Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Jeremy Lin And The Power Of Social Media

Sports fans are not known as tech-geeks; and vice versa. This isn't strictly true in all cases however, and the line between all subcultures is blurring more and more each day.

So, when a new sports star comes on the scene, like the rise of New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin, the conversation on social media begins to turn in their direction. In fact, given the immense positive impact social media had during Super Bowl LXVI, more sports franchises are recognizing its power to impact their bottom line, prompting them to make certain conversations about their specific product are abundant; answers and interactions are prompt.

No wonder then that Lin's rise to stardom has resulted in increased ticket sales and renewed interest in the Knicks franchise, which has suffered from a severe lack of interest for years.

It is worth mentioning that Lin himself has everything to do with this social media success story. If he wasn't such a strong player, performing above and beyond expectations in game after game, including some last second game saving shots, the conversations would not be as rampant--unless they were spending their time blaming him for not being everything he was hyped-up to be. (And I suppose there is still something to be said for the fact that any publicity is good publicity.)

Part of what makes this genre smashing sort of online recognition possible is the ease-of-use of social media. It's simple enough that you don't need to be a tech-geek to get it; figure it out, use it effectively to share your thoughts and engage in discussions with other fans; promote your favorite team and their triumphs. If it were something which was only accessible to people with a technological inclination it wouldn't be nearly as effective as an organic marketing tool.

Fortunately for many of us, it is easy to use, so conversations flourish. Therefore it is incumbent upon us, as marketers and promoters, to find the best way to guide those conversations and make good use of the online activity in a way that benefits us (and our clients) the most.

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