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SplashCast: Social Media in Olympic Sports


The Olympic games in London highlighted social media more than any major sporting event has before. One of the teams that took advantage of social media marketing capabilities was USA Boxing.

Rob Howe is Marketing & Events Manager for USA Boxing. In this interview with Duncan Gilman, Howe discusses the impact of social media on the London 2012 Olympic games, especially boxing. Howe also touches on celebrating successes through social media, including the women”s wins, and how amateur boxing using social media marketing during non-Olympic years.

Check out our playlist to watch more SplashCasts: 

Social Learning: How Are Schools Using Social Media?


Using Social Media in SchoolsFor those of us who use social media regularly—and can’t imagine not using it—it becomes fascinating to see how it is used in a variety of occupations. How are police using social media? Churches? Politicians? We’ve decided to explore how all of these use social media, and today the focus is on schools.

Meet the newest catch phrase: social learning. According to Wikipedia, social learning is learning that takes place on a wider scale than individual or group learning, up to a societal scale, through social interaction between peers—specifically through social media for the purposes of our discussion. So what are the implications and strategies behind social learning?

Educators can create private social networks focused on course curriculum thanks to programs like Edmodo or Schoology. These platforms make it easy for teachers to post assignments and communicate with their students in an online forum. Outside of this, educators are also using social media to keep in touch, share ideas, connect and learn anytime and from anywhere. Instant collaboration and worldwide reach: you can’t beat that kind of capability in an instant research tool.

Teachers are using social media to keep up on the latest learning trends and web tools. Here are a few Twitter chats where teachers share resources:

  • #EdChat
  • #MathChat
  • #TeachChat

According to, some teachers use Twitter to quiz their students. “I use Twitter to do an end-of-the-unit review. I tweet various topics, people, and dates for Advanced Placement U.S. History,” said Ann Wright, assistant principal of Archbishop O’Hara High School In Kansas City.

Some school districts are using Facebook and Twitter for messages to parents, back-to-school guides, and to show recognition for teacher and education awards.

Social media can also make learning more fun. Teachers can have students create a YouTube video and then track its sharing and views. Students can construct a graph to showcase how much cyber traction a good joke gets on Twitter. The teaching possibilities are endless.

Parents and teachers do express fears regarding social media. Parents worry about bullying, and everyone scrutinizes teacher-student online relationships. But, the nice thing about social media is its transparency. As a parent, if you’re worried about your children’s online social activity, follow them on Twitter and friend them on Facebook. Also make sure you have all their sign-in credentials and full access to their online accounts. Schools concerned about teachers’ social media activity need to create detailed and comprehensive social media agreements with their staff, laying out clear expectations as much as possible. We’re all in new territory here.

And it’s always good to remember that online activity has inherent repercussions that can come back to bite you, so follow these suggestions:

  • Always check your privacy settings.
  • Don’t share secrets.
  • Be honest.
  • Respect copyright laws.
  • Think about the consequences.

Remember, today’s kids are growing up with Google, Facebook and Twitter in their communications DNA. They can’t imagine a time when these tools and networks weren’t around. Being online is integrated into their daily lives, so it’s a natural progression to have it in their schools as well.

Social media isn’t going away anytime soon, so eventually everyone’s going to have to figure out how their organization is going to use it. Here’s your homework: know that social media is out there, it’s loud, and it’s constantly evolving.

Are you keeping up with social media in your industry?

Rhea Thomas is the Blogger Manager at Splash Media and part of the Content Creation and Script Production team at Splash Media U. You can find her on Twitter @TexasRheaClick here to see all of Rhea’s blog posts.

London 2012: First Social Media Olympics


The Olympic Games may be a stellar gathering of accomplished athletes from around the world, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) also has to think like a business. And for the first time, the Games are taking a cue from many other global businesses and embracing social media.

social media olympics

The Beijing Olympics in 2008 had no official social media strategy and the Vancouver Games made tiny forays. But the London Olympics will be the first to make full use of social media.

The London 2012 Olympics has hired a social media team, and set up official TwitterFacebook, , Instagram (@Olympics) and foursquare accounts. In addition, the IOC is building an  to connect worldwide fans to the hundreds of social networking streams of athletes and events on Twitter and Facebook.

Many wondered how the IOC was going to handle the other issue regarding social media: fans sharing photos and videos. According to Anthony Edgar, head of media operations for the IOC, spectators will not be penalized for sharing media and they can take pictures of athletes and events and post them through social media platforms. Video, however, should not be posted online but can be shared with family and friends.

In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, IOC Director of Communications Mark Adams said, ”Auntie Mabel in Norwich is not going to get a knock on the door at midnight and told to take something down. The main reason we do this is to stop companies (from) making money out of the Olympics who don”t put any money back into the sport.”

