Lockouts seem par for the course nowadays in the world of sports, and the NHL is no exception. While angry hockey fans await a collective bargaining agreement to come between the NHL and the Players Association, the teams themselves struggle to keep fans engaged on social media. Why? Because the number one rule in social media engagement is to give fans what they want — and in this case what fans want is hockey season to start!
Some of the NHL teams seem to be focusing on archived photos and news stories of their team’s great past and some of them are relying on their American Hockey League affiliate’s games (which does not seem to be going over well for most fans). Just like in any other sport, angry fans everywhere have no problem ranting on whatever platform they see fit about not being able to watch their much loved sport. With that being said, there’s no NHL team Facebook page that is without tons of comments about ending the lockout. Here’s a look at some teams who are doing better than some on gauging what their fans want to see (besides a hockey season).
The Columbus Blue Jackets welcome their fan’s opinions and respond back to them the best way they can (which is something most teams are not doing at all).
The Blue Jacket’s Facebook page has been focusing on posts with their mascot Stinger. So far he’s been seen in a video dancing Gangman style and in pictures repelling from the arena ceiling. They’ve also been giving fans the chance to ask questions for the coach, and have a sweatshirt contest going on. Their posts go above and beyond what most hockey team’s pages are doing right now. In fact, one fill in the blank question yielded 308 comments from fans.
The Blue Jackets are also great to follow on Twitter: @BlueJacketsNHL and Instagram!
Not only did the New York Islanders show their season ticket holders some love with a special event, they are doing a great job keeping their Facebook fans engaged. They do this by highlighting two things they can control: their prospects and their latest promotion. The Islanders are highlighting their top prospects with pictures, interviews, videos and fan polls and doing a great job at it! The Islanders also have a great promotion running: Islanders Fight Cancer. While the lockout is going on, this team is raising money for cancer — a cause that goes above and beyond a hockey lockout. They also mix a little American Hockey League team content in their feeds.
You can follow them on Twitter: @NHL_Islanders and on Pinterest!
The Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers are currently having a fan tattoo photo contest on their Facebook page that is drawing some good attention. They are also posting “On this date in history” pics with questions and quizzes for fans to answer.
You can also follow them on Twitter: @NHLFlyers
The Minnesota Wild
The Minnesota Wild just ended a fun bracket challenge called: Best Jerseys in Minnesota. They also have a mix of posts on prospects and AHA news. Unlike other cities, their fans actually care about the AHL bc they LOVE hockey there.
They are also active on Twitter: @mnwild
The Vancouver Canucks are doing a ton of good deeds in their community and posting about it on Facebook. From their arena staff to their front office, the fans are encouraged by the good deeds they are doing in their community. It’s a brilliant way to keep angry fans at bay because the fans know that the team staff has nothing to do with the lockout. They are also featuring fanatical fan pictures like a bride in her Canucks Jersey (shown in the picture to the right). Sharing fan content seems to be a great way to engage fans across the board.
The Canucks are also on Twitter: @VanCanucks
The Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks have fan Fridays on Facebook and Twitter (#DucksDedication) where, like the Canucks, they highlight fanatical fan pictures. In addition to that they have Throwback Thursdays where they post old pics of players and coaches. They also have a pretty active Pinterest account with boards like: “Next Generation Ducks” and “Fan Made Signs”.
You can also follow them on Twitter: @AnaheimDucks and Instagram
The Los Angeles Kings
The LA Kings were the Stanley Cup Championship winners last season and as hockey rules stand, the team that wins gets the cup until someone else wins it. SO, with that being said they are having fun posting pictures of the Stanley Cup in crazy places.
They are also on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter: @LAKings
The Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning has always been great with their social media (but being from Tampa, I am kind of biased). On Facebook, they are interviewing prospects and promoting their events in the community. They also ask great questions on Facebook to get their fans engaged. On Twitter (@TBLightning), fans are encouraged to enter contest like #FreeJerseyFriday and #SyrCrunch!
The Montreal Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens are doing a great job on their blog highlighting great moments in their teams history. They post these to both Facebook and Twitter. They also post questions for their fans to vote on and even have a quiz for their fans to take.
On Twitter, they post in French and English: @CanadiensMTL