In a recent blog, I urged those yearning to join MMA’s media landscape to become their own agency of news. Of the three prerequisites I suggested you establish to earn your stripes as a hard-hitting member of the media—a website, a social media presence, and a regularly scheduled podcast—social media is the best bait to draw everyone’s attention to your keen eye for combat.
Social media is your ever-changing billboard for how you wish to be perceived. Personally, I enjoy an exploration into MMA’s humorous aspects, mostly with the help of memes.
When it comes to the media corner you choose to command as a lone wolf amongst a sea of sharks, the social media accounts you create should shine a spotlight on the angle of the sport you, far too often, perceive to be overshadowed.
As a lifelong native of Northern California, I was well aware of the wealth of talent surrounding my neck of the woods within “The Golden State,” and my primary objective with norcalmixedmartialarts.com‘s social media was to polish the local scene’s rich past, heart-pounding present, and highly anticipated future, to a radiating luster. Over the course of this blog, I’ll share with you how I focused my intent on NorCal MMA’s social media, piqued the interest of local promoters, and, thereby, earned a press credential for a cage side seat. An unpredicted, but cherished, aside: I also noticed a tight-knit community—including fighters, fans, and promoters alike—embracing my brand of news, even furthering its growth with repeated shares and shouts of positive praise.
There’s no need for expensive photoshop programs or degrees in graphic design to generate, enhance, or alter the appearance of a particular image you wish to post online. In fact, a quick visit to the app store won’t empty your wallet, and, rather, fills your portable device with powerful tools of the trade.
If the thousand words in one picture isn’t enough, an app, such as Layout (link here), can allow individuals to collage the violence into a quilt that quenches their followers’ thirst for blood. With the possibility of inserting multiple pictures—up to nine—at once, and an option to finalize the positioning of your featured photo, I was able to, for example, remind NorCal MMA’s rabid fanbase to mark their calendars for all the combat scheduled to occur throughout the region.
If piecing pictures together as a puzzle isn’t forming the image floating around in the clouds of your imagination, try stacking them to get there. Phonto (link here) places the power to layer images over one another in your fingertips. I ran to this app regularly because, especially in a space as your own media source, I’d want the NorCal MMA logo to proudly wave at the forefront, such as the cover photo (see below) for an episode of a NorCal MMA podcast, known as the @norcalfightmma Podcast.
In-Shot (link here) is an easy-to-use app that, at absolutely no cost to you, possesses considerable value. Whether adding text to an image, such as an episode number of the latest podcast or editing a video, like those plastered up-and-down NorCal MMA’s Instagram, featuring a daily knockout, TKO, or submission, this is a must have.
Preparation is key in regards to the fast-paced world of prizefighting, both in and seated around the cage. Any app that offers a chance to lay down text and, more importantly, copy and paste it easily will be comparable to what I do with Pages (link here). Somewhere along my MMA media journey, I began live streaming events; one fight after another, the action didn’t pause for results to be posted, informing followers for what’s next, and, simultaneously, streaming every second of every round. I relied heavily on having information on standby because it’s extremely cumbersome to accurately input text on the fly before beginning the next broadcast.
An Unsung Hero: Screen Capturing
By following several simple steps, your mobile device, either an iOS (link here) or Android (link here), can transform from Clark Kent into Superman with the power to capture any video crossing your path. Often, some editing is required after snagging footage in such a manner, but you’ve already downloaded In-Shot (as previously suggested), so you’re halfway to the creation of reels, highlighting the sport you hold in such a high regard through your own lens.
No matter how much content you crank out into the cyber cosmos, you’ll always feel—at least in my experience with MMA’s competitive field of media—as though you’re playing catch-up or not meeting some imaginary quota—unless, however, you’re less competitive than me. Truth is, if you enjoy the process and are willing to exert yourself to an unconscionable level of effort to remain current in the game, you will notice your footprint enlarging with every step you take toward delivering your hot take directly from your very own presses.
My focus was always to act as the word on MMA’s streets from Northern California, which, and I happily embraced, trickled into the Central Valley. The mission I set forth when curating content on NorCal MMA’s social media: Illustrate the impending domination of my region over the rest of the planet. Looking back on how I presented the area’s athletes along with tallying scores of active members to NorCal MMA’s various platforms, who follow and engage with the social media on a regular basis, I’d say, as my own worst critic, I did a decent job.
I have discovered many more benefits to Twitter than merely chirping about something in the moment, only to have—depending upon the number of retweets—your voice quickly muffled in the shuffle. A list of what I did on NorCal MMA’s Twitter (@norcalfightmma) includes:
Hitting the Retweet Button
It seems as though most people I know have a Twitter account for the lights to be on, but nobody is ever home. Those who wish to not engage in Twitter’s atmosphere can still have an active profile without ever composing a post; for instance, you can link Twitter to your Instagram or Facebook. I’d scroll NorCal MMA’s Twitter and bash the retweet button on anything related to the region; a small but simple gesture.
