When it comes to Sports Media on Social Media there are tons of tips, methods and theories that discuss how to find success on social platforms. We delved into how to utilize Social Media properly with incredible insight in our first Social Media Roundtable piece. Presented by Elite Rank Media
In this edition of the Social Media/Sports Media Roundtable we continue our discussion but this time we focus on the impact of Social Media in the Media industry. We look at how traditional media companies value aspiring media personalities on social media. We explore ways your work can gain more attention. We offer tips on how to improve the ways you utilize social media and we provide bloggers and website owners tools to make their brand more social-friendly!
We also take a look at the WordPress platform, delve into SEO and discuss platforms and tools you should be utilizing.
We will have input and perspective from major markets and brands across the SEO, Sports Media and Website Development industries.
Contributing to this discussion:
- Anthony DiMoro (me) Creator of SportsRants, Online Radio host and Blogger for SportsRants, SEO & Internet Marketing Expert at Elite Rank Media
- Shawn Rosko, the Digital Marketing Director for Overit, a full service marketing firm in Albany, New York
- Freddie Coleman, host of The Freddie Coleman Show on ESPN Radio
- Lisa Guerrero Chief Investigative Correspondent for Inside Edition and an award winning American investigative journalist, actress, sportscaster, host and model.
- Marc Purtell, Director of SEO at MediaWhiz, contributor to Search Engine Journal
- Sarah Gooding – WordPress expert. Respected Authority on WordPress & Buddypress. Developer at Untame
The Impact of Social Media on Your Career
It’s worth asking just how much the media heavyweights are emphasizing the importance of social media? Does the emphasis go beyond a hashtag or a plug for a Twitter/Facebook page?
It goes without saying that the major heavyweight brands are certainly valuing social media more than ever, but what may surprise you is that these brands are also utilizing social media to scout potential talent. Hence why consistency is key with any and all of your work.
But all media brands and personality have a value on social media that has only accelerated in recent years. All indicators show this is a trend that isn’t slowing down anytime soon, so it’s key to not only utilize social media regularly but to use it properly.
Freddie Coleman – The things we always stress are being in the now, being honest and credible while having fun. I always believe that the listener can smell a phony a mile away and if you don’t believe in yourself as well being honest, then if you don’t have success, the blame is on you.
Social Media has been tremendous. Anything to engage more listeners while keeping an eye on breaking news is all good with me. If you don’t interact on social media somewhat in our business, you are a dinosaur. It is great getting my name and the show’s name out there. I believe people like the fact that they can sort of put a face to your words.
ESPN regulates us as they should because you don’t want someone representing your company on Twitter acting like a lunatic, but they’ve been good about allowing us to let whatever our personalities are come through. ——
Lisa Guerrero – Social Media has had an impact on my career growth. I’m on both Twitter and Facebook and lately, as I have made the transition to investigative reporting from sports, I’m finding more and more that viewers can contact me directly with investigative ideas and tips that I can research. For followers to be able to reach out to me directly and to be able to give me exclusive information has been really important for my career growth as an investigative journalist
Last year I did a story called Justice for Juliette about a little girl who had been beaten to death and there had been no arrests in the case. I opened the cold case and we were able to track down 3 people, one of which is in jail and another headed to jail awaiting court next month. Because of that story a similar story was presented to me via Twitter, someone had direct messaged me and gave me some information which led to a story called Justice for Alissa, another little girl that had died. We were able to get that story exclusively because someone reached out to me using Social Media.
In terms of Inside Edition, they have been late to the party when it comes to utilizing social media. They recently put together a new website and are active on social media with a Twitter and Facebook page. But only recently have they allowed the talent to be able to post our Twitter handles on the show. We have a lot of followers on our Facebook page and are gaining followers on Twitter.
In addition to my Twitter page I have two pages on Facebook, personal page and a public page. The public page is a Lisa Guerrero fan page, so people can contact me for story ideas or to share comments on a story I have done. ——
Is Social Media Replacing Search Engines?
Marc Purtell – Any social interactions are going to continue to play more and more of a role in how search engines work. Recommendations from those in a consumer’s personal network are extremely impactful and search engines recognize this.
Content without social interaction in the form of likes, tweets, +1’s etc. is going to have a very hard time competing with content that engages people via social media. ——
Shawn Rosko – I do think it is becoming one of the more important factors, but it is still not totally taking over because there will always be an importance with technical and on page SEO. Google has come out and said that social signals are a factor when it comes to rankings, but without a sound site from an SEO standpoint already in place the social signals will not make a site do well alone. ——
Anthony DiMoro – I think Social Media has threatened search engines who have dominated the internet for years. Now, Social Media is becoming a legitimate option when people are searching for something online. Facebook has certainly led that charge and i think hashtags are a good way at finding relative conversations. To their credit, Google has jumped on the trend with Google+ which has certainly become viable. I just worry about how many different waters they are dipping their toes into, can they stay sharp and progressive?
I’ll be interested to see how the XBox One is launched and received. I believe Microsoft, who is responsible for Bing, is on the cutting edge with some interactive technology and to their credit, has been receptive to suggestion from users. A different and progressive form of interaction will be introduced with the XBox One which won’t primarily focus on gamers. They claim to have fused social interaction in their next-gen console and in an innovative fashion.
What I love about this is that it will evolve SEO and Social Media and introduce us to a more intellectual world of social interaction. ——
Common Things that Sports Bloggers/Websites Do that they Shouldn’t in terms of SEO and Social Media?
Anthony DiMoro – I always preach to steer clear from automation. While some instances of automation can be beneficial, a small percentage at that, I am a firm believer that it ends up “muddying” your initiative.
Checking your ego at the door is big in the Sports Talk industry, but you want to offer opinions and engage in friendly debates. As someone who has built a very good following on Twitter, it’s good to always think before you send a message and keep in mind not to bludgeon people with your content or your opinion.
If you’re social engagement is good, people will organically click on your links and go to your website.
Have enough confidence in your work to steer away from relying on automation.
There are some things that annoy me on Social Media. The Unfollowers.Me feature does more harm then good. Broadcasting how many people followed and/or unfollowed you will demonstrate a lack of human element and social awareness on your profile. If your tweets seem anyway robotic how can you expect people to take you or your brand seriously?
Another trend I am seeing pop up is allowing a 3rd party company to aggregate related tweets for your account (Roundteam). Essentially the idea is to select “contributors” to your twitter account and they can then send a tweet through your account, theirs and others.Why on Earth would you let anyone else speak for your brand? Especially someone who isn’t associated with your brand?!
Nothing speaks negatively about your brand or your work then allowing a 3rd party to tweet for you in an automated way. If you want people to take your brand and your work seriously, than you need to take your brand and work seriously by putting the time into every thing you do! ——
Shawn Rosko – Here I would say it is more of what many of them are not doing, and many of them are not engaging their readers and followers properly. They should be on their social profiles initiating conversations with their readers and fans. Many of them are using their social platforms to post sports updates and promote their own content. They should be out there asking more questions via polls, getting other peoples views on certain topics etc. ——
Marc Purtell – This may be more for professional teams and leagues, but there is often failure to convey a proper code of conduct to athletes. We see too often a firestorm start because of an offensive comment by a professional athlete that can ultimately hurt the larger organization. Conduct rules need to be made clear and enforced to avoid any PR nightmares. ——
Is Social Media Authority a Substitute for a Journalism Degree?
Freddie Coleman – No. You have to know the basics and being in the studio. Having an opinion or knowledge on Twitter is no substitute for that. ——
Lisa Guerrero – Absolutely Not. Social Media is an added skill set which you should be doing in addition to a degree in English or Journalism. Being good on social media isn’t enough, you need a good foundation of writing and the foundation of a degree. Social Media and a Degree need to be working together. I don’t think Social Media can take the place of a broadcast degree ——
WordPress is a Popular Platform to Build a Brand. What Tips Should People Using WordPress Utilize?
Sarah Gooding – More than 20% of sites on the web are running WordPress. WordPress.com just moved up to the #7th ranked website for traffic in the US. I believe its popularity is due to the fact that WordPress is open source. Anyone can use it for free and you also have the freedom to modify it however you wish. The development community surrounding WordPress is also very active and collaborative. WordPress is improving at a faster rate than many of its counterparts. Each new release provides a better publishing experience.
I’d recommend searching for themes at the WordPress.org Theme Directory. These themes are a great starting place. Everything theme listed on wordpress.org has passed a rigorous set of standards. No malicious code is allowed in any of these themes. Depending on your requirements, you can find some excellent themes for blogs, magazines, video blogs and more. For someone who is just getting started, WordPress.com is a great place to set up a free blog and test drive the platform.
The plugins you select depend on your site’s specific needs and the resources available at your host. In general you would want to have a plugin for each of these five areas: Google Analytics, Caching (Performance), Social Sharing, SEO and a plugin to handle Forms for contact, sales funnels, etc. ——
Anthony DiMoro – I’ve built the SportsRants and Elite Rank Media brands on WordPress and I think it’s a great platform to not only embrace, but immerse yourself with. While I am not the biggest fan of most of their SEO Plugins i give WordPress and their contributing developers credit for creativity and their understanding of every nuance of a website and blog.
There is so much talent pooled together in the WordPress community that only illustrates the cutting edge growth of WordPress throughout the years. ——
What Common Pitfalls Can Website Owners & Bloggers Fall Victim To?
Sarah Gooding –
3. Underestimating the importance of modern design ——
Anthony DiMoro – Understand the basics of SEO and Social Media and continue to evolve. This is the biggest separation I see in regards to many sports websites from common websites: a lack of SEO implementation. First, have a basic understanding of What Search Engines Value and also how to Structure Your Content to Drive Traffic. ——
Social Media Platforms & SEO Tools that You’re Probably Not Using….But Should Be
Anthony DiMoro – SEOBook is a favorite of mine, I love the tools, the insight and it’s an incredible tool if you are just getting your feet wet in SEO or an expert. You can learn a lot on this site as well as Moz.
Another cool tool is KnowEm.com. This is a perfect outlet for companies to explore their branding.
We see a lot of imposters taking brand names on social media accounts and either using it for spam purposes, to defame a brand or to simply attract followers. Knowem is a great tool you can use for branding. It will show you which social media sites your brand is visible on and can even help you build your presence across many social media platforms.
Marc Purtell – Online video is a very compelling marketing tool and there are still many businesses, both large and small, not leveraging a Youtube strategy. There is definitely still a great deal of untapped potential in Youtube.
Radian6 is a great tool for measuring social marketing efforts and sentiment around an individual or brand, but may not be a good fit for smaller campaigns as it is in a higher cost tier. I really like HootSuite for managing multiple social profiles as well as tracking them. ViralHeat is another good tool for measuring data across multiple platforms and accounts and presenting that data in an actionable format. ——
Shawn Rosko – Two platforms that I love and many people do not do much with are StumbleUpon and Reddit. These sites can be very powerful for brand awareness and by helping to obtain backlinks. Many people out there just do not understand how powerful they are or else they do not know how to use these sites to get the exposure and backlinks that can come from them. Another very important social platform that many people still ignore is Google+. Google+ does have a direct impact on rankings so it is to the point where more people need to realize this and start taking advantage of the platform.
I think using a tool like Hootsuite or Buffer is great. These tools allow them to schedule updates throughout the day. A great way to promote an article for writers is to start out tweeting it with the title and then also schedule out more updates every few hours. When scheduling updates on twitter it is important to find unique points in the article to use when they schedule the tweet or facebook update. it is annoying when they tweet or update something on their facebook and always just use the title.
The title is great the first time but after that each social update should be using a different point in the article. Scheduling also saves time in the long-run, you can schedule everything early in the day and then not have to worry about it again ——
Some Words of Advice
Anthony DiMoro – 1. Educate yourself on Social Media trends and SEO. Getting in the know regarding the advancements in these industries is essential to your growth. If you have a budget, it wouldn’t hurt gaining traction using SEO, especially if you are a big brand who wants an edge on the competition. But do your research when selecting an SEO Company.
2. Follow Social Media Brands that “Get it” in regards to Social Media. People may laugh but i really like the innovative steps a brand like WWE engages in. They have a clear and firm grasp on social media and have mastered integrating it within their brand. Don’t believe me? Spend an hour watching a live Monday Night Raw and count how many times they trend organically on Twitter. It will astonish you especially when you consider how much money major brands like the NFL spend to trend in the top spots yet WWE accomplishes this mostly organically.
3. Realize that every thing you do on social media leaves a lasting impression. Think before you tweet. Don’t take things personally and remember nothing is ever truly gone from the internet, even after you delete a tweet. ——
Freddie Coleman – 1. Always be curious – you DON’T know everything there is to know.
2. Respect the game – Be strong, but not disagreeable. Have a strong opinion and thought process, but don’t treat your opinion as fact.
3. It’s supposed to be fun – HAVE fun more often than not and know when to do that. ——
Lisa Guerrero – 1. Learn How to Write Well and continue to work on your writing skills because writing skills is the foundation of any good journalist.
2. Develop your own personal style. Find out what your strengths are and play to your strengths. Develop your own on-camera personality.
3. Use Social Media not just to promote your own stories or your show but also use it to reach out and ask a viewer for segment ideas, for show ideas, for information or leads on stories that are in their own community. Don’t just talk at people, talk with people. Use social media as a conversation not just a platform to promote what you do but to also listen to what people have to say about what you do ——
Shawn Rosko – ENGAGEMENT! Get to know your readers, ask them what they want to read about, ask their opinions. Do not be a billboard! Get involved in the conversation! ——
Marc Purtell – Engaging the audience is the most important thing they can do. Hosts/personalities can influence interaction by asking thought provoking questions to their audience and responding to comments from the audience. Beyond engagement, they need to invest in promoting their channels through paid media as well as measure results to see what types of content generate the most comments, what times of day seem to have the most engagement, etc. ——
As you can see, there are many ways that social media can be used, particularly on Twitter. Harnessing your talents and displaying them on Twitter is a calculated practice that can elevate your career in Sports Media. From SEO’s to Bloggers to Website owners and Sports Media, it’s critical to not only understand how to use these outlets well, but to use them in a way that casts the right light on your work.
Although this Roundtable discussion is complete we plan on having more in the future. But that’s not all the advice and tips we have for you regarding Social Media, Sports Media & SEO:
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