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Social Media Strategy 101- What We Learned from SB49

Social Media Strategy 101- What We Learned from SB49

We’ve been at the social game pretty much since it started. But any social guru that’s worth his/her salt will tell you that if you’re going to succeed on any social platform, you’re going to have to stay on top of trends and move with the tide.

Recently, Wix took part in the biggest televised event of the year, the Super Bowl. Our campaign was built around 5 NFL legends: Brett Favre, Terrell Owens, Emmitt Smith, Larry Allen and Franco Harris. Leaving their football glory days behind, the legendary five each reinvent themselves as owners of new and quite unlikely businesses. Needless to say, no business is complete without a website… and that’s where comes to save the day. Check out our 30 second spot:

We had a commercial, but we weren’t about to stop there. We decided to create a whole campaign around our ad, and we set our sights on social media. Starting a Facebook page and Twitter account for each of the 5 businesses we featured in our ad taught us a thing or two, and now we’re ready to share.

Starting from Scratch on Social Media - What We Learned from SB49

First things first, take a look at the social channels we had so much fun creating:

  • Brett Favre’s Favre & Carve – His biz was a charcuterie (fancy deli) built around his French last name. Who doesn’t want to see the Gunslinger carve up a mean deli platter? See his Facebook page and Twitter account

  • Emmitt Smith’s Double Deuce Club – Dallas Cowboy #22 has been known to rock it on the dancefloor. Did you see his winning moves on Dancing With The Stars? See his Facebook page and Twitter account

  • Terrell Owens’ Humble Pies – TO is known for many things, but being humble just isn’t one of them. We simply couldn’t resist giving him such an unexpected biz: Facebook page and Twitter account

  • Franco Harris’ Immaculate Receptions – Back in 1972 Franco caught a rogue football that earned him a spot in Football History. We decided to immortalize it in holy matrimony [ceremonies].

  • Larry Allen’s All Pro Tow – The strongest man in the NFL (and that means strong) as it turns out, cares about the environment. His biz shows his green side by using his own strength to get drivers out of jams: Twitter account

Now that you’ve seen the pages themselves, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of what worked, what didn’t, and why.

Step 1: Identify the Unique Voice & Tone

All successful brands have a handle on who they are, and what image they want to portray. While your business may not be on the level of Coca-Cola (don’t feel bad, they’ve been at this since 1892) there’s something to be learned and mimicked. The biggest soda pop in the world isn’t selling carbonated sugar water, they’re selling ‘happiness,’ and they align their messaging and marketing materials to match. When we opened up the above 10 different social accounts, one of the biggest challenges was to pinpoint the distinct tone for each individual business and then keep it consistent at all times. Once we did this, things were much smoother sailing and the inspiration for the content started to flow. Getting the messaging aligned with the players and the personas they’re so well known for really resonated with the followers, and the engagement from there was organic and fun.

Here’s an example of how we managed to capture the essence that is the one and only, TO (he’s kind of known for getting a little trigger happy with the Sharpies):


You can change the football to pies but the @sharpie remains in play. #whatTOdo #ItsThatEasy

— T.O. Humble Pies (@TOHumblePies) January 22, 2015


Step 2: Roll Out Awesome, Relevant Content On The Regular

Give people a reason to follow you. Sure, you can get some initial ‘likes’ and ‘follows’, but how do you plan to make them stick around? You need to find the right balance – content that conveys the message you want people to see (a holiday sale, a new product, updated contact info, etc) but also gives people added benefit they’ll appreciate. This can come in so many different forms, but the general rule of thumb is not to have an alterior motive or shameless plug. We put out content that followers could enjoy at face-value, and from there be inclined to comment or share. Here are some of the things we did that you can do, too:

  • Get in on trending items and conversations that are relevent to your brand or business

  • Post handy and digestable tips and tricks on topics you’re an authority on

  • Share fun/funny behind the scenes moments that show your lighter side

  • Run easy-to-join (and win!) contests with enticing prizes

All of these will be much easier when you create (or curate) eye-catching, high quality images, interesting blog posts with catchy titles, cool videos that you can’t look away from and more. We’ve got plenty of inspiration for great content right here on the Wix Blog.

Here’s an example of something we came up with for Brett Favre’s Favre and Carve biz to post in honor of his team, the Green Bay Packers, on game day:

what we learned from SB49

Step 3: Try New Things And Be Prepared to Admit When Something Doesn’t Work

Be fearless! Sometimes you’ll have an amazing, gutsy idea that you want to try and sometimes, it just doesn’t pan out the way you were sure it would. If you learn from it though, it’ll end up being well worth the risk. Why didn’t it get the results you thought it would? What could you have done differently? Was it tailored for the right audience? Finding the answer to all these questions and more will only make you that much better at the social game. We tried a countless number of approaches on the players’ channels. Some of the biggest successes came out of left field, and some of the content that we thought would be sure-fire winners left us disappointed. Each day we would survey every channel and every post, and monitor the numbers, the comments and the overall sentiment. Once we had that, we were equipped to come up with new ideas that would get us the results we were looking for.

One example of something we tried that didn’t yield the results we’d hoped for was our Say ‘Charcuterie’ Challenge. We posted it to Facebook, and quickly realized it was way better suited to Instagram. Lesson learned.

Starting from Scratch on Social Media - What We Learned from SB49

Step 4: Monitor Those Channels And Answer Every Comment & Question

Time consuming and at times, painstaking, this step is a major part of any successful social account. In fact, it’s not step #4 – it’s pretty much steps 1-4. The beauty of social media is the communicative aspect, and people (your followers) need to know there’s someone on the other end of the line. As a great social media mind once said, “You’re only as good as your response time.” It needs to be a priority, especially when you’re just getting started. Taking on 5 new Facebook pages and 5 new Twitter accounts was a heavy task, especially on top of the already bustling Wix Facebook page and Twitter account. When we posted something, the comments came pouring in. When we put up a contest, the flood gates opened. And because we seem to like our challenges super-sized, we even promoted some of these posts so we could get even more people in on the conversation. True to our motto of ‘no commenter left behind’ we rose to the occasion and we learned a lot. Takeaway? Talk to your followers as people – not numbers. Always be kind and stay far away as you can from the dreaded canned response. In this digital age, nothing beats personalized attention.

Here’s one example (out of thousands) of responding to any comment that came our way. Our motto: have fun with it!

18 Timeline Photos T.O. Humble Pies1 copy

18 Timeline Photos T.O. Humble Pies copy

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