|Featured Profile Interview - Josh Decker, CEO Tagboard|
|Profile of the week|
Josh Decker is the founder and CEO at Tagboard, a social media company that uses technology to bring relevance and purpose to hashtags across multiple social networks and content sources by building robust worldwide conversations and communities around those tags. Tagboard curates these hashtags and uses them creatively to take fan engagement a step further. They have worked with sport brands such as The New Orleans Pelicans, Everton FC and the Seattle Seahawks, among others.
Josh, thank you for joining us. Can you tell me a little about Tagboard and what makes it unique?
A lot of companies are trying to help teams integrate social media into the fan experience, but Tagboard is different because our platform simultaneously supports multiple touchpoints—whether they are at home sitting on the couch, at work on their computer, in transit on their phones or tablets, or, or whether they at a game in a stadium. For all these different areas, we have social experiences: some of them are huge screens, the size of the scoreboards; some are in the entrance ways, lounges, and concessions; and some are a part of the digital experience in an app or website.
Wherever the fans are being moved around or waiting in line, there's a call to action for them to join the conversation and by joining the conversation, they inherently join the community.
How do Tagboard specifically engage fans?
One of the things we did at the Levi's Stadium was that we partnered with the 49ers to transformed the main entrance screens at the stadium to be both socially and locally interactive, displaying a personalised welcome people who walked into the stadium who had posted using the official hashtag #LevisStadium.
When a fan comes up to a retail shop or stadium, and they get a personal greeting from their team, it's a really exciting moment for that fan. They take photos of it, take videos of it, tweet it out, post it everywhere and brag about the fact that the team just welcomed them to the stadium. It kind of blows their minds.
How do sport teams use Tagboard?
One popular way is a “social hub”—a landing page on a team’s website where all their social content goes. Typically, a team of moderators pick the best content from all their different hashtags, and filter out the rest of the noise. Tagboard enables teams to create a place you can go to see all of the great content from other members of the same community.
Other teams use Tagboard in their mobile app, and use our platform to bring their news, Twitter and Instagram feeds into one singular view.
Some also use Tagboard to create sponsorship opportunities around their call-to-action and say 'hey if you post this hashtag for this brand, you're entered into a competition to win a season ticket package or a game day package.'
And, of course, the most popular way they use Tagboard is to integrate it into live events and broadcasts. In fact, for broadcast integrations we have a suite of display types—everything from tickers that scroll along the bottom, to interactive touch-screen displays for use on-set in front of the camera, to lower-third dynamic titles that feature both text and media. Many teams will take a top or key player and do Q&A, with questions from all over social media. It gives the fans the chance to ask questions directly to their favourite player. Plus, with all the new ways to use live video such as Facebook Live, Periscope, and YouTube Live, there's becoming more and more interaction opportunities, and teams can use Tagboard to drive that two-way conversation—it’s not just a case of “let us talk at you”, but now it’s “let us have a conversation”.
What is your favourite thing about Tagboard?
My favourite thing is that I have been to a hundred different installations around the world and every time I walk into a stadium with Tagboard, it's a unique experience. It's customised and crafted to that team, to that brand, to that community. It's allowing us to create something special for every team and league out there. We're becoming the standard for that fan engagement. Community is key for us and we engage that community in unique ways.
What’s the future like for Tagboard and the fan engagement industry?
We're really excited to get involved with the European football community and Formula One, and the other opportunities to engage with people like that. A few years ago the technology you needed to run a product like Tagboard in-venue wasn't available, but now most stadiums have fibre-optic Wi-Fi. Stadiums having Wi-Fi means fans are connected more than ever. That is something that was not possible a few years ago but it is exciting, and it’s something we’re working on leveraging as we look to enable more unified digital experiences across touchpoints. Ultimately, being a fan is a social thing. Whether it’s sharing your perspective or opinion, purchasing team merchandise, or engaging directly with the team, it’s all social. So, as much as we can enable more social experiences for a fan, we will.
To find out more about Tagboard, the brands they work with and their fan engagement solutions, visit the Tagboard website.