Mike VI, Louisiana State University’s live mascot, has quite the social media presence, we learned at our September meeting. Mike is loved by the LSU community, fans and visitors, which explains his 39,779 Facebook likes, 10,546 Twitter followers and 3,766 Instagram followers.
However, neither his fans nor his followers seem to question that Mike VI is, in fact, a live Siberian/Bengal tiger, which means he is incapable of reading, writing, using a computer or understanding social media at all.
But, Mike knows what he’s doing when it comes to engagement. He uses social media to support his university, answer fans’ questions, keep followers updated, dispel rumors about himself (and there’s plenty) and show his stripes (he’s really comical).
Social media keeps him busy when he’s not sleeping, which only about 34 percent of the day. He posts at least five days a week and doesn’t schedule any posts. He is the only page administrator to ensure he maintains a consistent voice. He also interacts with other live mascots online — all in good taste of course.
Mike wasn’t always a social media pro, though. He joined Facebook in January 2010 after he had Facebook shut down an imposter account. In the beginning, he didn’t want people to get freaked out that a live tiger was interacting with them on Facebook, so he didn’t use first person. But, his page became somewhat depressing — he posted about the death of a former Mike.
General rule: Don’t post on about death on Facebook (or mention the location of a beloved tiger’s remains).
By the end of 2010, Mike’s online presence was expanding and engagement was happening. Today, he may not be the king of jungle, but he is definitely the king of social media.