stn digital shonduras

How To Capitalize On Undervalued Attention On Social with Shonduras

As a social media agency, the most commonly asked question from our clients is “where’s the undervalued attention on social media?” We chatted with Shaun McBride, also known as Shonduras, to get his take on the subject.  

Shaun is considered to be the godfather of Snapchat influencers.  He’s been featured in Fast Company, TIME, Mashable and was recently recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List for Marketing and Advertising.

For this episode of the Business of Social podcast, Shaun shared his journey as an influencer and how he’s been able to capitalize on opportunities that went unseen by most. Some would say it’s luck, but after talking with Shaun, we say it’s strategy and forward thinking. Below we summarize how he was able to capitalize on the undervalued attention on social media.

Listen to the full show here: (and please subscribe to our podcast!)

Here are some of the highlights:

[06:44] – What were the early days like on Snapchat?

“When my sisters first showed me the app, I was amazed by the engagement and 1-on-1 interactions. It felt genuine. Back then, Vine was exploding and I thought Snapchat had a chance to be the next big thing.

I saw it was about storytelling and being creative. Right then I was like, ‘Yup, I think I’m going to turn this into a business.’  I had a cool job with a lifestyle that I was able to be portrayed easily on social. I knew I needed to be featured on the Internet, I needed connections, and I need to do collaborations.”

[12:08] – At its’ peak, how were you using Snapchat and what was the engagement?

“When I did my first brand deal I was getting around 100,000 views on Snapchat. With a platform like Snapchat with that much engagement, that’s a huge push.  When you open a snap, it’s almost like your texting a friend. It’s very personal.

I’ll give you an example of one of my first campaigns.  I would launch a Snap for a brand where I had about 110,000 views on my story. In one day, that brand would have about 34,000 new followers because of it. That’s about a 33% engagement, I don’t think any platform could get that, even in their early days.

Snapchat was phenomenal because of their engagement. They were headed in such a good direction.”

[17:20] – Where is the current state of Snapchat?

“They are like a rock on the tip of the mountain ready to roll one way or the other at full speed. They were ramping up and almost couldn’t fail because they built such an amazing product when the world was ready for a real social media platform.

As they grew, they started playing hardball with creators.  We made a lot of recommendations to Snap for them to add features that would make it easier for creators to produce amazing content like uploads, adding brand features, and tagging people.  They came back and said they weren’t a creative platform, they were a social media messaging tool.  So, I think they’re going through an identity crisis.

Platforms are going through a big shift right now and Snapchat is right in the middle.  In the next 6 to 12 months, they’ll either take off or fizzle in an extreme way.”

[21:05] – Do you see an opportunity for a new social platform to emerge?

“The next platform needs to be something completely unique and not a variation of something we already have.

Right now, Twitch is doing a good job.  Gaming is blowing up and we’re seeing a huge culture shift in the mainstream and gaming. Those worlds are beginning to collide. The other day I was gaming online with a professional basketball player.  A professional basketball player and a gamer… Those worlds coming together is a very interesting cultural shift. Twitch is doing a good job playing into that.”

[22:45] – What are people doing right and wrong with influencer marketing today?

“It’s been the ‘Wild West’ for many years, but it’s finally started to settle. I see influencers that are responsible and running their platforms like a business are starting to come to the forefront.  

It’s not enough for influencers to have huge followings anymore. If they’re not putting in the extra effort and don’t work with brands to make them the hero they’re not going to be nearly as successful.  The responsible influencers are succeeding and the others are started to struggle.

We are shifting in the right direction, but there is still a stigma of how many followers you have as an influencer. I had a deck that I would share with brands that would show how engaged my 100,000 Snapchat army was and make them the hero in my high-end content.

The difference in influencer marketing is when you make the brand the hero versus putting a brand deal out there and trying to prove with numbers. My 100,000 would beat 8,000,000 just because they were engaged. It’s all about looking for the right people to work with.”

[25:29] – [MUST LISTEN] What is the advice or checklist you would give to brands looking to work with influencers?

“You can’t have someone running your social media that doesn’t understand the younger audience.  It’s a different culture and if you want to have a successful, engaging campaign, you need to have an influencer to help run it.  That’s where the responsible influencers are starting to have opportunities with brands and we’re seeing a lot of success.”

[28:17] – How do you measure ROI (Return On Investment) and the value of influencers?

“Brands love getting analytics and reports, but a lot of times influencer don’t do that. When I was doing my deals as an influencer, I would put everything in Dropbox with screenshots of fans and the metrics. By the time it was over, I would be able to deliver a packet showing all the success.

Depending on the brand’s initiatives (brand awareness, driving sales, or viewership), they have to understand there’s also wins outside of just ROI.  Was the content good? Did it get in front of the right people? Did the audience engage with it? Those are the things that you need to check off the list.”

[30:05] – [MUST LISTEN] Where’s the undervalued attention on social media?

“Gaming 100%. About 8 months ago my e-gaming business exploded and here’s why. We have over 45 professionals players all over the world that are winning money and we’re doing brand deals and sponsorships with them.

There’s a ton of opportunities endemically in gaming. We’re doing something new, where big brands like Samsung and Taco Bell are getting into the space for the first time. We’re seeing sponsors that aren’t headphones, keyboards, or video game controllers.  We’re seeing non-endemic sponsors coming in, and that’s why gaming’s blowing up.

Everyone knows that streaming and e-sports have been around for 10+ years, but it boomed in 2017. Sports is a huge industry that does multi-billions, but the backbone is the professional leagues. Just like sports, all gamers go back to the competitive scene which franchised last year.  That means the developers of the games started supporting the teams so they could support their players. That enticed the players to start promoting the games and this ecosystem was built.

For example, The franchise now gives League Of Legends $13,000,000 to own for a team. Overwatch, $20,000,000 to own a team. That makes it an investment.  It’s now safe because brands know that for the next 3 to 5 years the teams are franchised. They’ll be in the league which will be broadcasted on television. Since that happened it’s been full steam ahead.”

[35:15] – What types of original content works for big brands?

“Things that involve the audience and getting fans interacting. It’s not just about you, it’s a community.  So many people plan around the brand and the hashtags, but if you involve the community, that’s when you get the win.”

[35:58] – How do you diversify your strategy and portfolio so that you can protect yourself and stay ahead?

“It’s interesting how you have to evolve. As an influencer on Snapchat I had to swing to YouTube and then over to consulting, then to gaming, and now this integrations business.  I think you have to keep diversifying because you never know what could happen.

My buddy, Casey Neistat, said it best. It’s like you’re swinging through the jungle on a vine.  When you’re at your peak swing of the vine, you have to grab the next one. You can’t wait till the vine starts swinging back to make the jump. It’s a much harder transition if you wait.”

[40:45] – What’s the one thing everyone needs to do in order to stay ahead in this industry?

“100% relationships, when it all boils down. The relationships I built in Snapchat helped me launch my YouTube. My relationships on YouTube helped me launch the integrations and gaming. If you actually over-deliver and give someone value, even when they can’t do anything for you, it goes a long way.”  

Want to learn more about Shonduras?

Check out his website: https://shonduras.com/


The Business of Social Podcast is brought to you by STN Digital.  STN is a social media marketing agency trusted by the largest sports and entertainment properties in the world. The Superbowl, March Madness, UFC, Stanely Cup, Emmys, and the Oscars are just a few projects we’ve worked on in the past.  We bring award-winning results (literally) and treat each client like they are our only client.  If you’re interested in learning more about how STN can help you, click the button below!

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How To Leverage PR For Your Brand With Beck Bamberger

How To Monetize Your Social Media With Jordan Maleh

The Future Of Social Media With Bryan Srabian

How Brands Can Capitalize On Influencers With Ashley Iaconetti

 

The Business of Social Podcast examines the digital advertising industry and analyzes how brands successfully increase their ad revenue and brand affinity through cutting edge content on social. In short, we talk to the experts so you’re able to keep your thumb on the pulse of the ever-changing landscape of social and digital media. (Powered By STN Digital)

 


How Technology Is Disrupting Social Media with Sahil Patel

Every day in the digital world the bar is set a little higher. Once you have figured out the desktop, you have to figure out mobile. Once you have figured out text content, you have to figure out video. The list goes on. As technology and social networks continue to progress, at STN Digital, we turn to Digiday to stay on the cutting edge of industry trends.

For this edition of the Business of Social podcast, we chatted with Sahil Patel, Senior Reporter at Digiday, who leads coverage on the video industry. While covering TV and online video at VideoInk and Cynopsis Digital, Sahil got the inside scoop on technology, publishers and social network benchmarks and future planning. 

Listen to the full show here: (and please subscribe to our podcast!)

Here are some of the highlights:

[00:01:04] – What’s the most disruptive factor in media today?

“It’s tech. Over the past few years, the conversations have been about the power of Facebook as it relates to publishers and the more traditional media companies. But when you look at companies like Amazon and Netflix, there’s a reason you see big consolidations happening. It’s not because they’re getting bigger for the sake of getting bigger, it’s because they feel they need to get bigger in order to protect themselves.”

[01:56] – Where is linear TV going in the next 5 to 10 years?

“I think we’ll stop talking about linear. Instead, it’s going to be ‘what’s the total viewing?’ The TV show Roseanne is a great example. 18 million watched the show on linear, but as we record this podcast, we don’t yet know how many people on top of that 18 million watched it on all the other video platforms.

NBC just came out with a new metric. They’re not going to give just the Nielsen ratings anymore. Instead, they’re going to give the total viewership of a show across all the different screens and platforms. It’s no longer about same-day viewers, it’s about how many people have been watching over the first week, or whatever that parameter is.”

[03:23] – How will one big viewership number affect advertising and monetization if they don’t segment by platform?

“Unfortunately, we have to wait and see, but the networks are going heavy into it. They are beginning to experiment a lot with ad loads. The networks want to be able to charge higher and measure effectively so they can work with advertisers across the different platforms. But at the moment, the understanding and knowledge aren’t completely there.

It’s still too easy to say, ‘I’m going to buy a thirty-second spot on this network that everyone knows and I’m probably not going to lose my job because I based it off of GRP.’ That’s the reality that we’re in, but it is moving in the right direction. It just takes more education, more time, and a better understanding of the market.”

[05:46] – For the future of Facebook, is the Cambridge Analytica scandal a huge deal or is it being blown out of proportion?

“I don’t think it’s being blown out of proportion. However, It’s not just a Facebook problem, it’s an online advertising problem. Now, everybody knows how online advertising works. In the past, people didn’t know, so they didn’t pay attention to a lot of the common practices.  But all the sudden, people know what cookies mean.

I think we’re finally at a time where it’s being covered in a way it should be covered. In the past, it was treated at arm’s length just because people didn’t know what was actually happening.

In terms of Facebook losing a large number of users, I don’t think so. Facebook isn’t just a platform anymore, it’s becoming a utility. It’s like the White Pages. You are basically proving you are human with a Facebook, so I don’t see it meaningfully hurting their user numbers.”

[08:43] – How have the Facebook changes affected publishers and media conglomerates?

“When talking with publishers off-the-record, the consensus about Facebook is that Facebook only cares about people spending more time on Facebook. Originally it was video because they thought people would spend more time watching video. Now it’s Watch because it’s like a television platform with shows and longer episodes.

In general, it’s a matter of finding new ways for people to spend more time on Facebook.  Since the beginning of the video-wave in the news feed, it’s been a series of large product tests that has, unfortunately, swept up a lot of publishers.”

[12:00] – Has Facebook Watch become a pay-to-play model for publishers?

“Facebook shifted their attention to Watch after the LIVE news feed video subsidies ended. At first, they started paying for a few shows.  Now, they want to own the shows. So, if you’re a publisher trying to make money off the stuff you’re doing on Facebook, you sell them the shows.  By the end, the publisher is only making the money off the margins they were able to negotiate between the production costs and the producer fees.  Facebook is going to end up owning the show, so you can’t take the intellectual property and sell it elsewhere later down the road. There are some deals where publishers are able to retain ownership, but more and more Facebook is owning it.”

[16:10] – In terms of overall strategy, is Facebook sending the same principles over to Instagram or are they siloed?

“Overall I think Instagram is siloed and they can do what they want, but it’s a bit of both. A great example is when Instagram Stories launched and everyone said they stole from Snapchat.  Facebook also launched the Stories on their app and Whatsapp. Just from that, you can see how the companies are still connected because they can do that very quickly.

Overall, Instagram still has some independence.  There is a level of understanding that they are a different product and they want to maintain that experience.  But because Facebook is the parent, they are connected in many ways.”

[18:09] – Twitter had their first profitable quarter in over twelve years, what’s next for them?

“They are trying to work very aggressively with publishers. The strategy became, ‘oh Facebook won’t let you do that, we’ll let you do that.’  They started pouncing on the opportunity. Facebook has their terms, Twitter will give you better terms. Snapchat is doing the same thing. Snapchat is releasing products and reaching out to Discover publishers in a way that is outwardly trying to make the publishers more money. Twitter and Snapchat see the opportunity from an advertising perspective and the publisher’s perspective.”

[20:45] – Snapchat has been going through an identity and PR crisis, what’s next for them?

“Snap in the past has been very restrictive with terms, with distribution, and the partners they worked with.  I get the sense that they’re loosening up a bit and giving publishers more options to make money.

Snap is going through changes right now, just like Facebook did when they were constantly tweaking their platform. The data I’ve received from third-party providers is that Snap’s installs are still going up. They say there’s no noticeable dip with people deleting the app or not using it as much. Ultimately, we’ll see what they say when the next earnings report comes out.”

[22:50] – Recently, ESPN went to Snapchat to put original content from Sportscenter. Is that a big deal that ESPN went to them rather than the other way around?

“I think the bigger deal is what ESPN is doing in terms of their overall change in the company. Their launching ESPN+, doing deals with Snapchat and Facebook, and trying to figure out different ways to have the Sportscenter brand outside of just news highlights. I think that’s part of the bigger picture and how they are figuring out new ways to modernize ESPN.

I did a recent interview with John Martin, the CEO of Turner, and he said not long ago at CNN the television side was separate from the editorial and digital team.  Now they are are all together in the same building. It’s only been within the last two years that the big guys are getting really serious about implementing changes.”

[25:42] – What are your thoughts on the new streaming apps, Bleacher Report and ESPN+?

“The Bleacher Report app is interesting because they’re going to experiment with subscription options where you can buy leagues or pay per game and things like that. People are used to buying individual games through their television but we’ll see if it works in a streaming capacity.

In terms of seeing significant growth in those areas, I believe it’s going to take some time. Take ESPN+ for example, it does not have the most important content that ESPN has. I think some people will pay for it, but I don’t see it being a massive subscriber generator in the first year.  It’ll take some time.”

[27:14] – Is there a conflict of interest when the NBA is on ESPN, for example, but the NBA is also streaming using OTT for a small fee?

“When you talk with any of these companies, they’re very quick to point out that it’s not going to eat into their existing partnerships. There’s no way that they’re going to have this cannibalize their partnerships with the cable distributors, it’s only extra stuff.

ESPN is not putting Monday Night Football on ESPN+ anytime soon.  Their biggest properties are still going to be on linear. But, I think we’ll start see more of those conversations in a few years when the media rights coming up again.”

[29:00] – What would happen if Amazon or Facebook begin bidding for live sports?

“I might be proven wrong, but I think we’ll see the leagues using the Tech companies as leverage to get more money. I don’t deny that Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter are interested in live sports, but I don’t see the tech companies coming forward.  They would have to hire a studio team and create the content themselves, so I don’t see them doing that. I see them becoming syndicators of content shot by someone else.  I’m more likely to believe that the networks will buy exclusive rights versus an Amazon or Facebook doing it.”

[30:48] – When it comes to monetizing social platforms, is there a fear of relying too heavily on that as a main revenue stream?

“Fear has become the industry standard. As a media company, It’s an environment that you don’t own and your business relies on to find your audience and make money.

Most are hedging bets across the board. You’re not relying solely on one platform.  That way if one changes, it might hurt a bit but it’s not going to wreck your business.

The core focus should be stuff you own.  That could be in a variety of ways like an app, website, or a subscription offering.  It could also be content you own the rights to that you could sell to different places.  That should always be the core focus where it makes sense.

If you’re focused on doing longer form programming, you may not need to be on Facebook Watch outside a deal or two, but instead you focus heavily on distributing through YouTube. The goal should be to find distribution opportunities with syndication OTT platforms.  Build it in a way that’s right for you.

That’s finance 101, find a way to diversify your income.”

[33:10] – Do you see potential for a new platform to break out into the market?

“There are a few platforms with interesting audiences like Musically, Twidge, and a few others, but I don’t see them significantly challenging the major social platforms.   

Recently we’ve heard a lot about Flipboard becoming a big driver of traffic at our recent Publishing Summit. So, they may be making a resurgence.

Apple News is a big one. People are getting a lot of traffic and viewership there, but they are actually really behind on modernization.  Personally, I don’t see it because Apple doesn’t want to be heavily involved in the advertising business.

Overall, you hear ideas that make sense but I don’t think in a way that is significant to the sizes we see with the major social platforms.”

[35:05] – Is it a great time for original content?

“It’s a great market for original content.  Last year, there were around 450 scripted shows on television alone. Netflix is doing 700 original productions this year. But, it really depends on the type of content creator you are. If you’re making unscripted, lifestyle, short-form, YouTube stuff, there’s not a lot out there right now besides Facebook Watch and Snapchat. Snapchat also doesn’t pay for the most part.  Usually, you get paid if you’re making an original show for a buyer.

If you’re making premium longer-form TV shows, Facebook is looking to buy those. You have Netflix, Amazon, and other networks, so there is a great opportunity.

On the flipside, Netflix is not the only one that’s looking to own content or produce in-house.  Amazon wants to do that more and more, Netflix wants to do that more and more, even Facebook wants to do that more and more.

So now, you must have serious internal conversations about how you treat intellectual property (IP).  Is it better for us to be a producer for hire or do we find ways to retain some of the ownership so we can find additional revenue streams down the road?”

[37:42] – Can you equate views on social to views on linear TV?

“No, not right now. It’s as simple as why you can’t equate short-form views to a viewer.

Facebook Watch gets 5 million views, that sounds great. Views on Facebook are counted at 3 seconds.  That means that you are only guaranteed that 5 million times your video was played for at least 3 seconds.

Now, let’s say you have 800k views on linear. You would think 5 million is better but that’s 800k viewers per minute on average across the telecast. It’s simple math, do you want 800k people on average for an hour, or do you want 5 million for 3 seconds?

That’s why we can’t equate them, a lot of people would call them vanity metrics since they aren’t on the same playing field.”

[41:59] – What are you looking forward to in 2018 for social and digital?

“I am curious to see which platforms will continue to succeed with high-quality video. Whether it’s Facebook Watch, YouTube Red, or the scripted stuff Snapchat is launching soon.

I’m looking forward to seeing if the Department of Justice approves the AT&T/Time Warner merger and how that will shake things up.

One of the most fascinating stories is Netflix versus the world right now. And let’s not forget about Amazon either. They seem to be competing with everybody. They compete with Netflix, with YouTube, with retailers. It seems like they’re in every market and every industry. So, while Netflix is in the entertainment, I’m curious to see how Amazon does.”

Want to learn more about Digiday?

Check out their website and stay updated by subscribing to their daily emails: https://digiday.com/


The Business of Social Podcast is brought to you by STN Digital.  STN is a social media marketing agency trusted by the largest sports and entertainment properties in the world. The Superbowl, March Madness, UFC, Stanely Cup, Emmys, and the Oscars are just a few projects we’ve worked on in the past.  We bring award-winning results (literally) and treat each client like they are our only client.  If you’re interested in learning more about how STN can help you, click the button below!

DROP A LINE


If you liked this post, check out a few others. Click here!

How To Leverage PR For Your Brand With Beck Bamberger

How To Monetize Your Social Media With Jordan Maleh

The Future Of Social Media With Bryan Srabian

How Brands Can Capitalize On Influencers With Ashley Iaconetti

 

The Business of Social Podcast examines the digital advertising industry and analyzes how brands successfully increase their ad revenue and brand affinity through cutting edge content on social. In short, we talk to the experts so you’re able to keep your thumb on the pulse of the ever-changing landscape of social and digital media. (Powered By STN Digital)

 


social media events

Managing Social For The Largest Events In The World with Madeline Mesevage

The AMA’s, Golden Globes, and the Billboard Music Awards rank among the largest entertainment events in the world.  Putting together an event of that magnitude that encapsulates the excitement and energy of the show is no easy task.  For more than 55 years, Dick Clark Productions has embraced that challenge and continues to produce award-winning shows year after year.

On this edition of the Business of Social podcast, we chatted with Madeline Mesevage from Dick Clark Productions to discuss how DCP produces some of the largest events in the world.  Maddy is the Sr. Manager of Operations for Brand, Marketing, & Digital Strategy where she handles the content creation and overall strategy behind these award-winning shows. We talked at length with Maddy about the strategies and tactics behind the months of preparation that go into this massive undertaking.

Listen to the full show here: (and please subscribe to our podcast!)

Here are some of the highlights:

[3:57] – What is today’s main social KPI and how has it changed over the years?

“Tune-in is inherent to everything we do. It’s important and you can’t get around it.  As a digital, social person, I’ve had to teach myself that TV is still really important. Most people talk about how TV viewership is declining, which is true, but it’s still the main way people are consuming linear content.

That being said, we’ve begun thinking of social and digital not as a second screen experience, but instead as a complimentary first screen experience. We create programming per platform. We have shows running for Twitter, running for Instagram, and running for Facebook.  Each are tailored to the specific platform’s target audience.”

[6:35] – How do you tailor the narrative of content to a specific social platform and it’s audience?

“There’s information that needs to be provided across all platforms. It’s not that we produce an entirely different narrative for Facebook, it’s the way in which the narrative is presented. For example, if you had a performer announcement, on Facebook you might do a video that is about the performer. Facebook has a slightly older audience that is apt to consuming longer video content. So, the asset to get that information across would be more trailer-esk with a storyline.

On Twitter, you have a younger audience that is slightly more “click-baity”.  People just want to know what the content is. They are not typically looking to find out about the performer, they just want to know who the performer is.”

[8:04] – LIVE streaming strategies: how do you prepare?

“We think of LIVE streams unto themselves. The majority of our shows have preshows, which is important for our department. It’s very valuable for pushing tune-in to the broadcast.

It’s another chance for our department to be creative.  We’ve seen it become a platform and opportunity for massive cultural moments, where talents can talk about anything they’re pushing. It’s where people can candidly speak about movements that are important to them and other things like that.

The value of the content isn’t the same as the main show, but we definitely don’t think of it as ‘on-the-side’.”

[12:41] – How important to the success of the show are the performers & presenters and their social followings?

“The talent are everything. We do a lot of analysis around their social followings in terms of how they move the needle on the broadcast versus how they move the needle during the lead-up. There’s talent who spark mass amounts of conversation and there’s talent with super engaged fan bases that talk about a lot of things during the lead-up.

We spend a lot of time and energy creating content for talent and doing outreach. I personally think they’re very valuable. That’s not to say we book our shows based on the talents performance on social, because the social-to-broadcast viewer correlation is not perfect. But we put a lot of time and energy into them.”

[14:53] – Social influencers: How do you measure their value and show that in terms of analytics?

“The bubble I see happening is between influencers as personalities versus influencers as distribution outlets. Some brands are very good at choosing the personality that has the best reach, but also aligns and cares about what they’re doing as a brand. On the other hand, there are a lot of brands that just want that person’s audience, which is problematic. Influencers don’t enjoy that type of relationship, which leads to very expensive posts.

The influencer relationships that I feel work well are when the influencer loves the brand and the brand loves the influencer.

We love influencers and influencers love our shows, which has lead to super successful programs and relationships.  We’re able to invite them to our events, we’re able to show them a high-quality experience and in return they post about the event. Generally speaking, they would be doing that regardless.”

[21:23] – What are the “must-have” software tools for social?

“We use NetBase, they’re great. We are able to do a lot of analysis during lead-up. On show day, we have a live dashboard where we can see conversations bubbling up before they happen and before they start trending. After the show, we use it to analyze which gets very granular. We’re able to see how performers moved the needle pre-and-post, how presenters moved the needle pre-and-post, what people liked or disliked, and other things like that.

We also use Neilson for ratings, which is the industry standard.”

[22:45] – When do you all decide to invest time, energy, & money into new platforms & features?

“We never wait and see. It’s about shifting the value proposition. When something’s new, it’s inherently valuable.  In our industry, being ahead of the times carries a lot of weight. If something’s just rolling out, we’re more likely to try it even if it doesn’t end up being a huge moneymaker for us.”

[23:42] – What social platform do you see as being “undervalued” that others can capitalize on?

“I think people should spend more time on Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories is the most brilliant thing in the world, it’s entirely different. We create original programming for our Instagram stories. We spend a lot of time, energy and money to make sure that experience is really high quality.

QUICK TIP:  There’s a lot of interesting things you can do with Instagram Stories and you can be very strategic about it. For example, you can go live for a bit, which brings you to the front of everyone’s feed.”

[25:20] – What are some of the most important roles you should have on your core internal marketing, social, and content team?

“Having a good creative team and people who really understand the social landscape is super important. I also think that having someone with the ability to create relationships with partners and artists is becoming increasingly important as well.”

[28:40] – What do you think the future of OTT vs. digital is?

“It’s a hard question, but I think it’s going to be some time before the key networks are not extremely valuable.  It’s easy to become immersed in digital and social and to think of TV as archaic. In reality, it’s still very powerful. It’s like the moon landing moments, where you had everybody gathered around for one thing. We like to think of our events as culturally significant moments with mass gatherings. The unifying element is the TV. 

I do think there is going to be a heavy shift towards digital, it’s just hard to say when.”

[33:42] – How do you get the most from external teams & vendors and utilizing them effectively?

“There are so many moving parts, especially when we are putting on an event in a short amount of time. We use a lot of vendors. They do things from setting up the red carpet, to running votes, to social activations, and even the broadcasting. We use vendors for specific things when we need a large team to handle the content creation, publishing, and management that we have around the event. 

We don’t need a team of 30, 365 days a year. But during show week, we need a huge staff to spike up on.”

[35:22] – What are some tips for creating a well-branded experience for your audience?

“When you look at brand integrations on TV, most think you just put “presented by” in front of it. No, there were months and months of creative conversations and brainstorms that went into that placement. It needs to work creatively and we take that mantra all the way through digital and social. We have to be super aware not to alienate our wide audience.

We’ve done a lot of testing. What types of post get less engagement, what causes followers to drop, etc. Most of our testing is done in the offseason because it’s easier to monitor engagement. We do analysis around the shared voice between brands and editorial content from our different social platforms. 

We’re also sensitive to any implied endorsement issues with talent. We want to provide integrations that are very organic. For example, we’ve done integrations with Samsung where every person is capturing content utilizing a Samsung device. Then, when we say “powered by Samsung,” it’s true. The content was literally powered by Samsung. That type of integration is very important.”

[43:48] – What’s the future of the social industry (YouTube strategy)?

“I’m excited for another social platform to emerge. When Musical.ly popped up, we worked with them immediately. It’s never easy to go up against the giants, but you don’t necessarily have to go up against them, you just have to do something different and something unique.

When you look at Spotify even, which isn’t a social platform, but they’re suddenly curating playlist which has become a form of currency. Now, even the placement of the song in the playlists can be a make-or-break. I think they’re a good example of how different formats are changing our industry. 

