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Twitter: A Universal Social Gathering

I love Twitter. My first use of Twitter was as an account for a band I was with at the time, a way to communicate with fans, update them instantaneously, and tweet the shenanigans that we were up to. About a year ago, though, I decided to sign myself up for it. As I became more interested in social media and in engaging with the world via the internet, I recognized this little bird as a force to be reckoned with.

Since then, I’ve really come to enjoy it! Twitter is a great source of immediate news and interesting items. I follow numerous world news, local news, business news, music news sports news, sports teams and athletes, celebrities, comedians, businesses, bands and friends so that I can log in at any time and get information that is actually beneficial. I feel that Facebook focuses on people, particularly friends. Honestly, I’m not sure it’s worth much besides keeping up to date on friends that I would rather call, text, or hang out with anyways. With Twitter, I can connect to the happenings of the world. Also, being followed by people I don’t know is much less creepy than being friend requested by those people on Facebook.

My roommate and I often get caught up with trying to be retweeted or responded to by the many Pittsburgh Steelers that we follow. I also love to spout off opinions on matters that my 100+ followers will see, many of them companies, professional musicians and professional athletes. I believe that the endless struggle by many Twitter users to gain followers and to be retweeted is driven by something everybody wants: attention.

Twitter is an incredible place for Steve Jobs, Ben Folds, LaMarr Woodley, Taco Bell and Dan Van Matre to have an equal voice. Try it out!

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Building Support via Social Media

Grove City Lacrosse Wolverine LogoGrove City Lacrosse Junior Goaltender Andrew Dymski recently wrote an article titled, Utilizing Social Media to Create a Strong Support Base. The article discusses how a club team, like Grove City Lacrosse, can use Twitter to inform fans and build support.  Dymski refutes the thinking of those who doubt the ability to communicate substantive information to fans via Twitter, and focuses on three effective uses of Twitter for sports programs: tweeting in-game updates, communicating with league media, and notifying “fans and followers about the program.”  His well thought-out points and experienced-based insights have received attention from sites such as MCLAfan.com and the Effortless HR Blog, and offers valuable information to those seeking to drum up support using technology.  The information in the article is just a taste of the many ways to utilize social media effectively.  Check out the full article below:

Utilizing Social Media to Create a Strong Support Base

Utilizing Social Media Article by Andrew Dymski - WordBlurb ImageAs a club team experiences some success and seeks to transition into a sustainable virtual-varsity program, they will soon realize that a strong support base is a necessity.  With varying levels of commitment from colleges and universities, the program is typically left with the responsibility of getting creative to come up with the resources necessary to play a competitive season.

Social media gives programs a chance to establish a national support base by connecting, engaging and informing their audience.  In this two-part series, I would like to share the potential that Twitter and Facebook have to offer your program.  Through these cost-free channels you can tap into a huge potential by simply reaching out and giving alumni, parents and fans, and even the media, something to cheer for.

Part I: Twitter

Most people shake their heads and wonder how you could ever communicate a meaningful message in 140 characters or less.  The truth of the matter is that Twitter has transformed the way teams in the MCLA communicate with each other and transmit information to their fans and followers across the globe.   I would like to share with you three ways MCLA teams can use Twitter to position themselves for success: tweets from the sideline during games, communication with MCLA media and informing fans and followers about the program.

Tweets from the Sideline

Tweets from the sideline have brought an ESPN bottom-line feel to the flow of information coming out of the MCLA.  They allow anyone to track the progress of the game, virtually play by play.  Take an enthusiastic stat keeper or an injured player, give them a smart phone and let them work.  By following teams, you are updated on information faster than ever before.  This is a quick and easy step to inform your support base.

This season Collegelax.com gives every game a specific code to hash tag in your tweets.  By placing this hash tag at the end of all of your tweets it feeds the information into Collegelax.com.  This centralizes the information flowing from both benches in one easy-to-find place.  This gives your program a chance to be seen on the national level.

Communication with MCLA Media

Twitter gives teams a chance to directly communicate with the MCLA media, most of whom are very active on Twitter.   Jeff Brunelle, cofounder of Lax All Stars says “Social media has played an integral part in marketing Lax All Stars, and now MCLAFan.com, because it helps us directly connect with lacrosse fans on a personal level…Simply put – We hang out where you hang out, and that’s how we become friends.”  Jeff hit the nail right on the head, congregate where your audience congregates.

