begin to look at how they can take advantage of these platforms, versus just socializing. Students easily pick up how they need to fix and build their image and manage their reputation.
What a week for news in San Diego! There were three news stories which affected teens and university students this week, where social media played a heavy hand in getting “caught.”
Don’t set up meetings on Facebook.
Students at Abraxas, Mission Hills, Poway and Ramona high schools, and were able to buy narcotics, according to sheriff’s officials. The variety of drugs purchased included heroin, cocaine, marijuana, oxycodone and hydrocodone. Wow. That’s some pretty serious stuff for high school! Are you wondering how the authorities track some of these sales? You guessed it. Social Media. The students arranged many of the drug deals over social media.
I now know what Twerking is!
Before I saw this new report, I had no idea what “twerking” was. I’m not sure what to do with this knowledge, but I now know what this suggestive butt-shaking is all about. And this twerking story also revolves around social media. Scripps Ranch High School students found themselves in very hot water after one student decided to share a student-produced twerking video on YouTube. A few problems with that? The video was made on campus and with school equipment.
I say many, many, many times in my social media sessions, “Nothing is private.” That speaks to things you choose to record or allow others to record (and even things you didn’t know are being recorded). It certainly applies to the things you post online.
A series of bad decisions led to this video getting made and posted to YouTube. This is not only a “think before you tweet” lesson, but a “think before you do.” What purpose does any of this serve? How will college admissions officers judge this video, and the decision to be in the video? This is another example of a misguided use of social media, and decisions which will only hurt these students in the long run.
Train students to use social media responsibly.
Even at the college level, students made a poor choice this week when it came to posting photos on Instagram. Members of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority at CSU San Marcos posted photos of themselves dressed like Latina gang members. Apparently the photos were taken during a retreat.
A few things are disturbing, in addition to the blatant cultural disrespect. A friend of one of the Alpha Chi Omega members said, “We can’t nit-pick every little thing, because there’s a lot more worse things that could happen.” This tells me that many students might think this is “no big deal.” The other problem is that the news report ends with,
“A spokesperson for CSU San Marcos told 10News no disciplinary action will be taken against the sorority, but that extra diversity training will soon be offered to all students, especially incoming freshmen.”
Where is the social media training? These students will continue to do “stupid stuff” on social media if they are not taught the impact their actions have online. Yes, they need to be more culturally sensitive, however, they need to be more responsible with their communication via social media. I’ve spoken with fraternities and sororities who made similar mistakes on social networks and were disciplined by the university. Part of their requirement to lift sanctions? Learn how to use social media more positively and for better purposes.
These three news reports differ drastically in what actions occurred, however, what they all have in common is that our San Diego high school and university students have a grave misunderstanding of how social media can work against you when you do not behave responsibly online. I’m sure all of these students thought that they wouldn’t get caught, either. And that’s a behavior that’s even more disturbing. Our young adults need to understand that what they do online is just as serious and just as REAL as what they do offline. Behaving badly online is not something you can get away with. Your actions in both realities will catch up to you. I’d like to see more of our students truly understand that.
For those of you who are City Club Members or are a friend of a Member and can score yourself an invitation, please note that I will be providing a social media session on Friday, January 18th from 11:30am – 1:00pm. The first topic of this session is: FACEBOOK 101. Here’s a bit more in the flyer. I hope you’ll join us!
Facebook 101 City Club (You can click here to print the PDF)
One of my go-to sites, The Next Web, which is a great online and social media resource, posted THIS article about updating Twitter profiles. It’s a clever little tutorial that shows you how to update your background, header and profile images. It seems it was needed, as many celebrities, athletes, brands, teams – you – have yet to take advantage of what I like to call, social “real estate.”
I cannot get over how few high profile individuals and brands have updated their Twitter profiles to include the new header image. There is a lot of room for creativity here!. Two athletes I wish would update their profiles? Hello @TimTebow, and Apolo Anton Ohno! I’m surprised at Apolo who is normally very socially savvy. Here are the few athletes, celebrities and brands I did find who have made great use of the header image. They’re all linked, so click away to view their profiles…
@FranklinMissy USA Olympic Swimmer
@LarryFitzgerlad NFL, Arizona Cardinals
@karrileewalsh USA Olympic Volleyball
@Matt Barkley USC Quarterback
@NastiaLiukin USA Olympic Gymnast
@HarvardCrimson The background is fan-centric, the header image is seasonal and the profile image is simply their logo. But it all works well together.
