At approximately 2:27 p.m. EST, on Sunday, April 14, Twitter erupted.
At that exact moment, Tiger Woods sank a two-foot putt, winning the 2019 Masters and successfully completing one of the sports world’s most remarkable comebacks.
Just minutes later, Nike dropped a 52-second video on its social media channels starring the golfer. In a matter of moments, the video was viral – garnering more than 26 million views on Twitter and another 13 million on Instagram. Three times as many people as Nike has total followers viewed, shared, and commented on the posts.
Nike’s tweet wasn’t all that special, when you think about it. It was just a quick video, a short caption, and a hashtag. The video even lacked a narrator, it was just a collection of clips from Tiger’s past and a pretty standard music bed. Nowhere in the tweet did Nike even congratulate the golfer.
The words that flashed across the screen along with the video’s images simply read:
It’s crazy to think a 43-year-old, who has experienced every high and every low and has just won his 15th major is chasing the same dream as a 3-year-old. Just do it.
It’s exactly that script and what the tweet didn’t say that made it so viral.
Undoubtedly, Tiger Woods is one of the most accomplished athletes in the world. His success on the links is internationally recognized, and the failures in his personal life have become just as public. He has played both the hero and the villain of his own story. People love to love him, and people love to hate him. And people really, really love to talk about him.
Once Tiger made that putt, millions of tweets – recognizing everything from his incredible comeback win to those above-mentioned personal shortcomings – were shared. Nike took full advantage of that. Their tweet simply contributed to the conversation. It was a conversation that they didn’t start themselves, so they didn’t try to control its narrative. Nike’s content was specific to Tiger Woods and incredibly relevant in the moment, yet just broad enough that people were able to take the content and make it their own.
People quoted and shared Nike’s tweet as they added their own opinions and gave their unique takes on the situation. As they continued to contribute to that global conversation, Nike’s tweet earned more and more impressions and its video collected millions of views.
Nike is a global brand, so it’s sometimes easy to assume that each piece of its marketing strategy is supported by millions of dollars worth of research and creative. That’s probably true. But, at its core, Nike’s very simple and very viral tweet can still serve as a lesson for all marketers, regardless of the size of our businesses, our budgets, or our clients.
Here are some common themes of a successful tweet that we can all take away:
Interact with your followers and attract new fans by participating in the global conversation
Increase engagement by sharing original, highly relevant content
Make that content more shareable by limiting how “salesy” it is
Don’t try to control the narrative, join a conversation and let your fans, your content, and your do the work
Nike did all of the above. Its homage to Tiger wasn’t just a congratulatory nod. It was a well-timed, calculated yet simple, extremely successful social media marketing effort – one that deserves just as much recognition as Tiger’s historic victory.
I walked into the Creagent Marketing office for my first day of work as a Social Media & Public Relations Specialist on June 15, 2015. For nearly four years, I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with some of the region’s most dedicated nonprofits, exciting small businesses, and world-renowned tourism partners, alongside two of the most forward-thinking digital marketing professionals I’ve ever met.
Creagent wasn’t my first job – I had spent the previous year working as a Marketing & Communications Specialist for a small nonprofit – but it was definitely the one that’s shaped me the most as a young professional and pointed me in the direction I’ve always wanted my career to take. It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience, filled with both personal and professional success.
Each coworker and intern I’ve worked alongside has been an invaluable source of information, and the experience of working with various clients has taught me many different things about the marketing industry as a whole. Although some of what I’ve learned can only be applied to specific situations, a few key themes were always present. They are what I will take with me as I continue my journey as a marketing professional.
Here are four of those takeaways:
Data Is King
The most important aspect of any kind of marketing is evaluation. I’ve know this in theory since I was a freshmen at Susquehanna University, but thanks to the resources made available to me at Creagent I was able to really put this theory to work.
With certain software, I was able to dig deeply into my clients’s digital footprints. I was able to quickly determine who were were talking to on their behalf, and why those people mattered to their businesses. This data influenced everything – and I literally mean everything – we did for our clients, from their social media management, to ad buying, to influencer relations. Additionally, having high quality data to back us up allowed us to effectively convey to our clients why the strategies we suggested for them were in their best interests. Numbers don’t lie, after all.
