On a couple of Fridays each month, I’ll throw out five brief thoughts on how to succeed in social and digital media in sports, based on experience, observation, and conversation. Examples abound (and always reach out to me via Twitter @njh287 if you want to see examples or want more info). This is meant to be a short post, so, without further adieu…the Friday 5:
Success with strong, overpowering visuals — Look at the best team Facebook pages, Twitter timelines, and Instagram feeds and many of them share at least one common trait: a wealth of eye-catching, emotion-stirring, or aesthetically impressiv visuals. Whether touched-up photos or sharp graphics, visuals dominate the timeline and are “thumbstoppers” in a world of the interminable scroll.
Any chance for good video — It’s no secret to any digital and social media marketer, by now, that fans love video and social media loves video. Pretty much regardless of length and even deep substance. Sports is chock full of video – practice drills, game highlights, warm-up routines, messages from players, a walk-around a rink, and so much more. Turn on your smartphone’s camera at least 1-3 times/day and see what you can capture and share.
Revisiting big highlights — Silence that voice inside your head saying that, especially in this short attention span world, a highlight from over 36 hours ago is too late to share. Cool plays never go out of style and are always enjoyed. Get fans psyched for a series revisiting a cool old play, integrate a contest with a sweet play, do a recurring top play post, revisit top plays of a game, a week, a series; even posting one play at a time on social media. Sports is why fans are there, first. Help them enjoy it and share it.
Noting great news — Most teams have daily clips sent out and social media managers monitoring mentions and keywords all day, every day. If there’s good news to share that fans will want to share or react to, don’t worry that it wasn’t in your content calendar or posting plan, put it up! It could be a local or weekly award, something positive in the community related to your team or sport, an achievement by a prospect or alumnus or former player. Don’t pass on positive news, be a source for fans and be a valuable part of their community, providing content they want to share and consume.
Talking with fans — Another look at the most successful teams and brands on social media will often reveal another tactic in common: two-way communication, aka conversation with fans. Ask fans questions (and listen and respond), invite fans to engage, reply back on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Stop talking about building relationships and connections and start taking action. Even a few sporadic interactions each day can cultivate more and more superfans over time, building fangelists and a more deeply invested and engaged overall fan base. Try talking, you’ll like it. Fans will too.