@BaylorAthletics Love the use of the header image to point to other social sites.
@UWAthletics Nice motto to go along with that bio and images! Background images features coaches – Sweet!
@TechAthletics Simple but effective. Lots of red!
@Brutus_Bukeye Great use of Mascot as official account and answers the question, “What IS a buckeye, anyway?”
@BrooklynNets (I’m not sure I love this one, except that it is consistent.)
CELEBRITIES (Hard to find celebs who have updated!)
@RyanSeacrest (Probably the best of all with the most thought put into it.)
@richardbranson ( i suppose he’s a celeb too!)
@MariahCarey (I don’t love her so much, but her Twitter profile looks cool)
When people find you on Twitter, your background and header image can help you make a good first impression. Here’s some ideas for different individual use of the header image:
Student-Athletes: You can use your header image as a rotating billboard to promote yourself. Try posting your team’s stats or your batting average or that you got an A in chemistry. Post a team photo or one of you in action. You have to be strategic about your photo here.
Students: You might use the header image to highlight what is important in your life. You can put up a photo of your family or beloved pet, maybe your group of friends at the beach or all dressed up at the school dance. College students might post a photo of yourself at a famous spot on campus. Your header image can match your Facebook cover photo so that you present a well thought-out personal brand.
Coaches: Throw up an old photo of you when you were in the pros or in college. Current and prospective players will get a kick out of it, but it also gives a hint of your story. Get the athletic department to help you with a graphic that has your team schedule for the month. Spotlight any of your team members who make Athlete of the Month or achieve other awards. This shows you are focus on your players’ personal achievements, too.
Brands: You have so much opportunity here. Highlight your product. Give some face time to the hard-working employees who make your company a success. Give a shoutout to your favorite customers. Take a pointer from @BaylorAthletics and give your followers reason to click on another social site.
Professionals: Here’s a chance to tell people what you are all about. Are you artistic and creative? Do you love sports? Are you musically inclined? Do you love inspirational messages? Take this opportunity to showcase the best of you so that when that hiring manager or prospective client find you on Twitter, they are WOW-ed the moment they land on your page. (Writing this blog post actually inspired me to do more with my background and header images – even without fancy software, I can create something nice. My current photos are part of my brand design, but the backgrounds are too busy.)
Many social sites, like Twitter, continue to add features to improve the user experience and provide opportunities for visual appeal. It’s easy to understand from first glance who you are and what matters to you when someone sees your Twitter profile. Give them something great to look at and something that will drive their attention to what you are tweeting. If you see a great Twitter header image, leave a note in the comments so we can all see! Now watch this video and then take advantage of the image “real estate” on Twitter – Make it work in your favor!
LinkedIn has made several upgrades lately. Have you noticed? Not only has LinkedIn changed the total design and function of the website, but they have been adding more features over the past few months in order to make the site more interactive. Here’s a few of the big updates to note:
When you land on the page, you’ll automatically see the news feed. This is similar to your Facebook Timeline or Twitter feed. You’ll see the header above the feed called “LinkedIn Today” which entices you to click on various news pieces and share articles with your connections. This is so that we can enjoy a more interesting feed than Sally Smith is now connected to Joe Jones.
Once you click “LinkedIn Today” you’ll be taken to a magazine layout of news articles for your perusal. World news and business articles await your discovery. It’s a great resource to share on LinkedIn and your other social sites, too.
You’ll notice that you can now “follow” business and thought leaders who write articles just for the LinkedIn audience. It’s tough to get directly to the list, though. There is no ability to click from the menu. There is no section on the sidebar. I think I discovered this feature because it showed up in my news feed. I went to the LinkedIn Help Page and found this comment:
Visit http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/whoToFollow to see the initial list of thought leaders who can be followed. Currently, only a small, hand-picked set of thought leaders can be followed from their LinkedIn profiles.
