Archive for February 27, 2012

Linsanity on Social Media – How Lin Has Sparked The Knicks’ Online Audience


Jeremy Lin has officially gone viral – and the New York Knicks are seizing the chance to energize their social media game by cashing in on Lin’s stellar rise, racking up big increases in online audience numbers.

Lin’s spectacular “talent finally gets its due” story combined with his captivating on-the-court performance has catapulted him to overnight stardom and turned around the Knicks’ lackluster season – all the while transforming the Knicks’ social media presence.

In fact, Lin’s meteoric rise from bench warmer to starter matches the Knicks’ insane boost in online audience numbers game for game. Prior to his first big game against the New Jersey Nets on February 4th, the Knicks’ audience was only increasing at the same steady pace as every other NBA team. Starting February 2nd, with a loss against the Chicago Bulls, the Knicks were at around 1.59 million social media fans across all social media platforms.

Lin’s stunning 25-point breakout against the Nets kicked off Linsanity and a three-week-long spike in the Knicks’ total social audience across Facebook and Twitter. 

With each Linspirational victory, the Knicks’ audience numbers enjoyed a corresponding bump, adding around 500,000 fans and followers and bringing them to a current social audience of over 2 million. In the meantime, the average NBA team has only added around 100,000 in audience.

All this new attention has lifted the Knicks to the number 4 spot on Track Social’s NBA Social Media Leaderboard. The Knicks now come in behind the Miami Heat, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls – all big market teams with much better season records.

But how do the Knicks keep this social media streak going?

Like any good coach will tell you: When a player’s hot, give him the ball.

That’s why Jeremy Lin is now the face of the Knicks. Literally.

Not only have the Knicks changed their Facebook icon to a picture of Lin, but just two weeks ago, as Lin-sanity was starting to take hold, the team launched a new Facebook app to capitalize on all the new attention. “Like the Knicks” is about as simple as it gets: a picture of Jeremy Lin “shooting” for the Like button. If that weren’t enough, Lin is also dominating Twitter with millions of mentions since the onset of Linsanity.

By flooding Facebook, Twitter and their official website with Lin quotes, clips, pics and stats, the Knicks are making sure their on-the-court sensation remains a social media bonanza. A banner add for the Knicks’ free official iPhone/Android app sums it up nicely: “Want the latest ‘Lin-sanity’ news and videos? There’s an app for that.”

Lin is the kind of instant sensation that social media is made for: a tenacious talent that finally gets his shot at the big time and does what nobody expected him to do. It’s the kind of story that makes Fans out of spectators and gets us engaged – both online and at the game.

For all the latest on what the NBA Teams are doing on social media, including a live stream of NBA social media news and our interactive social brand map, check out the Track Social NBA Team Zone!

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Facebook is for Brands, Twitter is for News, LinkedIn is for High-Tech

Track Social used its proprietary Social Brand Leaderboards to look at the leading brands by audience on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The results were expected, yet surprising.

Facebook is for Brands

  1.       Facebook
  2.       YouTube
  3.       Disney
  4.       Coca-Cola
  5.       MTV
  6.       Starbucks
  7.       Red Bull
  8.       Oreo
  9.       Converse
  10.     Skittles

At First Glance: Facebook is used to promote consumer brands that have broad, emotional appeal.

*All Leaderboards in this article are ranked according to the total aggregate audience size of the company on each social media platform (note: it is possible for an individual company to have multiple social media accounts on a given platform). Also note that Track Social does not track individuals or celebrities – it is the premier source of Social Media Analytics for businesses.

When Facebook began allowing companies to set up their own profiles, the real boon for brands was the ability to occupy the same online space as consumers’ friends and acquaintances. After all, online space very quickly translated to occupying the same mental space. Consumers could think of their interaction with brands in the same way they thought of their interaction with people: they could have conversations, share content, and exchange information. They could have a relationship with their Fans.

It’s no wonder, then, that younger-skewing consumer brands consistently dominate Track Social’s Top 10 for Facebook audience numbers. Brands like Coca-Cola, Disney and MTV are best able to exploit Facebook’s inherent value proposition and connect to consumers one-on-one through entertaining posts, special content, and exclusive deals.

Twitter is for News

  1.       Twitter
  2.       CNN
  3.       YouTube
  4.       The New York Times
  5.       Google
  6.       BBC
  7.       Apple
  8.       Disney
  9.       NBA
  10.     People Magazine

At First Glance: Whether it’s breaking news, sports news, or celebrity ‘news’, Twitter is for news.

