If you don’t shoot, you can’t score

Yesterday I did a post about the Riverland Community College 70-foot buzzer beater to defeat North Iowa Area Community College.

I also tweeted the link from my account …

…and from the @PackerFastBreak Club account.

Then I went to bed. I had, after all, gotten up at 3:30 a.m. CT in Cleveland, and it had been a long day. So I was startled when my daughter Rebekah burst into our room a couple of hours later and said, “Dad! Vic’s shot is #2 on SportsCenter!”

I thought that was cool, but didn’t know I had anything to do with it. Since Riverland Community College had uploaded the video in the first place, I thought they must have tweeted it to #SCTop10. But when I got home tonight, Rebekah told me, “Dad! Did you know it was your tweet that got Vic on SportsCenter?!”

Sure enough:

So what did I learn from this?

The main lesson is the title of this post, and it has a double meaning. Obviously, if Victoria didn’t take the shot, they couldn’t have won, and if I hadn’t tweeted using the #SCTop10 tag, SportsCenter wouldn’t have seen it.

But a few other lessons come to mind, too:

Keep tweets short and simple to accomplish your purpose. In the tweet from my personal account, I included @ mentions of various Minnesota sports journalists. That did lead to one of them retweeting and passing along to colleagues:


But while I had included the #SCTop10 hashtag in that tweet, having so many @ mentions probably cluttered the tweet too much for the SportsCenter gang.

Keep Shooting. If I had just left it at the first tweet, SportsCenter would likely have missed it. In basketball nobody shoots 100 percent, so don’t stop just because your first tweet doesn’t “hit.”

Provide context. I could have just tweeted the YouTube link, but by putting the video within a blog post I could give the story behind the video. I think that made it easier for SportsCenter to include the clip in its nightly highlights.

There’s no substitute for great content. This was a great shot, captured on video.

All in all, it’s a fun case study. The @SportsCenter (4.1 million followers) tweet has been retweeted 238 times, and as of right now the original video has 7,700 views on YouTube.

What lessons would you take from this experience?