“I’m Your Number One Fan”

Uncategorized Posted Nov 1, 2012 by Bryan Grillo

So many of us refer to and can recite that signature line from the 1990 film Misery, based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. The iconic quote helped to define Annie Wilkes – obsessed with novelist Paul Sheldon (played by James Caan) – introduce Kathy Bates to a nation of moviegoers, and propel her to the Academy Award for Best Actress.

But in a real-world context, how can companies engage more fans on Facebook and Twitter? And what are some of the best content strategies and campaigns businesses can employ that will resonate with their target audience(s), drive more visibility, and ultimately, help them grow their customer base?

Last week at IMS Boston 2012, Pulse Network CMO Allen Bonde and Offerpop CMO Mark Cooper tackled these questions and more during the fireside chat titled, “Fan Marketing 101.” Some of the key takeaways Allen and Mark offered to attendees were to be sure and ask themselves: What’s my message? Who are my key audiences? And how do I measure success?

The discussion got me thinking about Facebook, and in particular, about the Association of Blind Citizens Boston Renegades. The team – for which I’m one of the coaches – plays Beep Baseball or “Beep Ball” for short, an adaptive version of baseball designed for blind and visually impaired athletes.

As some may have seen, I’ve blogged about CHEN’s ongoing support of the team, and about Renegades’ Head Coach, and my close friend, Rob Weissman. Arguably, Rob dedicates more time and energy to the team than any other player or coach. And in addition to leading the Renegades on the field, he has spearheaded its social media strategy off it, creating a tremendous Facebook fan following, which, for me, best exemplifies what Allen and Mark were discussing during their session.

Rob uses Facebook to help the team reach multiple audiences – players, coaches, family, friends, potential donors, and more. A model complement to the team’s website, the Renegades’ Facebook presence features pictures and multimedia, player and coach profiles, events, media coverage, game and tournament statistics, and – in my opinion, some of the site’s best content – notable stories that showcase other Beep Ball teams, or members of the larger blind and visually impaired community.

One of the most exciting developments that has dominated the Renegades’ Facebook page for several weeks is the anticipated premiere of “The Renegades: A Beep Ball Story.” The feature documentary by Best Dog Ever Films will be shown as part of the SNOB (Somewhat North Of Boston) Film Festival in Concord, NH on Saturday, November 10. If you’re so inclined, you can check out the trailer here. There’ll be more to come from me soon on the film, which will also be shown in the Boston area in early 2013.

Until then, you’ll find me on the Renegades’ Facebook page multiple times every week. And although I’m not an active member of Facebook, I have to admit that I am one of the team’s biggest (Facebook) fans.