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Spice up your social strategy – sports teams are some of the best in the game


Sports teams are an instant starting point for conversation. When I see someone wearing a Warriors shirt in line at a coffee shop, I can’t help but talk to them. Similar interactions occur in the online domain. Social media provides an essential avenue for bringing strangers together with a little friendly banter. Indeed, sports and social media go hand-in-hand; watching games typically generates active participation, and for many, this means taking the conversation off the field and online by tweeting, posting, sharing, and commenting.

In a recent campaign, two New York soccer teams held a Twitter battle where the team who had the greatest Twitter presence secured an opportunity to light up the Empire State Building in its team colors. Both soccer squads circulated the twittersphere, with fans tweeting either #NYCFC for the New York City FC or #RBNY for the New York Red Bulls. While the New York City FC was ultimately the victor, the contest had positive externalities other than illuminating the city in one team’s colors; this campaign fostered genuine interactions and generated free exposure.

Twitter hosted a similar campaign for the Super Bowl XLVIII, in which fans would tweet their predictions for the winner of the match-up between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos. Turns out that Twitter was right – the hashtag champion was also the winner on the field.  

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Photo courtesy of Twitter Blog. 

Through calls-to-action and engagement opportunities, these platforms are practically begging for participation, and sports is an easy topic to get people talking. In another targeted campaign, Facebook used the NBA Finals as an opportunity to spark status updates.

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Photo courtesy of Social Times. 

This social strategy is a smart one because it pinpoints a popular event that the user is interested in, and invites him or her to respond by presenting the question: What’s on your mind?

Sports fans are in fact some of the most active social media users. In a recent survey of 10,000 women regarding the 2015 Women’s World Cup, 99% were considered to be active participants on social media, and 61% said they intended to use social media for updates on the action. 

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Photo courtesy of Social Times. 

With 73% of those surveyed using Facebook as their primary platform, this channel would be a great place to focus your brand’s next marketing effort. Kick off your campaign with calls-to-action – a crucial element in driving engagement.

The strategies behind these social campaigns can be extended beyond the realm of sports. Brands can utilize social channels by prompting customers to share their opinions through hashtag competitions, Instagram photo contests and polls. Get creative! If you score on social, chances are your brand will be a winner offline too! 

Social News Roundup | October 15,2014


1.  Social network campaigning


A new study by the Facebook Data Science Team reveals what politicians are talking about and what issues are dominating the landscape during midterm elections. Read more...


2.  Word games

social media apps 2014

Using the correct word when creating content can generate more likes, shares and retweets. Which words made the cut? Read more…


3.  The Huffington Post reigns supreme!


With more than 9.4 million shares, The Huffington Post is the most shared publication on Facebook. Read more…


4.  Facebook and sports fans, a match made in social media heaven.

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When it comes to sports talk, Facebook wins with 75% of respondents saying they use the platform to connect with other fans. Twitter took 37%. Read more…


5.  Trends impacting marketing to millennial mothers.

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Marketers are focusing on millennial moms, with an estimate of $170 billion in purchase power. Read more…


6.  Marketers retargeting, spending more.

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A new study shows that 48% of marketers are using social media for retargeting purposes, 67.1% of respondents intend to spend more. Read more…


7.  Millennial travel plans

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Recent studies reveal that 44% of Millennials use Facebook and Twitter for travel planning. Read more…


8.  Tweeting ‘Dead’

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AMC’s original series, The Walking Dead, sets Twitter records during its season five premiere, generating more than 1.3 million tweets. Read more…


9.  How I met my social media friend.

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According to a new study, one in three British teens, ages 15-18, have met their social media friend, 25% say they are happier on social than real life. Read more…

Social News Roundup | October 10,2014


1. Keeping up with the mobile generation.


A new survey finds that 74% of Millennials say social media helps them stay up to date with family and friends. Read more... 


2. Mr. Smith goes to Washington, Twitter style!

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After being prohibited from reporting on the scope of surveillance of its users by the government,Twitter takes the fight to Washington, filing a Transparency Lawsuit. Read more... 


