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Social Media Report Card – Steve Nash

Keith Allison - Nash 02In November 2009, I introduced a series of articles I called ‘Social Media Report Card,’ where I graded each of the four major sports leagues – NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB – on their social media presence. I made a point of being harsh. In particular, I criticized each of the leagues for only utilizing the major platforms (Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube) and not adopting some of the emerging platforms (Tumblr, Dailybooth, and Ustream), as well as for not interacting enough with the fans. The series received a lot of positive feedback, so I’ve decided to continue with my ‘Social Media Report Cards,’ this time focusing on individual athletes.

I chose to start with Steve Nash for a few reasons. First, Nash is one of my favorite athletes from any sport right now, which is saying a lot since I am typically a hometown fan (Phillies, Eagles, Sixers). Second, he has always been incredibly entertaining to watch on the court, and has also done some really cool and fun stuff off the court. Third, I think he is one of the most underrated social media users in the sports world. So without further ado, here we go!

Visibility (B+)

Steve Nash might have joined Twitter because of his former teammate, and social media rock star Shaquille O’Neal (@The_Real_Shaq & @The_Real_Nash), but he has fully embraced it and created a really great presence. He has more than 110,000 followers. Nash is also on Facebook, with over 575,000 fans. And to complete the trifecta, he has a YouTube account where he has racked up more than 630,000 total upload views. Before all of these, Nash was challenging fans to competitions (e.g. most free throws in a minute, staring contest) on Baron Davis’ social network, I Beat You. While I haven’t seen him go live on Ustream or snap photos on DailyBooth, Nash has embraced social media across a variety of platforms.

Content (A+)

Content is where Steve Nash shines. He is very creative and has a great sense of humor. Have you seen the video where he asks fans to vote for him in the 2010 All Star game? Or the ‘Step Brothers’ parody trailer he shot with Baron Davis? There was also the video he shot, and presumably organized, of his Phoenix Suns teammates singing Lionel Richie’s ‘All Night Long.’

If you head to SteveNash.org, his organization’s website, you’ll see that Nash also knows how to organize a great promotion. He is giving away a pair of signed, game-worn shoes to someone who donates to the foundation on six different dates. Pretty cool.

Fan Interaction (B)

Nash picks and chooses who he interacts with. On Facebook, he never gets into the comments from the fans, however in some status updates, he does specifically mention how much he appreciates their interaction. On Twitter, Nash Keith Allison - Nash 03occasionally retweets a fan and adds commentary of his own, but he engages more with high profile users than average fans. The thing that saves him is that a lot of his videos are really calls to action to the fans. He engages and interacts through his videos, by asking them to beat him in a competition, or vote for him in the All Star game. The fact that he films most of his videos with a Flip cam and speaks directly to the audience makes him more personal than most.

Consistency (B+)

Professional athletes have demanding schedules, especially during the season, and I don’t expect them to be spending all of their free time on social media. By posting every couple of days (on average) on Facebook, and nearly every day on Twitter, Nash is doing a solid job. During the off season, I would hope to see him get a little more involved.

Overall (A-)

The most important part of using social media, for a brand, is authenticity. The fact that Steve Nash creates very personal content and seems to be behind all of his social media endeavors means a lot. My biggest critique is the lack of interaction with his fans through Twitter and Facebook. I may be a little biased because of my Nash fanboy status, but I really do think that he is underrated, especially from a content standpoint. I’m just looking forward to what he does next.

What do you think of Steve Nash’s social media presence? Were you paying attention to him before you read this article? Who would you like me to highlight in future editions of ‘Social Media Report Card’?

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Images by Keith Allison

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8 Responses to Social Media Report Card – Steve Nash

  1. Brad Williamson - The Virtual Biographer January 13, 2010 at 11:27 am #

    I agree with ya on a lot of fronts, man — but the A+ on the content is a being a little generous, IMO.

    Yes — the man does have a great sense of humor in his very entertaining vids, but his virtual life on a day-to-day basis doesn’t have much substance to it. Sure, he may be on Twitter on “the reg,” but we all know Twitter isn’t the most intimate of social media platforms to use.

    For him to get an A+ on content, I’d have to see him publishing content on a daily basis, with a nice mixture of literary, video, audio, photographic, interactive and promotional content each and every week.

    That’s just my opinion! 😉 Nice article, Sam!

  2. Sam Taggart January 13, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    Brad,

    Thanks for your response. You may be right, an A+ may have been a little generous, but keep in mind I grade content based on substance, not on how consistently it’s being created (which is why I created the ‘consistency’ section). Also, I don’t think that someone needs to be creating a variety of content (e.g. literary, audio, photographic) if he or she is better or more comfortable with a certain medium. If Nash is creating great video content, I personally don’t care if ever he writes a post or records an audio clip.

    That being said, I see your points. 😉 Thanks again for your comment!

  3. Ash Read January 13, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    Sam,

    Another great article!

    I gotta be honest with you, I wasn’t paying too much attention to Steve Nash before this article, I knew he was on Twitter but I’d never seen any of his video content.

    I can see where Brad is coming from in that some athletes do post content far more regularly. However, I have agree with you on grading the content by substance rather than quantity. Personally I’d rather see engaging content posted every couple of days than mediocre content being posted just for the sake of posting it.

    I’d also like to see athletes starting to utilise more social media tools like Tumblr, DailyBooth and Flickr rather than keeping with the crowd and only really using Facebook and Twitter. I know Facebook and Twitter is where the largest audience is at the moment but I’m sure if stars stared use these other tools the fans would follow.

    Anyway there’s my thoughts, I’m looking forward to the next report card!

  4. Sam Taggart January 13, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    Ash,

    Appreciate your support. I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

    I agree, I would love to see more athletes get involved in the emerging platforms. It will happen, sooner than later, believe me!

  5. Sam January 18, 2010 at 2:24 am #

    Yo,

    first of all Sam, props for giving my Canadian role model his props – I’m actually torn because as much as I love his game, I also can’t wait to see what he will do when he’s done, playing.

    Secondly, how do you know he films with a flip cam?

    and to answer your question, you should grade Allen Iverson next.

    I’m real curious to see what you think of those ‘network’ sites (the .pro affiliation). I am personally not a fan.

  6. Jackson January 22, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    You know you’ve got to write up my man Number 12 for the Magic. I’m going to be looking for that next week…

  7. Sam Taggart January 23, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    Sam,

    Thanks for the love. Nash is one of my fav’s, on and off the court, and I’m sure he will do some really cool things when he retires.

    I don’t know if he films with a flip cam. It may be a webcam or another type of video camera. My point was more that it is definitely low-budget, and emits a very personal vibe.

    I may write an article about AI, although I already wrote about him (and the Sixers) a while back. Not sure I like the ‘network’ sites. May have to write an article about that!

    Jackson,

    Thanks for the recommendation. May write about Dwight Howard in the future. Not this week, though. 🙂

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