With the recent emergence of social media, it seems that every business and corporation now has a Twitter. The sports industry was one of the first major corporations to catch on to this trend and they are calling the shots on how to run a successful social media platform.
Professional sports are a business, but the two are often very confused when thought of as partners. Fans want to believe that their favorite athletes play for the love of the game and the pursuit of childhood dreams, while the owners and some players try and cash in on every money-making opportunity they can that involves their team. Sports and business both often create controversy. However, the one way sports do not create controversy is the Twitter strategies and the lessons many businesses could learn from by modeling after the sports industry’s twitter approach. Businesses could learn from the sports industry’s Twitter strategy by following these tactics:
Exclusive Access– Twitter allows fans to have access to their beloved teams that they would never have had to chance to before. All of the behind the scenes work that a professional team goes through can now be made available in small tidbits to the public. Whether it is snapping a photo of merely a coach’s meeting or relaying information straight from the team’s head spokesperson. This access allows fans to feel closer to the teams they follow even more and gives more meaning to the fans to follow their teams on Twitter.
Fan Interaction– Ever go to the ballpark or stadium early, hoping to sneak down to the closest possible seats to the field hoping to talk to, shake the hand or even ask for an autograph from your favorite player? With Twitter, fans have access to their favorite players at their finger tips, or rather their Twitter handles. Many athletes will take advantage of the easy interaction Twitter allows professional athletes and fans to have, because it allows them to become closer to the fan base that supports them on a daily basis. This then enhances the fan experience, which will only build positive brand recognition for the fan of the player and/or team that he or she plays on.
Live Updates– Not able to sneak away from all of that grueling work at your job and check on your local team’s scores? Twitter grants a solution to that problem. Most, if not all teams will be updating their Twitter feeds at a very rapid pace throughout the game, keeping all of their fans that are not able to attend or view the game filled in on what’s happening during the game. This allows fans to stay connected no matter where they are, yet they still will feel the comforts of being home following their beloved franchises.
Contests and Giveaways– The sports industry more than any other industry has many contests and giveaways strictly for their Twitter followers only. The only way to win the contest is to follow the team or player on Twitter. This gives the team or player a chance to shape the conversation and take advantage of the use of hashtags such as #superbowl2012 or #postseason. In return, it keeps fans glued to the games and team twitter feeds and keeps the interactions continuous between the team and fans.
So, the ball is in your court. Maybe staying late after work to watch some hoops and twitter feeds with your co-workers isn’t such a bad idea after all. If you want your business’ social media platforms to succeed, all you have to do is get in the game!
Agree/Disagree? Let us know what you think about this proposed plan of action. We are all ears!
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Andy Esworthy.