It is both entertaining and exasperating to be a Denver Broncos fan right now. We have one of the most talked about NFL players on our roster who is a great role model for all ages. He also happens to be a quarterback who sometimes doesn’t have the accuracy to throw it in the ocean: Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow’s last stat line while playing against the Kansas City Chiefs: 2/8, 69 yards, 1 TD. That type of stat line usually indicates a blowout, so you probably think Kansas City beat the Denver Broncos 35-7.
Nope, the Denver Broncos won 17-10!!
In fact, the Broncos are 3-1 with Tim Tebow as the starting quarterback even while he is completing less than 50% of his passes. How do the Broncos do it: They play to their strengths, protect against their weaknesses, and take the occasional shot for big plays. We can apply the same strategy to our company social media efforts.
- Play to your strengths – Tim Tebow is a big, physical QB, and he has excellent field vision to avoid tackles. He also runs an effective read option that can really rack up the yards. He is not protypical, but he is effective. In fact, sports radio argues that defenses are not built to stop this type of offense, so this success may be reproducible through at least this season.
Social Media – It is about building relationships and gaining trust when using social media. You accomplish those goals by engaging your 3Fs (friends, fans, followers). Just like Tim Tebow is starting out slow using the playbook, start out slow by identifying natural engagers within your organization. With a social media policy in place, let those engagers start building relationships on Twitter, LinkedIn Groups and perhaps a Facebook Fan Page. Meanwhile, poll your employees to discover their professional strengths as well as personal and community service interests. See if you could build a blog backlog from these stories and interests, and then assign an editor-in-chief and editorial calendar to a corporate blog. Focus on humanizing your corporate brand as a differentiator from your competitors.
- Protect against your weaknesses – Tim Tebow missed offseason training opportunities due to the NFL lockout. He did not have good passing fundamentals coming out of college, and coaches did not have enough time to start correcting those fundamentals. Therefore, we can expect Tebow to attempt about 10-15 passes per game unless the Broncos get far behind on the scoreboard. An effective running game keeps the score low and manageable, takes time off the clock, and keeps the opposing offense off the field.
Social Media – Gone are the days when you can orchestrate a response to bad publicity over several days. Savvy and connected consumers now expect responses to their bad consumer experience within minutes. In fact, those consumers are no longer calling your toll-free number, sending you an email or submitting a form on your corporate website. They expect to publish their displeasure on their chosen venue (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Yelp, Amazon, etc). They then expect you to find them!! Companies need to use social media for brand protection. At a minimum, they should monitor Twitter for brand mentions as well as their own Facebook Fan Page. A more effective approach is to implement a social media monitoring tool like Pulse Analytics that can find those conversations and even gauge consumer sentiment. Identify company resources who are willing to engage these consumers and resolve their issues to a satisfactory outcome without becoming overly sensitive or defensive. Remember, it is all about the consumers’ positive experiences versus who is right or wrong.
- Take your shots – Tim Tebow may have been 2/8 in pass completions in this last game. However, one of those completions went for 56 yards and a touchdown! The defense focused on stopping the running game, the Chiefs secondary stopped paying attention to the receivers running routes, and Eric Decker got behind the secondary to catch the TD pass to seal the victory.
Social Media – Just like the Broncos established the running game before attempting long passes for big gains, companies need to establish two-way communication with the 3Fs before promoting new products and services. It is not wrong to use social media platforms for self-promotion. However, it is wrong to exclusively promote with “marketing-speak”. In order for you to be effective with company promotion, you must first become a valued and selfless contributor in the eyes of your fans. These fans may then become enthusiastic brand advocates when you do announce new products and services.
So what strategy works for your company? At what stage of strategy implementation do you find your company? Do you have the trusted followers at a point where they are willing brand advocates? And what digital channels do you find most effective?
I look forward to your comments!