P024: The Universal Language of Futbol

Last week’s article yielded some great discussions about finding and building an audience. My main man Jon kicked it off with some tips about writing things that people want to read. I mean, that sounds obvious as I’m typing it out, but the way he phrased it was really inspiring. Analytical genius Sarah filled in some gaps I had about using those Adwords gift certificates that are constantly getting sent to me in the mail so be prepared to click those paid search ads. There was even the suggestion that I should use crowdsourcing to raise my numbers.

Now, you may be thinking like these ideas sound like a lot of work for a newsletter that is written in my limited spare time for no money. With that in mind, I just did what comes naturally and Googled “how to build an audience.” The first result is a 2100 word Mashable article so I guess the secret is something about content farming and Taboola? So many words!

Exhausted from literally five minutes of research I sat down to watch Italy vs. Uruguay in the World Cup, an opportunity to relax and clear my mind of things like “engagement” and “user acquisition.” The game was just heating up when Luis Suarez bit a guy and a thousand social media community managers told the same joke a thousand times.

Two Screens, One Hivemind

It should come as no surprise that an event named “The World Cup” would have broad appeal, so no one blinked when Facebook took a break from performing unethical experiments on its users to announce some record-breaking numbers. Huge events like the World Cup, Olympics, Oscars, Super Bowl, etc. have become focus points for brands because of this high level of engagement, especially on the second screen.

And that makes for some odd pairings. Brands that have no direct connection to the event are constantly trying to replicate Oreo’s social media magic, often with incredibly bad results. These companies are willing to risk enormous internet backlash because the reward is the momentary attention of a fickle and fleeting demographic. Engagement begets following which can yield new customers and a more invested audience. Just make sure not to structure your engagement around cultural imperialism.

Periodically yours,

Bob Sherron