When I live streamed events, I did less play-by-play Tweeting because, well, you could see everything for yourself; additionally, I was too busy playing cameraman. Even still, I’d toss some Tweets out here and there throughout a show to, again, tap anyone paying attention in the pupils and remind them where to go for some form of face-punching.
The hurt business shouldn’t be afraid to show its soft side with some laughter, and memes are a fun way to spread the day’s news:
Example 1: After American Kickboxing Academy’s Khabib Nurmagomedov defended his Lightweight Title by submitting Conor McGregor at UFC 229 and the UFC announced their Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel “DC” Cormier would face Derrick Lewis in the main event at UFC 230, the infamous gym housed in San Jose reminded MMA’s stakeholders of the powerhouse lineup residing in their stable.
Example 2: Sometimes promotions, such as the easily targeted UFC, needed a light touch-up to their graphics, much like the poster featuring Nate Diaz versus Dustin Poirier for UFC 230, to truly embody the personalities of their superstars.
Once the final syllable from the ring announcer’s reading of the official results fades into the roaring crowd, I’d have them posted on @norcalfightmma’s home feed.
NorCal MMA History Today
Last week is ancient history at the clip MMA sets sail. As a means of resurfacing treasured moments in the area’s past—for promotions and competitors themselves—I’d scour the Internet like an archeologist to uncover relics for people to view like a digital museum.
According to www.businessinsider.com (link here), there are more than two billion monthly users plugged into Facebook, so it seemed logical to make it my prime real estate for housing content. Anything I published worked its way through NorCal MMA’s Facebook feed, but the live streaming, which included events and podcasts, tightened the community’s bond while worshipping all the baddest bruisers from Northern California’s borders.
Live Streaming Fights
Some promoters wished to open the doors of their show and, more importantly, the skillsets connected with the athletes printed on their roster; therefore, they welcomed my, representing norcalmixedmartialarts.com, operation of a live stream. To be frank, the bulk of the over 3,600 followers to NorCal MMA’s Facebook page are awaiting a notification for the next event’s action to begin streaming.
Live Streaming Podcast: Check-In with NorCal MMA
While most podcasts are pre-recorded with one or two prearranged guests spitting headlines into the microphone, I wanted a show with a door that swung wide open for the patrons—fans, fighters, promoters, or anyone else with skin in the game and a topic to bring to the podcast. The show streams for an hour, though it sometimes extends a bit longer, and any visitors dropping knowledge on listeners during an episode can be easily singled out, edited, and released as a stand alone episode of the original NorCal MMA podcast, entitled: @norcalfightmma Podcast.
By dusting off clips from the past and informing followers of events on the horizon, I aimed to help strengthen the grasp of remaining in the present. Each month on the @norcalfightmma Instagram page, I attempted to wet everyone’s appetite with a plate full of the action ahead with an image containing all the posters of shows planned to take place; moreover, each day began with a spine-tingling knockout, TKO, or submission from somewhere in the area’s history.
Although NorCal MMA’s podcast streamed live as a video package, some folks have no interest in watching others talk, which was why I felt the need to offer NorCal MMA’s podcasts in an audio-only format. Unfortunately, there is a fee associated with SoundCloud, but the program is user-friendly and can blast any published tracks to other linked social media accounts.
Of course, the option to monetize a YouTube account to collect dollars makes sense—at least if all the necessary criterion is initially met—but I viewed it as a facility, where according to www.businessinsider.com (link here), over 1.8 billion monthly users potentially have access to a varied smorgasbord of skull-bashing and podcasts, just awaiting you to hit play.
Since you should be on the hunt for the widest net you could possibly cast, setting up one of those ‘extra’ accounts—similar to what I detailed earlier with Twitter—would only add to your mission, hence my utilization of Google-Plus. I’m sure there’s a tremendous volume of people to tap into via Google-Plus, but I, instead, have it programmed to simply snatch articles from norcalmixedmartialarts.com and videos from NorCal MMA’s YouTube channel to stash in its ethos. It takes no effort on my part to maintain, and you never know who you may bump into.
As easy, and necessary, as it seems to possess all these social outlets as a member of the media, not all your subjects will share in each. In addition to individualizing each platform’s use with a stockpile of unique content, it’s invaluable to take inventory of what intrigues those who jump on board, so you can tailor your work to maintain the momentum of your snowball, gathering volume, energy, and attention at an astounding rate.