Defining success is seemingly simple.
The ability to identify opportunity with the intent to carefully cultivate a winner is a problem that every wannabe entrepreneur is steadfastly trying to solve. Diligently.
The above ghastly mutation of a MasterCard commercial is this writer’s attempt to illustrate how culture and entertainment take what they want and attempt to create a fusion of disparate element in the hope of birthing the next best thing. Rarely does it work, but the machine churning out nonsense suggestions never quits.
"Hey, DeSean, make sure you just get what you can on this punt return. Don't try anything stupid" DeSean Jackson: pic.twitter.com/7eblvUTQZN
— SpongeBob Sports (@SpongeBobSports) December 8, 2015
Describing the origins of the account, Young shared his initial inspirations: “Whenever Twitter releases a new feature, I always try and find ways to take advantage of it. SBS (our abbreviation for @SpongeBobSports) started shortly after Twitter allowed group direct messages.” Seeing an opportunity, he acted quickly, adding: “I loved the idea of collaborating with people on the account because more perspectives on how the account should be run can only help make it well-rounded.”
Leaning on his experience with @NFLRT, Young contacted accounts he was familiar with. The process was mostly straightforward, he said: “I reached out to about 10 other accounts that I had developed a trust with over the past few years of running @NFLRT and asked them if they would be interested in running a Sponge Bob account with me and a group of people.”
With the participants identified, @SpongeBobSports account was born:
When you find out there is a Spongebob account just for Sports pic.twitter.com/fMzb7jhVZy
— SpongeBob Sports (@SpongeBobSports) June 28, 2015
Twitter was the obvious choice to host the account. With Young and his contemporaries all veterans of the medium, their cachet would allow them to easily distribute content and reach a much wider audience easily.
Choosing to parody Nickelodeon TV show SpongeBob Squarepants was a calculated move on the part of Young. Speaking on that decision, he said: “SpongeBob is going to be a timeless cartoon and there are TONS of pictures and GIFs out there ready to be used. Anybody can relate to SpongeBob GIFs, whether they have seen the episode or not.”
— SpongeBob Sports (@SpongeBobSports) December 6, 2015
Young depends on his experience and understanding of social media along with the help of his collaborators to make informed decisions while following a methodical approach. In respect to their posting practices, spontaneity has afforded them most of their success. Recounting the process behind their most successful posts, he said: “The posts that were most popular were ones where we collaborated on the wording quickly and posted it as soon as possible following news breaking or events. Then we all retweet it from our accounts and it can take off like wildfire.”
The success of their posts speak for themselves:
Here's how Doc Rivers convinced DeAndre Jordan to stay with the Clippers pic.twitter.com/ZjAsHaBCTR
— SpongeBob Sports (@SpongeBobSports) July 9, 2015
— SpongeBob Sports (@SpongeBobSports) July 6, 2015
— SpongeBob Sports (@SpongeBobSports) July 1, 2015
Throughout this process, the group noticed an interesting phenomenon developing, Young said: “We have found that more people will ‘like’ the tweets rather than retweet them, and the consensus guess is that it’s one of those things where people want to engage with the tweet because they enjoyed it, but they’re a little embarrassed to share that fact with their followers because SpongeBob is viewed as a little childish.”
This helps to further illuminate the ever-puzzling question of what memes work on social media and why. Adding to this hypothesis, Young said: “The best memes on the Internet usually originate from Average Joe users. The problem with the Internet is that people with a large reach will see them and post them as their own content (*cough @NFL_Memes *cough), but we’re all guilty of doing it once or twice out of laziness. All of our stuff is pretty spur-of-the-moment stuff and is mostly reaction GIFs.”
It’s clear that the success of @SpongeBobSports is a result of Young and his contemporaries’ ability to recognize and understand opportunities, thereby allowing them to succeed in the crowded sports parody market.
To close, I can’t think of better meme that perfectly captures and communicates the success of @SpongeBobSports. Enjoy:
— XXL Magazine (@XXL) December 2, 2015
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