Any budding vertical, brand, or influencer can take a few tips from how NFL teams manage their social media accounts.
Sports are passionate, full of ups and downs. There are victories and heart break. We see some of the most glorious moments and sometimes injuries that end games, seasons, and even careers.
Before the ‘Rona hit, sports were a social thing. So, it makes a snippet of sense that social media for top teams and players should be hot. When you think of team sports, not just football, but baseball, basketball, and soccer, one of the first things that come to mind is loyal fans. In fact, so much so that sometimes the first thing about a team to comes to mind is their fans, and whether you like them or not.
Social media campaigns put together by teams and even sports media outlets like ESPN, Yahoo, etc, capture the hearts and minds of the fans. They do it as a whole and also break it down into the smaller tribes each rooting for their favorite team. This brings us to the first lesson we can learn: speak to your community.
It Takes a Village
This is true with building almost anything that lasts. Your business or brand or channel needs eyes to drive revenue, no matter if that’s through sales funnels, getting your followers out of their houses to visit a brick and mortar location, or through sponsorships and ad revenue.
It takes a village.
They didn’t come up with the social marketing job title, ‘community manager’ for nothing. So, remember that it really is a community and you need to nurture it. Do less talking at and more engaging with. Take the time to understand what motivates the majority of your audience. What strikes their heart-chords, so to speak.
The 49ers do a great job of this by identifying with the fact most Bay Area football fans are working-class Janes and Joes. A simple Instagram post of Joe Staley running off the field, a huge smile on his face, with the oft-used hashtag #FridayFeeling “Leaving work on a Friday like …” Shows positivity and connects with fans on a basic, fundamental, level.
It makes the audience feel something. In this case, it’s connected. But it any feeling will do, as long as it’s not a feeling of boredom with your social feeds. You can get political or signal your social virtues to try and connect with a like-minded community. But if all else fails, just try to make your tribe laugh!
Be More Human
This is essentially just reinforcing the above: getting your audience to feel something. Recent marketing studies have shown that people are savvier than ever before and they don’t want to interact with a brand or a company. It feels too institutional. People want to interact with other people. So, build your content strategies with that in mind. Give it the human touch. Personalize it with character and flavor.
A good account to get ideas from is the Dallas Cowboys. They have the largest share of voice in the NFL, reaching more fans on a weekly basis than any other team. So, America’s Team is doing something right.
Loved by many and hated by perhaps, even more, Dallas Cowboys use it all to connect with their audience in meaningful ways.
Embrace the Hate
Whether you are just commenting on a feed or running a successful channel, there is a good chance that some yahoo will throw you shade or try and troll you. The Patriots, who are fan favorites according to Sportsbetting.ag, are also one of the most hated teams in the NFL. Sure, they have a massive amount of fans, but instead of indifference, the flip side is millions of people who loath them. That’s what happens when you win more championships in less time than any team in any professional sport ever.
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Instead of getting defensive are responding negatively to rude or hateful comments and posts, roll with it, embrace it, and use it to your advantage. The Patriots’ social managers are not afraid of facing the hate and using it to their advantage.