Twitter’s infamous 140 character limit doesn’t suit everyone. But it does work for pithy headlines, instant updates and late-breaking announcements. That’s why news organizations consistently dominate Track Social’s Twitter Top 10. Thinking of Twitter as a highly time-sensitive linking service for information and buzz generation will help organizations determine how to approach their Twitter strategies. Without regularly churning out useful new content or posting timely, exclusive deals, Twitter accounts will have little to offer consumers.

LinkedIn is for High-Tech

  1.       IBM
  2.       Hewlett-Packard
  3.       Microsoft
  4.       Accenture
  5.       Google
  6.       Deloitte
  7.       Apple
  8.       Oracle
  9.       General Electric
  10.     Dell

At First Glance: High-tech corporations dominate LinkedIn’s top ten.

LinkedIn’s special place in the social media pantheon has always been professional networking. Additionally it has been a central source of truth for corporate information, and many companies are encouraging their employees to connect their profiles to the company profile in order to bolster their presence. It is not surprising then that large corporations would dominate the LinkedIn leaderboards. What is surprising is how many high-tech companies are in the top ten – in fact it is dominated by them.

Does this mean if you’re not a tech company on LinkedIn or you’re not a news outlet on Twitter or a mega-brand on Facebook that these outlets are wastes of time? Of course not. But it does give an overriding indication of how these different platforms are being used. They are distinct ways to reach out to specific market segments – and knowing the strengths and limitations of each platform will better help any organization determine where to put their energy and resources to maximize their social media success.

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How Social Media Can Get You Laid on Valentine’s Day

February 14th: the most unavoidable day of the year. So why not just embrace it? Single or attached, guy or gal, gay or straight, everyone can use a little extra help getting laid this Valentine’s Day.  That’s where social media comes in. Brands of all sorts are taking advantage of this Hallmark holiday to market themselves to social users and luckily, Track Social has been keeping track of all Valentine-related Facebook Tabs.  Here’s a select few which can help shape how you spend the evening of February 14th:

*Wine Me, Dine Me…* 

A night out and a good meal is the obvious ticket. Bonefish Grill’s “The Good the Bad and the Ugly” asks users to confess their best (or worst) memorable date stories for the chance to win a $25 gift certificate. For those who have either been swept off their feet, or have experienced a forgettable date (to put nicely), it’s time to cash in.

Meanwhile, over at White Castle, (because nothing says romance like a fast food hamburger chain), they’re turning this joint into a sit-down restaurant and offering reservations throughout the week with its “Valentine’s Day Reservations” Tab. With each reservation comes with it a free dessert, how easy and sexy! And on top of free dessert, White Castle is also allowing Facebook Fans to submit their best “lovey-dovey photo” for a chance to win matching t-shirts (yay!) and a special Valentine’s Day Dinner Kit. For a rare few, burgers, free dessert, and matching t-shirts are just what’s needed to get hot and steamy in bed.

*Retail Romance Valentines* 

Tommy Hilfiger’s got a lovely Facebook Tab called “Share the Love” – an inventive way for users to make and send customized valentines through Facebook. The tab allows you to “create” your valentine in three different ways: by “knitting”, with scrabble letters, or with neon lights. “Awwws” are certainly in order.  Thank you Tommy Hilfiger for realizing that it’s the little things that count.  Tabs like this offer a new twist on an old idea and is definitely fun to play with.  Plus, after receiving such a cute and personalized valentine, how could anyone resist?

*Show Them You’re a Good Person* 

If the fastest way to your special someone’s – um – heart, is by appealing to his or her humanitarian instincts, check out Macy’s “Follow Your Heart” Facebook Tab. “Liking” Macy’s allows you to create and send a Facebook Valentine to your special someone – and for each Valentine sent, Macy’s will donate $2 (up to $250,000) to the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement. Two birds. One stone.

*Back to My Place? Watch A Movie?* 

Everyone knows the foreplay starts on the couch while “watching a movie.” Which movie? Doesn’t matter. So why not use your free rental from Redbox? Their “Valentines” Tab lets you send a free rental to someone. Behold! A virtual Valentine that someone might find worthwhile to receive!

