Archive for October, 2011
Picture the apocalyptic scene … Manchester United starts to sell its live games as per view on MUTV. Other BIG Clubs follow – Manchester City, Liverpool, Everton, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, Aston Villa … Sky pulls the plug on the Premier League (PL) in the hunt for subscriber-hungry viewers. Then what!
The knock on effect for Football in England could be catastrophic. Equally, it could prove very lucrative for the remainder of the PL and the Championship i.e., Sky puts the money into what some consider ‘real’ football. Time will tell. Whatever, TV money isn’t going to last forever for all. It’s only a matter of time before one of the BIG boys pull out of the Sky deal and sells live games direct via a dedicated You Tube Channel, or through their own Websites. Indeed, this week, Manchester City has announced its intention to fully exploit You Tube as a part of its communications strategy (@social_bear tweet – Man City is possibly the richest club in the world, but there can be little doubt who’s the smartest! ow.ly/6TBBy #marketingweek) and Liverpool have brought the argument for revenue outside of the Sky agreement to the public domain (Liverpool FC make thoughts on Sky deal public – http://ow.ly/6VAdC). Is this the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning for the Sky/PL deal?
Irrespective of whether the Sky/PL deal in its current state implodes and even if it does, it might just be the best thing that happens to the remaining clubs, assuming a deal for ‘real’ football is struck. Whatever, the ‘real’ fans are where revenue growth lies and social media is the key to the door. Manchester United and Spanish counterparts, Barcelona and Real Madrid share 43.5 million Facebook fans between them (http://ow.ly/6XcIC). Arsenal, that most traditional of clubs, is turning to social media to increase its active fan base. It believes it has c. 100 million fans Worldwide, but has just 8% interacting via Facebook (@social_bear – Arsenal sees the opportunity to increase fan base engagement from 8M to 100M using social media – http://ow.ly/6v0kt #marketingweek). The plan is to increase its Facebook interactions to capture the additional 92 million fans – Wow! The commercial upside becomes very clear.
The difference between missing the Sky revenue or not in the nightmare scenario (for the implied so called lesser PL clubs) could be hidden in the take up of social media. Social media has the power to communicate one to one with a captive audience (and let’s face it, we football fans, the ‘real’ fans, would do almost anything to help support our beloved clubs … I recall the words of the famed Bill Shankley, ‘Football’s not about life and death, it’s more important than that!’). Of my twenty-five years in marketing and technology I can recall no greater opportunity for football clubs (or any organisation come to that) to engage with their fans, ask them what they want, give them what they want and reap the inevitable rewards.
Those clubs that act now in devising and implementing social media strategy will survive and thrive, irrespective of the longer term position of TV revenues, and those that don’t won’t!
Written by Simon Allen, Social Bear
Social authority is what has turned many ordinary bloggers into industry leaders, Chris Brogan, Brian Clark and Pete Cashmore to name just a few, but what is this social authority? To put it simply; social authority is having influence in an industry through social media networks. The end result of social authority is that you are listened to, consumers value your opinion and your message is passed on, all of which results in your social media efforts being more effective and ultimately you will benefit from substantial return on investment.
Today’s and tomorrow’s Customers (U25’s) no longer want to be sold to through traditional media, they want to be advised on what to buy from peers and influencers. If you are the one doing the influencing then social media becomes a very powerful tool.
It’s more than just influencing consumers…
Becoming an authority within your industry can also bring another benefit to your digital marketing activities, it helps your search ranking! With the top ranking websites getting 56% of the traffic (on average), businesses need to be doing everything they can to rank their website first. It has recently been confirmed that both Google’s and Bing’s search algorithm consider a websites authority on social media when calculating the search rank.
The influencing factors appear to be:
- Diversity of the people you are influencing – the more, the better
- Relevance of surrounding content to subject matter – i.e. a blog showing your expertise
- Quality of friends and followers – whether you influence other influential people
Being a social authority within an industry can also bring about secondary benefits to your website rankings. Due to you being a trusted figure you are more likely to gain back links from other industry website, which is a very large factor for your search engine rank. In addition, any content that is shared on social media is often indexed quicker.
How to build social authority
Building a high social authority takes time and patience, especially if you are new to the industry. It is not simply about gaining as many followers as possible, but instead adding value to industry conversations happening on social media, you have to lead purely through relational, cause and content equity. Adding value can come in the form of sharing content, replying to direct messages and helping people. However, you should be strategic in who you are messaging to, you will find your efforts more effective if you make a particular effort to engage with other industry influencers in addition to engaging with the ‘general public’.
Building authority is quite simply the best way to start seeing real return on investment from your social media efforts, can you really afford not to do it?