Less Is More
Quality over quantity can sometimes sound like a cliché, but when it comes to social media marketing it’s absolute fact.
This was sometimes difficult to convey to clients who, with the best of intentions in mind, wanted to see daily Facebook or Instagram posts. Algorithms are scary, and as major social media platforms seemingly altered theirs daily, some clients were nervous that if they weren’t posting a lot of content, that they simply weren’t going to succeed online. We knew this not to be true. It sometimes took a little trial and error, but with the above-mentioned data in mind, we always found just the right amount of social media content to post each week.
What I came to realize was that small amounts of high quality, highly engaging, and highly relevant information was much more effective on social media than posts that were unauthentic and “posted just to be posted.” Less content always netted more reach, fans, and engagement in the end.
Take A Hands On Approach
I’ve had the pleasure of working with a variety of clients across a variety of industries, each with various wants and needs. As Creagent’s primary social media manager, I’ve directly managed each of our clients’ social media channels in one way or another, spending hours each day on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.
As a small agency, it might have been more efficient to plan and schedule posts ahead of time, allowing me to put time and energy into other tasks at hand, but I definitely wouldn’t have learned as much about each client’s brand if I had done so. By taking a hands on approach and spending time manually crafting posts, engaging with their followers, and actively contributing to their industries’ conversations, I learned much more about who our clients and their ideal customers were, and better understood their role within their respective industries.
Learn From Your Coworkers
The Creagent Marketing office is an extremely collaborative environment. Collaborating with my coworkers allowed me to develop new skills and ultimately made me a more well-rounded marketing professional.
Perhaps it was a lack of that collaboration in my previous working environment that led me to believe I would only stick to what I was good at – social media management and public relations – while my coworkers focused on their own unique sets of skills. This couldn’t have been further from the truth.
I did spend the majority of my time managing social media and interfacing with influencers and the media, but I was also writing blog posts, helping on video shoots, and lending a hand on website rebuilds almost as soon as I stepped foot in the Creagent office. After time, I wasn’t just helping with these projects, I was leading some of them. Thanks to those opportunities, the videos I’ve directed and the websites I’ve redesigned have become some of the pieces in my portfolio that I’m most proud of.
Looking back, the last four years have been truly transformative. I’m incredibly appreciative of the experience that I’ve gained and the skills that I’ve honed, and I’ll be forever thankful of the people I’ve met along the way who’ve taught me, encouraged me, and most importantly, become my friends and family.
Love it or hate it, it looks like Pokémon GO‘s here to stay. The augmented reality game has become a viral sensation – dominating social media conversations, surpassing Twitter in daily users and sending Nintendo stock through the roof (at the cool tune of about $7 billion).
It’s also providing increased exposure to some businesses, which are listed as Gyms or Pokestops on the game’s mapping features, granting them an opportunity to convert the extra foot traffic into potential sales.
If you’re a business owner, it’d definitely behoove you to download the app; even if just to check in and see if your physical location has been listed as a Gym or Pokestop. If it has, embrace it: throw a sign in the window or a clever sandwich board out front. Players will appreciate that, rather than turning them away, you’ve invited them into your establishment. This sense of appreciation goes a long way in helping a visitor to feel like a valued customer, potential or otherwise.
If your business is not currently listed as a gaming location, don’t fret. The game’s developer, a software company called Niantic, announced today that businesses will soon be able to pay a fee to be included as a “sponsored” location. By paying to be included on the map, your location could not only lure rare Pokémon and additional gaming features, but lure dozens, if not hundreds, of eager gamers to your doorstep. Imagine a coffee shop or bar moving some marketing dollars away from television commercials and other media to free up investment opportunites with Pokémon GO. Instead of having the occasional new walk-in, there’s the potential to fill seats with countless people sipping lattes, drinking beers and catching Pikachu. Pretty nifty, right?
