Social Media Strategy Tips

Social media is an important part of daily life of  a sports marketer, sports club, the hardcore fan or just about anyone who enjoys knowing and engaging with the latest in news, sports, as well as just chatting with friends. But we all have come across those stupid posts from certain brands we might follow or that crazy friend of yours? Yes, you have probably already un-followed them and thank God for that, but have you, as someone who often posts on social, ever thought if you are pleasing your followers and fans?

Managing social media seems easier than it is, because usually there is a lot of planning that nobody can see because it happens behind the scene. First and foremost, you have to ask yourself who are your fans and followers and what type of content do they interact with the most: Do they only like videos or do they like images as well? What kind of posts drive more engagement? Comments? Shares? These are some simple, but tricky questions social media managers need an answer to before they post something on social. Are your fans/followers the type that likes to see cute cat videos or is this something they would unfollow you/your team/your brand for?

Well that’s what I will tell you now, and show some useful examples of what to avoid and what to stop using in social media marketing strategy at your sports club.

Avoid this

Now lets continue with the things that you should try to avoid doing on social from now on.

SproutSocial presented the following as a NO NO for brands social media strategy:

  • Over producing posts and promotions
  • Using too much of slang and jargon
  • Not being human and personal on your social media accounts
  • Trying to be funny in every post
  • Not responding to questions and/or comments

So lets brake here and reverse. The common theme here for a successful social media strategy and for a strong brand is to be caring about your own values and being authentic. Followers and fans are interested in you for your values and your product/service so make sure to deliver the expectations and use social media as it should be used, communicate, connect and share with your followers.

Supporters are now quick to like or follow a brand on social media that sponsors their favoured team or player and it’s reported that 30% who connect with a sponsor in this way buy one of its products.

GlobalSportsJobs insight team

Most followers VS engaged followers

Keep in mind that about 1 out of 5 followers will follow you just because a friend told them you’re cool. And yes, people like to follow brands which offer entertainment, good incentives and promotions they are interested in. You should know that a number of followers doesn’t mean much if those followers don’t interact with your brand. If your competitor has more followers, but you have more customers/better conversion, who do you think wins the battle? Don’t get sucked into the wrong battle. 

A good example of this is the “battle” between NIKE and ADIDAS from the first half of 2016 (source: Repucom):  

As you can see, it is not all about the total number of followers, it’s the engagement and interaction that build long lasting relationships.

Together with the increasing social media platforms and the usage of social media it has become a big advantage to possess social media accounts. If you trust and believe in a brand, you are more likely to buy it’s products/services and therefore become a loyal fan of the brand.

The solution

There are a lot of great examples out there on social media that you could start to use in your social media sports marketing strategy. But I will show you two posts to be inspired from.

First of all, this is (for me) amazing engaging content on Manchester United’s Twitter. It’s simple, realistic and it’s great storytelling!

What I really like about this one is that I feel a part of it, I am being entertained and it is inviting me to share it with my friends. 

You need savviness in the social media space. You need to create content that is attractive to both the end consumer and the influencers who are the gatekeepers of mass organic reach. The days you’d create something just to ‘go viral’ have passed.

Jim Shearer

Brand Director‎, Molson Coors

The second example comes from Liverpool. Liverpool uses several images in one post and is inviting their fans to vote on their favorite. This post was very engaging to their followers, and it let Liverpool (their social media manager) understand which images work best and what to keep in mind for future posts. 

Social media success metrics

How to plan your social media strategy and set those success metrics depends on your own situation and your goals, but you need to be realistic and set your strategy and goals based on your resources. Also, try to analyze different aspects of you social media actions. Like Richard Denton said in a webinar of The impact of the digital age on the marketing of football:

“Examine the success of different formats, for example photos versus videos, short pieces versus longer interviews, free content versus subscriber-only items, sign-up rates for newsletters versus competitions. Social media is instant, you can see quite quickly what type of material or content is gaining traction by comparing the differences. Social media is good at delivering the same thing”.

The greatest on social media within the sports industry is….

Cristano Ronaldo (CR7)! So if you really want to know how to make a social media impact, start following CR7 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

When a team and nation believe, anything is possible. #SparkBrilliance #justdoit

A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on

According to Forbes, this post gave a value of $5.8 million to NIKE (1.7 million likes and nearly 13,000 comments)!

Hookit co-founder Scott Hilton said that “Cristiano is one of the top influencers on the planet who has effectively leveraged his social following and engagement into a media powerhouse to drive tremendous value for his sponsors”

Conclusion

If we look back at the NIKE vs. Adidas comparison, we can see that they have quite different strategies regarding videos per post. Maybe this is the reason for a lower engagement on NIKE social accounts, maybe it’s not, but I like to believe that it has something to do with the big difference in engagement between the two brands.

Like I have shown above, which isn’t rocket science, the long-term relationship will provide more beliefs into the brand and increase sales. And as the Globalsportjobs team said, influencers play a big role in developing a relationship with brands and increasing trust with brands.

The great and important summary of a social media strategy – stay engaged with your followers and think quality, be authentic and you are more likely to engage loyal fans who will purchase from you because of your presence on social media.

Jakob Wikenstål

Jakob Wikenstål

Overtime Sports Marketing

If you have any questions about sports marketing, feel free to contact me at jakob.wikenstal@gmail.com

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