A Tip for Brands To Not Lose Facebook Fans During the Olympics

Olympic Rings Sochi


Don’t drive away your Facebook fans and community by posting today’s Olympic results on your page.

While only a portion of your fans and followers will truly be unhappy with you for spoiling their evening Olympic viewing, why give anyone a reason to stop following your brand?

Olympic coverage is unique in that it’s sort of news but also sort of a TV drama. It’s different that sharing breaking news or posting the sad news of a famous person’s death. No one would fault you for that because no one is planning to spend his or her evening watching to see how that turns out. And, nearly all other widely viewed sporting events are aired live on TV in the US. It’s okay to comment about and share live football scores but you shouldn’t spoil a Downton Abbey revelation.

While I advise clients to fill their brand’s Facebook page with interesting, fresh information each day, don’t share Olympic results prior the event airing in primetime. It’s a spoiler-filled landmine.

The key is that there is no upside. Are you showing your fans that can read and share nbcolympics.com faster than they can read it? There are plenty of places online, or via apps, texts, and email alerts that fans who want real-time results already know about. We already have one Bob Costas and that’s plenty!  In 2012, I recall unliking a few brands (and unfriending a business associate!) that decided to be Johnny-on-the-spot and post every American medal win throughout the day. I never went back to become a fan again!  

You have put time and money into growing your community. Don’t lose some fans over something that has no upside or potential to increase engagement.



What Media Is Really Supporting Obama or Romney?

Four more years of Obama would be bad for business according to conservative talk show hosts.  
But Obama’s re-election may help one industry: conservative talk shows.    

Why? Over 15 million people tune into Rush Limbaugh each day to hear conversations about how badly Obama is doing. Will 15 million people tune in to hear how well a President Romney is doing? Doubtful.

Rush and many others exploded onto the national scene in the early 1990s when another polarizing figure, Bill Clinton, came into the White House. Little did we know that as polarizing figures go, Clinton was nothing compared to George W. Bush and Barrack Obama!  

Conversely, Liberal media’s ratings would improve if the GOP wins. And by Liberal media, I pretty much mean, well, all traditional media except for Fox News, about a dozen syndicated radio shows, and several blogs.

Romney’s victory would surely be a boon for the currently struggling CNN and the always-struggling MSNBC. As ridiculous and far out there that they are, I’ll say one thing for those crazy NBC cable guys: they stand their ideological ground and continue to push the Left’s agenda no matter how few people tune in.  But there must be some closet capitalist programming execs at MSNBC who secretly wish against the designs of parent companies NBC and Comcast for an Obama reelection.

Such execs must see the value in having the cable network be the anti-establishment voice. Isn’t it a more natural fit for Liberal voices to play that role and resist “The Man”?

Liberal media played that role during the Bush years but it didn’t result in ratings success: MSNBC and CNN have trailed Fox for many years. But perhaps the Left will really fire up if the election is lost for them.

Left-leaning comedy shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Saturday Night Live, and The NBC Evening News, have struggled to stay fresh while remaining on-point of not criticizing President Obama. It’s hard to do political satire when you’re supporting the party in power. This has lead to a scouring of America to find obscure Republican state senators and local officials to mock. A Romney win on Election Day would be a shot in the arm for the writers of these shows. Or at least make their jobs easier.


Who Is the Worst at Social Media? The Media.

We frequently read about who or what brands are efficiently using social media to engage with customers. 

But we rarely see a blog or a conference track looking at who is really bad at social media.  Until now. Let’s begin!

Let’s first look at an industry: The Media. To say the traditional media – television, radio, newspaper, and magazine producers – have been slow to adapt to social media is like saying you were resistant to working with the street punks who mugged you. The brightest of media leaders knew that this new means of communication would eat their lunch. And even they were not smart enough to work with social media instead of against it.

Great image from themetapicture.com!


Traditional news outlets remind me of record companies 10 to 15 years ago. At first they mocked the coming of the internet. Then when they saw that it could cut into their business, they fought it. When that didn’t work, they pretended to welcome the internet. Finally they positioned themselves as pioneers.

