Practice makes perfect. Learn from your mistakes. Know your competition. Sound familiar?
Yes, they are all ways to plot your Super Bowl victory. They are also all key points you should remember while planning social media campaigns, according to Will Overstreet, a former player with the Atlanta Falcons. Overstreet is the founder and CEO of Voices Heard Media, an interactive social media communications application company.
Overstreet says that both the Super Bowl and social media have more in common than you might think.
- They both have people's attention– Why are ads during the Super Bowl so expensive? The answer: 111 million pairs of eyeballs (and it increases each year). Everyday social media gains new users and captures more attention. As of 2010, Facebook reached 500 million users and in 2011, Twitter reported 300 million users. Clearly, this is where your customers and audiences live and spend time.
- The story lines keep going— Weeks after the Super Bowl, people talk about the game, commercials and half-time performances. The same dynamics exist in the social media world. Depending on the content and message that's distributed, this can be like losing all your key players in the first quarter or, conversely, like beating Tom Brady and Tim Tebow simultaneously. Like good plays, properly executed campaigns can deliver results long after the final whistle has been blown.
- Preparation is key— Teams work for months to reach the Super Bowl. Each week, teams put together new game plans. Based on the results, they'll refine and retool them until their strategy is just right. Social media strategies aren't much different. Businesses must think about social media as a part of a longer-term plan in order to get the most out of it. It’s not a one-time event, but a resource that must have businesses' focus and commitment to win the day.
- Avoidance and ignorance are not options— Players can't ignore their mistakes. Coaches can't avoid watching clips of their competition. Knowing who you're up against is key to winning games. Likewise, everyone needs basic knowledge about the Super Bowl in order to be relevant in conversations with co-workers and friends on Monday morning. Ignoring the big game and social media — and hoping it will go away — is taking an opportunity from you and handing it directly to your competitors.
- Winners and losers— In order to win the Super Bowl, a team must set that as its goal. Whether a business tiptoes around or plays to win the social media battle, someone will win the war and be crowned champion, ready to reap the benefits. Don't let it be your competitor.