3. The Millennial struggle 


A recent study discovers that 40% of Millennials say brands don’t take them seriously. Brands are finding new ways to reach out to Millennials and spread brand awareness.  Read more... 


4. Sharing the birthday love 

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Instagram shows Starbucks, Red Bull, Marc Jacobs, Billboard and NatGeo some birthday love as it celebrated its 4th birthday. Read more... 


5. Logged in and ready


New reports suggest that Facebook’s social logins rose 2 percent in the 3rd Quarter to 46%, mostly driven by entertainment. Twitter posted a 1.3 gain in social media login, driven by consumer brand sites. Read more... 


6. All I want for Christmas is social referrals!

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The Holiday season is just around the corner and you need to have strategies in place for the busiest shopping season. A new survey says that 49% of consumers will make purchases based just off social referrals alone. Read more... 


7. Twitter rising…

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With more than 271 million active users, Twitter offers many opportunities for brands and consumers to connect, with photos creating some of the highest engagement rates. Read more... 


8. Social media, the new customer experience?

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Social media gives consumers a bigger voice and research shows that 72% of them expect a quick response from brands within the hour, 50% communicate with brands via social media rather than call customer service. Read more... 


9. Facebook playing around with anonymous sharing.

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Facebook is getting ready to launch an app that allows users to interact with other users anonymously by allowing them to use pseudonyms. Read more... 


10. Instagram gets the big picture

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Embedded photos on Instagram will now be bigger and clearer thanks to the improvements they launched on Thursday. Read more... 

Social News Roundup | October 2, 2014


1. Say Ello to the new kid in town

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Is this ad-free social network site, created by a small group of artists and designers, really the anti-Facebook of social media? Read more... 


2. Brands take their message to Latin America.


Social media users in Latin America are projected to hit 300 million by 2017. Brands are jumping on the opportunity by putting more than $500 million into marketing to region next year. Read more...


3. Facebook puts Atlas on the map


The social network giant is tackling the next marketing challenges with the re-launch of Atlas, an ad platform that allows you to target users off Facebook but with Facebook targeting. Read more...

4. The Facebook News Network?


A recent study revealed that three in ten Americans get their news from Facebook. Read more...


5. Brace yourselves, Pinterest is coming…


If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. Pinterest is getting ready to take on Facebook and they have the numbers to make a significant impact. Read more...


6. House of Content


Kevin Spacey, star of Netflix’s original series House of Cards, shows his marketing savvy as discusses his Three Pillars of Content. Read more...

7. One size fits all


Google announces new ad tools that are tailored to fit any mobile screen. How will this impact how brands reach out to their consumers? Read more...



5 Real-Time Marketing Tactics for the Oscars


The Oscars is a great time for brands to take advantage of real-time marketing — it’s a night full of celebrities, entertainment, and second screen social engagement with millions of Americans who are tuning in. Here are some tips for your brand to prepare for this year’s big moments.

1. Incorporate your real-time channels. Post your messages simultaneously on Twitter and other networks. Your audience may be watching live and browsing on multiple channels. You want to be sure your content will be wherever they are looking.

2. Be human. Remember your content should be adding to the experience of the show. So, participate in show like the audience does. People are more likely to respond to your messages if you behave like them.

3. There will be many quotes, surprises, and funny moments onstage and in the press room. Remember Jennifer Lawrence’s epic fall last year? That went viral right away on the Internet. Keep your eyes both on the television and online to monitor the trends while thinking about how your brand can mingle with the show.

4. Follow The Academy (@TheAcademy) to see backstage moments in the Green Room during the Oscars. Thanks to Twitter Mirror (@TwitterMirror), a mirror-shape machine offstage at awards shows, celebs can easily take selfies and tweet them spontaneously during the show. It'd be fun to see what people are doing off-camera.

5. Research the nominees for links to your brand. Maybe your products have appeared somewhere in a film or is mentioned by certain characters. Use this opportunity to show your support for an actor/actress or a candidate that is special to your brand. (For example, the nomination for "HER" will be great for Apple!)

