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01 Sep


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He Tweeted What?

September 1, 2011 | By | No Comments

I’m sure that phrase and several others we heard from the management suite of the NFL’s Houston Texans yesterday.

Star running back, Arian Foster, apparently tired of answering questions from the media, fans and fantasy football enthusiasts regarding the extent of his injury, yesterday sent out a tweet which included an MRI of his injured hamstring along with this, “This is an MRI of my hamstring, the white stuff surrounding the muscle is known in the medical world as anti-awesomeness”.

He later posted that he was trying to be funny and that people had lost their sense of humor.   One group that was certainly glad for this gift of information was the Indianapolis Colts, the Texans first opponent in the upcoming NFL season.  In today’s NFL, a nine billion dollar industry, where one win or loss during the regular season can be the difference between a playoff berth or being sent home; teams want the health of star players to be kept as a highly guarded secret.  The New England Patriots, one of the NFL’s elite teams, has made being deceptive about the timing and severity of injuries, an art form.  With an MRI out in the public, Colt’s doctors and future opponent’s doctors have likely been looking at the picture providing input as the severity of the injury and, therefore, influencing game plans and game strategies.  What a mess!

OK, so what does that have to do with your business?  Most social media strategists will tell you that authentic content and empowering employees to participate are integral parts of a successful social media strategy.  Both of these are true.  What the Arian Foster incident points out is that it is critical to have a solid social media policy in place and that you are actively monitoring the posts of your employees so you can take immediate action if a policy is violated or important information is leaked.   On the flip side monitoring for competitive intelligence is equally important.  While you may have put all the proper procedures in place for a successful social media strategy, do not assume your competitors have done the same.  We can take this from the NFL playbook; use all available means to gain an advantage over a competitor.

So when implementing your social media marketing and sales strategies, do not forget about your social media policy and competitive monitoring, it could mean the difference between winning and losing.

Dennis Stoutenburgh is President & COO of Social Strategy1.  He contributes blog posts weekly and can be found on Twitter @DennisSS1.

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