Thursday, December 6, 2012
Mark Cuban has made a living innovating. His net worth is $2.3B and he is number 206 on Forbes 400 Richest Americans. The serial entrepreneur co-founded Broadcast.com which was sold to Yahoo! for $5.7B in 1999. Cuban parlayed that success into the ownership of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.
Lately though, his social media marketing tactics have drawn a lot of attention within the sports industry.
Cuban, among others, has an issue with Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm. In more basic terms, he does not feel it is fair that Facebook charges the Dallas Mavericks money to better target and reach all of their fans on the world’s most popular social media site.
“We are moving far more aggressively into Twitter and reducing any and all emphasis on Facebook,” Cuban said. “…our priority is to add followers that our brands can reach on non-Facebook platforms first. We have already pushed more to Twitter. The new MySpace looks promising.”
He tweeted from his personal account that, “The Mavs are considering moving to Tumblr or to new Myspace as primary site.”
Essentially, the Mavericks have to purchase the right to reach all of their Facebook fans. This process has to be frustrating for the team which has worked so hard to gain its following. But Facebook has to make money too, right? As Jay Baer mentioned in the Baer Facts with Kyle Lacy, “Facebook is a publicly traded company. They are interested in their success. And if happens to work out… your success - in that order.”
Cuban would like to dictate how his franchise’s most loyal fans and brand advocates should interact with the Mavericks. While it may be enticing for Cuban to switch the Mavericks to Tumblr or the new MySpace to “stick it to the Zuckerberger,” in reality, it seems extremely risky. Cuban is a very powerful business figure but he doesn’t possess the power to change where fans interact with their favorite brands. The crowd has spoken. Facebook has won.
As Lacy mentioned in an earlier ExactTarget blog entry, Facebook had a total of 314.05 billion minutes spent by users in the month of August. The Mavericks Facebook page has 2.3 million likes and 41,000 people talking about it. It’d be extremely aggressive to stop investing in this audience. If every one of the Mavericks fans on Facebook was to switch to Tumblr, they would account for almost 3% of Tumblr’s entire user base. The alternative, MySpace, has failed once and is in the process of completely re-inventing itself. It could work, but again, is it worth the risk? If Cuban refuses to invest in his fans, he accepts the risk that they’ll stop investing in his team.
As Baer so eloquently stated, “Social media isn't inexpensive. It is just different expensive. If you don't have a line item for social media advertising that goes together with the organic side of social, you are going to be left out in the cold.”
Cuban can and should avoid the cold.