We also look at platforms like YouTube.  When we think of YouTube, we see it as “search vs. find.” On Facebook, you can find content. On YouTube, you search for content. It hasn’t always been a huge strategy focus for us, but more and more it’s becoming a focus.  What do people immediately do after an event? Do you want to see a performance? Do you want to see an acceptance speech? You search it on YouTube. More and more, we’re going to start focusing our efforts on our YouTube experience and making sure it has unique content.”

Want to learn more about Dick Clark Productions?

Check out their website and stay tuned for their upcoming events: https://www.dickclark.com/ 


The Business of Social Podcast is brought to you by STN Digital.  STN is a social media marketing agency trusted by the largest sports and entertainment properties in the world. The Superbowl, March Madness, UFC, Stanely Cup, Emmys, and the Oscars are just a few projects we’ve worked on in the past.  We bring award-winning results (literally) and treat each client like they are our only client.  If you’re interested in learning more about how STN can help you, click the button below!

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How To Leverage PR For Your Brand With Beck Bamberger

How To Monetize Your Social Media With Jordan Maleh

The Future Of Social Media With Bryan Srabian

How Brands Can Capitalize On Influencers With Ashley Iaconetti

 

The Business of Social Podcast examines the digital advertising industry and analyzes how brands successfully increase their ad revenue and brand affinity through cutting edge content on social. In short, we talk to the experts so you’re able to keep your thumb on the pulse of the ever-changing landscape of social and digital media. (Powered By STN Digital)

 


leverage pr beck bamberger stn digital

How To Leverage PR For Your Brand With Beck Bamberger

For brands to leverage PR effectively, it takes a lot more than a simple story in a publication.  At the foundation, it’s about building relationships between organizations and the public by having the ability to communicate a message effectively.

On this edition of the Business of Social podcast, we chatted with Beck Bamberger from BAM Communications to discuss how brands can leverage PR and influencers to generate more brand awareness.

Beck is a former, on-air host and executive producer which led her to an Emmy in 2011.  She is a contributing writer to publications like Inc, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and Forbes.  AND she currently serves as the founder of BAM Communications, a public relations firm focused on representing the movers, shakers, breakers, and makers of technology.

Listen to the full show here: (and please subscribe to our podcast!)

Here are some of the highlights:

What is BAM Communications and what is a day-to-day like with your clients?

“We’re storytellers.  Our notion is that everyone has a story and it’s our job to elevate and showcase that story by keeping the narrative tight and consistent.

Our favorite situation is a company in stealth, that is doing something groundbreaking and possibly world-changing that we get to collaborate with to expose in the media.

We are here to fundamentally showcase their story mostly through editorial earned content such as getting into Bloomberg, the CNBC’s and the Tech Crunches of the world. Number two, in their content. Writing content and placing it. Number three, in their social channels. How we tell that story and keeping the whole storyline together.”

In terms of PR and relationships with media outlets, how do you balance multiple clients trying to get into the same places without overextending your welcome?

“This is why PR is one of the most stressful jobs in America.  24-7 you’re dealing with it. You are dealing with pleasing the client and pleasing the press and being the bridge between them. And the press owes you nothing.

The only way to get [the press’s] trust, is by befriending them first. Help them get their sources, help them produce the story and don’t always be funneling and pushing your clients on them for your obvious benefit.”

What is the difference between PR and advertising?

“Public relations can mean many different things.  Any and all publics you are speaking to. Maybe that’s your board, your shareholders, your employees, your internal communications, etc.  Typically what people think of is media relations and dealing with the press.

It’s long been known and debated, but editorial earned content is far more valuable and credible than anything you could buy an ad for. Consumers are savvy enough to know a paid spot.  That’s why you have to disclose it in magazines because you could say whatever you want in an advertisement.  If you want to get a whole story featuring your company, that’s much harder, but it’s going to be much more validating.”

How has social media changed your role over the last 5 years and how do you manage it?

“It depends what space the client is in, but you cannot simply ignore your social channels. It is another outlet that you can control.  You should leverage it to the best of your ability when you have a great piece of earned content come out.”

What data tools do you use to show clients the value of media outlets and influencers talking about their brands?

“We use one that we white label called TrendKite.  It’s very popular, but also expensive. It allows you to see how your press pieces stacking up compared to competitors. What are the social amplifications? What is driving the most to your website? Where did people click? And so on.

However, do we ever fully know the extent of clear ROI, no. This is the oldest problem in advertising and marketing. We can’t track where the influence of those eyeballs go.”

How can brands use social media to increase their PR for brand awareness?

“The number one thing when you get an earned piece is to share it and leverage it to the best of your ability on all your platforms. You’ll see a lot of brands doing this. They don’t say “buy our thing”, they put what the press has said. Whatever it is, That’s credibility and validation. The media functions as a validation tool and a signal to the consumer.

Don’t cut yourself off of a great piece of coverage by not leveraging it immediately and continuously on your platforms.”

How have you brought in social media influencers to extend that brand awareness?

“The whole influencer space is a bit of an upheaval. Currently, there is a large supply of these individuals, because anybody can do it if you get to a good enough mark. There was a great investigative piece in The New York Times about paid or bought followers and even bots that are mimicking real actual profiles.

It’s hard to distinguish and discern among the credible ones who could actually do something for your brand versus the ones that are fluff. One thing I always look at is followers on their Instagram; of those, when they post something, did they get one-hundred comments or did they get two? That seems like a red flag right there. Bots can even leave fake comments so you really need to be careful.”

With influencers and clients, what’s the justification for ROI?

“We usually take it as a “nice to have.” If you have some extra budget and want to experiment in that space, great! Should your entire marketing or majority of your budget be spent on just influencers? Probably risqué, probably risqué.

We dedicate some to experimenting with the hope that they really do have real followers in their niche audience that can actually move their product. But, some are going to be duds and you need to be okay with that.

For example, if I had a product, I wouldn’t touch the influencers right off the bat. I would first think about the outlets in which the product could be showcased in. Then, I would send a really cool, compelling gift box to the columnist or person I’m trying to reach. I’d try to line up a meeting or have an event in which we could put it physically in their hands. It’s a softer pitch that way.”

What is your overall feeling on influencers in the next five years?

“I think we are seeing a big balloon with influencers.  You’re seeing all this interest right now and then it’ll morph back into what’s realistic. A lot of people want to get in the game but then it’s going to shrivel to its true market instead of an explosive one.”

Earned media value; how do you attach a dollar value to an organic tweet from Lady Gaga for example?

“This is the ultimate end-all problem. We have no solution for this, no one does.

When it comes to clients, we don’t deal with that. If we’re trying to convince on a consistent basis, that’s a bad client for us. Our clients are ones who come to us saying, “we need PR, we understand it or we think we understand it, here is why we believe we need it, what can you do for us?”

The question is, how much? But at least you could say to your client, “if you had paid for that, we know her pricing list, here’s what it would have been.”

When you have a volume of things to show to a client, we look at the aggregate of it.  Branding is an aggregate artist’s game. It’s not usually a one-time thing that triggers the consumer to act in such a way, it is an aggregate play.  So, you could stand to the body of your work and point.”

What’s your philosophy when dealing with a crisis and risk management?

“First thing, a crisis can happen anytime. You are never too small to have a plan in place in case an employee goes off the rails or there’s something with the co-founder. There are so many cases. It doesn’t matter your size, the amount of funding, or whatever. Have a plan in place, that’s the best thing.”

When something bad happens, what is your philosophy on the first thing to do?

“There are so many people who botched this. The number one thing is to address it and address it immediately. “We are aware of the situation involving X, we are working on the solution, we are looking into it etc.” Not addressing it, creates speculation. People are going to fill in the gaps and they’re going to talk about it.  You need to raise that flag to say, we are aware. If there is a certain time frame tied to it, this is when we will respond. Then you can get into the response once you have aggregated the information pertaining to the situation.

Ignoring is the worst thing. People will fill in the gaps and they will do it immediately, within hours.”

Looking 5-10 years out, where do you think PR is going for brand awareness?

“I think there is a slight backlash brewing with short-form content. We are going towards longer-form that is going in-depth. It’s always swinging, and I feel in journalism right now there is a huge crescendo at the moment.

I think there will always be the ten second little blips and videos that are bite size. But for the consumer that wants the in-depth and wants to really understand something, there is going to be a space for the long-form.”

What’s the first step a business can take for PR and their brand?

“You can start by making your own relationships.  You don’t go up to someone and say, “you want to write a whole story about me?” No, if you don’t know them, then you seem like a weirdo and that’s not going to be well taken. Start slowly. Pick out twenty outlets, find who writes for them, email them, meet for coffee, etc.  Don’t make the ask right off the bat.

Spend six months to a year building your own relationships with the different outlets.

When the time comes and you’ve spent the time and invested in making that relationship, that’s when you get favors.  That’s how you build a relationship.

The only way you can get coverage right off the bat is if you have a fantastic client doing fantastic things that is a perfect fit for this writer. But how many situations do you get like that? Less than you’d like.” 

How do you package that and make the publishers life easier?

“They’re checking on their phone, typically through emails which is the number one source they receive pitches. It needs to be short, sweet, and well packaged — bullet points, no more than ten sentences.”

You’ve been to more than sixty countries, how has that shaped your storytelling and the narratives you tell with clients and outlets?

