Say what you want about how athletes use social media marketing, but it’s an extension of their personal brand, both on and off the field. In this short-attention span world, we can learn a lot from athletes as they continue to connect with their fans through fresh content and unique programs.
Athletes that continue to lead in the social media marketing world have a common thread, engagement. There’s a lot you can learn from professional athletes, and one of those is how to dominate and social media and increase your online brand.
Marketing and Social Media Lessons From Professional Athletes
He’s vastly different than NBA stars like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. His on court personality is more reserved and he has been much more cerebral in his approach. While his “Q score” is among the highest in the league, his overall awareness is much lower than some of the top players in the league.
So how do you overcome playing in a small market to raise your awareness? Well, great play and winning help, but it also takes a well thought out marketing and social media activation strategy.
What Durant does extremely well is he makes time for everyone. He constantly engages and replies with his fans and is topical with real opinions on not only other sports but also major stories in the news. He displays great personality through his Twitter and Instagram feeds, something you don’t often get when he’s on the court.
Key Takeaway: Like with anything, it’s really about how you communicate. A solid marketing and communication strategy that features great content, engagement, and some personality can help your brand differentiate from others and get your brand noticed in a crowded market.
Shaq has been an early adopter of various social media platforms, starting with Twitter and now Tout. Even though he’s been retired for several years now, he continues to stay very active through social media to help keep his brand top of mind.
Shaq, like Durant, not only showcases his larger than life personality through social media but he also demonstrates some best practices on platforms.
Recently at SXSW, Shaq executed the “Pitch Shaq” program where he asked any startups to submit 15-second elevator pitch videos on Tout.
Key Takeaway: Think big and stay active. The more dynamic programs you can put together, the more likely your community will be willing to pay attention and want to engage.
In this new era of marketing, there’s a new focus on content creation and delivery. Athletes are constantly trying to capitalize on opportunities to build their brand.
Williams has spearheaded that charge by hiring a team of personal beat writers for his website. His team of writers creates daily content that integrates through his site into his social channels. The range of personal content covers Williams’ activity both on and off the court.
This provides fans with regular rich content, unique insights and a personal point of view.
Key Takeaway: Think like a publisher. You can’t always rely on people to tell your story and sometimes the best story is the one you tell yourself.
What we can learn from these athletes is that your marketing strategy shouldn’t only be a one-way conversation. You must look to create and execute integrated programs that engage and resonate with your current customers and customers you want to reach. This leads to creating lasting connections that build long-term brand loyalty.