When Rachel, Morgan and I first applied for the Manship School Social Media News Challenge, I don’t think we realized how key the word “challenge” would be.
All three of us love sports as we all reported and anchored for LSU’s Tiger TV. We recognized that Tiger TV needed more of a social media presence, something that would involve and engage LSU fans.
Tad Odell, Manship professor, gave us the idea of using the app Storify to curate all of the best social media posts (twitter, instagram, vine, etc.) from LSU fans, athletes and alumni into one place. In a sense, creating one story to summarize a major LSU sporting event. And the story was written by the fans through their tweets, instagrams, vines and gifs.
We thought it was a great idea that would not only help Tiger TV grow but us three as journalists too.
We quickly learned that sports fans post more about interesting things that go on within a game rather than talking about every touchdown. Just take the “pantsing” incident between LSU tight end Logan Stokes and Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland.
However, there are exceptions to that rule. For example, the Storify that received the most attention by far during our project involved the reactions surrounding former LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.’s unbelievable catch as a rookie with the New York Giants.
That post was a shining example of the potential Storify has in engaging fans if you use the app the right way.
Twitter users want to see what people are saying about Odell’s one-handed catch as well as join the conversation. Gathering the funniest, most extreme and most interesting photos, tweets, gifs and reactions and piling them up under one umbrella is a great way for viewers to see the best of LSU sports without having to scroll down twitter for hours.
This concept confirmed the thought that our project could be a really useful tool for LSU fans to use, if we consistently post stories and promote them.
Ultimately, this is where we fell short.
We couldn’t cultivate an audience and part of the reason for that is because we weren’t posting regularly. We created a hashtag #ReactLSU, posted our stories on LSUreveille.com’s website and shared our stories from Tiger TV’s twitter account @TTV_sports.
But because we were inconsistent and failed to meet our goal of Storifying live during sporting events, we weren’t able to gain many followers.
Despite all this, we really enjoyed working on this project and learning more about using social media. Personally, I can say I will continue using Storify even after this project is finished.
We would like to thank the Knight Foundation and the Manship School for giving us this great opportunity.