“Storytelling is universal. It is all across humanity. We’ve been telling stories as long as we’ve been around fires, so that’s never going away. How we tell stories, of course, will change. This [podcast] is a form of storytelling, Twitter is a form of storytelling. So, it’s going to change and evolve.

I think it’s a good reminder of the customs and norms that every culture, whether that’s an ethnic one or a business one, pertains to.”

Tell us more about how people can find you.

“Our PR firm’s website is bamcommunications.biz and my personal website is beckbamberger.com.”


The Business of Social Podcast is brought to you by STN Digital.  STN is a social media marketing agency trusted by the largest sports and entertainment properties in the world. The Superbowl, March Madness, UFC, Stanely Cup, Emmys, and the Oscars are just a few projects we’ve worked on in the past.  We bring award-winning results (literally) and treat each client like they are our only client.  If you’re interested in learning more about how STN can help you, click the button below!

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If you liked this post, check out a few others. Click here!

Managing Social For The Largest Events In The World With Madeline Mesevage

How To Monetize Your Social Media With Jordan Maleh

The Future Of Social Media With Bryan Srabian

How Brands Can Capitalize On Influencers With Ashley Iaconetti

 

The Business of Social Podcast examines the digital advertising industry and analyzes how brands successfully increase their ad revenue and brand affinity through cutting edge content on social. In short, we talk to the experts so you’re able to keep your thumb on the pulse of the ever-changing landscape of social and digital media. (Powered By STN Digital)


STN Digital

Industry Leaders Weigh In: Who Is The 2017 NFL Social MVP?

NFL Social MVP

The Philadelphia Eagles were holding the Lombardi trophy by the end of Super Bowl LII.  But, which team held the trophy for NFL social MVP?

We at STN Digital, a sports and entertainment social media agency in San Diego, reached out to our trusted industry experts to get their take. The question was simple, “Who do you think was the best NFL team on social media in 2017?”

NFL Social MVP

“This is even more difficult than selecting a top MLB team in social. I’m constantly impressed with the quality, creativity, and approach of many NFL teams. The Jaguars, Vikings, Cardinals, and Falcons to name a few. It’s hard not to pick the Panthers given how many hours were invested in that social strategy, but I’m going to stay unbiased here (they are still among the most engaging and responsive in pro sports). The Miami Dolphins do video far better than anyone else in the game. The Packers do an excellent job of blending their rich history and current success with high-quality visual content. The list goes on.

One team deserves serious recognition however: The Chicago Bears. The most difficult thing to do right on social is write really good copy, and the Bears manage to consistently nail it every time. They know when to be fun and are extremely clever. They know when to get serious. And they know how to tell a story that resonates with fans in a powerful way using as few words as possible. Their twitter handle has a great sense of humor too.

The team is clearly committed to quality visual content. Every video photo looks crisp and every video is shot with digital in mind. Their graphics are also on another level, among the best in the league. It can be such a challenge to make an older brand feel fresh, but the Bears have done a superb job with this over the years. They also respond and engage with fans, which always gets you extra points in my book.

Bottom line, the Bears manage to hit on all cylinders despite operating as a more historically conservative franchise AND while rebuilding on the field. Any social media manager will tell you the impact team competitiveness has on digital success.  The Bears, however, manage to win on social even when the team is not winning on the field. A true testament of a very, very talented team.”

To check out the Chicago Bears, click here: Instagram & Twitter

Follow Dan on Twitter here!

NFL Social MVP

“Call me a homer, but in my mind the Atlanta Falcons take the cake here.  The social staffing additions they’ve made over the past year-and-a-half are paying dividends. They probably double as MVP and Most Improved.

Their diversity is impressive.  From an access standpoint, they give their fans the inside look at anything and everything. Team practices, travel, events, you name it. Their production quality on videos, graphics, and photos are stunning.  They mix it up well, their content is wide-ranging and interesting.

They know how to use each channel for its purpose too.  On Instagram, high-quality images and short video clips get fans pumped up in a medium where the visuals tell the story.  On Twitter, they’re playful and confident but not cocky on a medium where their brand voice comes through easiest.  Their social copy is short and straight to the point for brand-building messages. They never use more words than necessary.

I have no issue admitting that I probably see more Falcons content than others, so take that for what it’s worth. There are other teams that I think do a phenomenal job (Cowboys, Panthers, Cardinals to name a few) but Atlanta’s the best.”

To check out the Atlanta Falcons, click here: Instagram & Twitter

Follow Jaryd on Twitter here!

NFL Social MVP

“As someone who works closely with all 32 clubs all year long, it’s almost impossible to select just one MVP this year. Overall, I was thrilled with how every single club stepped up their game on social (and specifically on Twitter). Everyone was creating more meaningful content and interactions with their fans on a daily basis. Kudos to all of the social managers who developed and executed such fantastic strategies all year long.

I like to think of the social MVP as someone who checks off all the boxes. Live content, strong visual identity, brand voice, creative video content, and interactions with fans. While I truly can’t pick a favorite, I will showcase a few of the best examples in my opinion from teams this year.

Live Content – Team’s went LIVE more this year than ever before, bringing teams closer to the action every day of the week. The Dolphins, Seahawks, Steelers, Eagles, and Broncos CRUSHED their Periscope game this year. Everything from bringing podcasts, studio shows, press conferences and more to their fans every day.

Visual Identity – The Dolphins, Vikings, and Falcons, in my opinion, have created a stunning, consistent visual identity. The visuals are always relevant to their brand. They evoke emotion and ultimately allow their presence on digital to feel cohesive in a way that many other teams don’t have.

Brand Voice – So many great examples, but hats off to the Browns. Even with a tough season yet again, they were able to evoke humor and sarcasm to make the best of their season, despite the performance on the field. Eagles are a close 2nd.  They had outstanding interactions with fans from their account all season long. And this incredible championship Tweet reminding fans that there is indeed a human element behind these accounts.

Creative Video Content – Impossible to select just one, but the Cardinals, Panthers, Steelers, and Falcons really stood out. These teams brought creative, eye-popping, and new video content which not only told a story but looked good in the process.

Long story short – NFL teams as a whole crushed this year on Social and can’t wait to see what next season brings to the table!”

Follow David on Twitter here!

NFL Social MVP

“With respect to the Panthers, Cowboys, and Cardinals, my 2017 NFL MVP of Social Media has to be the Jacksonville Jaguars. Not only did they have a turn-around season on the field, they had one on the interwebs as well.

The Jaguars have not had much to cheer about over the past few years. When the opportunity arose this year for the Jacksonville football team, the social media team capitalized on every facet of conversation. Everything from specialized photo/video content to back-and-forth banter with fans, to sending the most viral – and vicious – NFL tweet of the year.

The Jags also did a great job of cross-promoting, not only with their adversaries on the field but with other entities across all sports. A key initiative in Social Media marketing is to garner the attention of fans who may never come across your brand. The Jags capitalized on that. Well done, Sacksonville.”

To check out the Jacksonville Jaguars, click here: Instagram & Twitter

Follow Randall on Twitter here!

NFL Social MVP

“My pick for the NFL’s best social media team is the Carolina Panthers. Take Valentine’s Day alone. The Panthers’ Facebook feed featured a clever “catching feelings” edit. Kyle Love answering romance questions as “Dr. Love”. A link to a gallery of Panthers fans that have gotten married & more. Their social media channels capture the heartbeat and storylines of the team but manage to consistently stay fun, fresh and relevant. There are glimpses from inside the locker room that feel authentic, clever partnerships like “Sweet Victory” with Krispy Kreme.

They also had a nice mix of produced graphics and edits including the #MyCauseMyCleats videos. Whether it’s a player milestone or pop culture reference, the Panthers’ social team doesn’t miss a beat. They are able to cover both with creative content and a sharp voice that seems made for social.

While my pick is the Panthers, there were so many great social media teams across the NFL this past season. I also want to give a mention to the Chicago Bears for their creativity, social franchises, and well-produced video edits.”

To check out the Carolina Panthers, click here: Instagram & Twitter

Follow Tracy on Twitter here!

CONCLUSION:

So, what did it take to be the best NFL team on social in 2017? The answer isn’t cut and dry, but the teams that ranked above the rest clearly had a diverse array of content and didn’t slack on the details.

After hearing from the experts, we received great insight on what made teams stand out from the pack.  It wasn’t nearly enough to master a single element.  To be a true champion, it required the full package: live content, visual elements, brand voice, the ability to stay relevant with pop culture, and above all – originality.

In 2017, the bar was set high.  Here at STN, we think there are several opportunities for teams to rise during the 2018 season. With news like the Facebook algorithm continuing to shift our industry, it becomes increasingly important for organizations to find new ways of engaging with fans. As the industry becomes more “pay to play” and organic content takes a back seat, which teams will align with the right strategic partners to unlock their brand’s full potential?


STN is a social media marketing agency trusted by the largest sports and entertainment properties in the world. The Superbowl, March Madness, UFC, Stanely Cup, Emmys, and the Oscars are just a few projects we’ve worked on in the past.  We bring award-winning results (literally) and treat each client like they are our only client.  If you’re interested in learning more about how STN can help you, click the button below!

DROP A LINE


If you liked this post, check out a few others by clicking here!

STN Digital is a Social Media Marketing Agency trusted by the largest Sports & Entertainment properties in the world.  Unlock your brand’s potential.  Email us at info@stn.digital.


