Social Media Team Review: Saints Put Their Players and Their Fans Front & Center

The New Orleans Saints have a unique bond between their team, players, fans, and city. It goes beyond just cheering on wins, the fans feel a part of the team and love the players like family. The Saints embrace this, a much of their social media content is focused on highlighting players and fans, as much as posting other content and updates on their recent game day at home, in a close win against the Seattle Seahawks.

Perhaps their most impressive platform is Instagram. The Saints shared some thoughtful, close access photos and videos in the pregame window, including a pregame speech in a huddle from Drew Brees (shared elsewhere, too) and use of filters, for affect. The Saints did use Instagram stories, but not much, and just shared a little pregame content on that part of the platform.

Particularly awesome was a video on Instagram comprised of some great fan pics, prepared for game day. This framed promotion, sponsored by Coca-Cola, was a great collection that included some oh-so-adorable baby/kid pics. Instagram content during the game was primarily score update graphics and a snapshot from a halftime ceremony (similar to photos shared on other platforms). There was also a couple pics of players heading in for halftime.

The Saints had some great stuff after the game, too, which was an exciting win. Photos of excited players, powerful visuals, and some awesome video of fans and even an emotional player making eye contact and talking to fans. A lot of strong work after the thrilling victory, and Instagram showcased fans and players well, for the Saints.

 

The Saints had an active Facebook page over the weekend with mostly links and some sponsored content. The content integrated with sponsors was primarily shared on Saturday, tied into content linking back to the Saints website, and ‘tagged’ in the Saints’ posts.

A closer look at their Facebook Page and one can see their primary CTA at the top of the page is to ‘Message’ the page. The Saints are not only responsive, but very active in the pregame window, sharing a lot of links with preview content and even updated their cover photo that day. A pregame photo of the team in the tunnel was particularly popular; there was no native video on their page (at all, during the day).

During the game, the Saints updated their Facebook with score graphics, some photos from the halftime ceremony, and a lot of links to content (recaps, pressers) following their win over Seattle. The visuals were good and it would be interesting to know the traffic/click being driven from these posts / this activity.

Of course, the Saints were by far the most active on Twitter and their content and activity on here mirrored their focus on featuring players and fans over all else. In the pregame time period, there was retweets of players and of fans, excited for the Saints Gameday. (Notable, too, that the Saints have separate game day account, solely for customer service at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, it appears).

Also during pregame, the Saints retweeted other great content being posted to Twitter from other media outlets. Love this, as simple as it seems. If there is great content fans will enjoy, your curation is a service for them and only keeps them wanting more and more enthusiastic. The Saints had a steady volume throughout the pregame, with videos, photos, and retweets building buzz and giving a taste of the home game atmosphere.

The Saints’s in-game coverage is comprised of text updates for big plays, lots of player portrait photos (definitely helps build that visual connection with players and fans), and pre-prepared scoring graphics, including those styled for the team’s 50th anniversary. They reinforced their season-long theme with repeated usage of their hashflag, #Saints50. Scoring plays had a prepared graphic or two, followed by a visual/graphic drive summary tweet. None of these visuals contained any sponsors, as a note.

The Saints whipped out a good portion of variety during the game, with some unique visuals, fun GIFS (Saints/prepared and others) and had fun with QB Drew Brees as the GOAT (using GIFS and emoji). The Saints also did share one Snappy TV clip that the NFL had posted. The same themes of endearing players to fans permeated content throughout.

After the exciting win, the Saints shared in the emotion with fans, and then went into post game mode. This was links to their website to watch live web pressers, but also some tweeted out quotes, as well. In addition, there was active retweeting of multiple players and some great inclusion of tweets from happy, celebrating fans. (Victory gumbo FTW)

 

Finally, we take a look at Snapchat, on which the Saints had some solid, consistent content. The pregame content helped set the stage and build the emotion, while providing enough of the kind of access fans have come to expect on the platform. There was good selection in what to feature and even a special cameo from a current Saints fan celeb.

The Saints had the most activity on Snapchat in the pregame window, and their access was beyond just the average, including a raw experience in a pregame huddle with Drew Brees. A great way to make fans feel close and to feel the emotion of the players and the atmosphere. There didn’t appear to be a Saints-specific geofilter in use, and the filters used were the NFL game day filter and a couple general New Orleans filters.

During the game, the only Snapchat content came at halftime, with players running in and some shots of a halftime ceremony. Then, more magic happened after the game. It was great and speaks to what the Saints want to do on social — form deeper, personal connections between fans and players. Eye contact and direct messages shared via Snapchat after a big win is just fantastic and great buy-in from Saints players with the team’s social. Of course, fans were also featured.

 

I enjoyed reviewing the Saints’ social media. It is well done in a lot of ways and does a good job of conveying atmosphere and emotion, and featuring fans and players within all their content. There is perhaps no better result of social than deepening ties between fans and team, and the Saints, on this point, are hitting pay dirt.

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