5 Twitter mistakes to avoid

As more and more people, brands, sports teams & leagues hop aboard the Twitter train I continue to see the same mistakes being made.

5. The Not Reply – @TwitterHandle will be making an BIG announcement!

This became an issue when Twitter changed the manner by which we see people’s replies (or @) on Twitter.  Now you only see a reply if you follow both Twitter accounts.

Therefore the tweet below from @GoldCoastFC would have been only seen by followers of @GoldCoastFC AND @KarmichaelHunt. Understandable there may be a big overlap between the two but why take the chance?  Adding “Welcome” at the start of the tweet would have ensured ALL @GoldCoastFC followers would have seen the tweet.  It should be noted further tweets and RTs did mention @KarmichaelHunt so GCFC fans definitely knew about it.

@karmichaelhunt first official GCFC media appearance! More pics and video to come soon. http://twitpic.com/1smx6vMon May 31 02:06:33 via Twitpic

4. Twooshes or long tweets

Call me old-fashioned but I like the “old” RT method, that’s right something from 12 months ago is now old!  The “old” (or “Edit then Retweet” in TweetDeck) method allows you to add your comments before the RT.

If all your tweets are twooshes or too close to 140 characters you maybe losing RTs from people who want to pass it on with their short comment attached.  Keep it short and allow people to ADD to the conversation like below.

Wow… Smart strategy! RT @Peter_R_Casey @Brendanmeyer: i love how @gatorade bought keyword Powerade on google (via @SportConference)Mon May 31 13:06:25 via Twitterrific

Sports Geek Tip: Check out TweetStats.com to see how many twooshes you have. (I’ve had 175, as sometimes the opposite is true and you don’t want that comment ;) )

3. Lck vwls 4 140 chrs

If you can’t fit it into 140 characters without using vowels or butchering the English language then it shouldn’t be a Tweet!  Write a blog post!

Twitter teaches you to be direct & succinct, it can be said in 140 characters if you just think a little.

Don’t even get me started about TwitLonger.com, laziness!

2. Auto Direct Messages

Unfortunately, this seems to be a staple of internet marketers but more and more I am seeing others be sucked into using the Auto DM.

Firstly, it is completely impersonal and secondly it’s rude when they don’t follow back and you can’t reply!  I know a LOT of people who immediately unfollow any account that sends an Auto DM.  You’ve been warned!

Sports Geek Tip: By the way if you want to stop most of them you can follow these instructions to opt out  from SocialOomph who send most of them!

1. Broadcasting not conversing

This is the main issue with most brands, leagues or teams on Twitter is the lack of conversation.  They promote the “Join the Conversation” tag line of Twitter but do not LIVE it.

You do need a strategy in place to understand why you are on Twitter and how you want to interact with fans but you should be polite to reply to simple customer service questions.

Look at the simple chart the US Airforce uses to manage blog comments which could easily adapted to Twitter replies. (hat tip to @georgiawatson)

Sports Geek Tip: Don’t have a strategy in place? You should start with a Sports Geek Workshop.

What Twitter mistakes have you learned from?

So “new NBL” what’s new?

NBL

I decided to check out the “new NBL” with the Melbourne Tigers playing the New Zealand Breakers at the SNAHC (State Netball & Hockey Centre).  As one of many lapsed hoops fans I was keen to see if there was anything different or new.

I may represent a lot of the sports market when it comes to the NBL as I definitely fell out of love with the NBL over ticketing prices, scheduling decisions and arrogance of the “Field of Dreams” mentality of the NBL.  By that I mean “If we build it, they will come” belief that people who play or love basketball will happily pay whatever price for the love of the game.   As the NBL found out love does come with a price tag when it comes to sports fans and what is more important sports families.

Now hopefully you haven’t stopped reading this believing it is another “bash the NBL” article.  Unfortunately for the NBL those articles are very easy to write, I must admit as I walked past the Melbourne Zoo on the way to the game I thought to myself, “What’s that smell? The new NBL? No, I was just passing the elephant enclosure” like I said it’s easy to do.

I decided to go into Sports Geek “secret-shopper” mode to see if I could buy a membership on opening night.  This is quite a common practice at AFL clubs who make strong sales pitches to walkup fans for the first few rounds.  Last year I strolled up to a North Melbourne Kangaroos game and bought a membership to support the Roos staying in Melbourne in 10 minutes.  I approached the membership collection desk which was operating smoothly handing membership packs to returning members. They directed me to the ticketing desk for ticket pickups, who then directed me to ask for Lee at the ticketing counter.  Now the SNAHC (or the Cage as the Tigers call it) has never been quick for walkup sales but it think it suffers like Etihad Stadium in comparison to the MCG which caters for walkups like no other stadium in the world.

After a 10 minute wait in line I asked, “Can I buy a membership?” to the ticket counter.  I was again pointed toward Lee, after a short wait I met Lee and asked, “Are you guys selling memberships tonight?” to which he replied, “Sure, I can sell you whatever kind of membership you like”.  He handed me a membership application form and asked what type of membership I’d like.  I said I had been a member before (1992-2005), when I said my name he said he recognised it.  What amazed me was his ability to name my mates who were still members and where they sat.  To say that I was surprised would be an understatement it is that kind of customer service the NBL needs to get back in the game.  If you follow me on Twitter you’d know I was impressed.

@seancallanan Exceptional service by Melbourne Tigers membership manager Lee Di Sipio exactly what #NBL needs!

Melbourne Tigers Vs NZ Breakers near end of 1st halfNow I had a ticket to the game I was interested to see how Larry Sengstock’s Australisation of the NBL will go.  There was an energy around the stadium pre-game fitting a season opener, strong activity in the merchandising store with fans taking up the offers of 50% available.  There was an abundance of hand clappers which I know the kids love, but if you’re following the “Australisation” strategy they should be out.  Yes there is importance to “hook” the kids on the sport but for the NBL the fence-sitters are the parents and from my observations hand-clappers and thundersticks are not well received.

I must agree with Ron Reed’s commentary that perhaps the Tigers didn’t get the “Australisation” memo which outlined no National Anthems (there were two Aus & NZ) and less music played throughout game.  What you can’t complain about is the effort and quality of basketball on the court.  Mark Worthington fresh from the Dragons championships, “If you can beat them but your team no longer exists then join them”, won over the Tigers faithful when he “hulked-up” after a poke in the eye and drew a charge in a vital 4th quarter play.

Now this isn’t a game report it you want those look here, however I must admit it was an enjoyable night.  The crowd was enthusiastic and the Cage was loud at about 70% full (although I’m happy to be corrected).  It was a little strange adjusting to the 40 minute game from a 48 minute game but it was good to get out by 9:15pm rather than 9:45pm.

Overall it was a good night, it is far to too early to declare the “NBL is back!” but if they continue to serve up a great product on the floor and attend to every fan like it’s their last one they’ll be headed in the right direction.

Sports Geek score

Game – A – Quality athletes, quality basketball

Customer Service – A+ – Exceptional

Price – C – Very pricey and may be out of reach for some especially due to GFC (Global Financial Crisis not Geelong Football Club)

Game Entertainment – C – Dial back the music and hand game back to fans

Merchandise -B – Selling, available

Ticketing – B – Lines moved swiftly, could have used another ticket operator on opening night

Concessions (Food & Beverages) – B – Like most venues but not price gouging as much as at AFL games

Parking – D – Unfortunately the SNAHC is a hard venue to get to by car and now the SNAHC (not the Tigers charges)  $10.  Sports Geek suggests public transport or park at Zoo.