Athletes, on the other hand, face substantial social media restrictions and have to be very careful not to exploit their existing commercial contracts through the Olympics.

How much control will the IOC ultimately have? It will be interesting to see how this plays out, since much of the Olympics’ revenue is dependent on the billion-dollar deals with television/radio networks and other companies that have paid to be official sponsors.

Are you planning on following any of the Olympics’ social media accounts? Are you following any athletes online? Tell us about it here.

SplashCast From The Past: Genghis Grill Keeps Feasting On Social Media


In August 2011, Splash Media invited Chiara Granado and Liz Jones from Genghis Grill to talk about the Mongolian barbecue chain’s social media marketing efforts. And since that time, the company has added to its social media menu.

Genghis Grill now has a presence on Google+ and Pinterest, and continues to talk to its customers on its Facebook and Twitter pages. The company’s HealthKwest campaign – a success for Genghis Grill in 2011 – keeps rewarding customers who share their exercise and diet stories on the website.

In this SplashCast with host Renay San Miguel, Granado and Jones talk about the role social media played in the 2011 HealthKwest campaign, and how Genghis Grill uses the different platforms to distribute content to current and potential customers.


Jones tells Splash Media that in an effort to reach a goal of 1 million fans on Facebook and its Khan’s Klub email database, Genghis Grill has launched its Facebook Referral Engine, a way to offer incentives for customers to like its FB page. The initial customer gets a free appetizer for joining Khan’s Klub and the news is posted to that customer’s personal FB page. If five or more friends see that status update and do some liking of their own on the Genghis Facebook page, the original customer gets a free bowl coupon and the friends get appetizers. Jones also promises some tasty news regarding the Referral Engine coming in September.

“This is a great way to expand our network and gain new fans and trial,” Jones told Splash Media. “This will also help promote our new appetizers to all of our fans.”

Dallas Social Media Marketing: i Fratelli Pizza Cooks Up Lessons For Small Businesses


This is part 2 of a blog post focusing on social media marketing success stories presented during the 2nd annual Social Media Showcase, sponsored July 19th by Social Media Club of Dallas.

The goal was to find a way to allow a well-known Dallas-Fort Worth chain of pizza restaurants to give back to the local community. It wasn’t really about jump-starting sales. “i Fratelli is killing it,” said Jeff Schick, director of integrated digital strategy at Online Performance Marketing, during his Social Media Showcase presentation.  “They’ve grown to 10 locations, received outstanding customer reviews. The brand is doing extremely well after 25 years of business.”

But wouldn’t you know it: by trying to help others, i Fratelli’s social media-driven strategy also helped its own bottom line.

Known for its thin crust, rectangular pizzas (ad tagline: “Never Trust A Round Pizza”), i Fratelli used Online Performance’s strategy for the i Fratelli Pizza DoughNation, a social media-based program. Customers would nominate worthy charities online, and i Fratelli would donate 15% of all Monday sales to that group.

The strategy’s components:

  • Content strategies for i Fratelli’s blog The Sauce;
  • Cross-pollination of posts on Facebook and Twitter to boost SEO performance;
  • Identifying influencers;
  • Seeded code words (usually non-profit/charity names) in social media that – when mentioned in pizza orders – would help with measurement;
  • Using i Fratelli’s owned media to generate earned media (local TV and print news coverage).

Now a slew of DFW non-profits and charities are indeed getting much-needed financial help, and i Fratelli has stronger ties to its communities. But Schick said his client, which started DoughNation in February, has never dipped below a 300% return on investment each month since then. “We’ve had an increase in sales, and we’ve been able to tie that to social media ROI,” he said.

Online Performance grew i Fratelli’s retweet percentages, receiving national and international shout-outs.  The Sauce blog’s unique views were 86% driven by social media and 14% from direct URL input, “so we were increasing brand awareness and recall.” Monthly impressions rose from 40,000 to 125,000.

“Social media results are not just for big brands,” Schick said. “Small and medium-sized businesses can see powerful results, whether it’s attitudinal behavior or financial. You just gotta know how to do it right.”

“It’s like having a built-in pep squad,” i Fratelli marketing director Rachel Black told Splash Media. “I like keeping our name in front of customers via a platform they are already engaged in. Our company is local and many of our fans know the owners and have developed an ownership of their success over the years. Their enthusiasm for our product and our story really drives our success on social media.”

And despite the boost in sales that was a byproduct of DoughNation, “we do not spend any time worrying about return on investment,” she said. “Our marketing budget is small for a company of our size, but there has been no question that an investment in social is good business. We have halted print advertising almost entirely and focused on web and social. Though it can be hard to discern a measurable impact, we have agreed that an absence in the realm of social media would leave us behind the curve.”