Charlie Villanueva shocked the Twittersphere last season when he tweeted from the locker room during halftime of an NBA game:
“In da locker room, snuck to post my twitt. We’re playing the Celtics, tie ball game at da half. Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up.”
Villanueva, then with the Milwaukee Bucks, went on to score 19 points in a victory over the Celtics, but the tweet left many critics questioning his focus during a crucial late-season game. Villanueva, however, said he was simply trying to motivate himself and keep his fans “in the loop of some live action.”
After glancing around Villanueva’s Twitter feed, I get the sense that CV31 really understands how to use social media effectively. Here are three things I picked up from his tweets:
1. Charlie Villanueva integrates a variety of social media channels.
A recent tweet alerted followers that his Facebook fan page is now linked to his Twitter account, saying “I figure there’s some benefits in intertwining the two. What do you guys think?” One Facebook fan was pleased because he doesn’t have a Twitter account, so linking the two allowed him to get the same information in one place. This demonstrates a key social media principle we learned in class: meet your stakeholders (or fans, in this case) where they are online. In addition, his official website links to his blog, Facebook fan page, MySpace page, Twitter account, and YouTube channel. This has obvious benefits as well, such as increasing credibility and driving traffic to other online channels.
2. Charlie Villanueva’s tweets engage his followers.
When he couldn’t watch the Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotton fight over the weekend, he asked his Twitter fans to keep him up to date. I can only imagine how many responses that generated from his list of 61,000 followers.
3. Charlie Villanueva is a regular person, just like you and I.
I don’t play Call of Duty, but after its release last week I saw several Facebook statuses from friends whose lives are currently consumed by the new first-person-shooter. I found that Charlie Villanueva is in the same boat after reading a tweet he posted at 4:15 A.M. saying that he had just finished playing and was relieved to have the next day off. He even posted his gamertags for PlayStation and Xbox 360, which was basically an open invitation for his 61,000 followers to play with or against him online. This makes Villanueva very authentic and down to earth, in my mind. Interactions like this between pro athletes and fans were unheard of before social media.