“Kaepernicking” the Latest Social Media Sensation
In today’s digital age, media success can be instantaneous. In the case of the 49ers Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, all it took was a breakout performance on the national stage in the NFC divisional playoff game against Green Bay and a signature touchdown celebration move for his social media stock to surge.
After accounting for 444 yards of offense and 4 touchdowns in that game, and perfecting the move of kissing his bicep tattoos after scoring a touchdown, “Kaepernicking” has taken off quicker than any digital movement before it. His followings on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and have risen exponentially – and pictures of fans doing similar poses (known as Kaepernicking) are showing up everywhere on the internet.
As expected, Kaepernick’s PR team wasted no time taking advantage. They acted quickly by creating “Kaepernicking” t-shirts for sale within days of his breakout playoff performance, and gave away the shirt as a prize for Twitter contest winners who submitted their best interpretation of the now-famous pose.
In the world of PR, opportunities arise quickly and we as PR professionals are responsible for capitalizing on these opportunities in a timely fashion. For example, after the presidential debates, “Big Bird” mentions seemed to pop up everywhere on social media and even Qualcomm featured the Sesame Street character in its CES keynote presentation just a few months later. No doubt, Sesame Street has benefitted on the PR-side by recognizing the opportunity and quickly taking advantage.
Social media movements allow us to do what we do best – be creative while responding to timely trends. We must capitalize on opportunities for publicity before it passes us by and the next social media movement takes hold.
Kaepernick had only started 8 games in the NFL at quarterback before becoming the next social media phenomenon. What do you think will be the next internet sensation and how will PR professionals take advantage? As a 49er fan, I’m hoping “Kaepernicking” doesn’t lose its popularity any time soon.