How much control do you give to facebook?

For a while now I have been thinking about facebook and how much sporting organisations in particular but business in general, are giving over the control of their customers to facebook.

A few people have got me thinking about this more and more.

@sammartino why would you use facebook ads to drive traffic to the Facebook site building their loyalty

@problogger  social media sites are the spokes and your website the hub – you want to use the spokes to bring people into your hub

@danny__bishop advocating people setting up shops within facebook to keep the process seamless and stop them from thinking as much about the sale.

A person from my work saying maybe we should get up ticketing via facebook and not bother about an online shop.

I don’t think this is going to have any answers but more starting to think about my position.

I am a big fan of facebook to connection with fans/customers and  building fan engagement, but there is part of me which worries about the reliance we’re having on facebook an how little control we have over this channel.

On the other side – it’s a case of fish where the fish are – the numbers of people on facebook are just phenomenal and you have to be there, making the purchase process easy by keeping people in facebook makes sense – but for how long is what  I wonder.

Here is my list of pros and cons – do you agree, how much do you think we should be relying on facebook?

Pros Cons
Number of people on facebook No control over what facebook will do with pages
Limiting the but barriers to purchase Not driving people to the content on your website
Finding out  more information on who your facebook followers are Managing limited inventory such as ticketing, table bookings etc
Fishing where the fish are Integrating application data into your business’ database
Seamless from promotion on facebook to selling Impact of facebook money for selling – how will this effect cashflow
Posted in customer Experience, customer loyalty, Facebook, profitability, sports marketing, unique selling proposition | 1 Comment

Kim Trengove Tennis Australia Digital Team

Kim Trengove was the second speaker from Tennis Australia Digital Team which incorporates TA and the Australian Open .

As a former fanatic (Boston Tie 1999, France final 2000 and Spain final 2001) and tennis lover I was thrilled to hear Kim speak.

Tennis Australia does most of its digital content in-house – this she believes allows or Better quality and more engaging content.

There are eight core members of their digital team, with additional resources during the Ausopen. They create video, photos, radio and news content. Tennis Australia during the Ausopen have started paying for a freelance photographer so they have the rights to the images.

During the 2011 Australian Open they live streamed the qualifying rounds plus the draw and charity day matches. They have over 300k unique visitors during the five days before the open started – giving a great lead in to the Ausopen.

Tennis Australia are currently partnering with youtube with over 5 million youtube views.

This give added content such as interviews in the cars with players – giving insight into how they top level professional lives and how they prepare for matches. It helps to provide content which isn’t hindered by current commercial rights.

In the lead up they also run the ‘change of ends’ film festival where people make a video that’s ninety seconds long.

Kim stressed this has taken time to gain traction but is now building into a real event with the better video being shown on channel Seven and around the ground on match days.  They are hoping it will come to rival Tropfest.

Stats for Tennis Australia

Medium Ausopen Tennis Australia
Facebook 300k 18k
Youtube 5mil 1.2mil
Twitter 29k 4,800

Staff of Tennis Australia, player support staff and players are all encouraged to be active on social media.

They also consider the audience when doing updates – twitter more news orientated, not more than five updates a day on Facebook.

At the Ausopen there were the IBM twitter scouts who the ausopen twitter accounts knew and interacted with openly and regularly.

Tweet-ups were organised for Garden Square as well as facebook meet ups.

Discounts were provided on merchandise to people who checked in via facebook places and foursquare.

Facebook Advertising

Used simple messages like “Ausopen likes Raffa” to drive likes to the Ausopen facebook page.


Iphone Ap – had over 700k downloads in 2011.  AO views was added into the ap to give more interactive information into the ap.

Ausopen program was made into an iPad Ap at a cost of $5, this was able to be done as Tennis Australia decided in insource the whole program for 2011, previously it had been outsourced to News Limited. During this time it was the most popular paid download in the ap store.

AO Radio was also available streamed off the website, in the ap and as a narrowcast at the ground.

Observations and the future:

  • Having Facebook likes and twitter followers doesn’t equal bums on seats
  • Need to build networks in the real world to complement their interaction in the virtual world
  • Looking to train members associations to create more content at a grass roots level – probably using WordPress as simple and easy for most people to use
  • Directing people to specific places for giveaways on game days
  • Working closer with youtube to increase content and monetise content
Posted in lifetime value, social media, sports marketing | Leave a comment

Digital Sports Summit Kyle Spencer Warriors

First up as Digital Sport Summit was Kyle Spencer Executive Director Team Marketing at the Golden State Warriors.

Kyle took us through some of the key growth stats for facebook and twitter.

Medium 2009 2010
Twitter 75 mil 175 mil
Facebook 350 mil 700 mil

Biggest increase has been mobile – 50% of twitter usage is via  mobile and over 200mil youtube views on a mobile every day.

