Advertisers Race to Win with Social Media

June 5, 2012 - Source: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images North America

Millions of NASCAR fans can’t be wrong. This weekend, NASCAR rebranded a race born in 1957 to capitalize on social media marketing. The Pocono 400 will now be known as the ‘Pocono 400 Presented by #NASCAR’, likely making it the first major sporting event to incorporate a hashtag into its actual title. We recently discussed how easy it can be to bring social to your events.


Race officials believe adding a social media layer to the already charged event will deepen fan interaction and boost interaction not only with the racers but their sponsors.


It is disappointing to see how brands and their events are late to the game when it comes to exploiting a social layer within their event or experience. NASCAR learned a valuable lesson about the power of social media earlier this year. NASCAR fans are very active on Twitter and the league encourages its drivers to use social media to connect with them on and off the track. For instance, driver Brad Keselowski set the bar for an enviable Twitter sports moment earlier this year when he tweeted photos from inside his car on the Daytona 500 racetrack during a fire delay. The result? He gained more than 100,000 followers in approximately two hours. So why are so businesses and brands still spinning their wheels when it comes to integrating their advertising with social media?


NASCAR’s move to social media integration translates into a groundbreaking shift from strictly traditional advertising. With GM recently pulling their entire Facebook advertising strategy coupled with the fall of Facebook stock, business might be thinking that advertising and social media just don’t go hand in hand with each other. They couldn’t be more wrong.


As with any other strategy, the tactics can make or break any campaign. Many brands struggle to communicate with their fans via social media. Worse yet, they do virtually nothing with the data they extract from their fans (for free, we might add) via Pages. In CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) surveys, brands are given boatloads of data. And brands get SO excited by data. What they fail to realize though is how to manipulate, turn, rotate, and pivot that data to derive any reasonable conclusions from their customers,close any service or operational gaps, and create a customer connection to reinforce a positive customer experience. It’s confounding because there is a wealth of information just waiting to be put to work.


If you spend advertising dollars with a medium that is currently inactive, inept, ignoring (read: afraid of), or just plain non-existent on social media, or discounts social media’s effectiveness—RUN, don’t walk. Brands may as well save the money that would be wasted with a dinosaur brand and put it elsewhere. Understand not every broadcast medium has to be everywhere and flexing its muscles on numerous social media platforms, but to not even be present, active, and effective on one platform in this day and age is inexcusable. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but for the most part, if your local TV station, newspaper, magazine, or radio station is not leveraging social media, they are exhibiting a greater fault than ignorance—arrogance.


Although a recent Reuters survey caused major rumblings about the overall effectiveness of Facebook ads, advertisers need to think more strategically about their Facebook Pages, Twitter accounts, Pinterest posts, Instagram photos, and websites. The content posted to these social media platforms serves to advertise and promote your business and brand. Use the content and context wisely. If your business can successfully connect with your fans and engage their interest via these channels, your stock has just gone up.

2 thoughts on “Advertisers Race to Win with Social Media

  1. Marlo says:

    Great article! What’s so telling about the use of the # is that I didn’t even notice it in the revised race title until you pointed it out in the next sentence! It’s such a part of our culture now that it didn’t stand out. Brands definitely are ‘Johnny come lately’ with SM. Hope to see more brands utilizing it — properly.

    • Susie Parker says:

      I find myself looking for the hashtag more and more on TV. Some shows/networks are better than others. But it would be nice they could at least in the game.