Tag Archives: twitter

Impact: How Social Media Fostered a Sport – Q&A with a Derby Girl

MellFire ready to roll
MellFire ready to roll

A great example of the power of social media and grassroots marketing is the success story of the modern sport: Roller Derby. While this sport has roots dating back to the 1930’s it was thought to be dead in the 90’s. It wasn’t till the early 2000’s that the sport became what we have come to know it as today. As of this year there are over 1400 roller derby leagues world wide and that number is growing rapidly!

 

This is a sport that has no large corporate sponsor or wealthy owner. It’s not typically televised and there are no million dollar endorsements for it’s players. So how has this sport exploded on the scene so much so that it’s now being considered as an Olympic sport??

 

The answer: A deeply passionate group of people armed with social media.  But, as @LevarBurton would say “you don’t have to take my word for it”. I asked MellFire (@mellokittie), a member of the Central New York Roller Derby League’s marketing committee to tell us more about it…

 

ME: Can you tell us what league and teams you play for?

 

MELLFIRE: League is: Central New York Roller Derby I play for: Wonder Brawlers (Travel B Team) and the Rome Wreckers (Home Team)

 

ME: Now we know “Mellfire” is your “derby name”, can you explain how derby names are chosen?

 

MELLFIRE: In my case, my teammates helped me pick my name. I wanted something with Hell or Fire in the title, like spitfire or HellFire, etc… Generally a player picks a name that they enjoy, they guard it like a secret, they check it against a master roster on http://twoevils.org/rollergirls/ to make sure it hasn’t been taken and that it isn’t too close to someone else’s name- if it passes you submit it and it is yours.

 

ME: Can you explain the various things you (all of you) promote ?

 

MELLFIRE: Bouts, recruitment, fundraisers, meet and greets and sometimes more personal events that the players and the league members participate in. Also we throw shout outs to sponsors and organizations in the community that we work with.

 

MellFire ready to roll
MellFire ready to roll
Photo from: Facebook.com/mellfire

ME: Please explain the ways you market these things?

 

MELLFIRE: The league has a marketing committee, I am part of this committee. I help with the social media stuff. I enjoy updating the twitter account, I update Facebook along with a couple other gals. We rely heavily on the internet and social media to promote, recruit and sell tickets to events.

 

ME: How do you use social media?

 

MELLFIRE: My goal this season for the league’s twitter account @cnyrd is to be more interactive with the account, have contests, improve communication with fans and other leagues. Currently we just post events and follow other leagues, businesses and players. Our Facebook account seems to be the first point of contact for a lot of people, potential sponsors, community organizations, fans, etc. We recently started a contest for our 2,000th like/fan. The winner gets season tickets to the 2013 Home Season bouts. So far that is working well.

 

ME: What have been the results your social media efforts?

 

MELLFIRE: We have grown our league a lot since 2007, we used to advertise league events on fliers, via myspace and through word of mouth. Back then we had 20 skaters, maybe? We now have over 70 skaters if you include referees and other league members that volunteer their time to help out during the season, we have well over 100 active members.

 

Social Media still has its limitations, in an area like the Mohawk Valley/Central New York, Facebook is king and we need to gear a lot of our promotions to Facebook and good old fashioned advertising and word of mouth. In larger cities Twitter, groupon type deals do wondrous things for derby leagues. We haven’t gotten to that point yet [locally].

 

ME: Do you feel this sport / your team would have this level of growth with out social media?

 

True Love for Sport: getting her new "Mellfire" tattoo
True Love for Sport: getting her new “Mellfire” tattoo
Photo by: Marc Goldburg

MELLFIRE: In our area and with our limited resources Social Media is great, we can promote the league to those with smart phones, laptops, internet access, etc from the comfort of our own homes/coffee shops or rink side with very little effort.

 

For roller derby in general, Social Media has done amazing things. Many of us currently playing (prior to Whip it, of course) would have no idea that it even existed. Search the hash tag #rollerderby on twitter or search Facebook for roller derby- you will find hundreds of leagues, equipment related to derby, skaters, referees, clothing companies marketing directly to the derby community, etc. Derby isn’t as big as we (in the derby community) think it should be yet, but it is getting there. I believe that Social Media, coupled with mainstream media, will get derby to its next step.

 

ME: What has Social Media provided to you on a personal level?

 

 

MELLFIRE:  Personally I adore social media, I have been active on twitter for a few years now. I have met a lot of amazing people in my “somewhat local area” I have attended tweet ups and other networking events. I have made connections for my derby life and my personal/professional life. I used twitter last summer before attending RollerCon in Las Vegas to find people to meet up with and compete with while I was there. This year those same people are using Facebook groups to set up bouts for this year’s RollerCon. Without social media I wouldn’t know most of the derby people that I consider friends and chat with on a nearly daily basis. Our friendships have gone from twitter to Facebook to Instagram to texting to hanging out at roller derby events to actual friendships.

 

You can learn more about Mellfire and her Derby adventures by checking out her Facebook page: Facebook.com/mellfire or Twitter @Mellokittie

 

 

Tip of the Day: Social Media is the new Email

 

For the longest time I used to think of facebook, twitter and the others as a marketing means. I post something and my audience takes it in. Much like traditional radio, tv, etc. marketing. The benefit being the possibility of my post going viral thus multiplying my marketing reach for no cost to me.

Truthfully it is all that but, it’s not only that. In addition to a marketing method it’s also a communication tool. It’s a way for your customers or potential customers to reach you and ask a question. It’s a way for you to reach other professionals and do business.

In the past I’ve always considered traditional email to be the only legit electronic method to conduct business. This is no longer the case. I realized it this week when I stepped back and saw that via Social Media not email I had worked with clients, lawyers, and business consultants.

My tip for you is to embrace these mediums, and stay on top of them.  The more places you are available to potential clients and business connections the quicker your business will grow.

 

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Tip of the Day: Link your accounts for ease of posting

 

One of the major challenges with maintaining a strong social media presence is keeping up with all the different networks.

One way to make life much less complicated is to link your accounts. One example here is linking your twitter account to your Facebook account. This way whenever you post to twitter it will also show up on your Facebook page.

You can take this one step further and connect your blog to your twitter account. That way when you post a blog it tells twitter who tells Facebook and all you had to do was hit publish (or send or whatever) once!

To link your Twitter to Facebook: 

  1. Login to Twitter
  2. Go to settings
  3. Click on Profile (on the left)
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and find the login/connect to Facebook button
  5. Click that button and follow the prompts to connect your accounts

Now when you tweet you will also be posting to Facebook!

You can also go the other way and connect your Facebook account to Twitter so when you post on FB it will tweet for you.

To Connect Facebook to Twitter: 

  1. Login to Facebook
  2. Go here: facebook.com/twitter
  3. On that page you will see all your pages and profiles – Simply click “link” for the one you want to connect
  4. Follow the prompts to authorize the connection

Now when you post on Facebook it will also be tweeted!

 

 

 

Tip of the Day: Engagement Matters

 

One of the most important things you can do to build and maintain your social media presence is to stay highly engaged.

Engagement means posting on a regular basis. It also means interacting with your audience. You don’t need to have page long conversations but you should take the time to recognize those who take the time to interact with you. The truth is their interaction with you is helping to build your brand. Thank them for that.

A one line reply saying thanks or even just an acknowledgement of a follower’s interaction can go a long way. It makes the follower feel special and it shows the world that you are interested in what your followers (Clients) have to say.