Over the past four weeks I’ve been writing a short series of articles taking a look at how social media can be utilized to grow a sports team’s fan base, regardless of whether the team already has a large following or is starting from the grassroots level.
You can find the posts in this series below.
- Utilize Social Media to Grow Your Fan Base
- From Sports Team to Social Experience
- Creating Great Content with Social Media
- Take Online Connections Offline
Throughout this series I’ve covered what I feel are some of the key aspects to consider when planning social media strategies and looking to grow your fan base. Today I’m going tor review what I feel are the key takeaways from the series.
Social media opens up many opportunities to sports teams of all sizes, but in order to be successful, teams need to use it strategically. Just as you’d plan any other form of marketing and communication, social media is no different.
Listening is a key factor in successful use of social media and is the first step to building a successful strategy. Understanding your current fans online behaviour will not only help your team when it comes to identifying opportunities to grow your fan base, but it will also help you to better understand your fans and identify other opportunities to engage and drive sales.
Whether you’re new to social media or you’ve been using it for a while, you need to make sure you know your audience – if you don’t you will end up wasting a lot of time.
Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Community
In my opinion community is one of, if not the, most important aspects of social media. Using social media to create an online community is a great way to bring your fans together, and also reach potential new fans.
Social media is about humanizing business and building relationships with both current and potential customers and fans. Creating great content is an indispensable step to building community, but it’s the engagement around this content that builds relationships.
As I stated in the last point ‘great content is an indispensable step to building community’. And I guarantee your club has great content.
Everyone has the ability to produce great content, whether you’re an amateur soccer team or an NBA franchise. Producing great content is not about glitz and glamour. If you’re making videos, it’s not the quality of the camera that makes the difference; with blogs it’s not the widgets and plug-ins that make it successful. It’s the content quality.
Take It Offline
I’m a big believer in the power of social media and I feel social media is most powerful when combined with offline communications and promotions.
Taking online connections offline is one of the most powerful things that can be done with online marketing and social media. It’s also key in building long lasting relationships.
Social media holds a world of opportunity for sports teams to reach new people, but often it’s what happens offline that will turn them into fans – the atmosphere around your team, the experience, the community.
When planning your social media strategy it’s important to think about how you can take your new online connections offline and bring them closer to your team.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this series, please feel free to leave a comment or give me a shout on Twitter. I’d also like to hear any suggestions you have for teams looking to use social media to grow their fanbase?
For a full guide on how grass roots sports teams can utilize social media check out ‘The Ultimate Guide to Grass Roots Sport and Social Media’
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