Not so user-friendly, but once you do land on this main page, you are treated to a wonderful list of influencers.
Follow the people you want to have show up in your news feed or just browse through the articles on offer. Underneath the header, you can click on the word “Following” to manage who you already follow. I’m not quite sure why LinkedIn would make it so difficult to get to this page. Great feature, but not completely thought out.
One of the features recently added was “Skills.” LinkedIn did this to assist college graduates who perhaps don’t yet have the work experience to fill out a resume. In addition, they now allow you to “Endorse” those skills for any of your connections. Have you noticed that when you view a profile, this box appears to encourage you to endorse specific skills?
This is a nice feature which somewhat replaces “Recommendations.” Previously, you had to ask for people to recommend you, and it was a letter your contact had to write on your behalf. That feature is still available, but now they can go into your profile and just click on the skills they want to endorse. This saves time and is very user-friendly. It also gives greater opportunity for your contacts to endorse you without a request.
Make sure you take the time to add skills to your profile. This will help you get found when hiring managers are doing searches. On top of that, take a moment to go through your contacts and endorse their skills. Perhaps you are working on a project with someone … give them a boost on LinkedIn. If you get off the phone with a business contact, head to LinkedIn and endorse some of their skills. In order to play nice on LinkedIn, it’s a good idea to take a look at who has endorsed some of your skills and then go onto their profile and endorse them right back. Good professional karma.
Finally, LinkedIn is rolling out new profile designs. I’ve requested mine, but have not yet received the upgrade. So stay tuned for more information soon.
I would love to hear what features you are enjoying most on the re-vamped LinkedIn. Are these new features making the site easier to use? Are there certain features that are helping you do business better or increasing your contact base? Please share with me. I’m happy to provide updates on my blog or in next month’s newsletter.
Hello Instagram web profiles. It’s great to see you! Did you know that you can now view Instagram photos online? Previously, you could only browse via your mobile device. Since Facebook’s purchase of Instagram, many have wondered if we would see a web version. While it is nice to be able to view the photos in a larger format, the web version is more limiting than the mobile app, it does give us reason to review our privacy settings and re-strategize our activity.
Initially, I was excited to see Instagram online. But one much needed feature for the web profiles is a search function. I have found myself looking at my phone and the web simultaneously to pull up usernames and view photos. The hashtag feature is not live yet on the web version, so you cannot click a hashtag to view photos tagged with that topic. Essentially, you have to know the username in order to view photos. You can click on the people who have liked or commented on your photo and view their gallery, follow them from the web, as well as like and comment on their photo. However, you cannot view the list of your followers nor who you are following. One item to note, if your account is already private, then it is private online, too. If you want to change this setting, you’ll have to go to your phone to make your account private.
I will say that it was really nice to be able to type comments on my big keyboard, versus plucking away on my iPhone. I also find it much easier to delete spam comments and report users on my phone than online. If you try to do it online, you have to enter your e-mail address as well as the username (which you will need to copy and paste) and then you will be notified after you submit the details that “Facebook will send you an e-mail shortly” (which they never do). At this point in time it appears that web profiles are simply a way to view the photos in a larger format. It does not appear that they want users to move away from their mobile devices. (And why would they after Instagram surpassed Twitter in daily active users?) It will be interesting to see how they develop the features for web profiles.
What’s significant for users (both brand and individuals) is that you can now promote your web profile and allow more fans to see your photos. This means more eyeballs looking at your strategically uploaded images. And if you had no strategy prior to this web profile launch, then it’s a good time to think about what photos (and graphics) you want people to see. Businesses can take advantage of this medium to promote product, events and services, as well as share the company culture. You can streamline your photo strategy by using Instagram to feed your Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, for example. Individuals can paint a picture of their hobbies, interests and character. This is essential for students, student-athletes and those in search of employment. When admissions officers, athletic scouts, and hiring managers stumble across your Instagram account, what will they find?
If you want to take a look at my Instagram profile, click HERE. I use this account to feed my personal website and therefore have several of my favorite travel photos uploaded. Let me know what you think of the Instagram Web Profiles. I’m curious how/if you are using the new feature. Please leave a comment below! Thanks!