Shaquille O’Neal has transcended social media by bridging the gap between his larger-than-life persona and his captivated audience. O’Neal’s engaging smile has endeared fans from his collegiate days at LSU, to the glitz of Los Angeles. Now, a savvy hoops veteran, Shaq lends his talents to the Boston Celtics.
Welcome to Shaqachusetts
In his 18th year and surrounded by fellow all-stars, you could make a case that O’Neal is at the twilight of his playing career. However, Shaq’s personal brand is hotter than ever. O’Neal has fortified his likability in Boston by openly embracing the city, making numerous public appearances and tracking it all on social media. O’Neal’s twitter account , @THE_REAL_SHAQ has over 3.5 million followers. New England loves Shaquille O’Neal.
What Can Businesses Learn From Shaq
While Shaq’s audience grows, many businesses struggle to capture even a fraction of his social media audience. As a person, athlete and celebrity, Shaq certainly has an advantage. Unless, you are Apple, few companies can replicate O’Neil’s mass appeal and following. However, Shaq’s social media strategy follows 3 critical steps than many companies can embrace.
Genuine Shaq personifies “take what you do seriously, not yourself”. Off the court, he is leading the Boston Pops or impersonating a statue in Harvard Square. On the court, O’Neal is all business, fighting for rebounds and helping his team. Shaq’s Twitter feed brings both worlds to light for everyone to see.
This is where the corporate task forces and steering committees can get wayward. Social media is changing the face of corporate America because it forces conversations that previously went unlooked, avoided or simply unknown. Companies (especially as they scale in size) thrive when they get over themselves and get real. The faster organizations embrace the idea of learning their identity, the better they’ll be able to articulate their brand. Shaq’s brand resonates with is audience because he knows exactly who he is.
Timely Social media has a very low barrier to entry with a significant requirement to be timely in the conversation. This is a basic concept, but it’s often neglected. Given the NBA’s social media restrictions, Shaq gives excellent behind-the-scenes/real-time access for his audience. Businesses my resist turning social efforts into an editorial calendar. This is an ongoing dialogue and a conversation with your audience. Mapping trends and establishing cadence helps your social media strategy, but make sure it is nimble enough to adapt to changing landscapes.
Value Organizations’ fundamental goal is to provide value. The value of your social media strategy is no different. Shaq’s social media approach provides value because his demeanor and genuine approach makes it very easy to step into the world of Shaquille O’Neil.
By providing a consistent and approachable voice, you can create real-time engagement with your audience that provides value and builds trust.