Brand in Focus – the NBA

The NBA logo, aka Jerry West via the NBA’s Twitter page

The NBA logo, aka Jerry West via the NBA’s Twitter page

With the NBA Draft this past Thursday night and my Minnesota Timberwolves owning the first pick of the draft (Karl-Anthony Towns), this feels like the right time to put NBA branding in focus!  The NBA’s branding efforts across social media have driven a nice niche for the sport, most specifically on Twitter and Vine.  Let’s dive right into it and start with the NBA’s own web site.

NBA.com ... please clean this up

NBA.com … please clean this up

For a company that does well for itself on social media, I don’t understand why the NBA’s web site always feels so cluttered and confusing.  The screenshot above was taken less than two days ahead of the NBA Draft and it is just a mess.  You have ads on the sides – which drives me bonkers across the web – and not enough focus on the one event that is in the immediate future.  I’ll save you the trouble of what scrolling down on NBA.com looks like – links everywhere, columns and rows that don’t blend nicely.

The one other item that I noticed is that the NBA has the Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ counts on the top of their page, but to find all of their social media pages, you have to drag your mouse over the “More” link towards the top right and a pop up of social media sites is provided there.

Let’s move on … quickly … to where the NBA is doing solid work and driving real engagement with its fans.

Twitter:

With 15.5 million followers on Twitter, the NBA is doing a tremendous job of promoting its brand on the network.  The NBA passes along news from around the league, RT’s pertinent information from team pages, NBA players, and finally, sister Twitter feeds that have been set up over the time – @NBAHistory, @NBADraft, @NBATV and more.  A generic search on Twitter for “NBA” gave me a compilation of all of these elements:

NBA on Twitter

The league has truly embraced Twitter and has somewhat “forced” its TV partners to follow suit.  My personal Twitter feed is full of NBA news and notes from around the league no matter what time of day or night it is.  The NBA received 100’s of RT’s and Favorites when it posts its own content and is directing followers to many other pages as well with its RT efforts.

The efforts by the league’s Twitter team has also done a fine job of carrying over engagement with fans on Twitter’s Vine platform …

Vine:

With 1.1+ million followers on Vine, the NBA is blowing other US professional sports leagues out of the water on the micro-video network.  I don’t think anyone can argue that the NFL is the #1 professional sport in the US right now and they only have 350K+ followers, while MLB has over 330K.  Essentially, the NBA has three times as many followers on Vine vs. the two leading professional sports here in the US.

Need more proof on the NBA’s branding efforts on Vine, well, I actually wrote about this a few months ago – click here.

Facebook:

27 million plus fans have Liked the NBA’s Facebook page and the engagement coming from these fans is immense.  While I see a lot of duplicative effort and cross-posting between Twitter and Facebook, the NBA typically receives thousands of likes and hundreds of shares on each Facebook post.  Note that this isn’t a once a day posting either, there are a handful of posts typically coming on a daily basis from the league to their fans.

I did notice one area of improvement to recommend … it looks like the page owner’s gave up on the milestone dates after 2011 per the screenshot below.  Please, fill this in!  I truly enjoy the history lesson that brands provide when they fill this in and maintain it adequately.  The NBA does a nice job of referencing championship teams in the timeline, but also major milestones in league history.

NBA on Facebook

Instagram:

While winning on the three prior social networks referenced above, the NBA seems to have some work to do if it is going to maintain a presence on Instagram.  With the deep following on Facebook, it would make a lot of sense for the league to consider going deeper on Instagram over its time and energy on Pinterest (see below).

The NBA has 8+ million followers on Instagram and the landing page screams “Help!”.  I’m not a big fan of how bland the landing page here is.  I have really enjoyed seeing brands create a banner that rotates images on the landing page and what you see below is a pretty basic, white landing page.

NBA on Instagram

That said, the NBA is clearly embracing the video features on Instagram, uploading a number of videos for the NBA Draft throughout the days prior, as well as snippets from the NBA Finals that just wrapped up a few weeks ago.

While I believe the league’s page could be cleaned up a bit, you can’t argue with the results, as most uploads are receiving hundreds of thousands of likes and hundreds of comments.

Pinterest:

Relative to other social media platforms, the NBA ‘struggles’ to build a highly engaged audience on Pinterest.  The league has slightly over 13K followers on the platform, well behind its other pages and networks.

However, I do like what the league has done on Pinterest and it might be better suited taking this style and approach over to Instagram.  If the NBA were to take the “off the court” approach that it uses on various boards and board covers on Pinterest over to Instagram, I think it could be a real winning formula.

