The folks at LaneTerralever recently put together an interesting infographic about NASCAR drivers and the success metrics around their social presences. The digital, advertising and public relations firm analyzed the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams’ websites and scored them in three main areas: Online popularity, social/mobile friendliness and social integration.
The results weren’t incredibly surprising with dominant title collector Jimmie Johnson coming in first. But it wasn’t the rankings that got me thinking when I saw the infographic. You can click on the small version here to see the larger sized-one or scroll down beneath the text to see the full version.
LaneTerralever focused on whether or not the teams allow fans to socially share content from their website, whether the website was mobile friendly and how popular the driver’s social community was. The question that I asked when I saw this list was simple, “Do any of these metrics matter?”
Sure, there’s some merit to the size and resonance of a NASCAR driver’s audience. But the infographic’s introduction even indicates the reason for the evaluation is to determine if teams are maximizing the potential of their sponsorship dollars. So a driver has a big, vocal audience, or even a social and mobile-friendly presence. How does this help the driver’s sponsors?
Yes, there’s a natural resonance when fans refer to Johnson’s team as the “Lowe’s 48.” But that’s not what the research was focused on. It was focused on the mere ability of the website and community to be social. It wasn’t focused on how effective the driver’s were at moving sponsor conversations to their communities, or how effective the communities were at reverberating the sponsor messages.
If you want to know which NASCAR driver has the most social and mobile-friendly technology on their side, this infographic is very informative. But if you’re a sponsor wishing to know which driver is the best to spend your money with, it’s not very helpful.
We’ve reached a point in social marketing where we need to stop focusing on the presence of technology and instead look at the effectiveness in using it. If Jimmie Johnson’s fans don’t talk about Lowes, Kobal, The National Guard or any of the team’s other sponsors much, well … there’s not much reason to invest if driving social conversations is your goal.