Most hockey fans on Twitter are, by now, aware that the Los Angeles Kings feed is pretty much owning. When the Kings beat the Canucks in Game 1 of the first round (which might have been a liiittle premature to start dropping tweets like this, but anyway) they posted:
To everyone in Canada outside of BC, you’re welcome.
— LA Kings (@LAKings) April 12, 2012
People loved it.
They’ve gained more followers than any other NHL Twitter feed out there since, and there’s a pretty simple reason for that: it’s entertaining.
My theory is that the Kings Twitter feed is going to be a pioneer of sorts, and before long, every team will be hiring someone with a little wit and the ability to walk the fine line to post for them. There’s money in it: you gain way, way more followers (the Kings are up an additional 40,000+ since then), which means more people see your more business-y tweets like “Tickets still available for tonight, click here” and “75% discount on those ‘Kings win the Cup’ t-shirts we had prematurely made, here’s the link.”
Social media is a new medium, and major companies and teams have been scrambling since day one to figure out how to use the tool to make money. That’s the biggest question for people with large internet followings too (blogs, tumblr accounts, Twitter and Facebook): how do I monetize this?
When you try to make money off your following – which logically, you should, if you’re providing free entertainment – it turns people off in a big way. I forget who it was (which isn’t a good sign), but at one point, some heavily-followed Twitter account – Fake Dan Ellis, maybe? – linked to an online store, where you could buy his or her t-shirts for personal profit. He or she was villified for “jumping the shark,” and that was all she wrote. It’s hard for individuals to figure it out.
But for companies and teams, they’ll see the light on this sooner or later - playing it safe like every “official” account did in the beginning sucked, and got you nowhere. You can’t make money, gain energy, or grow your following by toeing company line all the time, even if that involves sniping at a few people (or eventually teams) that snipe at you. The gent behind the Kings feed (who we’ll leave unidentified because that’s more fun) certainly isn’t afraid to.
But anyway, that’s all just my personal theory.
The point here is simple: @LAKings Twitter feed: ur doin it right.
When the horn sounded to end round two, this is all we got:
@PhoenixCoyotes Bring it on.
— LA Kings (@LAKings) May 8, 2012
How much better is that than “Congratulations to the Phoenix Coyotes. Looking forward to a good battle”?