Saturday December 9, 2023

Growing an Audience on Emerging Social Platforms: TikTok and Beyond

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Everyone is buzzing about TikTok. The sports industry, in particular, has started to grow an impressive following with various leagues, teams, and players jumping on this new and emerging platform. Some sports organizations have been early adopters, while others have taken a more tempered, wait-and-see approach. Characteristic of decisions that need to be made around any new social platform launch, everyone wants to know when they should invest and how they can grow once they are there. What can be learned from first-movers on TikTok as well as their previous experiences with other emerging platforms like Facebook Watch and IGTV?

FOS REPORT: 54.5% of industry executives believe that it would be at least 60 days before leagues resume play.

In this webinar Chris Littmann, Director of Social Media Content, NASCAR, Samantha Wood, Director of Digital & Social, Philadelphia Eagles, Nick Cicero, VP of Strategy, Conviva, join Adam White, CEO, Front Office Sports, to discuss their experience maximizing the impact of new platforms, including how they are growing an audience on TikTok.

Edited highlights appear below:

On the Eagles’ early success on TikTok (4:24)

Wood: “We got around 700,000 followers in that first year…So I think that was a really surprising amount of success. We did not have high hopes and it really has surpassed everything…There were some TikToks we made that I absolutely loved and I thought were going to kill it and we’re going to go viral and they just completely fell flat. And then there were other ones that were sitting in our drafts for weeks because we tried to do one a day and we finally just threw it out there and got millions and millions of views. We try to make predictions about what we think might work on TikTok, but to be honest, part of the fun of the platform is not ever knowing.”

On not being afraid to get experimental (20:42)

Littman: “I think just being open to testing and trying. I felt like we started pretty well and like we actually had what felt like pretty good success early on. And then we had two weeks where it felt like nothing was doing well and I was like reaching out to our rep we work with at TikTok and I’m like, ‘what did I do? Did I break it?’… And then we started to have some stuff hit again and started to get back into a little bit of a rhythm…You got to keep shooting man…it’s probably the platform where I’m very rarely saying to my team ‘no’ or ‘change that idea’…There are no bad answers right now.”

On the advantage of video platforms (35:21)

Cicero: “Platforms like YouTube and TikTok and IGTV, these all really give you more robust data around minutes consumed and the average watch time or retention rates. I think that’s another big metric to think about and in terms of the return that you’re getting is a lot of these are video-driven in nature and we often forget that people spend time watching videos. It’s very hard for us to even think about the amount of time that somebody spends watching a photo that we post on Instagram or reading a tweet that we make. And that’s one of the advantages of video is we can actually measure the impact of people’s attention that we’re actually having.”

On finding inspiration for TikTok content (54:07)

Littman: “I would advise [people] to go do probably exactly what we did, which was go look at hashtags for a month. Follow some brands that are similar to yours and start to feel out what’s doing well. Do you feel like you have content like that? Could you make content like that? That’s where I go back to.”

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