Celebrity Shares Phone Number with 4.3 Million Fans

It happened so quickly, some of us may not have even noticed. But one night, several weeks ago, a president of a professional sports league sent out his office phone number to over 1 million fans. By accident.

What happened next? Well, the expected. The phone began ringing off the hook and fans retweeted the phone number, spreading it like wildfire. What was less expected was when the pro sports president began fielding these calls and carried on conversations with numerous fans for close to 90 minutes.

This was Dana White, President of UFC. What was Dana’s initial reaction? “If I’m dumb enough to tweet my number on here, I’m going to sit here and I’m going to talk to these people.”

At Digital Royalty, we listened to the overwhelmingly positive fan feedback and knew we could build upon this situation, learn something from the “accident” and make it something bigger. We used Dana’s serendipitous, misfired tweet as inspiration to develop a concept that will give fans unprecedented access to this larger than life personality. We always set out to bridge the virtual and physical worlds, providing value to fans when, where and how they want to receive it.

Dana now has a socially dedicated phone line with a number that will be available through all his social media channels, which total 4.3 million fans on Facebook and Twitter combined. Whenever Dana has free time to chat with fans, he’ll turn the phone on and invite the 4.3+ million people to give him a ring. Taking time to talk with fans is something that Dana really enjoys. This concept wouldn’t work without an authentic desire to connect with his fans.
When asked about accidently tweeting his number, Dana said: “And then when it was over I was like, that was cool, I’m actually glad that happened.”

On Saturday, Dana gave his phone number to the 4.3 million fans. Within 5 minutes, his number reached over 9 million people via social media due to celebrities retweeting the number. We shared the experience virtually by hypersyndicating video of this taking place for his entire network to watch. The fan reaction was just as we anticipated. Fans from the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada and all over the world called in to make their predications moments before the event. A powerful testament to social media providing a unique value to fans that can’t be found anywhere else.

The Danger of Deleting

facebook-your-photos-comments-delete

By: Kirsten Stubbs

While social media allows us to engage with brand enthusiasts, it can also make a brand an open target for negative sentiment, both warranted and unwarranted. This July, a client of ours made a post to their Facebook wall which generated an unrelated politically-charged comment.

We were faced with a decision that’s not uncommon for brands to face on a day-to-day basis. Should we:

  1. Delete the comment
  2. Respond to the comment (even though it was unrelated to the brand)
  3. Report the individual to Facebook
  4. Leave the comment untouched and see what happens

After all, controversial comments–warranted or not–cause most of us, instinctually, to put up a guard. But with this comment unrelated to the topic of the post, what was keeping us from hitting “delete”? If we deleted the comment it seemed as if we were admitting fault for something completely unrelated to the brand. We had nothing to hide. In a way, this was a true test of customer loyalty. We didn’t delete.

Instead, we left the comment and watched carefully to see what the next move would be by “fans” or even the negative commentator himself. Within just a few minutes from the negative post we watched as fans of the brand’s page, brand evangelists, rallied to support our client. Not only did they state their support of the brand, but gave anecdotes, specific experiences and reasons why they supported the brand. Some even reminded the negative commentator that a brand’s wall was not the appropriate forum for a political debate. Others went as far as to include links to the cause-based groups and pages on Facebook that were.

Because of this one comment, the page reached an all-time interaction high. And in the wake, there was a full-page of positive testimonials. And as we know, there are few things more valuable than a positive peer recommendation.

So what’s the moral of the story? Just because Facebook, Twitter and other social media mediums make “delete” and “make private” options available, does not mean we should get trigger-happy in ridding a brand’s reputation of any and all smudges. As the example above shows, it could do just the opposite: create transparency. Or better yet, bring your brand evangelists to the surface.

In our case, the outcome of untouched negativity resulted in more good than deleting the comment would have. Just like in high school, in the social media world, your friends have your back.