The use of social media in the sports sector has been increasing rapidly over this year and promises to increase even more in 2015.
That comes as no surprise if we consider all the benefits that a sports brand can have by using social media, such as connecting with their audiences, starting conversations around past, live or future events and athletes, encourage fan interaction, brand awareness, customer service, sharing sports news, launching new products and even educating their followers in so many topics related to their niches. The potential is huge!
The integration of social media in sports communications is definitely changing the dynamics between a sports brand and its consumers, for the better.
The brand NBA has been successfully using social media trough out 2014. And when we say successfully, it means they have been reaching their desired goals.
Basically they use social media for two main goals: customer relationship management tool and to drive customers to its website to increase ticket sales, merchandise sales, and sponsorship deals.
Although they have a presence in many social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, they conducted an extensive analysis of their social media analytics and realised that the two most important networks for them are Youtube and Foursquare. These are the two platforms that helps them reach more of their desired goals.
Foursquare and YouTube are common platforms for NBA social media efforts. Nearly all teams use Foursquare on every home game night as another means of engaging with fans. Foursquare utilizes location-based technology allowing fans to digitally “check-in” to the arena to maximize interaction. Furthermore, NBA teams recognize that YouTube gives fans interactive visual content outside of photos that can promote fan engagement.
This is a good example of how in order to be successful in social media, a sports brand needs to be fully aware of where their audience is engaging more.
Gatorade has been heavily focusing their social media marketing on Facebook.
The reason for their success if mainly due to their very smart strategy on this network. They use a storytelling content marketing approach to successfully encourage engagement and awareness around their brand.
Their inspirational content trough the use of rich, vivid imagery arouses specific emotions that appeal to their target consumers and that are related to the brand’s messaging.
If their audience needs inspiration to do a workout or to continue on their fitness journey, Gatorade makes sure they feel inspired and motivated. Their branded images are shared widely on Facebook and other social media networks.
We couldn’t write an article about how sports brands are using social media without mentioning Nike.
They take their motivational approach to new heights with the use of social media real-time communication. One of their most used apps is called “Tweet at Nike” where if people need a little motivation before a workout, they send Nike a tweet and then they instantly receive a motivational response that will drive them to leave the sofa or hit an extra 5k.
Not only they have successfully extended their brand’s motivational image from their advertising to real-time communication on social media, but they are delivering impressive customer service on their social media channels as well.
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