The New York Giants won the Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday. Here are 10 social media lessons you can learn from the team:
10. Don’t get complacent.
At one point during the season, the Giants had a record of 6-2 and were in first place in the NFC East. Yet, the team didn’t know until the last week of the season whether it’d make the playoffs. The lesson here is that you can’t just relax after your social media efforts have started off strong. Don’t let others pass you by.
9. Monitor for new brand ambassadors.
New players like defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul can quickly emerge to be stars. Continually monitor what is being said about your company and who is saying it. You might just find a great brand ambassador who can help influence others and support your brand like no one else.
8. Don’t let short-term negativity impact your long-term vision.
When running back Ahmad Bradshaw and defensive end Osi Umenyiora were missing games due to injury, the Giants were not themselves. But eventually they came back and returned to their Pro Bowl-like play. Same goes for social media after you’ve experienced a crisis communications situation. While you may not be the favorite brand of the moment, if you rehab properly (have a crisis communications plan in place and execute quickly) then eventually you will get back to where you were before the crisis struck.
7. Stick to your game plan.
When the Giants were in the middle of a four-game losing streak and its record was 6-6, no one believed the team would make it to the playoffs, let alone the Super Bowl. But the Giants had a plan and stuck to it. If you believe you have the right strategy in place, don’t change it.
6. It’s OK to experiment.
The Giants were criticized throughout the offseason for not re-signing players like wide receiver Steve Smith and tight end Kevin Boss, and instead giving relative unknowns like Victor Cruz (WR) and Jake Ballard (TE) a shot to play. Did it work? Smith and Boss combined for 4 touchdowns this season, while Cruz and Ballard contributed 13. This doesn’t mean that every risk you take or every new social media channel you try to use is going to work, but it’s worth trying once in a while and taking a chance.
5. There’s always room for improvement.
The Giants won five games in a row leading to the Super Bowl. Each week the team improved, learning from mistakes and practicing harder than it did the week before—and it showing in its play. Pay attention to your social media performance, see what’s working and what’s not, and adjust accordingly.
4. Have the right people in place.
All season long the media was calling for veteran head coach Tom Coughlinto be fired. Giants ownership stuck with him and now he’s a two-time Super Bowl-winning coach. In social media, when you are working with a smart social media team and have the confidence and buy-in of the company’s leaders, you have a good chance of the program being successful.
3. Quality is great than quantity.
Quarterback Eli Manning is no Peyton Manning. He’s thrown for fewer passing yards and touchdowns, and has been on far fewer TV commercials. But he now has more Super Bowl rings than his big brother. In other words, just because your perceived competition might have bigger social media numbers than your channels, doesn’t mean that they are any more likely to succeed than you are.
2. Focus on your goals.
The New England Patriots held a huge rally before the team boarded a plane and headed to Indianapolis for the Super Bowl. What did the Giants do? The team held a normal Saturday walkthrough and left at the same time they would normally leave for a road game. This doesn’t mean the Giants beat the Patriots because it had an eventful pep rally, though it suggests the Giants were more focused on the task at hand. Your social media program should similarly be focused on how to reach objectives and accomplish program goals.
1. Be patient.
It’s a long season and success doesn’t happen overnight. If you are committed to tapping social media channels, be in it for the long-term results.
Andrew Worob is a managing associate in the digital practice at Finn Partners and a featured blogger at Inspired, a new PR Blog by Finn Partners, where this article originally ran. He is also a suffering New York Jets fan who wasn’t rooting for the Giants or the New England Patriots. Contact him via Andrew@finnpartners.com or on Twitter.