The Art of the Take: Using the S.P.I.C.E Method to Establish Your Brand

Picture this. You just joined Seahawks Twitter and you’ve finished watching our beautiful team play. Still pretty drunk, you immediately log onto the internet, ready to share some fascinating insight about what became the defining moment in the game. You open up Chrome, get your Twitter fingers ready, and…

…you don’t know what to write.

We’ve all been there. Tweeting is easy. Most people can do it. If you’re reading this, chances are you have a Twitter account (FOLLOW @BEASTPODE COWARD) and you made some comments that have garnered a huge following. I mean, even I have over 1200 followers just by posting bullshit and making charts on Paint 3D.

But tweeting well? Creating tweets that destroy boundaries and engage readers, compelling them to lock their phones away in disgust? Now that’s an art.

Few have mastered it. And while there are many who have “ascended” without relying on good tweets, most of us simply do not have the intelligence, humor, craziness or even free time to become the next Cable Thanos.

Therefore, the easiest and most foolproof way for Seahawks Twitter members to earn their stripes is through the take. Urban Dictionary defines a take as “an opinion based on simplistic moralizing rather than actual thought.” And while takes may be effective because they are extremely contrarian, the truth is that there are many diverse ways to craft an effective take.

For example: Evan Hill of Hawkblogger has built himself a following by being flippant and extra, reiterating statements “Pete Carroll should be fired” or “Indian food is terrible.” Never mind that such an outcome would be nearly impossible given that Carroll arguably has the most control of anyone in the organization after Paul Allen’s passing or the fact that there is no such thing as terrible Indian food — these takes have only garnered him more attention and is a big reason why he has nearly 6,000 followers today.

On the other hand, Ben Baldwin of the analytics movement has made headlines by utilizing mathematics and statistics to construct a narrative of the game. While his brutal honesty on the uselessness of running backs has made him an enemy of suburban fathers coaching their sons in pee-wee league, he has been a staple of The Atheltic’s writing talent and an anchor in the Seahawks Twitter family.

The common thread between these different approaches to success is simply how they tailor their tweets to their majorly common audiences. Because Twitter is a congregation for overreactions, broad strokes, and jumping to conclusions, a take must tap into these impulses in order to be relevant. It must be argumentative and force the reader to focus on what you’ve said, not why you said it.

Most importantly, your take must elicit a reaction.

As a veteran of Seahawks Twitter and a member since 2012, I have witnessed enough takes in my lifetime to develop a formula to ensure that everything you tweet will be successful. In order to garner comments and controversy while accumulating a sufficient number of online personas to fulfill your ego/self-worth, your tweets must embody these five mantras:

  • S – Speak Personally
  • P – Preach Expertise
  • I – Inflame the Imagination
  • C – Confirm Your Priors
  • E – Exit the Stage

Let’s break this method down further:

S – Speak Personally

Speaking personally may seem pretty simple at first but this can get tricky in the vast crowds of the online world. This doesn’t mean your take has to be wholly original. In fact, sometimes it might be easier to piggyback off of common Seahawks Twitter opinions (In-N-Out is bad good, Brian Schottenheimer should be fired, the running game is important, etc.) to start establishing your brand.

But it is vital that the take you develop must be something you believe, even if you are the only one who does. Doing so consistently intertwines your personality with your opinions, which will help you cling on to them, despite evidence to the contrary.

Additionally, speaking personally will force you to put greater effort into defending yourself, as we naturally feel attacked by people who disagree with us. This will ensure that we will do anything in our power to ensure our voice is the loudest in the conversation.

P – Preach Expertise

Preaching expertise goes hand-in-hand with speaking for yourself, and it’s arguably the most important tool used by draft analysts. As we discussed earlier, a unique take is more effective than an established narrative; this is also partially due to the surprise factor. By utilizing the “hive mind” nature of Twitter against your followers, you are able to provide relevant (and at times, commonly known) information and ideas that they might not have considered in their echo chamber.

Combining this with the notion that you must always know more than your followers, it is very easy to become a trusted expert in the field by providing just enough evidence and support to spark a new idea. Since Seahawks Twitter users are unlikely to put in the effort to even fact-check a widely perpetuated belief, (nor do they have the financial means to afford All-22 film to do background research) it will be quite easy to maintain your position long after your claim to relevancy.

I – Inflame the Imagination

A good take must be hypothetical. Nearly any engaging conversation on sports is built off of discussing predictions and projections. While the tweeting of facts is important in order to prove that you are right, it’s not an effective way to hold an audience’s attention.

If your feed was a classroom, then you would be the teacher and your followers the students. It is your job to indoctrinate them so that, at the end of the day, they walk away with your ideas. Use level three questions (such as why, how, and what if) to lead your followers into a maze of problem-solving for an inquiry they will never need to know the answer to. Question the validity of commonly held beliefs but withhold your reasons for why you think they are incorrect, instead letting your followers solve the problem for you.

The relative intelligence of Seahawks Twitter enjoys being challenged critically if they are prompted to prove something wrong. After all, we live in a society where successful discourse is determined by winning rather than understanding, so whatever information you claim will be quite easily accepted as long as they learn to agree with it.

C – Confirm your Priors

Priors are basically a track record of your previous takes. Sustaining the echo chamber of Twitter is important, so it is best to often repeat one perspective or issue that you have commented on over and over again. Just as Hollywood blockbusters have thrived from remakes, sequels, and reboots, the same can be said of Seahawks Twitter.

People enjoy consistency and being told the same story over and over again, so use whatever you have at your disposal to support your opinion. Bring up games from earlier in the season, or even a few years back and relish in the emotions of yesteryear. You must never venture out and explore different perspectives and only tweet about things you feel confident in, because that is the only way to show that your takes are always correct.

E – Exit the Stage

Perhaps the most important facet of creating a take is to not overstay your welcome. Remember that, at the end of the day, tweets are basically you and a bunch of people standing in a room yelling at the wall, and the only way interaction happens is if someone hears you.

Therefore, the way to engage Twitter is to say just enough for a conversation to take hold around others, before letting them dwell and ruminate on your ideas. When you start a comment thread that results in 15 to 20 replies without your continued participation, you know you have done something right.

If you use these steps correctly, it will take you no time at all to solidify your brand and become a bastion of Seahawks Twitter. Leave a comment below and see if you can create effective takes using the S.P.I.C.E method!

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