You may be wondering what ESPN analyst, and former NFL Head Coach, Herm Edwards, can possibly teach us about online sports marketing. After all, this guy hasn’t even sent a single tweet since September 1st of last year. Despite his Twitter hiatus, all sports fans know Herm Edwards has plenty to say. Made most famous for his “you play to win the game” speech, Herm Edwards also dropped this gem of online sports marketing advice at a 2004 New York Jets press conference:
Put your name on it.
These five words contain powerful advice that can help clean up the Internet community and benefit brands and bloggers alike.
The Internet provides a false sense of anonymity.
I believe this quote is from a wise and anonymous source from the Internet. Regardless of who said it, we all know what they are talking about. The Internet has an uncanny ability to make even the meekest of posters sound like an unfiltered Charles Barkley. This week, I spoke with avid Kansas City vlogger, Ramsey Mohsen, who attested to how nasty anonymous members of his video community can be.
How much do you think these same respondents would have to say if they were required to put their real name next to their comments? Beyond cleaning up your social media communities so consumers can focus on your content, consider these other benefits of putting your name on it:
For bloggers - if you are adding value and are proud of your work (and if you’re not, you shouldn’t be blogging), there is nothing but upside to attaching your real name to your efforts. Blogging is a great way to develop your personal brand and become synonymous with your area of expertise. You are essentially providing a live resume to potential employers, clients, and friends, that would be wasted if you were hiding behind an anonymous handle.
For brands – I learned in a services marketing course that customers are more likely to refer a company that makes a mistake but fixes it more often than a company that never made a mistake to begin with. Social media provides an amazing platform to own your mistakes, humanize your brand, and win fans for humbly serving your customers. Think about the retail company that receives a scathing review on their Facebook wall for all of the world to see. Rather than deleting these types of posts, companies should view these as an opportunity to flex their customer service muscle. Turn a negative into a positive by addressing the customer’s problem, not only winning them back, but potentially winning additional customers who observe the dialog in the process.
For email marketers – Recent research has made a strong argument for at least testing real names in from fields, particularly from celebrities. A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from Landon Donovan, which I admit made me curious enough to open the email. I personally believe this approach is more of a novelty that will quickly wear out, but there is definitely something to be said for the humanization of brands piquing consumer interest.
You have to admire how people like Herm Edwards put themselves out there for the public to examine and scrutinize. As a Kansas City Chiefs fan, I am painfully aware that Herm Edwards is not perfect, but none of us are. Consumers understand this and will respect you for owning everything you do – both the good and the bad.
So put your name on it.