Alexander Martin's GetLit Media Sessions aren't just for little leaguer's to have their photo with a football on fire. These sessions give your team the content and edge in gain social media traction that will boost community support, team moral, and even financial rewards like more ticket and concession sales. We creatively capture your players in a way no other photographer will, catching the attention of everyone who see's your photos. Let's talk about getting your team scheduled for some amazing photos that will help you grow and market your team in a modern and creative way that will gain attention. Continue reading to learn 8 more tips and tricks to help market and your team's social media presence.
It goes without saying that social media is already a huge part of our lives. We use it to follow our favorite celebrities, find out more about brands, and participate in trending conversations. It’s no different when it comes to the sports industry, with people following their favorite athletes and sports teams on social media.
By breaking down communication barriers, social media offers a way for sports teams and athletes to connect with their fans and strengthen their bonds. In fact, over 35% of U.K soccer fans on Twitter are using the platform to follow their team and athletes more closely than before they used social media. They also feel more closely bonded to their team.
This trend can be observed even better among younger age groups consisting of people aged between 16 and 29. Among people in these age groups, 63% liked a sports brand on Facebook while 44% followed a sports brand on Twitter.
Moreover, the use of social media to consume sports content isn’t just limited to the U.K. According to a Capgemini survey, 67% of respondents aged between 18 and 27 were consuming sports content through social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The trend rises slightly among 28-27-year-olds, 68% of whom use social media to watch sports content.
But what do these percentages translate to in terms of actual engagement numbers? Looking at the social media accounts of leading sports brands, events, athletes, and teams can help us answer that question. SportsCenter, for instance, has amassed 31.7 million followers on Instagram while the official NFL Twitter page has 30.7 million.
These massive follower counts also translate to significant engagements. During the SuperBowl LVI, the event generated 1.8 billion impressions on social media and 618 million video views with 78 million engagements. Further surpassing these numbers, WrestleMania 38 hit a record 2.2 billion social media impressions with 1.1 billion video views, resulting in 87 million engagements.
Even from just these numbers alone, it’s clear to see the power of social media for sports marketing. And with the right strategy, you could use it to grow fan engagement for your sports team, brand, or athletes.
Tips on Social Media Sports Marketing to Engage Fans Considering the significance and impact of social media in sports, you can’t afford to miss out if you want to get ahead of the competition. Check out the following tips on how to engage sports fans using social media.
1. Generate real-time engagement with live streaming When it comes to sports, nothing beats real-time engagement while tensions are high, and fans are enthused to share their commentary with others. Livestreaming some parts of your sporting event can be a great way to generate this type of engagement on social media. In fact, 42% of people want to see more live sports on social media. And 39% of social media users are already streaming sports live on social media. While media partnerships and restrictions may prevent you from live streaming your entire event for free, you might be able to stream certain events on platforms like Twitter or YouTube. This could help you build momentum for larger games and events, enticing fans just enough for the major events. Twitter has even hosted the live stream for NFL’s Thursday Night Football. This allowed for consistent fan engagement by giving them more football.
2. Provide real-time updates and highlights throughout the event Even for events that can’t be streamed live on social media, there’s still a way to generate fan engagement in real time. You can use in-the-moment platforms like Twitter and features like Instagram Stories to continuously share updates and highlights as the event is taking place. That way, you can give your fans the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions throughout the event. This could be a great way to remain top of mind and keep the conversations current. Moreover, it allows fans who are unable to watch the live event to stay informed on the latest updates such as who scored a goal, who received a penalty, or which boxer threw a deadly uppercut. Deloitte also found that social media was one of the top preferred channels to get rapid updates among sports fans.
3. Give recognition to your biggest fans In the world of sports, building fan loyalty is crucial to driving revenue and engagement. You need loyal supporters who keep buying your team merchandise or coming to your matches to survive as a sports team or an athlete. While entertainment is certainly the first factor in building a loyal fanbase, fans also love to be rewarded for their loyalty. That reward can be in the form of recognition. And social media can be the perfect channel to recognize your biggest fans and strengthen their loyalty. You could give them a shout-out, respond to their comments, and show them that you’re listening. You could even tap into the interests and values of more niche and obscure fanbases to show your appreciation for them. As the second biggest team in the English Premier League, Chelsea FC has over 49 million fans worldwide. One reason for the team’s huge popularity is their ability to engage and acknowledge fans on social media.
