There’s just something about being at a sporting event that can bring goosebumps to fans of all ages. Regardless of who we are and what we believe in, fans come together to cheer on their favorite team as they hope to see them bring home the win. However, tickets have become increasingly expensive which can make it difficult for many people to make it to the stands. So with this being the case, how can professional sports teams make their fans not only feel like they are at the game, but even closer than that? The answer is simple: Social media.
My goal in our social media department for the Colorado Rapids Soccer Club is to help bring fans unprecedented access that they will not be able to get anywhere else and I think this seems to be a common theme for sports organizations. As the world of social media continues to evolve, so must the brands and they must use these new advances in technology to bring their fans closer to the action in order to keep them interested. It’s beens stated several times that the millennial generation can often times have shorter attention spans than a goldfish. So what can the team put out there that can really catch the user’s attention immediately and make them want to stay tuned for more? That’s the question that social media managers ask themselves everyday and each have their own separate strategies. However, there seems to be one common theme: Each platform must have it’s own style and it must be unique.
For our brand, we focus on the main four platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat (for now). Each platform has a different audience that we must tailor our content towards in order to get maximum engagement. For example, our Facebook page has our largest following so that means we have a more diverse audience out there. We try to bring these fans content that everyone can enjoy, which means a lot of video from our end. Studies have shown that you have 3-5 seconds to catch the user’s attention and video is normally the way to go if you are looking to catch the eye of someone who may be scrolling through a social media feed. We also present a lot more questions on Facebook as we have seen that our audience there seems to be more conversational so we try to get them involved as much as possible.
Twitter is a completely different world and is the one that I like to focus on the most. The content we put out there is also “newsy” per se, but this is also where we’re more likely to make more risks and where we’ll put our content that has potential to go viral. When you go on ESPN, you never see, “So and so had a Facebook post that caught the world’s eye.” No, it’s always a tweet that ended up going viral. Twitter is our fun platform where we can engage in more banter and try to make us seem more personable.
Our Instagram is tailored towards bringing the fans quality images that they might not get to see elsewhere and this is where a lot of our behind-the-scenes content is. People seem to go on their Instagram feeds almost every hour, so it’s important to bring our fans captivating content that makes them want to go immediately to our feed instead of having to scroll down to see if we’ve posted anything. This is also another example of where video is crucial as it will cause the user to stop scrolling and keep their eyes fixated on the content for a longer period of time.
Finally, we arrive to Snapchat. Last year, Snapchat seemed to be all the rage and clubs were trying everything they could to grow their audience. Fast forward to today and Snapchat has taken a hard nose dive and we don’t know how much longer it will be around. We still try to bring our fans a lot of behind-the-scenes content on Snap as we feel it’s a different feel from the other platforms, but currently it’s at the bottom of our power rankings.
Social media has grown so much over the last 3 years that we have no idea where it may be in 2020. Which makes it fun to think about what teams may be able to produce by that time. If we can keep the fans engaged now with behind-the-scenes content now, just imagine what we can do with a few years time.