And the bigger they are, the worse they are at engaging in the digital space. The New York Times “discovered” Twitter sometime around 2010. By 2011, they were pretending to lead the field.

Some print news outlets have become more valuable to consumers in providing sharable content (i.e. pictures, stories and credibility that we can’t conjure up on our own).  In fact, consumers who share news socially tend to flock to traditional sources as shown in this BurrellesLuce infographic. But, newspapers rarely do anything else to engage with those readers other than provide a nice space on their blog site for comments.

Many broadcasters use social but not to engage with viewers or do anything remotely interesting that would compel us to use their product/brand/service more. Some broadcasters – especially CNN – pretend that they’re social by airing Tweets during the news broadcast. This is poor, lazy journalism. Sure, why send a reporter out to actually, you know, report. Let’s just click one button and show viewers what Ashton Kutcher or a Kardashian has to say about the subject. It’s irrelevant but easy.

And I don’t want to hear the lame excuse that newsrooms are understaffed and budgets have been slashed. Welcome to every company in America in 2012, news guys! Where have you been? Every company and every worker in the US is doing more with less. Our economy is in shambles, not that the media has noticed. In adverse times, winners suck it up, wear many hats, and look to new innovations. But that would require thought and creativity, things that left mainstream media studios long ago.

I pick on CNN because they really are the worst of the worst. Their idea of Social Media is to broadcast – on TV – what others are Tweeting. Thanks CNN, but I will skip your show and just read it myself on my computer or phone. Good thing you’re paying big money to @andersoncooper to read Twitter from those nice studios in Atlanta. No wonder your ratings are at an all-time low and you’re getting creamed by everyone from Fox News to Nick at Nite.

NBC is another clueless social media wonder. I only know this from catching their social media “engagement” during the Olympics. It featured Tamron Hall, who host Mary Carillo introduced regularly as “our social media guru”. Uggggg. And, you guessed it, their idea of a guru is someone who reports on what others are Tweeting. Really? You sent a reporter and a crew to London to do that? Where are the actually conversations with viewers on social channels? Where are the stories, videos, contests, and other things that NBC could have shared?      

I see glimpses of hope at the local level. Several local affiliates promote Facebook or Twitter as simply another way for their viewers to get the news. This is still broadcasting, but at least they see social channels not as some new magic like the clueless NBC network people, but as another venue for communications – “Catch us on Channel X, Digital channel X.1, channel1x.com, or @channelXnews on Twitter”… It’s a start, and it’s better than the networks are doing.

Post-Olympics Blues


Every two years after the Olympics, we should declare a Post-Olympics Withdrawal Stress Disorder Day. After 2 weeks of constant updates and events filling our TVs, tablets, and phones, it feels like not much is happening out there this morning. I predict speaking with a lot of grumpy people over the next couple of days.

We’ll be missing the events, pre-packaged stories of inspiration, cheesy NBC montages, musical cues, and drama that dwarfs any scripted television programming.

2012 Olympics Rings Opening Ceremony

My wife and I get pulled in to this sports-opera more than most. Since the ’92 games, we have gotten caught up in the big events as well as the stuff that you can only see during an Olympics. Trampoline, badminton, and the equestrian events were tough to catch this year.

I didn’t see nearly as much coverage on TV this year as in years past due to travel, work, and other real-life events infringing on our TV time this summer. But with the ample updates via social channels, online video, and mobile apps, it was easy to get a quick fix.

2012 Olympic iPhone App
While I’m no fan of NBC, GE, or Adobe, these guys got it together for a great Olympic iPhone app in 2012.

It also marks the last time until the next Olympics that the once-great NBC will have any content of value. Case in point: the preview clips from the new Matthew Perry show, “Go On”, looked dreadful. From the people who brought you “Joey”, indeed!

The media geek in me will soon fill the entertainment / sports / news void with the NFL season (#GoBears!) and a big political storm about to hit. We’ve got two conventions, 4 debates, and an election night on the horizon people! 

So there’s lots of good media content to look forward to this fall. And, if that’s not enough to cheer us up, note that the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi is only 543 days away.