As shown in our “Social Media Scoreboard” post, communication through social media is certainly the most efficient and cheapest marketing tool when it comes to advertising products or services. However, sport organizations and companies continue to struggle with using these platforms properly to maximize their benefits.
To capitalize from its social media strategy, an organization needs to increase the visibility of its brand and gain as much engagement from its fans through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, two of the most popular interaction platforms in relation to sport. According to the IMG Consulting Fan Engagement (2014) study, a consumer’s motivation to engage with a brand on Facebook or Twitter depends heavily on whether the brand is seen to support one of the consumer’s favorite teams (48%), whether the consumer can win a prize (47%), or if the brand supports a charity (42%). As many brands with small followings quickly notice, it isn’t always easy to boost a social media account and thus, it is essential to manage accounts effectively in order to reap the maximum benefits and to build a strong fan base. To become more aware of your potential target market, note that some resources and applications are available, such as socialmention.com, a tool that allows you to easily find who is talking about your organization on social media as well as what they are saying about you!
The study above also looked at why fans would decide to unfollow or disengage from a brand. The primary reason is because such a brand is posting too often (67%), which tends to be disturbing more than anything else. The percentage continues to fall if the posts/tweets are not of interest to the consumer (50%), supporting the importance of analyzing the targets beforehand. Nonetheless, according to the same study, fans frequently engage with content that takes them beyond the scoreboard:
Generate engagement through photos!
In March 2014, eMarketer published a study showing that photos represented 75% of all the content posted by Facebook pages and that they are the most engaging type of content. Photos are indeed the most shared posts with a staggering 87% interaction rate from fans; no other content type received more than a 4% interaction rate!
Regarding Twitter, a similar trend has been noticed. According to Media Blog, who analyzed the content of over 2 million tweets sent by thousands of users, the most effective Tweet features in relation to sports include photos, which give users a 48% boost in Retweets (hashtags receive a 37% boost)!
Further, Twitter announced two new features this year and in line with the statistics presented above, these will certainly lend a big hand to organizations in their social media efforts. Users can now tag up to ten people in a photo and they can also share up to four photos in a single tweet, which means a growing potential for organization to successfully engage with their consumers.
As two of the best platforms for business to consumer sales, Facebook and Twitter are certainly a no-brainer for any organization. Thus, posting photos on Facebook and Twitter is obviously the best way to increase visibility and fan engagement, but these photos must be high-quality photos and must also be relevant for your target market. In addition, the “Goal to Achieve” should be sending “followers” back to your website by providing relevant links with your pictures.
Leverage your platforms with one another!
Cross-promoting your content on social networks is also a great way to spread your brand. Although Facebook and Twitter are two of the most popular sites, more awareness will be generated by pairing these platforms together with other popular social networking platforms like YouTube, Google+ and Instagram. Basically, this “cross-promotion system” will result in bringing more interaction with fans by increasing the exposure of your social media posts through different platforms. Give different ways for fans to see your content! Consequently, traffic may be more easily created between your different social networks, which means more visibility for the organization and the brand, as well as an increasing pool of potential consumers along the way.
The following clip is an example of a cross-promotion advertising campaign that has been used during the 2014 US Open in order to increase the visibility of this 2-week event. To connect with fans around the world, people were also asked to participate by telling their US Open tale through the hashtag #StoryoftheOpen. In this case, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube were fused together with a traditional media outlet (60 foot billboard) to harness the power of the US Open’s social media reach.
Let’s get back to work and get the most out of our social media efforts by being smart. As C.W. Leadbeater would say; “You are what you share”!