Wednesday, September 25, 2013

NASCAR’s Monitoring a Model for Association Engagement?

Photo by USA Today Sports

I admire associations and companies that monitor (e.g., listen) to us (and respond) on various social media sites.

A few weeks back, I tweeted about an issue I had with Comcast service. A few hours later, Comcast tweeted back and put me in touch with their customer care folks who got my issue resolved.

Last year I blogged about how Molson Coors discovered and responded to one of my tweets about them. See Monitoring what is being said about your association.

One Key Stat

If you only staff social media 8 hours a day 5 days a week, you are “off line” 76% of each and every week. Hum, let me repeat that again: our “typical” 40-hour-a week work represents only one-fourth of the available hours in a week.

Monitoring & Engaging Model

Now, before you read the following, I know that the vast majority of associations and nonprofit organizations do not have the financial resources to establish media and engagement platforms as NASCAR and major companies. But, I also know that consumer experiences with them enhance consumer expectations of their associations and professional organizations. So, as you read this example, think about what pieces you could use rather than “We couldn’t do that.”

In a full page story titled NASCAR hitches ride to social media, technology, USA Today’s @NateRyan provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at NASCAR’s new Fan and Media Engagement Center (FMEC).

Here are some highlights:

  • As NASCAR battles to maintain relevance amidst dwindling attendance and flat TV ratings, it's become more attuned to its fan base, and the FMEC, which opened in January and made its race debut with the Sprint Unlimited exhibition at Daytona International Speedway, is built to ingest as much feedback as possible.
  • "The conversation is happening, and if you don't engage in it, there are so many things that can go wrong," said Josh Pelz, head of digital for the engine Shop sports and marketing agency. "There's misinformation out there, someone says something is happening that's not, you want to correct it, or if someone says something amazing about your brand, you want to rebroadcast that message to your community. If a fan of NASCAR is saying how much he loves this aspect of a race or a driver, rebroadcasting that message is way more valuable than you originating that message, because it's the community members and what they're saying that really is the secret to social media."
  • A FEMC coordinator, Edwin Colmenares, who is tracking @nascar, #nascar, #BristolNightRace, @bmsupdates among others via Tweetdeck, answers a question from the @nascar account on whether a penalty will be issued. Interaction is his primary duty during the race, and he tries to answer about a question per minute (typically related to drivers' positions).  "People love it; they retweet and say, 'NASCAR tweeted me!' " Colmenares said. "That's what I like to see."
  • "This is an entirely broader group to understand what fans are saying and what they believe is important," NASCAR chief marketing officer Steve Phelps said. "We want to create new content for them and through this system. It's going to be a game-changer for us."

Here are other posts on this topic:

Are you engaging your association members 24/7? 
Are you listening to your association members?

Lessons from Pizza: Social Media Engagement and Associations

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