4 lessons publishers can learn from GetGlue
Prior to this week, GetGlue was primarily known as a TV and music listening check-in service a la Foursquare. The company most recently announced on their blog sports check-ins and Foursquare integration, making for some interesting geosocial and hyperlocal possibilities. GetGlue is getting out of tGeGetGlue is getting out of virtual locations and into actual physical sports venues, following in the tradition of the NBA's official app for game check-ins.
Why is GetGlue getting into the live sports social media check-in business? GetGlue, which has a user base of 900,000 -- 100,000 check-ins a day -- saw 12.1 million check-ins and ratings in January. GetGlue also averages 25,000 tweets and 25,000 Facebook shares a day, according to Alex Iskold, their CEO. "We’re talking with all major sports leagues and we expect to announce some more deals in the next few weeks," Iskold told PaidContent earlier this month at the time of their announced partnership with Entertainment Weekly. And so they did.
Here are four lessons this aggressive entertainment check-in service can teach publishers:
Add sports check-ins
Every digital publisher that has a sports desk should consider adding sports check-ins to their platform if they have the resources. Of all entertainment based check-ins, the sports category probably offers publishers the most in the way of engaged fans.
Sports, according to the GetGlue blog, was one of the most highly requested categories of entertainment that users via emails and tweets wanted the company to explore. "We decided to make sports a primary category; even though most people watch sports on TV, we felt like Sports is huge and deserves its own button on the Home screen," Iskold posted.
Leaderboards, anyone? Is there anything more easily gamified than sports, which are games to begin with?
"The more times you check in to your favorite sporting events, sport, or team, you can unlock achievements, becoming a GetGlue Fan or Superfan, earn stickers and become the Guru," says TheNextWeb. Admittedly, virtual stickers are a bit cheesy, but we are in the early days of social rewards. Of course, the most effective use of gaming mechanics would be to reward community engagement like Fanvibe's leaderboard does, rewarding engagement through status.
And speaking of "community" ...
Publishers in the hyperlocal business in particular -- this means you, USA Today -- should pay attention to this announcement. Any social networking strategy should obviously court avids, the superfans who are essentially brand ambassadors. GetGlue's two most recent announcements -- partnering with EW and the sports check-ins -- are targeted towards serious fans, whether of a television show or a major league baseball team. Beyond the majors, however, there are millions of fans of local men's and women's sports teams in neighborhoods around the country and around the world.
Though Iskoff is zeroing in on major league baseball, his strategy works just as well with any sport -- particularly on the hyperlocal level. Local publishers, if they haven't already, should consider building a platform for community engagement with local sports.
Pursue strategic partnerships
GetGlue's recent partnerships shows that the platform is open to organic partnerships with everyone from NBC Universal cable networks to the NHL at the macrocosmic level to Entertainment Weekly on the other side of the scale shows that they are interested in partnering with organizations that cater to entertainment avids. Does your audience consist of entertainment avids? Should you be reaching out to GetGlue?