By 2014 the expectation is there will more web browsing via a mobile than on a desktop/laptop computer.

Facebook has become one of the top 3 refers to the Warriors website – after google and the nba website. It is integral to their success.

With new ownership, Warriors had a rebranding exercise but found the new brand was being leaked. To mitigate this they held an online scavenger hunt to find the Warriors logo two weeks before the launch, with a piece of the logo being unveiled at each point. 

The final prize was a season ticket which would be announced at the draft party – one of their key sales driver for that period.

They condensed their website to a splash page during the promotion and had clues across the various social media to engage fans. Data was gather which gave them warm leads for the draft party.

They knew the game had to be fun and engaging, utilising all social media and video clues to generate web traffic during this time.

Over 6,000 people registered for the game and over 4,000 attend the draft party – their most successful.

Kyle stressed gaining followers/likes is a strategy to move people into customers.

Tweedia Day

This was an initiative undertaken by the Warrior to engage with sports bloggers and social media journalists.

It gave these people access to areas the same as traditional media such as

·         Covering practices

·         Attending shoot outs

·         Game day access

·         Locker room access

These people were seen to have a different spin to traditional media and create hype in a new sphere with increased credibility.

Each person had to submit an application to gain a media pass for one of the games.

This helped in a number of ways

·         Bloggers and social media commentators don’t have ‘space’ issues like traditional media

·         They  brought a different spin to the ‘media coverage’

·         Created a relationship with the bloggers

·         Bloggers are now more likely to check facts with media department before publishing

Facebook Places

With the relationship the Warriors have with Facebook they have been able to increase their mobile presence.

Referrals from friends is one of the most powerful and people showing they are going to a Warriors game

Offering deals to patrons to check in on facebook places during a game. Offers such as

·         10% off merchandise,

·         Exclusive experiences such as meeting players /coaching staff after the game

Sport has the ability to offer once in a life time moments to people few other industries can.

Kyle stressed you still have to heavily promote check-in before the game and at the game with booths set up at each game to help people to check-in and get access to the offers.

Key limitation is the network capabilities for people to check-in but they average around 750 per game.

Four of the top six grossing merchandise products for the Warriors were featured in their facebook deals.

In closing Kyle stressed

1.       Need to get go of the conversations and accept negative comments will be made

2.       Take on board the negative and action them were possible

3.       People are having conversations with or without you – be part of those conversations

4.       Have fun with social and digital – you need to have a brand personality

5.       If a social media campaigns fails – don’t worry too much take it on board and try something else

6.       Know each social media channel and it’s strengths – use twitter to break stories, facebook only post occasionally

Posted in creating value, social media, sports marketing | 3 Comments

Cultivating a Culture of Failure

In 2000/01 I was fortunate enough to work for in the UK.  During this time I worked very closely with Carl Lyons – Marketing Director, and had a great amount of contact with co founders Martha Lane Fox and Brent Hoberman, along with countless other talented people.

There were many things I loved about my job but the thing which has stuck with me most is the  business had a culture of failure. It was OK to fail…. and there was no fear of it. This culture started with Martha and Brent and permeated its way through the whole company – it was scary, thrilling and inspiring.

That’s not to say we didn’t want to succeed, and we weren’t striving for the best, but we were allowed to try new things. That’s not to say we could  waste resources or not think through decisions but there was a real sense it was OK to make mistakes, try new things. There wasn’t a fear of failure culture but a let’s try stuff culture.

After leaving was probably when I realised how freeing and inspirational this was.  No company I have worked for since has had such a supportive culture and such a feeling you could just get out there and try new things.

Buinesses need to realise it’s OK if every idea you implement isn’t the million dollar idea. By supporting the implementation of new ideas, refining ideas, it allows you to make the good better and the better best . Also it allows you to try ideas out and let them go if they don’t succeed without fear of retribution. The most important thing is to learn from your mistakes.

Other businesses I have worked in with have a fear of failure culture and, in my experience, have less creativity and less likely to make the million idea happen because people are just too scared it may not turn out perfectly, so they don’t bother trying.

I am a big believer you learn a lot more from your failures than your successes, and really hope I am creating in my current role no fear of failure and  cultivating a culture of innovation and ideas.

Posted in culture, failure, keeping it simple,, marketers, opinion, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Synoposis Nick Marvin Perth Wildcats

Nick is the CEO of the Perth Wildcats basketball team, he was recruited for his experience in turnaround management as opposed to being  a sporting specialist. He was brought on board to the Perth Wildcats to turn around their profitability and playing future.

