Social Media Showcase – Army, NFL


These pillows may be ugly, but Army sure knows their audience!

I was reading a couple of Mashable articles today that showcase some ways that big time brands are using social media in innovative ways.

U.S. Army on Pinterest – Know Your Audience

In this earlier post, I discussed some ways that businesses could build interest with Pinterest. In this article, “The U.S. Army Uses Pinterest? Sir, Yes Sir!” by Alex Fitzpatrick, it is noted that the Army is very progressive as far as sharing and openness when compared to most government entities.

Even more impressive is the way the army has identified the demographics they want to reach through each social media medium, rather than broadcasting generic messages to every platform.

Fitzpatrick notes:

“The Army’s five-person social media team has a presence on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Google+, Vimeo, and it has an “Army Live Blog.” Each profile is fine-tuned to the particular platform’s user base. And they’re all awash in followers — almost two million on Facebook and over 120,000 on Twitter, for example.”

Pinterest has an audience that is 97% female, and the Army’s presence on Pinterest has been tailored thusly.

Fitzpatrick adds:

“We think that most of our followers so far are Army spouses,” says (Juanita Chang, director of the U.S. Army’s online and social media division). But, she is also “careful to ensure that our pins would appeal to a wide audience, not just women.”

“The Army’s Pinterest boards include topics such as “Goodwill,” “Humanitarian Relief,” and “HOOAH!.” Each board is designed to show some aspect of Army life and the Army’s mission or to connect with Army families (“DIY & Decor,” for instance, might be a favorite among Army moms).”

One of the wealthiest entities in the world has figured out how to get social media work done for free.

The NFL – Dominating TV Ratings and Social Media

Another great Mashable article, “NFL Player Promoters Will Help NFL Dominate Social Media” by Alissa Skelton notes the means by which the NFL is exploiting the social media concept of influencers and connectors to build awareness.

Skelton notes:

“United Way is looking for social media interns to promote the philanthropy efforts of the 32 NFL teams and each team’s United Way spokesperson to help the organizations dominate social media.

“The interns will be called player promoters — not interns — and will be assigned an NFL player to promote. The main goal of the position is to drive traffic to the NFL player’s social media accounts to increase the player’s following, so United Way’s message will reach more people. Although unpaid, this opportunity is a chance for college sports junkies — who are social media savvy — to be noticed by their favorite NFL players and to increase their own social media following.”

Rather than hiring someone to boost their online presence, the NFL is allowing social media mavens to do the work for them.   They have found people who were looking to build an online presence anyway, people who are already dedicated to spending time cultivating an audience, and are getting those people to dedicate their efforts to promoting the NFL – pretty ingenious if you ask me.

These examples show how inexpensive social media can be, yet how far its reach is.  Remember – the Army has a staff of five social media employees, and the NFL is getting the work done for free. Think about the ROI compared to a TV ad.

Do you have any great examples of companies that have a really firm understanding of the many ways to reach audiences through social media? Please share!

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2 comments on “Social Media Showcase – Army, NFL

  1. An example that I found memorable is that of Coke. From what I understand, its Facebook page was started by fans so the brand had to give up a bit of control regarding the message — that can be a leap. I believe Coke later hired the fans for their social media outreach.

    • rsj8000 says:

      Thanks! Speaking of social media power over large brands, what do you think about the Gap revel of the new logo that was repealed after online outrage?

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