Real-time marketing is an everyday habit. While it takes long-term commitment to engage your social audience, you will find it most rewarding during big events, when you see your daily devotion pay back with the followers and new faces responding to your messages like never before.

See you on the Oscars stream!

Have You Seen My Hat?


While last Sunday's GRAMMYs showcased some amazing helmets and hats that you will surely see on the street this year, brands took this opportunity in the social space and reacted promptly by claiming rights to the most wanted prize – Pharrell Williams' oversized hat. During big events like this, marketers jump on the opportunity to make funny content and gain brand exposure.

Here are some brilliant brand tweets that might inspire you for the next big event, such as the Oscars on March 2.

Arby's certainly was the secret sponsor behind the hat. 

Or maybe it was Smokey Bear's. 

They looked pretty good together. 

Who knew laundry detergent could be a trendsetter?

Vogue revealed that it's vintage style. 

It's officially on ELLE Magazine. 

Professor Snape wasn't happy about the stolen Sorting Hat. 

And then there is Pharrell-hat-inspired art, from Toy Story...

To the New Yorker illustration. 

Finally, Quaker Man found his counterpart on the red carpet — now we know why he's smiling.

To make a splash during the Oscars for your own brand, look out for celebrities wearing funky clothing, making funny faces in the audience, and their meme-worthy moments onstage and backstage. We know you love celeb-initiated memes like "Lawrencing" as much as we do!

In Social Media, You Get What You Give

You Get What You Give by Merlin U Ward

We’ve all heard about the big brand bloopers of social media: hashtags hijacked by angry consumers trying to mock the brand, and pushy brand tweets attempting to tie product into occasions they probably should not. There have even been sites created like Condescending Corporate Brand Page and Real-time Marketing Sucks that highlight the funniest and most ridiculous of them all. It is clear that many brands still need guidance to build policies and protocols for their social media marketing. That is why I wrote You Get What You Give

These mishaps happen for two reasons:

1. Brands are treating social media like other advertising or marketing mediums.
2. Brands are forgetting that their audience is made up of people.

An excerpt from the “The Community Experience Strategy” chapter of the book speaks to these issues well.

Your community is made up of people. Real people. As people, they have needs, which can be described by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: food, shelter, friends, esteem and recognition. You can be safe in the assumption that if they are buying your brand, you will not need to provide food or shelter, but you will need to give a sense of esteem and in some cases even fulfill the need for belonging. This is where using a conversational voice and behaving like a friend becomes very important and effective for your brand.
As your brand leads the community of fans and advocates, it must constantly remind them why they are there. In the “you get what you give” ecosystem, to gain more love, you must give more. Over time, your audience will become accustomed to your day-to-day content. Unless they are engaged creatively or have a reason to come back regularly, they will fade away over time. This is inevitable. As a brand on social media, part of your mission is to perpetuate the affinity for your brand by getting new people to join your audience and by creating stories that attract your fans’ friends. “Likes” and praising comments can be effective and tactful, but you must also create actions that can support the business goals of your brand. You are a business and must run like a business, so it’s understandable that entertaining your consumers and making them feel involved can be difficult to justify when you still need to make ends meet.

You Get What You Give has principles for marketing on social media. These simple rules will help your brand avoid the major pitfalls you have heard about, and most importantly, stay out of the news for the wrong reasons. The book covers building social media policies for your internal teams and social media guidelines for your fans and followers. It also dives into the differences between “health metrics” and business metrics, why they matter, and how to tie them to your social media activates.

The book revolves around the idea that brands must first give value to their audience before getting anything in return. This is a core principle in social media that Renegade abides by. The Internet is not a push-and-take environment—it is a give-and-get environment. What you get is not always tied directly to the bottom line, either. Depending on your strategy (Branding, Customers Service, Community Experience, Innovation or Sales) what you get may be tied to an operational business metric, like churn, lifetime value of a customer, or customer service tickets. These are the outcomes businesses need to start considering when measuring their social media impact and striving to connect in their everyday processes.

At Renegade, we want your brand to make headlines for the right reasons. Do something profound for your audience, make them feel special, and give them reason to spread the word around your brand. A little product pushing every now and then is okay, but remember that you’re building a group of customers for the long term.