All the TV ads in the world won’t move to you from a Carlton fan to a Collingwood fan you need to move people up the value chain. It’s very rare for people to change teams it’s for life. The commitment begins early and it set up my family direction or experiences kids have at school/in the community. On this basis the Perth Wildcats do 250 primary school visits per year – helping people to capture them for life.

Social Media is not all the answers!

It’s also not all about being successful as a club. You don’t have to win to have fans. The Perth Wildcats were in the finals for 20 years, but when Nick tool over they had a declining membership. He cited the AFL examples of non successful clubs like St Kilda, Collingwood and others who with very few premierships have managed to maintain and grow their membership bases.

Sport Nick said it about engagement – it’s tribal belonging.

28% of men and 20% of women citied they were facebook fans because of the sense of belonging

22% of men and 29% of women said because of the exclusive content

In general people follow less tha 5 brands and 72% of people follow less than 4.

Perth Wildcats have a number of staff utilising social media including:

  • Coach
  • Players
  • Team manager
  • Community Manager
  • CEO

This helps to give a multidimensional view to customers of the organisation.

During a time of great change at the club Nick wrote an email to fans every week to ensure they felt part of the decision-making processes he was going through.

They have found a lot of success with doing offers with ticketmaster with special codes for twitter and facebook followers. Research shows people who are facebook and twitter followers are more likely to buy.

Nick believes you can’t have ghost writers people are looking for authenticity online and you lose credibility if people start to think you’re not who you say you are.

Posted in brand promise, customer Experience, customer loyalty, social media, social media policy, sports marketing | Leave a comment

Business Start up Ready Reckoner

I have done a small tool in excel for people who are looking to set up some type of consulting business.

You can plug in how much you charge per hour, how many clients you see and then put in expenses.

The tool allows you do some basic analysis on revenue and costs in the first few months and work out what you can afford to pay in rent and alike.

What the tool looks like is on scribd sorry I can’t work out out to get a download of just the excel file.

If you would like a copy you can email me also happy to do any ammendments if you would like.

Posted in business startup, keeping it simple, lifetime value, profitability | Tagged | 3 Comments

Synopsis of ProBlogger

Part four of notes from Digital Sports Summit – hope I’m not boring you all stupid and you’re finding this vaguely useful!

Darren Rowse is a Melbourne Blogging institution, he gave some great tips on blogs but this transalates on how to drive traffic to any website. Darren runs three blogging websites:

He was of my favourite speakers of the day, having heard him speak before, it was just amazing to see the face on my boss when he saw the traffic and revenue Darren brings in.

If you are useful your readers form bonds and attachments to you – Darren gave an example of when a blog follower of his came running up to him at a conference in tears saying ‘I feel like I already know you’.

People come to participate not just download information.

Blogging give you a voice, community forms around your blogs and voice.

People will pay for content if it’s engaging and exclusive.

Use your blog to sell yourself.

Your blog is your homebase – twitter, facebook, youtube, flickr they are spokes to the wheel that is your blog. Many people abandoned their blogs for twitter and other social sites, but you don’t control them, you do control your blog. It’s also advisable to purchase your own domain so people can follow you wherever your blog is hosted and you’re not dependent on any particular platform.

There are more people on facebook, so while twitter is cool the reality is the masses are using facebook.

Be useful in other places – you can drive traffic to your blog by commenting on others, but remember to be useful, don’t comment for comments sake but be useful in what you have to say.

Listen to what your followers have to say.

There is no secret it’s about basic skills – it’s so much more powerful when you listen. Make sure you listen when you’re being talked about –ensure you’re clearing up misconceptions quickly if/when they start.

Build Community

  • People want to interact
  • Ask questions
  • Run polls
  • Invest in your readers and be engaging

Be Personal

How to interact in a personal way

Find ways to be personal in your tweets

Tell Stories – good stories are gold, make sure you’re linking your blog to videos and other blogs

Leverage what you have

Use twitter, linkedin and facebook to hook into your blog, use your current network to build your blog.

Be Playful

  • Get away with more when your playful
  • Humour and irreverence are accepted
  • Darren did a blog 5 things you don’t know about Problogger written in the voice of his two year old

Be Passionate

  • Show passion
  • Model to your readers the by behaving the way you want them to behave

Don’t abandon the familiar 500k subscribers of this 45% of these are via email, people still use email and it’s an easy and convenient way for your readers to find out about you.

If I solve problems people will come back

Solve problems

Do reader profiles and think about what their top 10 problems would be and work out how you would solve them.

Give readers three ideas and ask them which one they prefer

Read comments to find new topics

Always ask  – does this post, opportunity, new channel, make me closer to those on my homebase or who I want to attract to my homebase.

Posted in blogging, brand promise, creating value, customer Experience, keeping it simple, personal brand, social media | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment