Month: August 2013


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ESPN is the leader in all things sports and social. It is a company that is finally using social media to create a brand community and makes it a point to engage consistently with their fans. They understand the importance of variety in social.

With 1,282,897 likes, ESPN gets it. Fostering and increasing engagement with the audience is essential in the success of any social media strategies. Let’s see how they manage to do this…

Fill-in-the-blank statements.

These are so simple and quick, yet they allow fans to come together and state their opinions publicly.

In just 5 hours after posting, College GameDay received 1,834 comments and 21 shares. It is easy to simply “Like” a page, so this is not a metric that is truly a measurement of engagement. However, shares and comments expand the reach of the audience and provides fans an opportunity to create a conversation not only with the brand, but also with other people.


ESPN is a sports network (to state the obvious). So they align their business model with their social media strategies and channels. It is not all chatter with ESPN- it is a channel to communicate what is going on and what their fans are interested in reading.

Again… the engagement is there. They have a perfect trifecta of likes, comments, and shares.

Campaigns and contests 

Social media is not a platform to simply sell your product or communicate information. No one is going to spend a lot of time on your social media site if there is nothing they can participate in or nothing that excites them.

Yesterday marked an important day in the year… the start of the College Football Season. ESPN has utilized Facebook to promote their #GetUp4GameDay campaign. College GameDay officially begins tomorrow at 9AM. To encourage people to view and participate as much as possible, they are motivating people to wake up early and spend their entire day surrounding themselves in all things college football related. The hashtag will most definitely be found anywhere on the ESPN channel tomorrow and throughout the day, you will see conversations about College GameDay increase exponentially.

For example, ESPN created an entire album on Facebook with each football team and a graphic to share entitled with the “Get up. It’s GameDay” headline. This is a great way to have people talking about a campaign by personalizing it for every fan, not simply just posting a status about the campaign and telling fans to “like” it or “share” it…that’s been done. Innovation is the key to success.

Anticipation, and so much more. 

ESPN fosters a sense of excitement on their Facebook page. Whether it be through countdowns, inspirational pictures or results of a voting competition (such as the new logo for College Football Playoffs), ESPN continually keeps fans engaged with new content that actually makes you want to check back every day to see what they posted. Exclusive content on social media sites really entices people to check back on a more regular basis.

RIght Picture: Notice the amount of engagement that a simple countdown to GameDay caused…people are passionate about things- figure out who those people are and they will engage.

ESPN knows social.

Let me know what you think, I would love to hear it!


Social Media…it’s here to stay

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Everywhere I go, I can’t help but hear someone say that social media and marketing is subpar to everything else in business and it’s just a fad that will soon pass. I wonder where these perceptions of marketing come from. Marketing is not a new concept, it’s been around from the very beginning. The very essence of marketing is communication and relationships…all of which existed at the beginning of time starting with Adam and Eve. 

People yearn  to be connected and know what’s going on in order to be “in the loop.” The Pony Express came about as a medium to meet the needs of consumers. “The ten-day delivery time of the Pony Express was a revolution in its day bringing political and social news to a hungry readership” ( It was the social media of its time and it spread like wildfire, only increasing people’s insatiable thirst for networking and communication. 

Social Media and communications have improved and developed exponentially since the time of the Pony Express. We are in the age of instantaneous communication and a need for quick gratification. This is the core purpose of us as human beings, to communicate and to have relationships with the people around us. What is marketing and social media? The avenues and actions we take to satisfy these basic human needs. Marketing is ever changing with the society we live in and it molds to the audience it’s targeting. Unless we all become solitary beings with no desire to know anything, social media is staying. The mediums and channels may change, but it’s here to stay. So buckle up and enjoy the ride.