By Lisa D. Jenkins
Last week, I was supporting a radio broadcast team covering a long-standing, week-long live event with tweets. This is the fourth year IÂve been part of the KOZE Sports team and this year I keyed in on something new. Not with the event but with the team of two announcers responsible for bringing the event to thousands of people across the nation.
Over the several years Brian Danner and Mike Tatko have been announcing NAIA World Series Baseball, theyÂve developed a history. TheyÂve created and maintained off-air relationships with each other, coaches and players, families of coaches and players, fans, officials and a host of other people. A natural part of those relationships is personal experiences that spawned stories most of the listening audience knows nothing about, but those stories come up in on-air color commentary. Because thatÂs what sports color commentary is Â stories to fill dead air between plays.
What I keyed in on, was they way these two men were able to share their histories. Instead of cracking a private joke on-air about something that happened in the past, they took the time to fill in the back story. Every memory reference was colored in. Every person listening was provided with an explanation that invited them into the conversation.
In the same way that Danner and Tatko have developed a history, brands that were conceived and launched online or brands that have been curating content over an extended period of time have a very real history.
One thing that makes a brand and its content attractive to people is a consistent voice that shares that history and the new events that continue to contribute to it. This takes on increased importance when you have a team of people managing that voice.
With any good team you want to encourage ties and relationships that give your team members a sense of connection. A cohesiveness that allows them to pull together to pursue common marketing goals. The danger comes when the intimate aspects of those ties and relationships begin to bleed over into the conversations that take place on your social media profiles.
IÂm not writing about behind-the-scenes snapshots of Team Member Josephine caught sleeping at her desk during a quick power nap. Or teasers of an almost-ready-to-launch product. IÂm writing about insider banter made up of private jokes and subtle references to previous events new followers might not be familiar with. Instead of being invited to participate in and contribute to conversations that occur on your Facebook Page, Twitter stream, Tumblr profile, or LinkedIn presence, your followers become observers, voyeurs if you will, over an exclusionary conversation.
An oblique reference once in a while shouldnÂt damage your brand but if your team becomes comfortable with presenting too many tweets, updates or posts that have overly private resonances and not enough public appeal, people will stop retweeting, sharing or giving +1Âs because they donÂt have the contextual references they need to understand the content your team is publishing. It will kill your online momentum.
The best time to manage this situation is before it occurs by addressing expectations for your teamÂs online behaviors in a set of social media guidelines.
If you find yourself having to navigate the situation as itÂs occurring online, you need to find a way to help your team bring the content back around to a place where your followers feel included and invited to take part in a conversation.