Friday, October 24, 2014

Gets Worse From Here

An interesting take and a use of a favorite analogy regarding the North Carolina scandal in this week's Chronicle of Higher Education.  The authors, from nearby South Carolina, bemoan the inevitable nature of cheating driven by the desire of boards of trustees, high paying donors and upper administrators to bask in the reflected glory of athletes at Good Ole U.  The trio of authors opine:

The real problem is that, as the days pass and this latest scandal fades, coaches, players, tutors, and administrators will most likely go back to business as usual, and college-sports fans across the country will tune in to ESPN’s College GameDay and savor the sweet smell and taste of their big-time college-sports sausage, all the while ignoring the discarded athletes, as well as higher education’s integrity, that have been ground up in the process.

Ah yes, welcome to the sausage factory.

I call Dr. BS on two parts of this.  First, it didn't take the Athletic-Entertainment Complex to cause this type of activity.  Anyone remember when Louisiana Gov. Huey Long dragooned trains into the service of transporting his Fighting Tigers of LSU around the South?  Didn't think so.  BTW, that was the 1930s for the kids these days.

Second, while Disney/ESPN didn't cause all this, the incredible amounts of money flowing are exacerbating it.

About a decade and a half ago when the first thoughts of a national championship in football begat the BCS and today's playoff, I turned to friends and said:

You thought the hundred thousand dollar free throw was something?  Try the million dollar game.

I think I was off by an order of magnitude.  Anyone who thinks whole administrations won't compromise themselves for the incredible piles of cash available is naive.

Remember, we -- the collective of fans, college athletics and university administrators -- have done this to ourselves by demanding the "ultimate" title game.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Free Speech Isn't Free

Let's add a direct athletics chapter to the "say it social, pay a penalty at work" book.  The Big 12 fined Baylor's SID, Heath Nielsen, for comments made on his Twitter account related to the BU-West Virginia game.

Very notable in this:  it was also what he retweeted.

I know many in the game who will forward a link or retweet and then claim, oh, I was just sending along someone else's comments.  No, by forwarding you just ENDORSED those comments.

Having vented myself on radio as a color analyst, I know there is a fine line between accurate reporting of questionable calls and "undermining" officials.

Kevin Trahan of SB Nation makes another key point.  Fining the Iowa State AD for his video comments was one thing, handing out a $1,000 fine to an SID . . . you might as well add another 0 to that so you could get a sense of what that means to the underpaid and overworked in that field.

Sure, Big 12 is trying to send a message.  Here's one: don't do it on the backs of the people who make your machine run.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Auto Post is the Deebil?

No surprise to this space, but always reassuring to see data that backs up the idea that automatic cross posting is a bad idea.  This info graphic, courtesy of today's PRSA email, talks about a dramatic negative impact upon your social media.

#4: Auto-posting to Facebook decreases likes and comments by 70%.

OK.  My cognitive dissonance meter went off.  How did they know that?  What's the source?  They cite a Hubspot study.

A little back tracking, and like many stats, this one is a little old.  A 2012 study from Digital Buzz Blog is the source.  In that infographic, Inside Facebook is the source.

Inside Facebook (we're now at Sept. 2011) cites a study by Applum that was really looking into what happen when you used Tweet Deck or Hoot Suite.  That study link is a 404 now, but an editor's note revealed a little more.  Seems this was focused on the mechanics of auto-posting as they noted that EdgeRank/Facebook had a whitelist of OK sources to auto-post from.

At the end of the string, the repeated stat was more about how it was reposted (from an aggregator program) than what was reposted automatically.

Certainly, point four above fits my view of the social world.  What started me down the chase was what happens when Facebook is very deliberately your secondary audience?  For example, football recruits live in Twitter.  That content is of interest to adults following the program who may be predominantly Facebook demo.  Do you really care at that point if the interaction drops?

This needs more current study.  In a world where our regular information from brands is routinely unseen without "boost", the real devil in these details lies within that Facebook issue.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Interaction The Best Boost

Getting your followers to see your content becomes more and more challenging.  After complaints, Facebook is changing the news feed algorithm again.  However, according to Poynter, there is something you can do:  encourage immediate like and interaction.

From the Poynter blog:

They say they’ll fix these problems and surface more relevant posts by emphasizing two factors: whether a topic is trending, and how soon people like and comment on a posts after they’re published. 

We see this on our own content.  When we have interaction in a "news" flow, we see greater spread.  It also leads to better spread on boosted items as well.

Comes back to an older concept -- your external social media teams who like and share everything and provide you a base become very important once again.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Sometimes, Grandma IS the Sentiment

In the Facebook Five, I talk about making sure you have sentiment in your social postings.  Don't get caught up in "Facebook" as a label -- it applies to a Vine, InstaGram or pithy tweet.  Here's a perfect example, that also IS grandma.  Born the same year as A-State (alumni hook), she's got on her red tee shirt for Pack Priday (another student promo connection) and she's trying to get her WOLVES UP gesture.

We got this through calls to action -- repeatedly asking our fans to send us their spirit photos for the Friday "Pack Priday" runs.

What are you doing to get this kind of Facebook Five impact?  Check the numbers in just two hours . . .


Friday, September 05, 2014

Take Them There

A capture at 30 minutes after a simple picture of the football team loading up for a road trip.  At 10:30 in the morning -- even on a Friday -- fans can't always get off to be a part of this.  But with some "Living Social" forethought, you can take them there.

Check a couple of the key engagement numbers here:  Served to about 1400 of our current 33K base, you have 142 like -- over 10%.  I'd anticipate the climb to continue through the lunch window (a nice double -- hitting one of those important "clock" moments).

Keep this thought in mind: it didn't take any extra effort.  The staffer was already there.  It just took awareness.


Friday, August 01, 2014

The Digital Trail

My oft repeated phrase

digital assets are extremely portable and easily disseminated

applies to all aspects of the work place.  Don't believe me?  Ask Jonathan Waters, former director of the Ohio State marching band.  He swore he didn't swear at band members among other things.  Turns out, there's a recording by one of his drum majors of a disciplinary meeting, and The Chronicle covered that last week.

Lois Lerner's ongoing email saga this week moved to her BlackBerry account.  In her back and forth with a friend, she called one political faction "assholes".  While the ability to locate her Outlook-based correspondence continues, the idea of locating things within her phone reminds me of another person, then Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino, and his question of "can they get my texts."

I'm left once again with the good ole Earl Long School of Communication.  The late Louisiana governor (and many other politicians in other regions -- I recall Uncle Earl because of regionalism -- the phrase isn't original to him) famously advised:

Don't write what you can say, don't say what you can't whisper, don't whisper what you can't wink