*Sexy Escape*

This last one is pretty much a shoo-in.  Aside from restaurants, retailers, and movie rental companies, the hospitality industry is another one looking to cash in on this Hallmark holiday.  For example, Hotel Monteleon in New Orleans is generously helping one lucky couple get laid with its “Valentine Getaway” Tab. The process to win the romantic package getaway couldn’t be easier: after “Liking” the Facebook page, just submit some basic info. The prized package? A sweet suite at Hotel Monteleon on Valentine’s Day.  But that’s not it – this getaway also includes champagne, chocolates, drinks, room service dinner, breakfast, and a restaurant gift certificate for future use. Man. Talk about the perfect recipe for romance. If that doesn’t help get you laid, nothing will.

So remember, this Valentine’s Day social media’s here to play to wingman. But if you do manage to seal the deal, a word to the wise – best not to tweet about it.

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Social Media Predicts the Super Bowl

It’s that time of the year again.  When the pizza sales skyrocket, the DVRs are set to record commercials, and when Disneyland experiences one of its least hectic days of the year.  While football fanatics are busy looking at the season’s stats, analyzing injuries, and comparing players, Track Social has swum thousands of laps in its gridiron-sized swimming pool filled with data, and used robust mathematical models to give us the wisdom we all seek…

Track Social has discovered how to translate Social Media Activity into Super Bowl Victory.

Turns out that, just like the real thing, the Social Bowl gets played in four quarters, each quarter representing one of the four pillars of social media success: Presence, Audience, Engagement, and Buzz.

All we have to do is analyze the teams’ performance on these metrics, and we can predict which team will proudly raise the Super Bowl Lombardi trophy this Sunday. So will it be the redemption seeking New England Patriots? Or will it be another upset by the New York Giants?  Let’s get to the game to find out!

1st Quarter: Social Presence

Social Media Presence measures a team’s visibility online, how well established and active it is on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Establishing a dynamic online presence is the first step in capturing a social media audience, and in this quarter, the Pats are starting off strong with a Track Social grade of A.   As for the Giants?  B+.  The Pats dominated the first quarter, now onto the second!

Patriots: A
Giants: B+
Social Presence Winner: Patriots

2nd Quarter: Social Audience

The Audience category measures the total number of ongoing relationships a team has formed through Likes and Follows. While both teams received “A” grades, for having solid social fan bases, we’re giving this one to the Pats.  Why?  Because on Facebook alone, the Pats have well over 3 million fans, nearly twice as many as the Giants.  With just 1.6 million fans, the Giants have some catching up to do.   They’re seizing the chance to rack up as many new Fans as possible as they head toward the big game. Now, a team’s performance on the field is obviously a huge factor in generating new Likes and Follows and both teams stand to gain significant numbers this week. But all that new activity doesn’t guarantee success in the third quarter.

Patriots: A
Giants: A
Social Audience Winner: Patriots

3rd Quarter: Social Engagement

Engagement is about how successful a brand’s social media interactions are with consumers. In other words, when a team posts or tweets, does anybody care? Are there crickets or are there outpourings of comments, likes, and retweets? It’s possible for a team to rack up big numbers of Facebook Fans and still not capitalize on that audience if their online interactions fail to keep fans engaged. That’s why the game is never won or lost in just the first half. In this quarter, the Giants make a game of it – it’s a near tie in the engagement category with both teams receiving perfect grades. Charging up an already excited fan base is one of the best ways social media can magnify a brand’s momentum.  And you can only imagine how crazy the fans get when their teams make the Superbowl.

Patriots: A+
Giants: A+
Social Engagement Winner: Tie

4th Quarter: Social Buzz

The 4th quarter is crunch time and in social media, Buzz is what the big plays are all about. Buzz is a measure of how much people are talking with, at, and about a brand in the Social Media Universe. Audience numbers and engagement scores definitely play into a brand’s Buzz, but so does the general level of chatter about all things related to a brand. Say for example you were playing in the Super Bowl – you might expect that to generate some Buzz! And so this quarter was close once again, A+’s to both teams! Another tie!

Patriots: A+
Giants: A+
Social Buzz Winner: Tie

And the Winner is…

When taken together, Track Social’s four Social Pillars: Presence, Audience, Engagement and Buzz, represent the most comprehensive metrics-based approached to understanding how and why some brands succeed online while others lag behind. And when it comes to the Social Super Bowl, hands down the trophy goes to the Patriots.  Straight A’s ain’t easy, but leave it to the Pats to be a Social Media powerhouse.

So we boldly proclaim: congratulations to the winners of Super Bowl XLVI, the New England Patriots!

Be sure to check out Track Social’s NFL Zone for all the latest news on what your favorite NFL teams are doing on social media!

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