Sports teams are an instant starting point for conversation. When I see someone wearing a Warriors shirt in line at a coffee shop, I can’t help but talk to them. Similar interactions occur in the online domain. Social media provides an essential avenue for bringing strangers together with a little friendly banter. Indeed, sports and social media go hand-in-hand; watching games typically generates active participation, and for many, this means taking the conversation off the field and online by tweeting, posting, sharing, and commenting.
In a recent campaign, two New York soccer teams held a Twitter battle where the team who had the greatest Twitter presence secured an opportunity to light up the Empire State Building in its team colors. Both soccer squads circulated the twittersphere, with fans tweeting either #NYCFC for the New York City FC or #RBNY for the New York Red Bulls. While the New York City FC was ultimately the victor, the contest had positive externalities other than illuminating the city in one team’s colors; this campaign fostered genuine interactions and generated free exposure.
Twitter hosted a similar campaign for the Super Bowl XLVIII, in which fans would tweet their predictions for the winner of the match-up between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos. Turns out that Twitter was right – the hashtag champion was also the winner on the field.
Photo courtesy of Twitter Blog.
Through calls-to-action and engagement opportunities, these platforms are practically begging for participation, and sports is an easy topic to get people talking. In another targeted campaign, Facebook used the NBA Finals as an opportunity to spark status updates.
Photo courtesy of Social Times.
This social strategy is a smart one because it pinpoints a popular event that the user is interested in, and invites him or her to respond by presenting the question: What’s on your mind?
Sports fans are in fact some of the most active social media users. In a recent survey of 10,000 women regarding the 2015 Women’s World Cup, 99% were considered to be active participants on social media, and 61% said they intended to use social media for updates on the action.
Photo courtesy of Social Times.
With 73% of those surveyed using Facebook as their primary platform, this channel would be a great place to focus your brand’s next marketing effort. Kick off your campaign with calls-to-action – a crucial element in driving engagement.
The strategies behind these social campaigns can be extended beyond the realm of sports. Brands can utilize social channels by prompting customers to share their opinions through hashtag competitions, Instagram photo contests and polls. Get creative! If you score on social, chances are your brand will be a winner offline too!
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BusinessWeek Online reported today that Nike has teamed up with Google in the launch of Joga.com – an invite-only community for soccer enthusiasts around the globe. It’s being compared to MySpace and other social networking sites. BusinessWeek reports:
"Joga.com is a free network where members will be able
to create Web sites and send e-mail, photos, and video clips, as well
as access Nike content related to its sponsored athletes such as
Brazilian superstar Ronaldino or U.S. soccer prodigy Freddy Adu…"
The site knew I had a GMail account (via Google’s cookie data), and offered me an invitation. I bet that if I check back in a few weeks, I won’t have that luxury…