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Sunday, June 16, 2024

The Social Media Seven: 8/14–8/20

By: Parth Shah, @shah_parth_


Welcome to another week of the Social Media Seven, your weekly home for notable tweets, posts, facts, articles, and social media strategies in the world of sports. Thanks for joining us!

1) Conference USA

Conference USA began its #AllDay campaign this week, with a team in C-USA taking over its Twitter account for the day. Each followed a similar script, providing plenty of videos, graphics, and information on the school, location, sports programs and much more. Allowing fans to get excited seeing their team on the official conference account, as well as giving them a chance to learn about their rivals, is a great strategy. By promoting from a centralized location, it gives each school unique access to followers that may not engage with their content normally. Not only does this allow C-USA to strengthen its own brand, but it also increases awareness of league members and serves as great cross-promotion of all sports. The league put together really nice ‘hype’ videos for football, as well as other sports, the school, and the destination college city or town. Snapchat takeovers, as well as Twitter Q & A takeovers, are already successful, so it will be interesting to see if this strategy of a longer-term, larger-scale takeover is more utilized in the coming months and seasons.

2) Miami Dolphins

With the opening of the Dolphins’ new stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, there is palpable excitement surrounding the community and organization. The facility agreed with Hard Rock to become the official sponsor of the stadium, with full naming rights. The Dolphins’ social media team, one of the best in the NFL, put together a fantastic video capturing the excitement behind the new stadium. Not only does this immediately establish a connection between the sponsor and the fans, but it also continues to momentum of ticket sales as the season draws closer. The Dolphins want fans to feel at home in their new stadium right away, and videos as such build upon excitement and hometown pride, showing Hard Rock Stadium as more than just a stadium. It aims to be a destination, a mecca for sports, entertainment, and Miami culture. Enabling this feeling with a wonderful video is a strong step for the Dolphins and the city of Miami.

3) Minnesota United FC

With Minnesota United FC set to enter MLS in 2017, the expansion club to be had an opportunity to make a statement. Initially, MLS was focused on forcing the team to drop the ‘United’ moniker from their name, either replacing it or just removing it entirely. This was under consideration, as DC United is already in the league and Atlanta United is to join the league in 2017 as well. However, the organization and fans fought back. There was speculation that they were fighting a losing battle, but kudos to Minnesota for sticking to their brand identity. Already with one of the most recognizable and unique crests in soccer, the team stuck with ‘United’. And they are more than happy to show you why, as they released an amazing #ForeverUnited video showcasing the history of professional soccer in Minnesota and the future under MNUFC. Rebranding without rebranding. Not to mention a killer social media campaign with #ForeverUnited. Exciting times in the Twin Cities.

4) New York Rangers

All eyes in the NHL this week were on Harvard graduate and Hobey Baker winner Jimmy Vesey, as he neared the completion of his free agency process. With many high profile, powerhouse organizations in the mix, the Rangers put on the full-court press. Some of NY’s top celebrities joined in with the hashtag #JVtoNYR, pitching him on a career in the Big Apple. This tactic of celebrity recruitment has grown tremendously in the past year, as more and more teams are bringing in superstar athletes from other sports to lure a free agent to their city. The hashtag went viral, with fans and rivals expressing their excitement or disdain. In the end, the impact level of this campaign on the decision may not be determinable, but Jimmy Vesey ended up in New York. If his welcome tweet is any indication, the Rangers did a tremendous job in drumming up buzz on social media over his signing.

5) UFC

The UFC does a great job engaging with its followers, curating posts that are not only shareable but also maintain the persona that the organization wishes to embody. They are extremely successful in creating videos that build excitement about upcoming events, such as this week’s UFC 202. These videos also have a high virality index, as they are more likely to be retweeted or reposted. A large part of marketing for UFC is in drumming up excitement about showcase events and fights, which videos are incredibly successful at doing, compared to traditional print or picture ads and posts. UFC also does a great job at creating behind-the-scenes content, allowing fans to connect with fighters at another level than what they do at just press conferences and in the octagon. For a sport that has events much less frequently compared to the other top sports, building up anticipation in the lead-up to competitions to grow audience viewership is huge. This social media marketing is largely an emotional appeal, and UFC does a great job in creating engagement with fans before, during, and after fixtures, a successful practice for any business.

6) Must-Read Article:

A few weeks ago, I mentioned the ingenuity (and success) of the Fresno Grizzlies in the Social Media Seven. The Fresno Bee put together a really insightful piece that looked into Sam Hansen, the marketing genius behind the Fresno Tacos. You can read the piece here, which details Hansen’s career, background, and inspiration behind the Tacos. It is especially telling to see how going out of the box and away from conventional norms in sports marketing can be a huge boon. Don’t be afraid to try something new!

7) Shah’s Social Media Strategy

Be ORGANIZED. A messy (or non existent) social media plan often leads to subpar content and execution. By laying out content schedules ahead of time, it allows your team to better share responsibilities and keeps the focus on what needs to be done. Planning ahead allows provides ample time to create and perfect your content, so that is curated and ready for when it needs to be posted. Not to mention, keeping things straightened up is crucial in avoiding any chaos and/or mishaps at important times. There is a difference between being organized and being scripted, however. Having a content schedule does not mean you have to be monotonous or without any fun, it just allows you to keep your graphics, GIFs, videos, features, and more organized and ready to use when you so choose to implement them.

BONUS:

It is great to see the power of sports, and how life takes precedence over rivalries. After immense flooding in Louisiana, SEC teams put their rivalries with LSU on the backburner to offer a helping hand to the school and surrounding community. LSU put together a nice thank you video for the University of South Carolina and their contributions during this time of need. It’s truly heartwarming to see how sports can transcend so much, and rivalries on the field mean nothing compared to the humanity off of it.

No Social Media Seven next week, but I will be back for an action-packed edition the following week. All the best until then!

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