Differentiation in professional sports social media

Each and every organization needs to develop a social media strategy and voice that speaks to their own audience. This is no secret, but the question is, how can we achieve this plan? This is especially true when it comes to professional sports as each fanbase is extremely unique and what works for one team might not work for the other. We’ll take a look at how we at the Rapids try to engage our audience while comparing it with the strategy that the Colorado Rockies use to speak to their fans.

Our goal is to bring the fans closer to the team by giving them behind the scenes access where possible while also developing a voice that makes the fans feel as though they are a part of the team. Fans want to speak to people, not brands so this has been a big focus for us as we look to reshape the Rapids’ strategy in terms of digital and social media. A lot of this goes into better engaging with fans on all of our social media outlets which we believe is the key to growing our following. This helps create a unique relationship with our fans and the club and thus helps create a sense of loyalty to the club from a fan’s standpoint. Whenever a fan leaves us a positive comment, they will always get a “like” or a reply from us and we have seen this grow our engagement. However, there are some things that we are not allowed to answer such as roster decisions or anything of that nature which is understandable and most fans understand that. Either way, the Rapids fans have been speaking more with us and we’re looking to do the same which should help grow this relationship for years to come.

We actually decided to up our engagement after seeing what the Rockies have done. Personally, I don’t see another sports organization that better interacts with their fans than the Rockies. They have fans replying to almost everything they do and their social media department makes sure that they reply to each and every one to ensure that no fan is left behind. There’s no coincidence that because of this interaction that the Rockies have quickly become one of the most popular teams in social media.

Another thing that the Rockies do well is their tone across their platforms. They have the perfect amount of fun, snark and professionalism which makes it easy for fans of all demographics to follow along. And it’s no secret that fans like it when team’s engage with and poke fun at each other, which is something that the Rockies have down. However, this isn’t something that brands can just randomly do. It’s a process that has to be created over time. For example, we have not established that tone of voice yet and if we tried to post something snarky out of nowhere it might not be received as well as it would if another team did it. We are slowly working our way there so that way it feels more normal and not completely random. The Rockies have had this voice established for years and thus they are able to capitalize on this opportunity.

While there are differences between the two, both the Rapids and the Rockies work together to generate content that will benefit both parties. Whenever one of us has a player up for an All-Star vote or is beginning their season/postseason, we will work together to get one of our players to wish the other’s good luck and help grow exposure for the other team.

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