Teams can use Twitter to harness the power of PR to promote their program and draw national attention.  The team dictates the message that is broadcasted to the world.  No longer are you dependant on a magazine doing a feature story on your program to gain a voice.  Sadly, many teams around the country aren’t getting the full benefit of their Twitter presence.

The key to the effective use of Twitter is to speak, but more importantly to listen.  You can tell the programs that do a good job of listening when the number of people they are following is roughly equal to the number of people following them.  You want to be following other teams in the MCLA, media members, bloggers, merchandise companies, airlines, parents, fans and alumni.  You want to be able to provide effective information and then hear feedback from your following.  By effective listening you gain a chance to participate in a two-way conversation instead of just shouting at people.

Informing Fans and Followers

Club players are very invested in their college lacrosse experience, but when they graduate they are left to find somewhere else to focus their attention.  Twitter gives alumni, who are still very interested in the program they helped to create, a chance to stay in the loop.  Getting alumni reinvested in the program unlocks amazing potential.  There is the possibility of financial gifts, material donation, help for graduating seniors looking toward the workforce and the list goes on.

Alumni can simply sit and listen to updates as they come out or they can actively engage in conversation with the team.  Through Twitter they have the opportunity for quick answers to questions, a place to send messages of congratulation and support, and reflect on past memories.

Twitter serves the same purpose for parents and fans.  Parents are often miles away from the school and could have no greater connection than knowing that their son plays for the team.  Often these parents were actively involved in their son’s high school team, but what now?  When the program provides tweets for them to follow parents have the chance to engage and participate with the team as the season progresses.

Grove City Lacrosse Junior Goaltender Andrew Dymski

The playing field is literally leveled in sports communication today.  If you wish to see the full fruit of a presence on Twitter, it takes a commitment.  You need to be active in posting value-adding information that your followers desire.  Remember, be a good listener first, respond to feedback and adjust your content accordingly.  Only tweet information that is going to add value or get your followers excited.  Keep in mind that it is important to keep your content consistent through all of your communication channels.  Don’t be afraid to be creative and show a little personality in your online presence.  If you wish to receive anything, first you must give.

Some resources that can help you get started are www.socialnetdaily.com, www.mashable.com, and www.thesocialcmo.com.

Some teams on Twitter to help you get started: @GroveCityLax, @DucksLacrosse, @TommiesLacrosse, @UMichLacrosse, @GVSULAX, and @BC_Mens_Lax.

Happy Tweeting!

-Andrew Dymski

Twitter: @AndrewJDymski

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Ultimate Guitar

electric-guitar-parts1Ultimate Guitar is hands down the best free guitar and  bass tablature site on the web.  I’ve been a heavy user for years, and after trying many other tablature sites such as guitartabs.com, guitartabs.net, mxtabs.net and countrytabs.com, nothing compares to ultimate-guitar.com. 

Ultimate Guitar is a huge archive of user created tablature or “tabs”.  A tab is a form of guitar music written in the easiest form to understand for everyone.  Its different from sheet music in that you don’t need to know how to read music to understand it. So where sheet music uses the grand staff and music notes, tablature looks like this…

guitartabs

the only downside to it is that you cannot tell what the tempo for the song is or how long to hold different notes, but for playing guitar, i find this favorable because guitar is much more of a free instrument in that everyone really has their own style.

Ultimate guitar is free for any user, and you don’t have to create a user name to view tabs which is great for casual browsers.  If you create an account, that’s when the social media aspect of the site is activated.  you can talk with other users, comment on news, submit tabs and articles, and most importantly in my eyes, comment on tabs.  

Because the site is user driven, commenting on and rating tabs is a huge part of the success of ultimate guitar.  all tabs are rated on a 5 star scale.  when you browse for a tab, you can see all the tabs that have been written for a song and their rating. This is awesome when looking for a song you want because you don’t have to look through so many songs to find a good one. other users have already done it for you.

Ultimate Guitar is a great site for communicating with other musicians as well as finding good free music that is user created.

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Twitter is Boring

birdTwitter might be the most boring social media site that i have ever visited.  I think that it is safe to say that facebook is the most popular social media site, and although i do have a “fb” account, im still not a huge fan due to many of the negative consequences that come from it.  Twitter is really just background noise in the social media website department, and people that are into social media will be much more attracted to a website that “does it all” for social media.

 

 

 Although, there are some things that twitter does well…

  • simple and easy
  • find basic information easy
  • takes no experience to operate
  • anyone can join and create and account

although it does do these things well, i still would prefer facebook for social media.  if twitter really wants to become more prominent and well known in the social media realm they need to offer many more functions.

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