Social Media folks are buzzing about how NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski won over 100,000 new Twitter followers during last night’s simply unbelievable Daytona 500. Unfortunately, it was not due to him winning the race. What most are not talking about is the perfect social media storm that lead to it and what your business can learn from it. I know, it sounds like typical spin to win social media buzz, but stay with me on this one.
The fact that Keselowski picked up over 100,000 Twitter followers in the span a few hours cannot be singularly attributed to him being prepared to take advantage of the opportunity by having his phone with him. No, what really happened here was an awakening and a conscious effort by NASCAR to utilize social media as a vehicle to speak to its languishing audience base. If NASCAR themselves didn’t recognize the opportunity, then certainly at least one announcer did. In fact, retired race legend DW “Darrell Waltrip,” now an announcer, had made multiple comments about Twitter, including his own Twitter follower count growth, before the light show began. Let me break this down to simple terms.
Here comes the perfect social media storm.
- The Daytona 500 is pushed to Monday night prime-time due to weather for the first time in 53 years.
- NASCAR, or at least DW, is talking about social media regularly before and during the race.
- Juan Pablo Montoya slams into the back of an on-track jet dryer, bringing out the red flag (stopping the race).
- Brad Keselowski, having brought his phone along in his car, tweets this out (a picture).
- DW sees this going on, or is alerted to it, and mentions it to a massive captivated TV audience. This is the critical component!
- Keselowski continues to interact with people on Twitter, including re-tweeting a few comments about him tweeting from the race track.
While there are many factors at work, Keselowski’s massive Twitter growth is directly due to DW directly mentioning his tweet to a captured and engaged audience. Brad Keselowski didn’t use the #NASCAR or #Daytona500 hashtag and I am sure those additional 100,000 followers were not watching a social media tool to see what was trending. This cross-promotional and blended concept is what the real social media experts, the ones that won’t call themselves experts, are trying to explain to businesses. Unfortunately driver Dave Blaney was not prepared and didn’t even have a Twitter account. During this whole time, he was sitting on the track as the race leader and potential race winner, with the audience’s eyes on him, with no account and no method to tweet.
Is your business prepared? Is social media a focus? Is your team a Brad Keselowski or a Dave Blaney? Are you prepared to win business via social media? Or are you just nay-saying its value, or cursing it because it doesn’t work for you? This is, in fact, how many small businesses treat or think about social media. If the head doesn’t push it, why are they surprised when the body limps along or dies?
There were actually many other lessons that could be learned from this, like that massive missed opportunity by TIDE to capitalize on the exposure of their branded product being used and named during the race track clean up. Their account hadn’t been active for some 8 hours – an observation pointed out by Mack Collier and brought to my attention by friend Don Kincaid, but that is for a different day.
What do you think? Comment below.