NBA on Pinterest

Overall Summary:

The NBA is clearly doing a lot of good across social media.  However, there are a few, small tweaks worth considering in their digital marketing efforts to help build a strong brand image with (potential) fans.

Positives:

  • They have really built a nice niche on Vine
  • Consistent content is being sent to their followers on a daily basis
  • Driving engagement with fans through the use of images and video

Improvement Areas:

  • Pay attention to the details and nuances of each page – for example, keeping the milestones up to date on Twitter
  • Leverage its Pinterest approach on Instagram and maybe even consider dropping Pinterest given how far behind the NBA’s following is relative to Instagram

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of the NBA’s social media efforts?  Where would you like to see the NBA make improvements?  Let us know in the Comments section below.

 

Pin of the Month – Small Business Branding

Small Business Branding infographic by TailorBrands.com

Small Business Branding infographic by TailorBrands.com

June’s “Pin of the Month” comes to us from TailorBrands.com and takes a look at branding, specifically among small businesses.  What trends are happening right now in small business branding and where do I expect them to go from here?  Let’s dive in …

Looking at the four main sections of the infographic, I find half of the findings to be pretty surprising.

Right off the bat, I was caught a little off-guard at the first section of the infographic in that the majority say they prefer “stories over statements”.  While it might be great to have the full story or know/learn the story after an initial engagement with a brand, the attention span of today’s consumer isn’t going to take the time read a full page of text to get the crux of what your small business is and the benefits it provides over competition.  Get the to point, very quickly.

This segues nicely into the second point – that small businesses keep their brand names to one or two words the vast majority of the time – almost 90%.  If that would only translate over to the first point here.

The second surprise, to me at least, is that only 1% say they want to be a “big brand” in the future.  This feels counter-intuitive, unless “inspired” is or was too misleading of a word.  Who doesn’t want their business to grow to the size of a Nike, Apple, etc.?  Maybe they want to keep their small business feel while growing revenue?  What are your thoughts on this one?

The other piece that didn’t surprise me is that the color blue has become the most popular color for brands to use, replacing black.  Rounding out the top five is the color orange, which probably stands out more than any other among the top ten.

What catches your eye in this month’s “Pin of the Month”?  Let me know in the comments below or drop me an email at john@shorebranding.com.

For those unfamiliar with our “Pin of the Month”, every month we post one of the better infographics, pictures, etc. that we find on our Pinterest page and (over-) analyze it in our “Pin of the Month”.  If you have an infographic that you would like to promote here on Shore Branding, just let us know.  Thanks!

Pin of the Month – The Modern Mobile Travelers

Infographic by Usablenet.com

Infographic by Usablenet.com

Building off of last weekend’s #SundayMusings, our “Pin of the Month” for May dives in on mobile, specifically the mobile traveler.  This month’s infographic coincides with a free ebook from Usablnet.com.  With an interest in mobile and a desire to always be traveling, this one was right up my alley.

The infographic takes a look at the mobile traveler and provides input and feedback as to how brands can better connect with them.  I particularly enjoy how each section of the infographic itself is followed by an insight blurb to put all of the pieces together for you.

After the demographic and background information, we get to the meat and potatoes of who the mobile traveler is and their respective behaviors.  This includes the very obvious differences across generations / age groups.

There were, however, two items that surprised me a little bit (read: I don’t fit the mold here):

  1. Consumers are consistently more likely to book travel on mobile web vs. a specific app.
  2. Approximately half of mobile travelers say they are influenced by loyalty programs.  I would have thought this would be much higher.

How are you using mobile when considering or booking travel?  Are you a multiple device researcher/planner and purchaser?  Does anything catch your eye in the statistics here like they did for me?  Let us know in the comments below or drop me an email at john@shorebranding.com.

For those unfamiliar with our “Pin of the Month”, every month we post one of the better infographics, pictures, etc. that we find on our Pinterest page and (over-) analyze it in our “Pin of the Month”.  If you have an infographic that you would like to promote here on Shore Branding, just let us know.  Thanks!

 

Updated Pinterest Tips – 2015

Updated Pinterest Tips for 2015 via ShoreBranding.com

Updated Pinterest Tips for 2015 via ShoreBranding.com

Pinterest continues to grow in popularity and I thought it would be a good idea to build off of our original Pinterest Tips article given all of the new features, updates, etc. that have been rolled out since the write-up a little over a year ago.  Those tips still ring true when thinking about leveraging the network for your brand/company, so I’m not going to spend much time rehashing those recommendations.  (As a reminder, if you are already on the network, please leverage your readily available Pinterest Analytics.)

