Why The “IF” Is Important

Warning! This post is a test + learn where I need your honest opinion, so apologies in advanced that it is so raw and unpolished. A new year means a new opportunity to grow, and one of the ways I thought I could stretch myself in 2017 is by testing a podcast.

Why a podcast? First, this blog is a labor of love and helps me keep up with the industry, but it doesn’t stretch myself in the traditional sense. As an introvert, writing comes natural to me. Public speaking, on the other hand, does not come as natural. And while a podcast isn’t technically public speaking, it will help me practice some of my weak points and definitely push me out of my comfort zone.

With a few pushes from friends in the industry, I’ve given thought to the the type of podcast format I would embark on. It would be quick hits, musings and conversations with others in the industry. The key is that it will be specifically made for those of us with short attention spans and not a ton of time. The goal is to have a podcast where everything is under 15 minutes AND will compliment the writing on this blog.

This is my first stab at what a podcast musing might be. This audio has not been edited in anyway and it would be packaged in a nice little podcast format (and potentially shared with writing that compliments it). Before I  go down the podcast route though, I’m curious if quick hits, conversations with people in the industry and musings of less than 15 minutes will add value here?

So, without further ado, enjoy this random test + musing on my favorite topic FOMO. Share below if you think a podcast would be a welcomed addition (that is more polished than this).

Resume Tips

Resume time. We’ve all been there. The dreaded sigh as you crank up the pot of coffee late night to start, tweak or completely redo the resume. Whether you are searching for your first job or have been working for awhile, there’s something tedious and stressful about updating it. What’s the right format? What do I highlight? How do I stand out?

There are so many questions to answer. And while what makes a resume great is certainly subjective, below are some of the tips I’ve learned about writing a resume if you want to work in social/digital.

 

1- Watch your length.

If you work in the industry or want to, you should know this: Attention spans are short these days and time is valuable. It’s why we omit needless words and keep our copy short and sweet. The same applies for resume writing. As you work through your bullet points and format, be conscious of how long your content is. I’m a big believer in sticking to one page, but that rule is only mandatory if you’ve been working a couple years. As you go in your career and build upon your experience, focus on quality over quantity to make sure the length is as succinct as possible.

If you work in social you should be able to communicate in 140 characters. Brevity, my friends, is key.

 

2- Relevancy is what matters.

At one point in my career I had the privilege of reviewing resumes for a postgraduate internship. As I poured through the stacks, I saw resumes that were four pages long and dated all the way back to high school jobs as a cashier at Walmart. These were smart, talented kids who got bogged down in an information dump.

Here’s the thing though: More information on your resume doesn’t make you more qualified. Just as we touched on in the first point, quality over quantity is key. Being a cashier has no relevancy to working in social, so you should absolutely cut it.

If you’re a first-time job seeker that lacks truly relevant, real-word experience, focus on your classes, projects and writing. Hone in on the skills you developed in college versus the hourly job with no relevance.

For experienced professionals who want to switch to social media (and currently don’t work in the industry), it’s important to focus on the skillsets you have that would be valuable in the role. If I’m looking to hire someone in social that doesn’t have industry experience per say, that’s okay as long as they showcase their communication skills, creative ability, passion to learn, ability to produce content, etc.

And finally, if you’ve been in the industry awhile, don’t keep roles on your resume simply to fill up whitespace. Take more real estate with the jobs that are relevant and omit the ones that don’t add much value.

 

3- Sell yourself, not your job.

This is one I can’t stress enough: Your resume should not be a copy and paste of your job description and/or classwork. If you work in social media, there are certain assumptions hiring managers can make about the roles you have had. Don’t tell the hiring manager you managed a calendar; tell them how you have helped affect process. Don’t tell the hiring manager that you managed accounts; tell them how you grew the community x percent by doing x. Don’t tell the hiring manager that you manage the creative; tell them how you helped influence a content strategy that drove x amount of engagement.

A job description won’t do you justice if you want to work in this industry. Use strong action verbs and showcase numbers wherever you can. Your resume is about selling yourself, so do it and do it well.

 

4- Link to work.

The work that we do in social media is public, so don’t be afraid to highlight it on your resume. It’s often the best selling point you can have. Where applicable, link to the accounts you manage, campaigns you’ve run, content you’ve produced, etc. on your resume or in a portfolio. Seeing your work (or projects if you’re a student) will be a lot more powerful than simply telling the hiring manager about it.

 

5- Be creative, but not crazy.

