Taking Advantage of a Social Opportunity
The best part about social media is it allows us to connect with real people and real moments. I do not follow motor racing but last weekend I received a message that Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) a Nascar driver was tweeting from his mobile phone during the Daytona500. It started with this Tweet entitled “Fire” where he gave his followers a view from inside his car when the race had been halted due to a fire on the track. Within an hour he received an addition 100,000 followers and over 2 days his followers would increase from 50,000 to over 220,000 as viewers followed his tweets while watching the race (or lack of race considering the cars were all stopped on the track).
Since this tweet Brad Keselowski has been noted in many articles as one of the most influential sports personality on Twitter and the buzz around Nascar and the other drivers has increased. In a statement on Twitter Nascar added that they were not going to penalise Keselowski but encouraged drivers to “use social media to express themselves as long as they do so without risking their safety or that of others”. A good move by Nascar considering the amount of positive chatter on this topic.
For Nascar this is publicity that only a lot of money or a carefully crafted social media campaign can buy. I am sure that anyone managing social on their behalf had never suggested allowing the drivers to carry a phone in their pockets during the race, just to take advantage of the opportunity to allow viewers to see the race from the inside. For organisations the lesson is that the opportunity from social media can come at moments that you could never predict, to take advantage of these moments they need to be ready, which I guess is part of only a few social media strategies. At least for Nascar and other racing codes I am sure in the future we will see a lot more racing car drivers carrying their phones in their pockets during races.