STN Digital

How To Monetize Social Media With Jordan Maleh

Every day, more and more cords are cut from traditional TV.  With OTTs (over-the-top media) like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, how has streaming impacted live sports?  

On this edition of the Business of Social podcast, we chatted with Jordan Maleh from the Big Ten Network to discuss media rights and how to monetize on social platforms in the new digital age.

Jordan has been a Marketing Manager for the New York Knicks, the Director of Digital Marketing at Michigan University and is now the Director of Digital Marketing & Communications at the Big Ten Network.

Listen to the full show here: (and please subscribe to our podcast!)

Here are some of the highlights:

In 2018, where is live sports going with OTT (over-the-top media)?

“As a rights holder, that’s the competitive advantage we have. We are in a great position.  Our bread and butter is live sports.  We basically became the leader in the space when we launched our app BTN2GO, the first app to ultimately produce and stream live games.”

How do you transition linear and live sports to digital and OTT, but also respect the bread and butter [selling the rights] that has got the network there in the first place?

“I think about that every day.  As a rights holder, we also own the ancillary rights. Technically, we own everything revolving and aligning with a school. So the question from our perspective is, how do we extend the window of live sports? We need better areas to sell our digital opportunities. For example, we are becoming more focused with on-campus opportunities — how can we tie in advertisers there?

The ultimate question is, how are we maximizing our rights, not only from an over-the-top perspective but from a digital and social perspective and what are sponsors interested in?”

How far are we from large corporations moving away from traditional ads like TV and more towards a digital-first approach?

“The percentage of people streaming are continuing to rise, however not to the scale of viewership in the traditional matter. But those percentages are rising and the brands understand where the consumption is taking place.

The challenge is that the space hasn’t matured enough.  Today, Nielsen can say these are households and this is what you sell against. No one has said that about digital in terms of total views, this is what you sell against, here is what a CPM is and it changes based off a scale.”

As we move into 2018, how do you begin to put together a package for digital sponsors?  How does it work?  Is it views?  Is it impressions? website visits?

“A great example is Libman, the green mop company who wipes the basketball courts at every Big Ten school across the country. They are a great client because they’re open to new ideas.

During March this past year, they were open and had a detailed plan.  From our end, we started churning ideas of not only highlights but also custom content. We attack it by a simple number of activations. So, how many pieces of custom content could we produce? That was the number we were looking at.

Libman was our first digital-only sponsor.  Last year during the basketball tournament, they had no linear opportunities, they weren’t interested.  This year they’re back. So you start to get a sense of how successful it was.”

The Facebook algorithm: do you think the change has opened space for other networks to help with more organic reach?

“My initial reaction was that content is going to be swallowed for a while.  But as you talk with sports-minded people, the leverage we have is the content and how it creates an expression or an action with people.  It’s just natural.

However, another opportunity we’ve thought about is Facebook groups.  Most people in groups are seeing group related content in their feed. We’ve been thinking about creating 14 BTN Facebook groups that live within our Facebook page.  The question then becomes, are you investing too much time into building a ‘group chat’ where you’re sharing content that you own the rights to?  And then a year from now the model changes and the algorithm opens up again.”

What are your thoughts on the Instagram algorithm and how old posts are coming back to the top of the news feed — making it difficult for real-time sports updates?  

“We’ve begun to shy away from date-specific content.  We have an advantage because we are first to market with our highlights.  But we’ve found that each highlight must be really unique for it to rise to the top.  It can’t just be your average dunk.  

We’ve tried to find a healthy mix.  We’ve tried posting more and also slowing it down, but it’s still hard to tell.  We just have to throw things against the wall or slow it down ultimately.

Again, this goes back to us as a rights holder.  How are we maximizing our rights where we don’t need to lean on the platforms themselves.  Yes, they are an outlet, they are a distribution platform but can we create content that we know will be successful no matter the algorithm and can guarantee revenue.”

David Brickley:  “The reason you hire someone like Jordan Maleh, with a background at the New York Knicks and Michigan, is because you need someone that is willing to dig into it.  Someone that is constantly tweaking and geeking out over the process, in order to make sure you’re squeezing every ounce of brand potential on the different social platforms.”

Is email still a major approach and KPI internally?

“At BTN, we are lean when it comes to CRM so I believe that’s one opportunity we have to ramp up during the next fiscal year. We have the social and digital space, leaving us room to grow when it comes to email.

We have a good understanding of who our audience is.  Right now, we are trying to skew younger.  With the younger generation, I think most people would say it’s social over email. But I’m with you, I’m an avid email fan.”

How do you talk with higher-ups in your organization, who may not be in the day-to-day,  about changes made in the industry that impact your entire department?  For instance, the Facebook algorithm and how strategies that worked today, won’t work tomorrow.

“We have a head start because our engagement tends to be more volatile anyway.  Since we are a TV network we tend to rely on big plays, but we also look at overall tonnage.

Again, we try to tie it back to revenue, which makes the conversation easier. Going back to Libman, we focus on the number of activations.  If we’re working for more reach, then that’s where we need to get into the ad model of boosting posts to try to reach a larger scale.

Our executive team has an understanding of what takes place and the ebbs-and-flows.  But for now, the algorithm means we’ll have a little bit more ad dollars coming from our end.”

What’s the number one KPI that your role is responsible for at BTN?

“When I first got to BTN it was viewership, viewership, viewership.  Then it shifted to streaming, which falls in line with downloads. So, last year, it was downloads and usage of the BTN2GO app and retaining those people.

A message that came from our president was that we are now a content company.  So the model is to get as much content out as possible while maintaining our core principles of eyeballs streaming and the overarching theme of maximizing our rights.

I foresee the next KPI as social ROI, once we are able to figure that out.”

What are your thoughts on mergers or acquisitions in terms of sudden opportunities for a social platform and audience as it moves over in the deal?

“From an outsider looking in, the question becomes what takes place with the regional and social handles?

A similar example is the SEC network under the umbrella of ESPN.  So really it’s, who is the king?  You’ll probably fall under whoever is the king.”

Who do you think is doing it right or smart on social media?

“In the sports world, the group thinking is incredible. With that said, in order to stay ahead, I believe you have to remove yourself.  Business Insider is a platform I look at, in terms of how much content they turn.  In the sports world, I tend to rely on Bleacher Report.  I marvel at how fast they turn content.

Coming from a different lens, one thing I look for is who is stealing content?  That’s important to us as a rights holder.  We understand who is stealing content and sometimes platforms make it easy.”

How do you balance wanting to increase your brand message with people stealing content?  How does that factor in?

“If it gets excessive that’s when it’s no help to our brand.

In terms of buying the rights, the overall pillar is how we maximize that.  We want to be in a position to have conversations about partnerships with people from those platforms who are interested in our content.”  

BTN is doing some cool, new things to increase television and digital viewership, can you tell us a little more about the programs you have coming?

“We’ve recently created a new campus program that we are really excited about.  We are hiring people to be ‘boots-on-the-ground’ who are both producers and editors that we call Multi-Platform Video Producer-Editors, or MVPEs.

Our goal was to have someone fresh out of college, who could be embedded within the athletic department.  The idea is that this is not a newspaper, or a blog coming from a press conference.  It’s someone within their walls, seeing the day-to-day.

After a really successful fall and winter pilot at Penn State, Minnesota and Michigan State, we hope to expand the program to 7 or 8 schools.

The next steps are to figure out the ad sales opportunities.  Now, we’re able to sell more locally.  We’re excited about the opportunity, we’re trending in the right direction, and I think this model can be carried out across all 14 schools within the next 3 to 5 years.”

And our random question for the day, can the XFL be a successful business model that actually pays off?

“I’m optimistic!  I don’t know for how long, but I’m optimistic in the entertainment.

As we talk about being a difference maker and going against the grain, I’m not going to question Vince McMahon.”


The Business of Social Podcast is brought to you by STN Digital.  STN is a social media marketing agency trusted by the largest sports and entertainment properties in the world. The Superbowl, March Madness, UFC, Stanely Cup, Emmys, and the Oscars are just a few projects we’ve worked on in the past.  We bring award-winning results (literally) and treat each client like they are our only client.  If you’re interested in learning more about how STN can help you, click the button below!

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If you liked this post, check out a few others. Click here!

Managing Social For The Largest Events In The World with Madeline Mesevage

How To Leverage PR For Your Brand With Beck Bamberger

The Future Of Social Media With Bryan Srabian

How Brands Can Capitalize On Influencers With Ashley Iaconetti

 

The Business of Social Podcast examines the digital advertising industry and analyzes how brands successfully increase their ad revenue and brand affinity through cutting edge content on social. In short, we talk to the experts so you’re able to keep your thumb on the pulse of the ever-changing landscape of social and digital media. (Powered By STN Digital)

 


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The Future Of Social Media With Bryan Srabian

STN Digital

He’s been called a Social Media Trailblazer and a Digital Guru.  When we first met in 2014, after only 10 minutes I knew right away… “Wow. Bryan just gets it!”

On this edition of the Business of Social podcast, we chatted with Bryan Srabian, from the San Francisco Giants, to discuss the future of social media and how the sports industry is fighting to stay one-step ahead of the curve.

Bryan Srabian is the VP of Digital Media & Brand Development at the San Francisco Giants. He also teaches a Sports Master Program (Sports and Social Media Marketing) at the University of San Francisco.

Listen to the full show here: (and please subscribe to our podcast!)

