Every Interaction Is Important

Before this year’s football season began, the NFL introduced a new bag policy for all league stadiums to take effect in 2013. It’s quite different from policies of old, but in this day and age, it’s completely understandable, despite its inconveniences. Excluding specific size requirements for bags to enter stadiums now, the primary objective of the rule change is to ensure fans are carrying items in a clear bag. Naturally, the Atlanta Falcons organization has been reminding fans of these rule changes frequently throughout the preseason and at the beginning of the regular season. It’s very likely that we’ll remind fans of this all season. All Falcons-branded Twitter accounts have reminded fans in some way in the previous weeks about the policy, and on game day we pump up the frequency. Personally, I’ve shared the message in a variety of ways, including links to a blog post about it, or just images that clearly explain the policy. In the aftermath of these changes, and our consistent discussion on social media about the policy, I found myself in the middle of a conversation that demonstrates the power of social media and the connections fans and followers make with a brand. It started as a common question. Though I’m part of the digital media team that covers the Falcons, we also have a large presence online and we represent the brand there as well. At times we’re like switch board operators, answering questions or sending fans to the right resource. In the middle of this conversation, another fan jumped in and helped us provide a solution for the original fan who was searching for a specific clear bag for an upcoming home game. On the Falcons side, we serve as a conduit for this conversation to take place. In the end, who solved the problem isn’t important to us, only that it was solved. And what a great solution it was. Maybe there’s a new game day friendship in store for these two fans. What’s it got to do with you? Well, this exchange shows the levels of service on behalf of your brand that you may go through with a single follower, event attendee or potential attendee. While you’re using your social media accounts to build buzz for an event or your association in general, you’re also using the online tools to reinforce what your brand, association or destination stands for. Are you missing out on conversations that could further influence your followers or bolster your brand? Value each potential exchange as goodwill currency, just like in “real” life. Answer the questions and take the time to connect and you’ll quickly start building a following that will loyally trumpet your cause whenever you need.   (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)