Hiring managers often have to flip through thousands of resumes, so you do need to stand out. When it comes to your resume design, it’s important to standout and be creative… but it doesn’t mean you have to go crazy. This is a creative industry, so create a resume that reflects your personality but won’t detract from the bulk of your work. Here’s an outdated example of the format I use. It’s different enough to stand out from the rest without going overboard (as some people will be more traditional).

 

6- Promote personal accounts, that make sense.

If I’m looking to hiring someone for a social media role, I want to know that they are active on social media platforms. That said, people applying for social media jobs often feel pressure to to promote every single social media account they have, even if they are more personal in nature. That’s not necessary. Stick to the ones you use professionally, like Twitter or LinkedIn that will highlight your writing, ability to connect with people, etc. Hiring managers will often seek out your other accounts, but if you use them strictly for personal, it doesn’t mean you have to highlight them. Even as someone who works in social, it’s important to highlight the ones that put your best foot forward professionally. A few links to accounts will help me understand if you “get” it.

 


 

What resume tips have you learned along the way? Share them below!

Thanks for reading. 

Solid #SMSports Ideas for Inspiration

There’s inspiration in this industry everywhere you look. From stellar content to new ways to leverage the platforms, teams and leagues are constantly innovating. Below are several solid ideas I’ve come across recently that are worth noting, remembering and tucking away for inspiration.

1- Oregon Ducks: Facebook Live Roll Call

Oregon found a unique way to leverage Facebook Live as a way to not simply push a broadcast but also to engage. They held a roll call where they encouraged fans to comment where they were tuning in, then they mapped out fans across the US in real-time. The broadcast earned more than 52,000 views and 4,000 comments.

 

 

I love this on so many levels. Social media is not just about pushing out information; it is also about pulling fans into your brand. As the platforms continue to evolve and new tools are added, we have to find ways to leverage them to build community. This is a perfect example of that.

 

2- Braves: 360 Schedule Release

The Braves found a clever and unique way to bring their schedule to life way beyond a graphic or a GIF. Like the Ducks, the Braves leveraged a new(er) tool on Facebook to get fans to interact, creating a 360 photo to unveil their 2017 schedule.

 

 

It’s easy to get caught up in how things are always done, but when we take the time to step back to figure out creative solves, amazing work is done. Don’t get stuck using content, tools, etc. the same way you always do. Think outside the box and innovate to bring fans in, like the Braves did.

 

3- Colorado: Illustrations

It can be hard to find a way to mix up your content week after week. The Colorado Buffaloes stepped up their GIF game with dynamic illustrations. While it might be too labor intensive to do these every game, they would be a great series for a rivalry game, big moment, etc. It’s a great way to diversify your content and mix it up.

 

4- Cincinnati: Snapchat Geofilter

A lot of teams and leagues are taking advantage of Snapchat’s geofilters. They are cost efficient and a great way to empower fans in stadium to share on behalf of your brand. There have been some fantastic ones so far in the sports industry, like this one from Cincinnati.

What I really love about Cincinnati’s geofilter is it plays into the way fans use Snapchat Lenses, but is much more cost efficient. No, the helmet doesn’t animate like lenses, but it still “transforms” their fans into a Cincinnati player versus having a branded, text overlay for fans to share.

 

5- Dodgers: #DearVin Campaign

Before Vin Scully’s last game with the Dodgers, the team encouraged fans to submit letters to him using #DearVi. They then took some of the UGC content and turned into content for their own channels. This is a great way to get fans involved and thank them for participating (with zero cost except time).

An excerpt from @amyclizabeth's #DearVin letter. Keep those letters coming, #DodgerFam!

A photo posted by Los Angeles Dodgers (@dodgers) on

 


 

What other great ideas have you seen in the industry lately? Share them below.

Tips for Instagram Stories + Inspiration

When Instagram Stories first came out, everyone likened it to Snapchat Stories. That’s on the surface though. The tool is actually a completely different opportunity. Instagram Stories sets itself apart form Snapchat because it lets you upload content you’ve created (swipe down to upload). This means you can tell your story in a more meaningful, dynamic and interesting way.

Teams and leagues are already starting to develop unique ways to leverage Instagram Stories, from awesome replays to gameday hype videos. Below are three things to keep in mind when using the tool, plus loads of inspiration from some of the best Stories I’ve seen in the business.

 

1- Don’t treat it like Snapchat.

Let’s be honest, we’ve seen enough players running onto a field to last us a lifetime. Instagram Stories is not the place for long, drawn-out raw footage that looks the same over and over again. Take advantage of the fact you can upload content and make it worth your fans’ time.

This doesn’t mean that everything has to be super polished, but it does mean that you can plan. Define your story, the purpose and execute right.

