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Monday

The BlogFather Trilogy - Skepta

In my last little clutterance I wrote about how companies could learn a thing or two about how to implement a social media campaign from the boys at Umbro.  This weeks pun footballing title was Household Footballers by the way – quality.  However, I won’t be assessing them again, we all know how highly they're rated.  This week I will start my blog trilogy.  The three piece article will shed light on how Twitter, and social media can help an individual, whether already a celebrity, or someone just trying to get their name out there. The first of the trilogy, which I have aptly called "The BlogFather Trilogy" is about UK Grime artist, Skepta.

I previously mentioned Skepta in: Women in Hip Hop and briefly brushed over how social media had helped him.  For this clutterance however, it's the perfect launchpad for displaying my argument. 

Skepta, is accredited as saying that he wants to make Grime 'mainstream' in the UK, Europe and the United States.  I could go on in great detail about his career and who he has teamed up with at Boy Better Know, but to find all that out just click here: Skepta Wiki!.  What I am interested in is how Twitter has helped him, massively.

If you have a product, then anyone with a sense of brand management, or an awareness of the best way to gain publicity is to be endorsed by a celebrity.  A brilliant example of this is Sharpies, the pen manufacturer who somehow managed to get endorsement from David Beckham - increasing their sales by approximately 210% in the first two years of advertising.  Social media, and once again particularly Twitter is giving opportunity to people to gain celebrity 'endorsement' without asking for it.  If a powerful tweeter, i.e someone with a huge following releases a 'liking' for something, literally millions of people are exposed to a peer recommendation of the highest order.  For instance, if your favourite writer is on Twitter and you read all their novels, or newspaper columns, or magazine articles - a man like Charlie Brooker for instance - says he finds something funny or a brilliant read, chances are most, if not all of his followers will read/watch or even buy said content.  I myself do just that.  In the case of Skepta, he found himself in the middle of a cyclone of recommendation and celebrity endorsement. 

The other points within this cyclone? Puff Daddy and over 550,000 Grime fans on Twitter.

Essentially what happened was that P. Diddy - the father of all puff - Tweeted that he liked and respected the UK grime sound.  Upon reading this, something like 10,000 people retweeted the update.  The next tweet proclaimed that he wanted to make a grime track and asked his UK followers for their suggestions.  With this, Puff Diddly was told by approximately 30,000 people that the man for the job would be Skepta.  From there, Diddykins sent a little 'hello, im Mr Puffy Diddles, we should hook up" tweet to Skepta, who responded with a huuuuge "YES" and within a month the Hello Good Morning Grime Remix was created.

Since then, nobody could argue that they haven't heard more and more of Skepta and boy better know on mainstream radio, and his name has certainly been much much more recognisable.  Through Twitter, and it's capacity to create recommendations, access to celebrities like never before, and a clear picture of what's hot and what's not, Skepta was thrown into new heights merely through a little 140 character update, and this boy better know that he  has a lot to thank his fans for.

Friday

Good Sport

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I tweet a lot. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I love a good pun. If you follow me on Twitter, you need to follow Umbro.

My recent awareness of my own character; my love of puns, one-liners, chit chat and football has led me to think about how companies might target me through social media. My realisation, Umbro are miles ahead.

As an arena, the twittersphere is stocked full of people trying to get noticed. Whether this is noticed by their favourite musicians, comedians or companies, the competition is fierce. I am one of those people, not just trying to get noticed by celebrities, but by anyone who'll listen. Anyone that'll have me. Desperate? A little, but what's the point of doing something if you don't want people to appreciate it? The opportunity to get one's name "out there" is more available than ever thanks to Twitter. With a well worded, 140 character status update, what you have to say is potentially broadcast to the entire world - something only the internet as a medium can offer - instantly. However, something I have discovered is that to be successful, whether as an individual or a company, you have to engage. In my opinion, and please say if you disagree, Twitter (and social media in general) is there to socialise, not just advertise. This point is being missed by far too many people and I am sick of those companies who merely post information or pieces of generic advertising, who never respond to others and never engage.

If engaging with your customer is vital in your social media strategy - which it is by the way - then one should look no further than the boys at Umbro. As I sit here and write this blog, my body is overflowing with envy at their job. Getting paid to write about football is a dream many of us have but very few will accomplish. So despite my blood boiling and my eyes turning green, I have to admit that these guys, Aaron and Tom, are bloody fantastic. The beauty of Umbro's social media campaign is not just that their blog is interesting, entertaining and brilliantly written - which it is - but that their use of social media is creative and steeped in interaction. They use competitions amongst fans and offer rewards of tickets and shirts, they join in debates and discussions, they share interesting insider gossip and information, but their greatest creation is pun Fridays. Every Friday they release a different football themed pun. This weeks for instance was called Seaside Footballers. The results were very entertaining. Below are just a few entries I read.

  • @teacherobert went with "Salmon Kalou" "Clint Deepsea" and "Coral Poborski"
  • I entered "Marco Tanned Bastard" "Fabio Capadelo" "Alboato Aqualungi" "Seabasstian Bassong" "Fabio Auwhalio" "Dirk Trout" "Alle-sand-row Delve-pier-roe" and "Paul Conchesky".

Now, as you can see, I went too far and am a bit of a loser. Please leave your own Seaside Footballers in the comments at the end, I know you want to.

People reading this clutterance may ask why this matters? I'll tell you. There are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people exactly like me, i'm no snowflake. Before Twitter, I wouldn't have considered Umbro for my sports gear, I'd have gone with Nike or Adidas. However, simply because of this brilliant piece of brand management I find myself inclined to think differently, very differently. Call me impressionable, but i'm not alone in being like this and Umbro have realised this brilliantly. Now, I'm off for a kick about, where are my Umbro Speciali?