I watch and listen to a lot of sports, particularly baseball. In fact, as I write this, I’m sitting and watching the Phillies play the Braves. If there’s a Phillies’ game on, there’s also a good chance I’m watching or listening to the game.
My love of baseball, combined with my love of radio (and radio history), often has me thinking as much about the announcers as about the game itself. Sadly, there are very few announcers left who I can really enjoy. I’ve spent some time studying the greats of the game. I had a chance to interview Red Barber. I spent time with everyone from Harry Kalas to Bob Costas, and a few I don’t even want to mention. I had the great fortune to get to know Bob Wolff, who did the radio call of Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series. And I’ve had the chance to listen to archival recordings of greats like Vin Scully, Ernie Harwell, Russ Hodges, and more.
There’s nothing better than listening to a baseball game with a great team of announcers in the booth.
Traditionally, there are two announcers, one designated as the “Play-by-Play” announcer, and the other the “Color Commentator.” In general, the play-by-play announcer is the one who calls the balls and strikes and all the action in the game. They tell you what’s happening when it happens.This is a role that is much more important in radio than it is in television, since you can see what is happening on television. A great radio play-by-play guy truly paints a word picture as he describes what’s happening in the ballpark.
The color commentator, on the other hand, fills in the gaps. He’s a storyteller. While the play-by-play announcer is describing the play, and rattling off numbers, the color commentator might be telling us a story about the player that adds a level of interest for us, and gives us a more well-rounded picture of the participants of the game.
Both of these are integral to our listening experience, and when done well, we are educated and entertained.
This is the approach we should be taking with our Facebook business pages. Too often I see businesses doing too much play-by-play of what’s going on (merely talking about sales, specials, and constant mentions of how many fans they have. On the other hand, there are those businesses who go a little too far on the color commentary, offering up non-stop “inspirational” quotes and general mundanery (no, it’s not a word, but I’m going to claim it as my own).
A well-rounded approach mixes it up. Tell us what’s going on in your business, while also telling us the stories. Be conversational. Tell us what’s happening, while also telling us why we should care. It’s good to have a consistent voice, but it’s also helpful to have a team where the members can play off one another’s strengths and deliver a steady stream of varied and interesting content. And this cuts across all social channels.
Think about your audience and what will hold their attention and bring them back for more. Both the play-by-play and the color commentary are important. Just play-by-play is boring; “just the facts, Ma’am”. But just color commentary, while interesting, leaves wondering what is going on.
As you approach Facebook and other social channels, how are you allowing both of these voices to have their say?
- Change Your Reality To Change Their Perceptions (joeystrawn.com)
- Good Community is a Timeless Social Media Value (marijeanjaggers.com)