ESPN’s Matthew Berry on building a platform and engaging your audience

April 17, 2014

Are you looking to find more ways to engage with your audience on social?

Do you love fantasy football?

This week on the Social Media Social Hour we have ESPN’s Matthew Berry on building a platform and engaging your audience. Matthew is a Senior Fantasy Analyst at ESPN, he writes regularly at, he hosts the Fantasy Focus Football podcast and more!

I also share an with you incredible app that I use to help write blog posts and notes for clients.

About the show:

Social Media Social Hour PodcastThe Social Media Social Hour is a podcast for marketers and entrepreneurs looking to get on the social media fast track. The podcast is an interview format, where each week I get up close and personal with top brands and influencers to talk social media, tech and online marketing. Each week I also share tools that I personally use to help me with social media management, sales, marketing, account management, and productivity.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Tech Tool of the Week: Scrivener
  • Matthew Berry talks about how he became the fantasy go-to guy at ESPN.
  • Matthew says that April will be his 30th anniversary of his first ever fantasy draft.
  • In 1999, Matthew started working for Rotoworld and writing a column.
  • He had professional writing experience from his days writing in Hollywood.
  • In 2004, he had enough of an audience to start his own website, at a time when people were starting to make money from the web.
  • He went to every website, TV station, and radio station he could find and offered to go on the air and write for free if they linked back to his website.
  • ESPN was one of the first places he went to promote his website.
  • Steve Mason at ESPN was a fan of Matthew’s column and started bringing him on 710 ESPN in LA.
  • Before long Matthew was meeting up with other people at ESPN and contributing to ESPN.
  • ESPN offered to buy his now profitable and successful website, move him out to Bristol, and make him the Senior Fantasy Analyst.
  • Matthew has been at ESPN since late 2006.
  • He wrote a book called Fantasy Life which tells the story of how he got to be the Senior Fantasy Analyst and how that arc coincides with the rise of fantasy sports in America.
  • Matthew talks about the importance of not worrying about the money in the beginning but getting in the door.
  • Get in the best situation with the highest visibility because if you are good, money and jobs will find you.
  • Find out where your audience is and go to that audience.
  • Matthew talks about Howard Stern as the greatest broadcaster of our generation.
  • Matthew’s podcast emulates Howard’s production style in the effort to be an authentic universe where people enjoy being and feel like they belong.
  • Matthew says his podcast has inside jokes, nicknames, and other aspects to give listeners a sense of belonging.
  • They also carry their atmosphere out in other platforms to make people feel that much more engaged.
  • On the note of social media, Matthew was first exposed to Myspace.
  • He joined Facebook around 2007 to connect with friends.
  • Matthew took the plunge into Twitter around 2009-2010 and realized what a great space it was for him.
  • He talks about social media as eye opening and says that it is an incredibly useful tool in fantasy as well as for fan feedback.
  • Twitter is a great source to gather news and information, so it is no surprise that Twitter is the first platform information about sports gets put on.
  • Matthew talks about the immediacy of Twitter as a crucial factor.
  • The replies Matthew gets to his tweets helps him drive the content he puts out because it shows him what people want to know about.
  • In terms of Twitter strategy, Matthew strives to engage with as many people as he can.
  • Matthew is big on customer service and doing anything he can for his fans.
  • He values connecting to his fans as his actual self.
  • Matthew encourages everyone to try to act on social media as you would in real life to be authentic.

Matthew Berry’s Social Media Six Pack:

  1. How many pairs of shoes do you own? Twelve
  2. Of all your catchphrases on the podcast, which one is your favorite? “Crush it like a grape”
  3. What is your favorite zoo animal? Monkeys
  4. Can you do a somersault? Yes! Awkwardly and slowly.
  5. Do you always wear identical socks? Almost always yes.
  6. What is your favorite Disney movie? Finding Nemo and Toy Story

Items mentioned in the show: