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Louisville Slugger Lifts Facebook Chatter by 834%

  |  November 9, 2011   |  Comments

Offline event bolsters "people talking about this" metric for the baseball brand.

The marketing community has been buzzing over Facebook's new "talking about this" metric for its Page Insights product. Louisville Slugger's recent effort saw a week over week lift of 834 percent for the statistic, highlighting how it can be used to measure campaigns that utilize not only online activations but offline ones as well.

While the baseball brand's Facebook page and Twitter account were launched three years ago, they had become stagnant. That is, until the brand tapped creative agency imc2 to design a scavenger hunt late last month in St. Louis - the home of Major League Baseball's newly crowned world champions.

According to Louisville Slugger, the one-day initiative helped lift the brand's Facebook "likes" by 143 percent and its Twitter followers by 161 percent. And once again, its "talking about this" number leaped by 834 percent week over week.

As it appears on branded Facebook pages, "talking about this" is a raw number - not a percentage - that adds up various engagement types. The stat includes number of likes, number of Facebook user comments involving the brand, RVSPs, "@mentions" of a brand, Facebook Places check-ins, and photo-tags. It is designed to show how well a brand's efforts translate into social chatter.

"Talking about this" is a weekly metric. For the week prior to the event, Louisville Slugger's stat for that Facebook Page Insights category was 755. During the week after, according to the brand, the number leaped to 7,049, equaling a 834 percent jump.

Here's how the scavenger hunt was orchestrated on Oct. 29. The brand had a mobile team driving around St. Louis, placing 45 World Series commemorative bats at different locations and posting clues about their whereabouts on Facebook and Twitter. The team authored 66 posts, averaging 23 "likes" and 20 comments per message. Here's one example of a post:

Hey Cards fans! So, remember all those questions about bat #10? Yeah, about that. Who knew a commemorative World Series bat could slide underneath a back seat all by itself. Well, on our way out of town, we caught the stowaway and it has been dropped. Waiting for a good home. Sorry for the confusion, but these bats belong to St. Louis fans and we wanted to make sure the drop was complete.

Rick Redman, spokesperson for the Louisville, KY-based company, described how the offline activity meshed with Facebook and Twitter during the scavenger hunt. He suggested that the event breathed new life into the brand's social media presence.

"People were camped out at St. Louis landmarks waiting for us," Redman told ClickZ News.

Not only that, Redman said his team could not approach a few of its intended destinations because it feared people could get hurt in the scramble. To address that problem it altered some drop locations on the fly.

As the team approached one such drop spot - LaFayette High School, attended by key St. Louis Cardinal David Freese - it found over 100 people waiting.

Redman said, "We had to alter our plan and drop the bats nearby... We had the ability to send out a message immediately by Twitter or Facebook and have it go directly to those participating. If we had followed our plan, it could have been a disaster at those locations."

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Christopher Heine

Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.

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