As of the NBA All Star Break on Monday February 27th the top 7 teams in the NBA looked like this from top to bottom.
1. Miami Heat 27-7
2. Oklahoma City Thunder (my favorite team just throwing it out there) 27-7
3. Chicago Bulls 27-8
4. San Antonio Spurs 24-10
5. LA Clippers (When was the last time they made the top 5!) 20-11
6. Indiana Pacers 21-12
7. Dallas Mavericks 21-13
So I ventured into their Facebook pages to take a glance to see if the winning records they have on the court held up in their musings, information, promotion of their team, and updates of their games and records on Facebook as well. There were positives and negatives, DOs and DONTs, and in the following paragraphs you will find out if there is a correlation between on court success and social media success. If there is, I will contemplate this as my final theory in my dissertation when I am becoming a Sports Marketing PHD in future decades!
Does domination on the court = domination on Facebook?
The defending World Champs start their page off right with a huge photo of Dirk and their championship trophy. When you win it all you should use that to define your brand until the title isn’t theirs.
Number of Likes: 2,005,948
Number of People Talking About Them: 49,022
The Mavericks have opportunities to win championship apparel through giveaways by registering on the page. They are also promoting their Pinterest account which is cutting edge for a major corporation. They have their email newsletter signup readily available, the Mavs Radio station and information on there, and frequent updates that all have and encourage involvement by their fans. They also post photos of more than just pushing their product, they have an old photo of former Mav Steve Nash and Dirk on a bus, photos of old players Now and Then, and overall it is more than just telling people “to tune in tonight” to their most recent game.
If the Mavs were my team I would revisit this page often…considering their owner Mark Cuban is a social media mogul and made billions during the dot com era…I would be disappointed if they didn’t have a great page!
At first glance going from the Mavs page there is much less info and all they have to offer is their Wall, Info, Photos, Events on the left side column. The Mavs had 3x times as many options to click on.
The page is up to date with photos and Pacers shout outs but for as much as they update the page it is very push push push and not push/pull like the Mavs page. There is no reason to hang out here or interact and get more in depth with the team.
Not bad just not great.
Number of Likes: 142,316
Number of People Talking about this: 5,199
5) LA Clippers
The LA Clippers could just show alley oops by Chris Paul and dunks by Blake Griffin and that alone would make it a good page! But they are giving away a VIP experience if you LIKE the page. They have their schedule, apparel store, and appearances all in plain sight and easy to find. Tons of photos, behind the scenes interviews, and they have promotion of the NBA on it not just promotion of their team. I find this smart. It will drive additional traffic by people who perhaps may not love their team but love the NBA.
Number of Likes: 211,798
Number of People Talking about this: 17,512
This team is on the rise, so is their Facebook page…as I am sure they have increased greatly from acquiring Chris Paul.
A HUGE “Like Us” add takes over their main page and you have to either LIKE them to enter the Spurs Facebook Community or navigate around it very carefully to enter. It then kicks back to that LIKE page often even after you do it. A little bit too much push right off the bat. They do promote their past titles and history very well and have lots of navigation and options. They have twitter, mobile, and E News apps all available and they have been doing this for a while and doing it well with the high amount of Likes and interaction on all of the comments.
Number of Likes: 1,088,323
Number of People Talking About This: 38,962
But the pushiness of the LIKE and the navigation difficulty balance out for me the good things they do on the site.
The Bulls take the cake on the LIKES right off the bat thus far with 5,102,406 LIKES (over 2x as many as the Mavs who were the leader until now and the interaction level is high as well with 203,745 talking about this. They have all of the individual players page up on the side to promote, I had not seen this yet and like it. The players make the team come together so promote them as well. They have lots of vintage photos of Jordan and Pippen, considering they made them the franchise that they are from a history perspective I respect that and it is smart! Happy Birthday shout outs to their players, questions as opposed to just info posted. It leads to HUGE numbers in their comments section…especially of course the ones posed on Jeremy Lin and LINSANITY. They also have a request to keep your comments respectful and not to use foul language. Sports fans can get unruly and a little over passionate so I think this is a good PR move. Less posts than some of the others but much more thought out and engaging.
The winner so far!
The Thunder have probably the most intimidating fans in the league right now. That place is a downright LOUD venue any night of the week. So my thought would be their fans are really into the team and very engaged in their page. First off they use ThunderFans instead of OklahomaCityThunder so the page is harder to find. The first page to have/promote a YouTube page…which I feel is essential if you are an NBA team! 857,793 LIKES and 53,276 people talking about this. You would expect a much lower number of LIKES since they play in one of the smallest markets and they are relatively speaking a new “popular/good” team. No giveaways, enagement, or promotional contests…just photos, videos, and pushing the product without asking the fans opinions.
From my #1 team I wanted and expected more!
1) Miami Heat
For an organization that thought it was a good to do this to announce the signing of Bosh and LBJ I did I was a little concerned about how their page would look. Number two in likes with 4,962,127 and 162,535 were talking about it but that should be expected with the immense popularity of the team! They do the same stunt as the Spurs and try to force the LIKE on you right away. They promote their coaches and players pages and they also were the first ones to put an album on their…from All Star Weekend…which was a nice touch because so much went on there that I am sure there were some interested to see more than two photos.
Good recaps and updates of games, not great interaction. Nothing wrong with the page but not much that is going to get people to be excited about visiting the page.
Once again the team that did THIS to kick off the Big 3 can’t be asked too much of their social media!
Overall I learned from this study that every team is doing everything it can in terms of updates, photos, recaps, etc. What seperates the okay pages from the good and great pages are small subtle differences, ones that give people a chance to win something and ask them of their opinions. Easy access to behind the scenes stuff, things of that nature.
Facebook presence is not enough anymore. It needs to be engaging, creation of loyalty to the page, rewards for showing that loyalty, and overall making the fan feel that they are more important than just another LIKE on the side column to up their numbers!
I only checked the top 7 NBA teams, is there someone not in the Top 7 that does a better job than say Chicago, LA, or Dallas? Or is there any other Facebook Fan pages that jumps out to you as being incredibly…bad…If so leave your thoughts here!