Here are some of the highlights:

With the shift in the Facebook algorithm, how has the organic reach dropped at the sports level?

“Organic is a challenge. The days of hitting your max are really gone unless you’re doing something above and beyond like winning the World Series that goes viral.  We’re learning that if you have great content, it’s worth carving out a budget and trying to maximize the eyeballs.  

From a sports perspective, we are a little different than brands because our fans are actively posting and connecting with us.  The algorithm is another piece of the puzzle that will continue to change and evolve.  We just have to stay ahead or at least with the curve.”

New platforms & networks?  How do you choose whether or not to invest time and energy when it could potentially be a total loss?

“Only a few years ago people were afraid of missing out and began jumping on everything.

It’s a balance and you’ve got to be smart.  You have to be active on a personal level and in this day and age, it’s hard to stay on all the different social networks.  That’s why I believe we are seeing the maturity in some.”

As we head into 2018, where is the untapped potential in terms of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat and where would you rank those different platforms?

“The one thing we’re not mentioning is YouTube.  We don’t consider it a social channel, it’s more of a content channel. Our video team even brought it up at a meeting this week.  It’s a platform we haven’t really explored or use a lot, but we should continue to create content for them.

Instagram and Facebook continue to lead in terms of massive numbers and what people are on.

Twitter is vital in terms of sharing news and information in real time.  Social media professionals know how critical Twitter is, not just personally but on the professional side of things as well.

Snapchat is interesting because they’re still secretive.  We don’t know a lot about it, its smaller than Instagram but their demographic is vital to us.

We’re putting a little more money into Facebook this year, in terms of ad placement and digital spend. But we’re also looking at Twitter and Instagram for a stronger video presence.”  

How do you set a social strategy for sponsors and partnerships with the landscape changing so frequently?  

“I should emphasize we have not figured this out.  It’s a real challenge for sports teams and how you fully monetize when you’re talking about sponsors. The first step is to have good communication with your partnership team.

In general, we try to have a ‘social first’ mentality.  When a Giant fan logs on to our Instagram account and sees our post, it should be something they want to see.  If it’s a sponsored post, you must make sure it brings value, whether it’s entertainment, education, or something witty. If it’s too much of a sales offer or an off-brand marketing message, it’s not going to do as well.

Our goal is to really communicate what the partner’s vision is. What’s the vision and try to create those branded posts that are almost seamless.”

Has HQ Trivia unlocked a new way of social engagement?

“The live aspect, the community aspect, and the instantaneous of it. And it’s only ten to twelve minutes. I’m really excited about the whole aspect and I agree with you, I think they’ve really got something on their hands.

There is something about appointment television when people are all connected at the same time.  The conversation that happens the next day at the water cooler or on social media is inherent.

They’re doing a lot of things right.  I’m excited and I hope we can take the spirit of that and integrate it into something this year.”

How much effort do you put into establishing more users on your own properties such as email subscribers, website, apps, etc.?

“Email is still a strong base for us, but not as strong as maybe five or ten years ago.  However, it still provides a good return on investment in terms of direct purchasing.  The use of push notifications and our mobile app are things that I think are big assets for sports teams.

StubHub is becoming a partner and it’s a place fans are going to on a consistent basis.  It’s important to understand that those partnerships also have big databases and touch points as well. How can we use them to get our message out?

Our job is to continue to tell the stories and use our media outlets as a way to continue to reach our fans. It’s funny that we didn’t mention traditional media until later in this discussion, but they’re still a viable option for us.”

Outside the Giants, who do you think is doing it right or smart on social media?

“I am going to give a shout out to the Sacramento Kings.  They continue to do some really cutting-edge things.

They don’t have the same fan bases for example as the Warriors or the Lakers.  But, you look to teams like them who are really doing innovative things, some visual things, some fun things and you try to learn from them as well.”

Where do you see the MLB going in the new digital world, in terms of how people view these games and stream them live?

“It’s very critical to our success.  In-market streaming was just live last year.  For the first time, if you were Direct TV, Comcast, or Xfinity, the dish subscriber through NBC Sports, you could watch games via your computer, iPhone or whatever.

The MLB TV app continues to be one of the tops in terms of engagement out-of-market games.

The fans might not be sitting and watching a two-and-a-half-hour game on television, but they want to see the highlights in real time.  They also want to see stats and have access to the players in different ways. It’s up to Major League Baseball to continue to innovate the overall fan experience.” 

Statcast has been a huge development by Major League Baseball in the way that fans are experiencing games.

Twitch is a network that’s something to watch and understand.  It’s the E-league and I’m really intrigued because video games play such a big part of the culture now.”

How have arenas changed to facilitate mobile, Wi-Fi, and social sharing and how are they continually looking to facilitate the web experience, while people are in seats watching games?

“In 2004, the Giants became the first park with Wi-Fi access. It wasn’t until 2007 when the iPhone came out that it really became a big deal.

We’ve had to continue to build up our Wi-Fi. Fans are continuously taking pictures and posting on social media to share their experiences. Our main job is to make that experience seamless.”  

How do you balance arming your fan base with the ability to share, but also protecting the licensing rights with live streaming, is that a worry?

The live aspect isn’t a threat yet, because of the perspective people are getting.  There is something cool about streaming. In fact, we encouraged it in the beginning.  I haven’t seen any instances, from my own perspective, where the league has stepped in to shut anyone down for streaming live from a game.

However, now that Wi-Fi and cameras continue to get better and stronger, you might see more of this becoming an issue. At the same time, we want to engage with fans and I hope we are open to sharing in different ways.

Rights are obviously an issue that everyone takes seriously. Within the social scale, we’re trying to engage and share as much content as possible. As of now, it hasn’t been an issue.”

Going into 2018, how are you measuring success on social and what would you say would be the number one initiative inside that building in terms of your strategy?

For social media in general, it’s not just about reaching a certain number of followers, engagements or retweets. It’s about helping our different departments reach their goals.  Whether that’s partnerships, tickets, or community relations department, it’s about finding new ways to tell their story and maximize that on our social networks.

We’re trying to be brand ambassadors for many people internally.  At the same time, we want to stay connected, innovative, and try to stay ahead of the curve.”


The Business of Social Podcast is brought to you by STN Digital.  STN is a social media marketing agency trusted by the largest sports and entertainment properties in the world. The Superbowl, March Madness, UFC, Stanely Cup, Emmys, and the Oscars are just a few projects we’ve worked on in the past.  We bring award-winning results (literally) and treat each client like they are our only client.  If you’re interested in learning more about how STN can help you, click the button below!

DROP A LINE


If you liked this post, check out a few others. Click here!

Managing Social For The Largest Events In The World with Madeline Mesevage

How To Leverage PR For Your Brand With Beck Bamberger

How To Monetize Social Media With Jordan Maleh

How Brands Can Capitalize On Influencers With Ashley Iaconetti

 

The Business of Social Podcast examines the digital advertising industry and analyzes how brands successfully increase their ad revenue and brand affinity through cutting edge content on social. In short, we talk to the experts so you’re able to keep your thumb on the pulse of the ever-changing landscape of social and digital media. (Powered By STN Digital)


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Industry Leaders Weigh In: Who Is The 2017 MLB Social MVP?

mlb social mvp stn digital

The Houston Astros were the 2017 champions on the field, but what MLB team won the World Series of social media coverage?

STN Digital, a sports and entertainment agency out of San Diego, reached out to our trusted industry experts to get their take. The question was simple, “Who do you think was the best MLB team on social media in 2017?”

mlb social mvp stn digital

My vote for the social media MVP for 2017 goes to the Chicago Cubs. After a whirlwind season in 2016 that saw them hoisting the World Series Trophy, the Cubs came back for the 2017 season with an even stronger brand voice. They embraced the winning mentality of the club but never lost sight of what brought them success in the first place. A fun, good-humored tone and lots of amazing gifs.

Additionally, no one understands that social is a two-way street better than the Cubs. They engage with followers on a one-to-one basis and also host a #CubsSocial Media Night. They never fail to make their fans feel like they are a part of the team. Whether it is a look into the personal life or a player or an epic celebration, the Cubs consistently showcase content that brings you right into the action.

mlb social mvp stn digital

Tough to give the @Yankees yet another trophy, but I would give them both MVP and Most Improved Player. In what has been historically a very corporate account, they’ve made a number of improvements (including the Jessica Smith hire).

They played into pop culture more like with this Game of Thrones Tweet. They embraced viral content, are much more conversational, and not afraid to quote tweet opposing players or roast their archrivals.

Overall their voice has improved quite a bit. They aren’t opposed to speaking the language of the internet. Best of all, they still know their the Yankees and aren’t afraid to flex on the rest of MLB.

mlb social mvp stn digital

This is tough, but with respect to the Braves, Rockies, Cubs, and Mariners, the Indians take the cake here. I’m a big fan of social and brand voice. Cleveland’s plays really well across their channels.

On Facebook, they focus on quality over quantity. They post only what they know their fans will engage with and no extra clutter. The informal “voice of a fan” really comes across on Twitter. They provide a playful mix of GIFs, videos, and photos while staying on top of trending topics.

