#JetsHunt Takes Fans on a Tour of New York Jets’ Social Media Channels

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The New York Jets executed a rather underwhelming social media scavenger hunt with #JetsHunt.

How do you get more fans to connect with you on all your social media channels? Try a social media scavenger hunt.

The New York Jets partnered with JetBlue to launch #JetsHunt this week. The team posted five questions on some of its social media channels, including Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest and Tumblr. One lucky winner was promised “2 VIP tickets to a NYC event” on Saturday, April 28. The catch? Follow clues posted on the various social sites, tweet your guess to the Jets and you’re qualified to win.

The concept is brilliant, especially as college and professional teams in all sports look to connect with fans across emerging social media channels like Pinterest. It could also drive renewed interest into fledgling sites like Google Plus, where teams – and many brands – have had difficulty building communities.

The Jets kicked off #JetsHunt on Twitter, engaging its 366,000+ followers with the first of five clues. The results were … underwhelming by most standards. The tweet, sent April 23, yielded just seven retweets and four favorites.

The Jets posted a second clue on Tumblr the following day. The results were equally unimpressive, where one fan commented and no one shared it or liked it. Yikes!

The Jets took #JetsHunt to Pinterest the same day with this pin. It was re-pinned just once. And folks, the Jets have some work to do on Pinterest with just 52 followers (yours truly included).

The fourth clue showed up on Google Plus April 25 where around 2,000 fans have “circled” the Jets. The post received just six comments, four +1s and two shares.

The #JetsHunt map shows fans where to find clues on the team's social media channels.

The Jets mercifully wrapped up #JetsHunt later that day with a fifth and final clue. It was retweeted just three times. At press time, the #JetsHunt hashtag reached approximately 375,000 Twitter accounts, according to TweetReach. Remember, 366,000 of those are already followers of @NYJets. (And 1,200 of those impressions came from a tweet I sent during the hunt.) Only 45 unique Twitter users actually posted the #JetsHunt hashtag over four days.

Was #JetsHunt a failure? I can’t rightfully answer that because I don’t know what the Jets were looking to accomplish. I can say that if I’d been running this contest, I wouldn’t be happy with the results. I believe there’s merit in the idea – connecting a brand’s different social media channels through one common activity (and rewarding fans for doing so). And I like this tactic for brands of all kinds, especially if it’s delivered with more enthusiasm and cross-promotion. (A search for #JetsHunt on NewYorkJets.com yielded no results.)

Should the Jets be concerned? Again, without knowing the back story, it’s hard to judge. But there’s room for improvement in the team’s Pinterest, Google Plus and Tumblr sites, and I appreciate the effort to help fans connect the dots (pun intended). However, if you’re going to spend the time developing a fan-friendly contest, put your best foot forward. Your fans will appreciate it, and so will the people writing the checks.

Thanks for being a fan.

Steelers Win Game AND Fan Appreciation With Social Media-Inspired Photo

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Hosting the AFC championship game has become old hat for the Pittsburgh Steelers. They’ve done it 15 times now – more than any other NFL franchise.

So how could the Steelers front office make the matchup with the New York Jets any more awesome? How about snapping a technology-inspried, 360-degree, high-definition photo of the entire stadium?

Hats off to the Steelers (and McDonald’s, I guess) for making it happen with the GigaPixel FanCam. It’s a great way to engage fans – not only during the game – but on social networks like Facebook and Twitter (as well as e-mail).

The image itself took between 5-7 minutes to shoot. Fans can “navigate the panoramic image and look around, as if they were standing in the middle of Heinz Field for a frozen moment of time just before the opening kickoff of the 2010 AFC Championship Game,” according to Steelers.com. But the best part is finding yourself in the picture and tagging yourself – similar to how photos are tagged on Facebook. However, with this image, the resolution is a little higher – as in 5 billion pixels high. At publication, several hundred tags had been added to the image.

Nice work, Steelers. Winning games is tough, but innovating with 70,000 people – all at the same time – is even tougher.

Thanks for being a fan.