World Cup Content: Stepping It Up

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is more than a month away, but content is already ramping up in anticipation for the world stage.  We’re use to seeing brands come out in full force around major sporting events, but there’s been something special about what I’ve seen for the World Cup so far.

Powerade, Nike and ESPN have all launched videos surrounding the event.  And, all three of them have nailed it because they understand why things catch on.

I talk a lot about the power of emotion in social media and sport. I’m a big believer that emotion is the thread that ties fans and teams together. Whether or not you have played a sport, you understand the emotion– anticipation, excitement, anguish, pure joy, etc.– players’ experience.

Think about it: Emotion is what makes sports so relatable across the globe.  

All three videos tap into emotion, while telling stories, which studies have shown are keys to getting people to share (learn more about that here). Below are the three videos, along with some takeaways from the campaigns:

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How Can I Create a Rockin’ Social Media Calendar?

Creating a social media calendar makes the life of a social media / community manager so much easier. Yes, it takes a little grunt work in the beginning, but if you can bear and grin it you’ll find your workload to be a little bit more manageable.

I still think social media calendars are often undervalued. If we start them, we need to finish them. If we build them, we need to use them. If we use them, we need to evaluate them. It’s work that’s worth it.

If you’re going to take the time to create a social media calendar, you want to make sure you’re maximizing its value. Below are my tips for creating a great one:

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Friday Finds: 06.28.2013

In our industry, there is always something to learn. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why I started this blog– it helps me keep up with industry trends, know what others are doing in the space and think through applications.

Every week I stumble upon share-worthy pieces of content, digital packages, social media campaigns, etc. from teams, leagues and others in the industry.  But ecause there are so many great examples out there , and I can’t add commentary to everything, really good work (small or large) often goes unshared here.

Industry examples are a great way to get your creative thinking going though, so I thought I would start a regular column on Friday to highlight great digital pieces, social media campaigns and content from the past week. The column won’t be filled with a lot of commentary, but will serve as more of an inspiration board.  I hope you find it useful in some form or fashion.

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Thanks for the Small Reminders, MLS

Today the Major League Soccer social media team announced this:

Basically, they decided to merge their @MLSinsider account and content with @MLS. Here’s a snippet of the reasoning (you can read their full release here):

Whether or not you think the move is a good one, there are two, very simple (but important) reminders to us all:

      1. We Need to Evaluate, Evaluate & Evaluate
        We live in a communications world that is constant evolving. In my opinion, that’s one of the things that makes working in this industry so exciting and challenging. But, because the tides are constantly changing, we have to constantly evaluate.We all know that community shifts, new platforms emerge and what works today might not work three months from now. It’s up to us, as social media / digital professionals, to take the time every couple months (or whatever that timeframe looks like) to evaluate what we’re doing. What’s working well? What’s not working?


      2. It’s Okay To Make Changes (even drastic)
        If you’re going to crunch data, analyze statistics and evaluate, then you need to be willing [and empowered] to make changes. Social media is all about trying new things. If you try a new platform, and then realize you don’t have an audience there, you can remove your presence and it’s going to be okay.  If something isn’t working, change it. You should never do something in social media / digital “because you’ve always done it that way.” That’s the beauty of the space we play in.  We try, we evaluate, we tweak.

I say kudos to the MLS social media team for evaluating their work and making the changes they felt were best for their brand. In a fast-paced world it’s often hard to sit back and ask, “why are we doing this, is this still working?”  The truth is though, there’s never been a greater need to ask those kind of questions as the communication world keeps on changing.

How Can I Create Compelling Content for Social Media With Limited Time, Resources, Etc.?

If you work in athletic communications, I understand time and resources can be half the battle when it comes to social media. Here’s the good news; you can create compelling content with a limited budget, time, resources, etc.

Yes, it’s true… you can create visuals like the one below with just your phone:

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 3.51.38 PM

During the 2013 CoSIDA Convention I shared the apps / platforms I use to create compelling content, like the graphic above. I’ve had several people ask me what they were, so I thought I would go ahead and compile a list for you all. So, without further ado, here they are…

Apps I use to create graphics with just my iPhone (please keep in mind it’s almost always a combination of apps):

  • PicFrame (.$.99)- This app lets you combine multiple photos into awesome collages.
  • SnapSeed ($4.99)- There are four great filters on this app- Grunge, Vintage, Drama & Tilt Shift. In addition, the app is great for basic editing (crop, rotate, etc.) and fine-tuning your image. You can really make colors pop with this app.
  • PhotoToaster ($1.99)-  This app is great for textures (canvas, old paper, antique, concrete, etc), vignettes and adjusting light.
  • Over ($1.99)– Add beautiful typography and artwork to your photos.
  • InstaFonts ($3.99)– Add text and filters.

Additional content generation resources / platforms:

  • Infographics– Check out Piktochart,, Info.gram if you’re looking to create infographics with little to no graphic design experience.
  • ThingLink– This app / platform offers an online tool to create interactive images. To create the image, you simply upload a picture, identify hot spots, and add text and links. The best part? The tool is integrated with Twitter.
  • StorifyStorify is a social network service that lets the user create stories or timelines using social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.