 

2- Find synergy.

There’s an interesting opportunity to find synergies between your in-feed posts and Instagram Stories. How can you leverage the tool to drive deeper storytelling in a moment?

For example, maybe at the end of the game you have your final score graphic and leverage Stories to showcase “plays of the game”. Use in-feed post to drive people to Stories (or vice versa) and let the two work together and drive more consumption of your content.

There are also opportunities to drive engagement for fans. Red Bull, for example, leveraged Instagram Stories to have users pick their favorite photo to be used a post. Think out-of-the-box as the opportunities are endless.

 

3- Test and learn.

So as mentioned in the first bullet, I think that there’s an opportunity for more polished content on Instagram Stories. But, maybe that’s not what consumers want? The beauty of this tool, and the rest of social, is that it’s okay to test and learn. Try a more polished story, then try a raw story. Try uploading photos versus video. See where consumers stay the most engaged by watching your drop off rate. As a marketing, it’s your job to figure out and understand what your audience wants.

 
And one more thing before we get to the fun part (inspiration): Don’t slap your Stories content everywhere. Define a unique approach for each platform and think strategically about where it (and vertical video) makes sense. There is something to be said for content created specifically for each platform.

Now enjoy your Instagram Stories inspiration from some of the best in the business:@MiamiDolphins, @BoilerFootball, @MLB, @huskerfbnation, @clemsonfb, @clevelandbrowns, @Dodgers.
 

 


 

What’s your initial reaction to Instagram Stories? Share your thoughts below.

 

Thanks for reading! 

Simple Ideas Are The Best Ideas

We live in a noisy, cluttered world. One where people are moving quickly. We barely have time to read a 140-character Tweet, much less read and re-read it.  And as marketers, these are the challenges and realities we face. Attention spans of humans are less than a goldfish and consumers have gotten good at tuning out messages.

Too often we don’t take these challenges into consideration. We try to confound this already complicated world with more messages, more directions and more clutter. We overcomplicate instead of oversimplify, and in the end, lose our consumer.

I get it. It’s not easy to simplify your approach down to one big idea when you work in social media. Your strategy and content has touch points to many departments within the organization, from PR to marketing tickets and more. Everyone wants a piece of the social media puzzle. But if you want to make a splash with your consumer and fans, you have to streamline. Why?

Because complex ideas are less likely to catch on, survive and thrive. If a consumer can’t understand your message, campaign or CTA in one simple second, they’ll move on. If the idea can’t be explained in one simple sentence, people will go elsewhere. Great ideas are simple ideas… executed seamlessly.

Here’s a look at two of simple but strong executions in sports:

 

MLB’s THIS  Campaign

For the 2015 season, MLB launched a creative campaign called “This is Baseball”. Focused on the word THIS, it was ode to the great things in baseball that need no explanation (exactly how THIS is used in social media). The campaign’s strengths was is in its simplicity and ability to integrate across teams. THIS campaign was relatable to every fan, no matter which team they root for

Here’s a look at some of the posts:

 

Warriors Creative

For the 2016 season, the Warriors defined a creative look and feel using tally marks. The concept is simple, sleek and can manifest in different ways across content. The red thread, the tallies, are being used to celebrate everything “from their regular-season wins this year, Stephen Curry’s 402 three-pointers, the 120-decibel noise level in Oracle Arena (the loudest in the NBA) and more” (via Adweek).

The creative is simple, stands out and is easy to consume. Here’s a look at some of the creative:

 

#H73TORY

A photo posted by Golden State Warriors (@warriors) on

 

With both of these examples, the ideas are easy to explain. Next time you’re planning a campaign or creative, keep these things in mind to execute a simple, big idea well:

Can you explain it in a minute?
Ask yourself if the idea can be explained in a single sentence? If you can’t explain the concept in less than a minute, then you haven’t boiled it down to one big idea.  Do the work that is necessary to get your idea simple, strong and right.

Is there a red thread?
Is there a consistent red thread that ties everything together? Strong ideas can carry across platforms and content to to tie everything together. Make sure your big idea and CTA is cohesive. Too many messages across platforms gets confusing; nail down a big idea that can carry through everything.

Practice discipline.
When you have nailed a big idea, stick to it. It’s easy to want to throw in a lot of other tactics and messages, but in the long run if you define a strategy and POV then you will win. Practice discipline.

The world is already complicated enough; don’t confuse and turn off your consumer with a muddled message. Simple ideas are the best ideas. Practice it.

 


 

What campaigns in or outside of sports have you single that were simple but strong? Share them below!

Thanks for reading.