As social media continues to grow and as people depend on it more than ever for their primary source of information, businesses and organizations must adapt to provide the most efficient and thorough type of coverage possible. In my opinion, great social media coverage is the result of a sound plan and superior organization. While many day-to-day tasks and campaign initiatives within a social media program can usually get tended to by the designated new media person, other situations call for a more collaborative effort from other people on staff.
In my position at Grizzly Athletics I call on my fellow co-workers in the marketing department along with our team of interns to assist me with gameday social media execution. Whereas at one point in the past I used to handle every detail myself it became apparent over time that in order to keep moving our program forward I needed help. This past football season and so far this basketball season our social coverage has consisted of a successful, collaborative effort.
I am trying to push myself to extend our fruitful teamwork oriented social media strategy past just gameday efforts. A huge emphasis for us within Grizzly Athletics is community service. Our student-athletes go above and beyond serving the Missoula community and we make it a priority to showcase the amazing work they are doing through our new media channels. Today our student-athletes took on yet another new community service project. At the same time, Griz Marketing took on a new social media collaboration plan.
This afternoon members from our Griz basketball team and Lady Griz basketball team went to the Missoula YMCA to hang out with kids from the Active 6 program. Our student-athletes shot hoops, played tag, and goofed around with a group of roughly 30 sixth graders. Although I know all the details and although I feel like I know all the kids who were there, I didn’t get anywhere close to the YMCA today. While the Active 6 program kids had a special experience spending time with community heroes like Kareem Jamar and Kellie Cole I stayed holed up in my office. This was of course by design.
At the YMCA covering the event for Grizzly Athletics was Marketing Director Brynn Molloy. While the athletes and kids enjoyed each other’s company, Brynn captured all the action via pictures and video. As she documented the fun she sent the media to me where I sat in my office with my iPhone in hand and desktop computer in front of me. As I received the content I distributed it across three different Twitter accounts, three different Facebook pages, and our main Instagram account. The process worked flawlessly.
Dividing up these duties no doubt made our coverage more thorough, efficient, and engaging. Brynn had the task of capturing media that told the story of the community service project. I had the duty of taking the content she provided me with and appropriately distributing it throughout our various social media channels. By splitting up these duties we each took different stresses off of each other. Brynn just had to worry about taking compelling photos and videos as opposed to capturing her content and then logging on to various social media services, composing captions, and then posting. That takes a lot of time! Going through that process makes it very easy to miss the action between the student-athletes and kids. I on the other hand had the luxury of sitting in an office and using every tool at my disposal to correctly format the media. If I couldn’t remember the correct spelling of someone’s last name I had the online roster loaded up and ready to go. Instead of hastily typing out everything on my iPhone I could use my desktop keyboard to safeguard against any errors. I didn’t have to worry about my device going dead because I had it plugged in. With high speed internet I never had to fret once about something not posting. We had an organized plan and it worked very well.
Of course both people in an operation like this must have advanced social media knowledge. Not anyone can take photos that are fit for 100,000 people to see (I have seen more than my share of blurry photos or images taken 20 feet from the action). Nor can anyone be trusted to post content (How many times have you seen a post on a Facebook page that you knew didn’t fit?). But if you have the personnel to do something like this go for it! Not only do you upgrade the quality and depth of your content, you also save time. Most importantly though, you get more people contributing. Social media, just like anything else, is more rewarding when it is a collaborative effort. Don’t Blink.