Are you building a community or an audience?

Audience:

A group you give information to.
A group you talk at, not with.
A group you are separated from.
Requires no participation.
 

Community:

A group you listen and respond to.
A group who shares your passion.
A group you get from as much as you give to.
A group where more than the one with the microphone contributes.
 

To build an audience is quite easy these days. To build a community is hard. It requires you to be intentional, to be present. An audience listens to you while a community engages and moves with you. A community has a purpose.

When it comes to your digital and social media efforts, you can build an audience or you can build a community. Which are you building?

 

Fieldhouse Media is an award-winning firm dedicated to helping athletics departments get the most out of their social media efforts. To find out more about us or to join the more than 60 schools utilizing our services for their athletics department, contact us today.
 

What if your athletics department stopped using social media?

I just returned from the NACDA and CoSIDA conventions in Orlando. A week full of networking, connecting and learning from the best in the business. As has been the norm over the past few years, social media was a hot topic. There were a number of panels dedicated to discussing social media, from how to engage with fans to getting your story out to the media to handling it on a personal level - and that's just scratching the surface. It's a topic that, truth be told, could use its own conference. 

The good news is that athletics departments are continuing to rethink their goals and strategies on social media. We are constantly examining our approach, measuring results and adjusting as needed. There's a desire to do more and to be better.

At the end of the day it boils down to creating memorable content on social media for your fans - students, parents, community, alumni, potential students. Content that stirs up emotion, causes them to act (click, share, buy, etc) and makes them feel more connected. One way to evaluate this is to ask ourselves a tough question:

Would anybody notice if you stopped posting to your social media accounts?

Are we creating content that matters, that connects and has a purpose or are we just filling up timelines because we think we are supposed to be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc?

We are fighting for the attention of our fans, trying to stand out above the noise rather than simply add to it. That's no easy task. To do that, we must create unforgettable content. Content that keeps them coming back for more. 
 

Fieldhouse Media is an award-winning firm dedicated to helping athletics departments get the most out of their social media efforts. To find out more about us or to join the more than 60 schools utilizing our services for their athletics department, contact us today.

Noisemaking vs Storytelling

100,500.

According to a recent study by OneSpot, that is the average number of digital words consumed every day by the average US citizen. For perspective, here are the word counts of some of the greatest novels in history:

To Kill a Mockingbird:     99,121
A Tale of Two Cities:       135, 420
The Catcher in the Rye:   73,404
The Hobbit:                     95,022
(source: commonplacebook.com)

Process that for a moment. We read a novel every single day. A novel made up of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds. Of blog posts and news articles, emails and texts.  

This is the battle you face in regards to getting the attention of your fans. You are competing, every day, with the great American novel of noise. 

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Who are you creating for?

After weeks or months of planning, you finally launch a new campaign on social media that your department is pumped about. You saw another program do something similar, saw how successful it was for them and thought this would be great for your fans as well.

You launch, and your mentions on Twitter are filled with peers from athletic departments across the country, praising how great your idea is. They are sharing it, asking about the process behind it and looking to copy it. You're feeling great. Your hard work is being noticed. 

Then you check to see what your fans are saying. They have to love it, right? Engagement must to be through the roof. You just know that they'll be commenting, sharing, retweeting, replying, clicking. 

Nothing. It seems that the only people who thought your idea was great are your peers. So what happened? It worked for another university, so why not you? 

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New Research on Social Media Monitoring of Student-Athletes

New Research on Social Media Monitoring of Student-Athletes

We know student-athletes are not fond of the negative approach to social media education, but what about monitoring? According to Sanderson and Browning, "participants also collectively expressed skepticism about social media monitoring." Before we go forward, monitoring doesn't have to be outsourced to a company like ours. Following somebody on social media is monitoring them. Adding them to a Twitter list is monitoring them. We've talked with journalists who have a Twitter list of student-athletes from the university they cover, scrolling through it constantly to see if there is anything newsworthy or controversial. Somebody is always watching.

