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What We Can Learn from NBA Players and TV Stars

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… on Twitter.

If you’re on Twitter (and I hope you are), you might have noticed the influx of celebrities there – movie stars, professional athletes, TV hosts, chefs, etc. Usually, they’re just on Twitter to tweet about random ideas (or their rumored dates; I’m looking at you, John Mayer), but every now and then you’ll find a gem who really utilizes social media to improve their “brand” or strengthen their social image, and/or actually do something useful. They’re basically pulling off these viral social media campaigns that agencies and marketers can learn a thing or two from. I put together a few tips for social media campaigns that were inspired by NBA stars and TV personalities – both groups are experts at gaining, performing for, and maintaining their respective audience loyalties.

What We Can Learn from NBA Players and TV Stars on Twitter:

1) From Shaquille O’Neill: Be There First. And if you’re not there first, be there BIG TIME
Can anyone even discuss celebrities on Twitter without mentioning Shaquille O’Neil? Shaq jumped on the Twitter bandwagon when it was just a small toy sled. And he tweets a lot – he describes himself as “very quotatious, I perform random acts of Shaqness.” Sometimes (okay, most of the time) what he says doesn’t make a lot of sense but the point is he is there. And his fans know he is there. His opponents know he is there. He is there big time.

As brand marketers and advertisers, we have to make sure that we’re present in the right places. Even better, we have to hustle to be there before anyone else gets there. This is where beta campaigns, innovative ideas, and risk-taking come in. And once we’re there, we have to make sure our voice is heard loud and clear.

2) From Dwight Howard: Synchronize Your Campaigns
Dwight Howard is flying his one millionth Twitter follower to an all expense paid trip for two to the Orlando Magic home opening game. But aside from his Twitter “campaign”, he also talks about that, and is interacting with his fans, on Facebook, SuperFan, and his blog. I never thought I’d quote Dwight Howard in an online marketing blog (or ever), but he said these “are just great avenues for me to connect with people.” And he’s right. And another thing he’s doing right is that he is synchronizing everything, mirroring the content of one channel to another.

When we launch social media, branding, promotional, or even lead generation campaigns, we have to remember that once we already have the content – all we need to do is create a cascading turn of events where we propagate all our media avenues or social channels with the same content. Remember: everything is interconnected. We can easily weave our content and synchronize our online and social placements so that our campaign message will be present throughout.

3) From Paul Pierce and Ray Allen: Do Engaging Contests and Give Away Free Things
Paul Pierce would give away random clues on where he will be and post secret “passwords” on Twitter so his followers can find him and receive free Celtics tickets. And Ray Allen left random pairs of sneakers around Boston, tweeted clues about them, and whoever finds his shoes get to keep them!

Everyone likes contests and give-aways, especially if the contest is actually fun and the give-away is actually something of value. What companies can learn from these two Celtics players is that Twitter can be an avenue to host interesting contests that encourage user action and engagement – contests that encourage socializing (say it with me: social media is about socializing).

4) From Rachel Zoe: Listen to Your Customers and Reply to their Questions
Almost all of Rachel Zoe‘s tweets (for those of you not familiar, she is a stylist to the stars and has her own show on Bravo TV) are either re-tweets and @ replies where she answers various questions from her followers. She may not answer the minute the question is posted, but she still answers them.

Most marketers and advertisers forget that the customer feedback is one of the greatest assets to any campaign. Don’t just push-push-push your message. Take time to listen to your audience, take note of their complaints and compliments, and answer their questions. Sometimes the most basic things make the biggest impact.


5) From Martha Stewart: Tweet Useful Info
Martha Stewart tweets quick and easy recipes and all sorts of food, home, and lifestyle tips. She also reminds her followers about important events, dates, and shows. She uses Twitter to communicate useful little nuggets to her socialsphere. She even thinks that Twitter is better than Facebook, but that’s another topic all together (also, that’s her opinion, not mine). The point is, she tweets useful info.

Again, this is something very basic that we should not take for granted. If your brand offers something unique, tweet about it! If you have a good promo, tweet about it! If you want to share a relevant article, tweet about it! Make your tweets helpful, interesting, worth reading – and re-tweeting.

Those are just 5 tips for successful Twitter and social media campaigns. Remember that gaining followers, fans, and friends in one thing, but growing that relationship is another. If you want to learn more about social media campaigns, please contact us!

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