But, as gamer Jason Evangelho explains, in addition to inviting more people to a particular business or public area, these sponsored locations could also result in opportunities for collaboration and increase the gaming experience altogether:
Local establishments that aren’t currently listed in the game as Gyms or Pokestops could potentially be added — and this is crucial right now for the player base and the sustainability of the game in rural areas where these locations are sorely lacking. It could also mean the chance for retail stores to partner up with Niantic to get volume discounts on “Lure Modules” (which attract both players and Pokemon to your location) or other promotional activities based on events, time of day, the weather, or even relevant to the type of product the store is serving up.
Basically, the game’s developers have recognized the rollout of sponsored locations as an opportunity for an additional revenue stream, and that working with the business community should result in a win/win scenario – for the game’s players, for local establishments, for Niantic, for everyone.
As with most things, it’s easy to say that the game’s a fad. That it’ll be replaced in the next few weeks with another craze. Personally, I don’t think so. I can’t even check my email while walking down the street or pop over to the park on a lunch break without someone asking if, “I saw that Rattata.”
In every way imaginable, Pokémon GO is a social and cultural phenomenon. It’s achieved more milestones in a week than Facebook did in three years. It’s wiped virtual reality, something that was being lauded not more than two months ago as the next tech boom, completely off the map. It’s teaching us things about the future of media that we never could have imagined for ourselves.
The power of Pokémon GO is real. We don’t all have to play it, but should all pay attention to it – especially those of us in the marketing and business worlds.
Instagram is a great tool for businesses. As today’s consumers become more and more visually minded, it’s a social media channel that could take a brand to the next level. Part of its influence stems from the sheer number of active users: more than 1 billion people worldwide and roughly 120 million monthly users in the US, alone. Unlike Facebook, which uses obscure and ever-changing algorithms to determine who will and will not see your posts, if someone follows you on Instagram, the chance of that person seeing your content is significantly higher. Instagram’s Search & Explore feature makes it easier for people to find interesting content from all over the world—by location, tag, photographer or subject matter. Posting the right kind of content could increase your engagement and brand influence tenfold.
But that’s just it: you need to post the right content. Instagram success could be yours, if you take the initiative to avoid the missteps and shortcomings in the following list that often prevent brands from reaching their fullest potential.
Post Your Website Link In Your Bio
This is the one thing that should be stressed over and over again. Your profile’s bio is the only place, on all of Instagram, where you can add a clickable link to your website. Unfortunately, many accounts still neglect to do so, missing huge opportunities to build brand awareness and engage a potential customer base further.
Post High-Quality Images
This one’s simple, really. Instagram is a visual tool, so posting unattractive or boring photos will not create the kind of engagement that really drives brand success. In fact, doing so is more likely to deter new followers and scare away the ones that you do have. Now, that doesn’t mean that every photo you upload needs to be taken with a DSLR. As Instagram is primarily a mobile tool, it’s understood (and encouraged!) that the majority of photos will be taken and uploaded with a smartphone. However, some simple photography principles and the countless editing/photography apps available for most iOS and Android devices mean there’s no excuse for lackluster images. We recommend using VSCOcam to elevate your mobile photography.
Don’t Misuse Hashtags
Over 91% of all images posted on Instagram contain one or more hashtags. The main function of a hashtag is to open content up for discovery, by allowing others to find images and other users of interest, via relevant keywords. If you fail to use a hashtag or two that could be relevant to your brand’s content, you miss an opportunity to be discovered and engaged with. But on the flip side, if you spam your posts with too many irrelevant hashtags, you devalue your account and run the risk of losing brand credibility.
It can all be a little confusing, so check out this great Hootsuite post if you still need help understanding hashtags.
Engage With Others
Instagram is a great social media platform and it’s cultivated a fiercely loyal community of users who want to interact with relevant content. To get the most out of this interaction, you can’t just treat your account as some kind of “set it and forget it” tool. If you want to become a leader in your brand’s industry, follow other relevant users within that industry and engage with them. Don’t go on liking sprees, which can come off as desperate, but definitely like and comment on their photos when appropriate. Doing this, and doing it authentically, will associate your brand with theirs and do more to position your brand as an industry influencer. Likewise, if somebody leaves a comment on one of your photos, take the time to respond. It takes five seconds. Building a successful brand has a lot to do with building meaningful relationships with your consumers, so it would make the most sense to actually take part in conversations with your Instagram community.