We’ll start with one of the latest features from Pinterest:

Leverage the new “Save button” within your browser [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 4-26-15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding focusing on LinkedIn (Photo credit: PowerFormula.net)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding focusing on Pinterest (Photo credit: PowerFormula.net)

Our #SundayMusings continues “Pinterest Month” here on Shore Branding with a look at a handful of news and stories regarding the platform, how to leverage it, and what businesses can do to maximize their efforts.  Building off of last weekend’s “Pin of the Month”, here are the top stories from around the web that related to Pinterest and caught my eye.

#1 – “Pinterest Marketing: Your Complete Guide to Success” – via socialmediaexaminer.com

Premise: A collection of articles from around the web on how to market yourself / your business on Pinterest, as well as a resource for tips and recommendations for the site.

Thoughts: Our first article actually links to a number of articles and I thought this would be a good starting point to cover just about all different bases on Pinterest, Pinterest marketing, etc.  This includes an entire sub-section of articles devoted to Pinterest Analytics, a fantastic way to track your efforts and gauge success on the site.

The article also contains links regarding Pinterest advertising and promotional recommendations to help build your presence / network on the platform. [Read more…]

Pin of the Month – The Most Pinteresting Brands

April's "Pin of the Month" - Infographic by Unmetric.com

April’s “Pin of the Month” – Infographic by Unmetric.com

Over the next couple of weeks we are going to be focusing on Pinterest.  That starts this weekend with our April “Pin of the Month” from Unmetric – “The Most Pinteresting Brands” infographic.  We have actually used infographics from Unmetric in the past for our “Pin of the Month” but they keep producing some of the best infographics out there.

The top of the infographic says it all – a look across Unmetric’s database of 1,500 brands’ Pinterest pages.  Here are a few items that caught my attention from the infographic above. [Read more…]

Pin of the Month – The Power of Word of Mouth Marketing

Building Your Brand Through Customers - The Power of Word of Mouth Marketing by Salesforce Canada

Building Your Brand Through Customers – The Power of Word of Mouth Marketing by Salesforce Canada

 

March’s “Pin of the Month” landed in our Inbox a few weeks ago.  With a focus on branding through word of mouth advertising, the infographic above from Salesforce Canada’s blog provides quite a few staggering numbers in the power of word of mouth.

An overwhelming majority are influenced in the purchasing/buying behaviors by word of mouth advertising from others.  Whether that is friends, family, and/or brand ambassadors, leveraging word of mouth advertising is critical for your brand.  I was actually surprised that WOM was the “second best source of revenue according to US small businesses”.  When I think of building small businesses, WOM is the first brand builder that comes to mind.  Without word of mouth, small business owners will have an uphill battle in getting their business off the ground. [Read more…]

Pin of the Month – Super Bowl Ads

Super Bowl Advertising by the numbers. Infographic by Engagor

Super Bowl Advertising by the numbers. Infographic by Engagor

Our February “Pin of the Month” wraps up our NFL and Super Bowl coverage this month.  Building off of our Super Bowl Ad Review, our “Pin of the Month” summarizes the overall impact of Super Bowl ads and which brands got the most out of their investment.  The infographic above was created by engagor who measures social customer experiences and engagement. [Read more…]

Pin of the Month – Social Media

January's "Pin of the Month" on Social Media Pin originally from ticsyformacion.com

January’s “Pin of the Month” on Social Media
Pin originally from ticsyformacion.com

Happy 2015 everyone and welcome to another year of our “Pin of the Month” here on ShoreBranding.com.  January’s “Pin of the Month” takes a look at several key social media numbers and statistics across several of the key players in social media.  The infographic itself was found on Pinterest and originated from this article.

So what exactly are we looking at here?  As we enter 2015, the numbers across the more popular social media networks continue to amaze.  With numbers and figures from multiple sources, let’s dive into some of the facts seen in the above infographic, specifically those that caught my attention: [Read more…]

Pin of the Month – The Meaning of Brand Names

"The Meaning of Brand Names" - infographic by 7Brands Inc.

“The Meaning of Brand Names” – infographic by 7Brands Inc.

Our December “Pin of the Month” gets back to our roots of branding and provides the background for thirty five, highly recognizable brand names.  The “Pin of the Month” comes from a write-up on AdWeek and was created by 7Brands Inc which brought in information from a handful of sources on where brand names originated from.

There are a few here that caught my eye as “interesting to know/learn”, a few lame stories, and a few that seem pretty funny more than anything else.  The first thing that caught my eye during the first read through on the infographic was how many rely on translations from Latin, German, and other languages. [Read more…]