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Social Media Education for College Athletes - Is it working?

This weekend the 2014 Summit for International Association for Communication and Sport took place in New York. It was a fantastic event with an incredible amount of research presented, from social media and image rehabilitation, media coverage of scandals, sports media in the digital age and more. One paper discussed was the research of professors Jimmy Sanderson (Clemson) and Blair Browning (Baylor). Sanderson and Browning examined how college athletes perceive social media training. 

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Fieldhouse Media founder Kevin DeShazo to present at NAIA Convention

Fieldhouse Media founder Kevin DeShazo has been invited to present at the NAIA Convention next month. He will discuss the increasingly important issues surrounding social media and college athletics, specifically the need for educating student-athletes and staff on social media use and how programs can utilize social media to their benefit.

Details of the session:

Details for the convention can be found here.

We are thrilled to be a part of the NAIA Convention and look forward to seeing you there!

 

Fieldhouse Media is an award-winning firm dedicated to helping athletic departments get the most out of their social media efforts, from educating student-athletes and staff to providing an overall strategy. To find out more about us or to join the over 50 schools utilizing our services for their athletic department, contact us today.

What story are you telling on social media?

What story are you telling on social media?

Too often we jump into social media, whether in our overall strategy or as we move into a new season, without stopping to think about who we are and where we are going. This may be due to a perceived lack of time, resources, information or all of the above. We know we are going to tweet out scores, post some pictures on Facebook and Instagram, maybe throw in a few YouTube videos where we chat with players. We head out hoping to get retweets, replies, likes, shares, comments and clicks. That's the goal, right?

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Is social media poison for student-athletes?

Is social media poison for student-athletes?

Rick Pitino has been in the headlines this week for his take on social media as it pertains to athletes. In a quote shared by FoxSports, Pitino said, "I think anybody who reads social media who’s in sports is not all there. To me, I think it’s the great class of underachievers who live on the Internet with social media. I think it’s people that waste their time, and underachieve because they're not paying attention to what they should be." This was retweeted and overreacted to by many, myself included. Turns out Pitino was talking about those who spew hatred and racism at student-athletes. Clearly, on that point, he's right. 

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NCAA Social Media Recruiting and Reference Guide for Division I

The compliance department at the University of Tennessee athletics department put together this helpful guide to the ever-evolving and sometimes confusing rules of social media use for recruiting. Definitely something to keep nearby, and to share with your coaches and staff. (To see the rules for those in DIII, go here)

Fieldhouse Media is a firm dedicated to helping student-athletes and coaches use social media in a positive, appropriate way through education and monitoring. To find out more about us or to join the over 50 schools utilizing our services for their athletic department, contact us today

Fieldhouse Media adds social media consulting to its service offerings

In the past two and a half years we have spent time on over 50 campuses, presenting to over 30,000 student-athletes, coaches and staff members on how to use social media well. We have helped them understand not only how to tell their story and develop their reputation online, but why that is necessary. Today, we are excited to offer something that focuses on the athletic department as a whole. 

While most athletic departments and conferences are utilizing social media, many still have questions - a lot of them. Questions about strategy, content, audience, purpose, return. You've heard it said that if athletics are the front porch of a university, social and digital media are the front porch of athletics. We believe that to be true. We also believe that, regardless of the size of your department or budget, you can make an impact with how you use social media. 

Our team has over 15 years of combined experience in creating content online. From Fortune 500 companies to non-profits, CEOs to small business owners and individuals, we understand how to help brands succeed in the digital space. 

You have a story to tell online. You have fans that want to engage in that story. We are excited to help you tell it.

Contact us today to learn more.

Fieldhouse Media is a firm dedicated to helping student-athletes and coaches use social media in a positive, appropriate way through education and monitoring. To find out more about us or to join the over 50 schools utilizing our services for their athletic department, contact us today