Planning and Purpose in Social Media and Sports

We’re all still trying to figure out social and digital media. The daily question of ROI, of how to best keep up with the platforms and the kids and the fans, and how to do it all while maintaining some sense of purpose and brand. There was a lot of fantastic insight shared on these subjects and more at day 3 of the Hashtag Sports Conference. See the full recap here and read on below for 19 quick-hitting insights/takeaways/quotes/stats:

  1. Fantastic, easily digestible thoughts on each of the big four social media network, presented by Jessica Smith, Senior Director of Digital and Social Strategy for the New York Yankees (and, yes, THE @WarJessEagle). She gets it. See below.


To sum it up again, in text:

Instagram = Best visual expression of your brand; strong creative

Facebook -> Massive reach, videos and live content content are king; paid works

Twitter -> Pulse and place for real-time, 1:1 engagement, developing voice/personality

Snapchat -> Real and raw access; people and hosts are key; likens to reality TV

2) Smith is sharp and articulate. A great takeaway line from her:

“Think like a brand, execute like a human.”

3) Social Media Manager for the Arizona Coyotes also dropped some serious social media savvy and wisdom. I’m a sucker for pros that can articulate the what and why of each social platform and O’Connor nailed it with the visual below.


Again, summarized in short text:

Twitter -> Constant attention, create conversation, timely content, develop voice

Facebook -> Content w/ longer life/relevance, video is king, connect with the community

Instagram -> Strong images + short copy, capitalize on high emotion moments/wins

Snapchat -> Raw, fun, behind the scenes, showcase team personalities


4) A nice line from the fan engagement panels, on three key questions to ask of your social media content: Why is it important, does the fan care, would they share

5) More keys from Jess Smith on social media: Know the why, diversify, test emerging formats, listen and learn


6) The Coyotes have struggle in the standings the last several seasons, but O’Connor has still had the team thriving on social media. Here recommendations included: Focus on sharing stories, be the [social media] account fans want to be friends with, leverage off-ice lifestyle content


7) She continued, with an insightful list of key guiding the Coyotes’s social media:

Have a strategy – priorities

Mobile-first mindset with content

Be there for customer service

Start a conversation

Cross-promote channels

Use contests, discounts, and giveaways to engage and grow audience


8) Fascinating insight from the team helping the Las Vegas Raiders with fan development. They break down fans groups seeking to understand what/who moves and influences them.


9) Scott Kegley is one of the best in the biz and currently is with the Minnesota Vikings as Executive Director, Digital Media and Innovation. His presentation on the Vikings’ social and digital media strategy included the commandments to: Create unique content, constantly reinvent, take timely + calculated risks


10) Kegley also noted the potential great synergy between players and the team. The powerful idea is to encourage and empower players on social; let them leverage the in-house creative and social team to really drive some big results.


11) Another day, another panel spent discussing the monetization of esports. A key insight: Brands can’t treat esports like another sport — it is digital-only and therefore commands a different business model.


12) On the subject of fan data capture, the main takeaway is that it has to be give/take. Don’t ask for data without there being a value exchange. Think add value, always, for fans.

13) On a related note, the best chance to collect data is during the exciting, high-emotion moments. So be ready to capitalize.


14) Talk about an area ripe for growth – Branded content was just .5% of US *live* social media posts in 2016.

15) Another eye-popping stat: 82% of branded content on social media comes from pro sports teams (both stats via Shareablee)


16) More interesting numbers, looking at categories of Facebook Live content and the average duration :

17 minutes sports, 26 minutes Lifestyle, 21 minutes TV networks, 53 minutes News


17) Interesting insight from Bruin Sports Capital’s Jeffrey Roth: Focus on the diehard fans [and building diehard fans] at live games, and reach casual fans on digital and social channels


18) While there is a lot of love for podcasts as a growth area now, it was noted that lack of data [user and impressions] is hindering podcasts’ ability to grow and monetize.


19) There was panel of active athletes talking about their work in the investment space. A big takeaway – they increasingly want a seat at the table, an investment in which they can have and want interest [and input and ownership].


See part 1 and part 2 of this post!

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