Plus, they get the fans involved, which is important. Fans want to feel like they’re being listened to, and you can tell based on their engagement numbers that the Indians do this masterfully. Their Instagram account is free of promotional material. Instead, it focuses on photo quality on a platform that prioritizes visuals over text.

mlb social mvp stn digital

As a White Sox fan it pains me to say the Cubs make a great case for being the #1 MLB team on social media. There’s a ton of great competition from teams like the Astros and the Dodgers (I love a good Gatorade drenching). When it comes to compelling visuals, the Cubs hit it out of the park when it comes to fan engagement. They’ve built interactive communities with their fans via their social channels.

From personalized 1:1 replies, to retweeting run-of-the-mill fan tweets. to fan-centered video pieces. Their fans are always part of their story. The Cubs content and quick-witted personality stands out as well. They truly put the “social” in social media by keeping their fans at the top of their lineup.

mlb social mvp stn digital

This may be anticlimactic, but I’m going to award the best MLB social media team to the best team on the field this past season—the Houston Astros.

The Astros’ social team did a nice job of mixing mediums and keeping the look and feel of the content fresh, while staying true to the team’s identity. I appreciated the strong alignment of their “Earn It” campaign (and corresponding #EarnHistory and #Earned hashtags and catchphrases) as the anchor of their voice. These phrases were consistently included in the polished, timely creative content and graphics. On the field, the team had this contagious enthusiasm and chemistry, which made the group so much fun to watch. This translated into immersive social media coverage that did a great job capturing the dynamic of the team and personalities of the players. It was also nice to see the team on and off the field incorporate #HoustonStrong into their messaging to support the city after tragic flooding.

While it is definitely an advantage to produce content for a championship contending club, I thought the Astros’ social maximized a very special season.

It’s not easy to select just one MLB team as the best in social. Several clubs do an outstanding job of sharing creative content, interacting with fans, and investing properly in the platforms in an engagement-focused, rather than a sales focused way.

The Indians and Phillies do a tremendous job weaving humor into their Twitter copy while cultivating a unique voice and responding to fans. On Instagram, the Dodgers have a great approach. They innovate while establishing a strong visual identity. The Yankees are just awesome (I’m biased). The Cubs have the right balance of strong copy and powerful visual assets that highlight the past and present. In terms of compelling and innovative visuals, the Astros are known for that. They go the extra mile to make things look good. The list could go on.

One team deserves special recognition: The Colorado Rockies.

Social is about speaking with your audience, not at them. Nobody does this better (in pro sports) than the Rockies. The organization clearly prioritizes fan interaction. From Twitter polls to decide on header images to the sheer response rate, the Rockies get it. They build content around fan interaction. They understand that the fan is the most important part of the team and that social should be used to strengthen the relationship between brand and fan AND serving as a catalyst for community development.

It’s not just about Twitter engagement, however. The Rockies understand the importance of capitalizing on exciting moments. In real-time, it’s amazing how quickly they are able to post relevant photos to social during games.

The Rockies have developed a recognizable voice. They know when to use humor and when to highlight the drama and intensity of the game. The Rockies don’t hide after losses. They are not scared to take risks on trying something new (like only tweeting emoji during a game). The behind the scenes looks are great. They humanize their players and their brand. Most importantly, they make the fans feel loved. That will always be the most important thing. If you can make fan engagement your brand on social, you’ve done it right.

CONCLUSION:

So what does it take to be the best MLB team on social in 2017? The answer: it’s subjective, sort of.

While the answers from our experts varied, their explanations stayed fairly consistent. To be considered elite, it’s important to focus on the brand’s voice, 1:1 engagements, and have a vast gif library. The ability to stay relevant with pop culture, appropriate use of sponsored content, and campaign-based content have a significant impact on how the rest of the industry evaluates you.

As we look forward to the 2018 season, we at STN Digital think a large opportunity for teams will be original episodic series for social/mobile.

Who’s going to be the first sports team to create an original series that lives on Facebook Watch, Snapchat Discover, and/or IG Stories? The opportunity is there for a sports team to seize the day in 2018.

ESPN has dedicated a team to produce two “SportsCenter” shows per day on Snapchat Shows. Brands as large as the Yankees, Lakers, or Dallas Cowboys have the same right as ESPN to produce exclusive original content for their fanbase.


STN is a social media marketing agency trusted by the largest sports and entertainment properties in the world. The Superbowl, March Madness, UFC, Stanely Cup, Emmys, and the Oscars are just a few projects we’ve worked on in the past.  We bring award-winning results (literally) and treat each client like they are our only client.  If you’re interested in learning more about how STN can help you, click the button below!

DROP A LINE


If you liked this post, check out a few others by clicking here!


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How Brands Can Capitalize On Influencers With Ashley Iaconetti

The world of influencer marketing has become part of our everyday lives, with celebrities and micro influencers nudging us to buy products they love and actually use. Brands are able to tap into new audiences through influencers and can increase brand awareness, leading them to impactful results.

However, often times brands are so focused on getting their product in the hands of influencers that they lose sight of what determines success (or ROI) with their influencer campaigns.

On this edition of the Business of Social podcast, we chatted with Ashley Iaconetti (from The Bachelor) to discuss how brands can be successful with their influencer marketing strategy, what platforms work and more.

Listen to the full show here: (and please subscribe to our podcast!)

Here are some of the highlights:

On what brands do wrong when working with influencers:
One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to brands, is when they want things so specifically tailored to their message. I’m like, “That’s great, it looks fine but it’s not going to get my audience’s attention.”

I know they want it to look pretty and be very PR friendly, as if its an ad in a magazine. But that ad in a magazine is different because I have a very specific following. I understand my audience so well at this point, that they’re just going to swipe right by [your PR friendly post].

For example, I just worked with a vitamin brand a couple weeks ago and they wanted [to control the entire message and copy]. My point to them was, “You are going to waste your money on this, so let me add a little bit of my own personality to it.”

On her main advice she would give brands on working with influencers:
If you’re a brand out there and you’re working with influencers, I would suggest you allow them as much creative freedom as possible. Those are the posts that you’re going to get the most engagement on.

Think a little out of the box and let the person’s personality shine through. Those are the ads that are going to do the best. I had a Beyoncé recreation ad that I did, and the amount of likes that I got on that picture are the equivalent of the amount of likes that I would get on a post when I was fresh off The Bachelor. It was that kind of attention that that post got. Not only that, it translated so much into sales.

On how her Snapchat engagement fell after Instagram Stories was released
I don’t know how many followers I had on Snapchat. I was averaging 70,000 views per snap. This was before Instagram Stories even existed and then as soon as Instagram Stories came out, my views went down 40,000. So, I was like, “Hmm. I’m not going to use Snapchat anymore.

On what social platform gets the most engagement
It’s got to be Instagram. I don’t understand Snapchat. As someone in their upper twenties, I never really got fully entrenched in Snapchat. There was maybe a year there where I was using it regularly, but I think all the traction is on Instagram.

The way that they have it set up, so that you can tag to go to another profile and then you can swipe up to even listen to something or visit the website. I know that Snapchat just integrated the new website link, which… thank goodness because if not, I found it to be honestly pointless in like half the things that I promote.

I stopped [using Snapchat] once Instagram Stories was released. I started using the swipe up, I basically, abandoned Snapchat. I’m not going to just type in a long URL on top of a Snapchat picture.

On her thoughts on Facebook
On the topic of Facebook, I am confused why brands request a multiplatform contract.  I don’t get why I need to do an Instagram Story, Snapchat story, a Instagram post, and then a Facebook LIVE.

I’m like, “Facebook Live? really?” I never use Facebook anymore. I’ll post if I want my friends and family and my parents and their friends to see something. I just don’t think it’s a millennial platform anymore.

My biggest fear is that Instagram does too much and that Instagram will end up turning into their parent company (Facebook).

On how branded content affects her personally:
If I were a fan, I believe that I would probably be more affected by podcast ads. We’re just able to put a lot more detail in there and you can hear the excitement in our voice. I think you could honestly tell when Ben and I are excited over a company.

For example, we love MeUndies, it is my favorite underwear. We also love Omaha Steaks and I feel like that really comes through when we are discussing it (genuinely) together. I think there’s something about the (natural) discussion of the product as well. So, I think those are the strongest ones in my opinion.

On the first brand she ever worked with as an influencer and how much they paid:
Okay, this is insane. I had like 75,000 followers, just coming off my season of The Bachelor and I was asked to do a promotion for Hulu. I got paid $500 to do it and it was just a picture of me watching a show on my computer screen and I was like: “You are going to pay me $500 to put a picture on my Instagram?” It was the coolest thing.


The Business of Social Podcast is brought to you by STN Digital.  STN is a social media marketing agency trusted by the largest sports and entertainment properties in the world. The Superbowl, March Madness, UFC, Stanely Cup, Emmys, and the Oscars are just a few projects we’ve worked on in the past.  We bring award-winning results (literally) and treat each client like they are our only client.  If you’re interested in learning more about how STN can help you, click the button below!

DROP A LINE


If you liked this post, check out a few others. Click here!

Managing Social For The Largest Events In The World With Madeline Mesevage

How To Leverage PR For Your Brand With Beck Bamberger

How To Monetize Your Social Media With Jordan Maleh

The Future Of Social Media With Bryan Srabian

 


The Business of Social Podcast examines the digital advertising industry and analyzes how brands successfully increase their ad revenue and brand affinity through cutting edge content on social. In short, we talk to the experts so you’re able to keep your thumb on the pulse of the ever-changing landscape of social and digital media. (Powered By STN Digital)