Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Social Campaign for Social Results

For the past two weeks, we've carried a "widget" on our website provided by Davey O'Brien Award to promote Ryan Mallett in the fan voting. And with that passive little button, Ryan stayed firmly mired below 10th, hovering near 12 most of the time. What to do -- let's build a big banner ad and run it on the front page was the suggestion that had early momentum. That will get the attention of our huge fan base.

My counter was -- different from the widget how? Yes, larger. Yes, higher up the page. But during the discussion, the point became understood. After a while, it was conceded, you just don't notice the display ads. They don't change. They're just there. They become part of the background.

So change it every day! Sound of teeth gnashing.

Can we try this instead -- we want a specific action from our fans, who we need to interact with to achieve. The plan was simple. Go to all our social tools -- Facebook, Twitter -- and all our participatory places -- blogs, message boards, born digital media -- and give them a simple message.

O'Brien counts your vote in the overall. We want Ryan Mallett to make it to the finals. You can be a part of that process. Please go vote. Ask your friends to vote. And you can watch your progress at this website.

Mallett started the weekend at just over 1,000 votes. Starting with the on-line interactive blog for the game (adding a "Vote Mallett" button to our standing links) and promoting it several times in the blog, we began to move the needle. Changing over our Facebook friend page image to a "Vote Mallett" graphic, I started making regular posts and interacting with our fans to encourage them to vote.

Same by reaching out, under my real name, to the larger message boards on Sunday into Monday. Today, we started integrating the campus (alumni association, university relations) social tools to amplify the message.

As I type this update -- Monday evening at 9 p.m., Mallett crossed 4,500 votes. Nothing new on the website. Pure social outlets.

Pick the right tool for the right outcome.


Chris Syme said...

This is a great testament to the viral power of social media if done in campaign fashion and not willy-nilly, if you will. Precise calls to urgent action all over the place in concert--that's what social media is good for. Power of the people. Good documentation. Would make a good CoSIDA presentation. ;-)Write it up as a case study! Good job!

Bill Smith said...

Thanks Chris. I debated saying anything until next week, cause it could be my own undoing by waking up the competition. Then again, it just might also spur our fans on into a competition. In the end, I figured that transparency was what I preach, and I'll live and die by that.

To answer your challenge, I have been tracking the plan with screen captures and examples. Likely part of my NCAA Convention presentation as well as something that could be spun up at CoSIDA/NACDA later.