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Penalty On the NFL - Poor Social Media Use of #ProBowl and Twitter

By Roman KniahynyckyjJan 30, 2012

alohajamesharrisonPerhaps Roger Goodell might consider downloading our Twitter Marketing Cheat Sheet the next time he considers social media use during an NFL game. 

In case you missed it, NFL players were encouraged to tweet during the Pro Bowl using #ProBowl on computer stations that were set up opposing sidelines. I applaud the NFL's experimentation with social media, but in my opinion, there are many lessons to be learned from what I consider a failed experiment. Here are some things the NFL should have considered before using Twitter during a game: 

Be Natural and Have a Great Product

Firstly, the Pro Bowl isn't a real game. And yesterday's game was akin to a badly choreographed WWF match without fake blood and broken chairs. It was painful to watch. Why tweet during a fake game when so many great real games took place this year. The NFL has an amazing, authentic product - engage your fans via Twitter about your real games.

Secondly, most NFL players don't tweet from computers, they use their smartphones to share specific moments and thoughts in a just-in-time fashion. Setting up "tweeting" stations is the ultimate in forced fun. If you're looking for authenticity, take a look and Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker James Harrison's Facebook and Twitter streams. Using videos, pictures and tweets, James took us behind the scenes of the Pro Bowl and gave us a true sense of being on his Pro Bowl trip with him. If that's what Roger Goodell intended with his sideline tweeting mandate - he may consider taking some tips from James. 

Interestingly, and maybe sensing a lack of authenticity in sideline tweeting, James Harrison chose not to tweet during the ProBowl. 

JamesHarrison

Add an NFL Twitter Zone to the NFL Red Zone

Instead of encouraging sideline tweets, the NFL might consider aggregating and curating the already valuable content NFL players are tweeting into an NFL Twitter Ticker (see Business 2 Community for a nice example of this) or even an NFL Twitter Zone. These are real and authentic tweets from NFL "employees" that fans would pay attention to. 

What's your take on tweeting at the Pro Bowl? Do you think the NFL is behind the times with its social media policy? 

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pic: James Harrison

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