Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White is no stranger to social media.
In particular, Twitter.
From giving out free event tickets, fight announcements, updating people to his whereabouts, breaking injury reports and even engaging in back-and-forth verbal warfare with fans, White is a constant in the Twitter world and keeps his more the two million followers informed.
Whether it's Facebook, YouTube or Twitter, the leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organization has taken advantage of the social media boom to the fullest. According to White, all of his 475 athletes are active on Twitter and most of them interact with fans on a daily basis.
As the UFC's head honcho declares, social media is a powerful tool that has allowed the promotion and himself to connect with fans and develop their product further.
His words to Mashable.com:
"There's just so much, it's hard to pick one thing. It's literally how we operate now. I do everything through Twitter, YouTube or the Internet somehow. I communicate with fans literally every day online, so I'd have to say 2012 was definitely the year of Twitter for me. I definitely got more into Twitter, and YouTube too. The video blogs are pulling huge numbers now, and that's the power of the Internet and the ability it gives us to talk directly to our fans. It's so powerful and information moves so fast for so many people. It's an exciting time for someone in a business like this because you can interact with so many people directly."
Aside from Twitter, the popular social network, Facebook, has been an instrumental tool for the UFC, when it began streaming preliminary fights to its televised and pay-per-view (PPV) event for free in 2011 and have continued to do so on a regular basis.
Not only that, White, as well as his athletes, often engage in live web chats which allows people to ask questions to them directly and also gives Dana a chance to see what he is doing right and wrong, directly from the consumer:
"Facebook is really huge for the company. For me personally, Twitter and YouTube are my two biggest ones. But I also go into fan chat sites to hang out and talk with fans. It gives me my personal connection with the fans, to see what they're bitching about and what they think is good. You get a lot of stupid shit, but I like to be plugged in and there is alot of useful information in there too."
Dana's ever-so popular fight week video blogs are a favorite amongst rabid fight fans, which allows them to get a peak of the madness that goes on behind the scenes at each event.
In 2011, as part of encouraging its athletes to interact on Twitter, the promotion began dishing out bonuses to the fighters who made the most of their social media outlets to the tune of $5,000.
But, act a fool, and people take notice and consequences are rendered.
See Miguel Torres, who was cut from the promotion after making an insensitive rape joke on his Twitter account late last year. He was later reinstated, however, the move on part of the promotion to fire one of its fighters served its purpose, and put all UFC employees on notice.
White assures that himself, as well as the promotion, will continue to be active in the social media moving forward.
How about it Maniacs, how much of its success can the UFC attribute due to its interaction with fans in numerous social media platforms?
Are you connected?