3 Reasons Why Your Social Media Strategy Isn't Working: #1- Poor Research


This is the scenario: Your company does everything it’s supposed to do when it comes to social. You sign up for all the major social networks, create visually appealing content and a content calendar, but then something weird happens.

You’ll start posting and only receive a few Likes and not much other engagement. What’s wrong with your social media strategy? Right now you probably have your head in your hands, trying to figure it out. It’s OK, we’ve got three reasons to explain why your social media strategy isn’t working; here’s the first of them:

Your research wasn’t strong enough.

The purpose of research is to make sure every piece of forthcoming content that is created, carries your brand’s message and resonates with your audience. To do this, exhaustive levels of research are needed. When conducting research, the most important things to consider are; what words your audience is using (keywords), what they’re saying about your brand, how they interact with each other and their voice. This will allow you to create content that drives engagement amongst your target audience.

Below are a couple of examples of brands that are creating great content on social because they really got to know their audience:


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Can you see typical Coke drinkers asking themselves this? Even though this image is simple, it says that Coke is listening to how their customers are interacting with their product. This shows that Coke is paying attention to what online users are saying about their brand and doing so in a way that encourages interaction. And it doesn’t directly push the product—Coca-Cola knows users don’t like being directly marketed to on social media. It’s not hard to imagine that someone posted the question about how many sips a can contains on Coke’s wall, and the question then became inspiration for content. It’s a question that most users of this product ask themselves and is proven by the large number of engagement they received for this post.


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In GOOD’s bio, it simply states that it is a “…platform for its members to share what’s good to learn and do in pursuit of individual and collective progress.” That’s a defining statement. By taking the word “learn,” GOOD expresses it knows that most of its fans practice that behavior through reading. They’ve coupled that with content tailored for their bookworm audience, such as pictures of well-designed furniture for reading, knowing that this type of content will drive engagement. They also know that by simply asking for shares they’ll get them, which is why this piece of content received the highest amount of shares in that week.

Stay tuned for reason number 2 why your social media strategy isn’t working.

Facebook Builds Brand Engagement Your Posts!


A new feature you may have seen on Facebook caught our eye this week. A friend posts an article on Facebook and you comment, then… BAM! “Like Page” pops up. Good news for brands!

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The image above shows a post that appeared in my newsfeed linking to a article.

Post with comment

As soon a I commented on this post, the “Like Page” pop-up appears below the article preview.  The same thing happens when I Like posts.

This is different from the Page post ads that brands can buy to appear on timelines, which have been the target of some controversy after disappearing in November 2012. Unlike these ads, the Like Button appears on users posts that they have opted to share themselves.

So far Renegade has only seen this on posts of articles by publications that have Facebook Pages. It’s a seamless integration of the like button for anyone who engages with the post, friend or not. However, given the coming changes with the News Feed, it’s likely this feature will be integrated into all shared page posts and website links (as long as the website has a FB page). In this way it would work much like Google Authorship and search results. It’s the perfect way to keep page engagement rising, so make sure you’re creating content that people will share.


YouTube Channel Changes


YouTube announced Monday that they are making what we believe to be EPIC changes to the channel options. Other than an overall layout change, there are two new features that we at Renegade are excited about.

New YouTube Channel

1) Channel Trailer
On the new channel, you can put up a special trailer video that appears only to users who are not subscribed to your channel. This is a great opportunity to engage browsing visitors and capture them! Plus it is a chance to set the expectations for what your channel is all about!

2) Channel Art
Finally! The coveted header banner will be available to all users. Channel art is branding that goes beyond just the background image and it is seen on mobile phones, tablets, and in the hovercard anywhere on the site!  Here is a template and guidelines on how to start creating channel art.

While we’re really excited about this, not everyone seems to be. The comments on the announcement are littered with foul-mouthed trolls. As an agency we’ve been trying for a year to figure out how to give our clients sexier YouTube channels without having to pay the big advertising sums. Interesting how the users themselves seem to be against this change. 

Is this just a case of fear of the unknown and social network change backlash? How do you feel about the changes? 

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