Monitoring Brand Trends: ‘Tebowing’ Your Image

Posted on Jan 14, 2012 by

Recently, widespread refocusing of brand strategies and social media policies have been rooted in  the fear of negative press and potential brand crises. Too often brands and industries adopt defensive campaigns too late, waiting for a crisis to roll out before beginning to monitor their digital legacies. As brands grow their social media presence, and more agents of the brand become active users, it becomes harder and harder to control the digital footprint that is being created.  The main danger for sports teams in the growing social media world is how vulnerable the reputations of the teams and brands become when factoring in the growing numbers of players, coaches, and departments actively sharing on social media platforms.   Conversely, greater numbers of brand representatives on social media can increase the opportunities to generate positive buzz, and take it viral.

Monitoring social media is of course critical during a crisis to know what is being said about your brand, and to identify and engage active influencers of your market, but it ‘s equally as important and possibly even more powerful to do both in times of good brand standing.  Knowing what your audience is saying, and how your brand’s digital shadow is being shaped is vital, as is knowing how your brand is being represented by all those affiliated with it.

Infamous examples of social media disasters are fueling the defensive stances of many brands, but tracking your full digital legacy and identifying which of your representatives are positively representing the brand, engaging with your audience, and ranking high in influence is perhaps more important for your brand’s reputation management overall.  Being proactive allows you to leverage the online reputation to benefit the whole.  Last year CNBC released a list of athletes names and twitter handles, ranking as top influencers in the industry on social media.  The article highlights the top influencer, Chad Ochocinco (Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver and former DWTS contestant), and the very strategic move by the NFL commissioner in reaching out to him during the labor battle. By reaching out to one of the league’s top influencers, the commissioner was guaranteeing publicity for himself and the League during a sensitive time for both.

Recently the social media world has seen an explosion of positive trending in sports, gaining unbelievable momentum for the league, and the image of one team’s quarterback. For once, neither Tom Brady nor Brett Favre are the quarterbacks in the spotlight.  Tim Tebow is a household name. The tag of #Tebow has been trending through twitter just as ‘Tebowing’ has become one of the most frequently mimicked gestures in the country.

While technically Tim Tebow represents the National Football League, and the Denver Bronco’s, he has developed a brand image of his own, transcending many previous boundaries among fans, teams, and the public.  This trend is developing positive images and buzz for all that he represents, and undoubtedly raising him to the top of current influencers.  During ESPN’s SportsCenter this past Thursday, ‘Tebow’ was said over 88 times during the hour segment, and was mockingly renamed ‘TebowCenter’ by Deadspin.

So, what are we learning from this example? While social media can be an added risk for a brand if the operators and implementers do not have a clear strategy, it can have power to benefit and build up a brand when executed well.  Developing an offensive approach to social media strategy by auditing web conversations, involving the brand and select topics, goes beyond crisis prevention.  By knowing what the strengths and gaps are in your social media strategy, and identifying what is being said about your brand, and by whom, you are creating a valuable opportunity. Proactively highlighting positive buzz and engaging with brand influencers is another major benefit of having an offensive monitoring strategy, cultivating the power to more positively shape and exponentially increase your buzz.  One thing is for certain, when your brand has positive buzz it’s important to be aware of it, and more important to make your audience aware. You can’t amplify what you don’t know about.

Don’t wait for a crisis to hit or a campaign to flop to find out what’s being said about your brand.  Actively create and track your digital legacy with BuzzMgr’s brand audits and monitoring.   Tebow it by creating your own offensive line and the chance to score some points for your brand.  For a free demo of the BuzzMgr monitoring tool and services, email or call 1.704-541-5942

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