4. Build excitement through pre-game teasers For many sports events, one of the main goals is to drive revenue by selling as many tickets as possible. Or in the case of pay-per-view and live streaming events, you’d want to drive as many purchases as possible. A great way to achieve this goal is by building excitement during the lead-up to the event. Social media serves as an effective channel to do this as it allows you to share pre-game teasers that could entice fans to tune into the event. For instance, you could share videos of athletes as they warm up for training or you could post photos of them gearing up. Instagram Stories of prep work at the venue could also be a great way to entice your fans to watch the event. For example, Misfits Boxing regularly shared Instagram Reels showcasing the training session for YouTube star KSI as he prepped for his fight with Swarmz and Luis Alcaraz Pineda. This managed to drive tons of views and engagement among fans, with one of the Reels garnering 484k views and 13.8k only 3 hours after it was posted. Not to mention hundreds of comments cheering for the star. These numbers speak volumes about the impact of Reels, considering how the page only has 49k followers to begin with.
5. Encourage athletes to take fans behind-the-scenes Athletes are the human faces behind your sports brand or team. As such, they can help you build a human connection with your fans. Further, they could bring fans closer to brands and sponsors as well. In fact, 26% of avid sports fans who consume sports content through social media say that athletes help them connect with brands and sponsors. So, don’t hesitate to bring athletes to the front of the conversation. To build a deeper connection, encourage them to take fans behind the scenes–whether they’re prepping for a game or chilling out after a big one. They could share candid photos and in-the-moment videos that feel “human” as they give fans an inside look into an athlete’s life. Instagram and Facebook Stories are the perfect way for athletes to give a behind-the-scenes look to their followers. Alternatively, they could also share Instagram Reels to show how they prepare for a game. That’s exactly what Simona Halep did to show her fans how she prepared for the U.S Open 2022.
6. Tell athlete stories to build a closer connection Besides athletes interacting directly with their followers, another way to build a strong connection with fans is by telling their stories. As much as fans like to idolize athletes, they also want to be able to relate to them. So, sharing social media posts about a player or athlete’s story could bring in that relatability factor. You could talk about the challenges that an athlete had to overcome to get to where they are today. This could be poverty, family issues, health problems, discrimination, and so on. The idea is to humanize the athletes by showing how they’re real people with real problems and real lives. Essentially the goal is to show fans that these athletes are just like everyone else. Alternatively, you could also put a spotlight on some aspects of their personal lives such as their volunteer work or their family. For example, the New England Patriots shared an article on Facebook, showing how one of their players took his son to the Gillette Stadium for the first time. This is a great way to add some positivity to your feed while showing the humanness of the player.
7. Run contests and giveaways If there’s one thing that sports fans are known for, it’s their competitiveness. Sports fans like to win, and they enjoy the thrill of competing for something. This is why giving them the opportunity to win through contests and giveaways is a great way to engage them on social media. Ideally, you should run the contest around an upcoming event to build up the excitement during the days leading up to the event. There are plenty of ways to engage your fans through contests such as asking them to caption something, share a post with their followers, correctly guess something, and so on. The Arizona Cardinals ran a “Fan of the Year” contest where they asked their followers to nominate someone who’s an extraordinary fan of the team. This is a great way to give recognition to your fans while simultaneously giving them the chance to win something.
8. Leverage the power of humor Humor is powerful and it’s infectious. In fact, it could be the very tool you need to boost your social media engagement and drive better visibility. When people see something funny that you posted, they could feel compelled to engage with it by reacting or commenting. Some might even share the post with their friends. So, humor could be a great addition to your social media strategy as it helps you entertain and engage your fans. Share relevant memes, have your mascot perform some hilarious challenge, or show your athletes just letting loose and having fun. Ready to take your sports brand on a whole new level through social media sports marketing? Use the above tips and ideas to engage sports fans using social. Even something as (seemingly) simple as recognizing them could help you win their lifetime loyalty.