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Top 4 Ways to Utilize Social Media to Grow Your Fan Base

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….

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Take Online Connections Offline

This is part of a short blog series where we take 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 see the other posts here.

The first three posts of this series have covered listening, content and community. This week I’m going to focus on the importance of taking online connections offline.

Keep It Consistent

Offline conversation about brands is still what prompts us to search for more online. If you want to build awareness and grow your fan base, you need to get out into the community offline as well as online.

Your message should be consistent across all platforms and all types of media, whether it’s online or offline. Make sure that if people see your team online they’ll recognise your brand offline and vice versa. Online and offline marketing should be part of one strategy and both should be kept in mind at all times.

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A Simple @Reply Goes A Long Way

I work with professional sports organizations and athletes for a living, consulting them on best practices in social media branding. That being said, before working as a social media consultant (I hate that term), I am a massive sports fan (GO PHILLIES!). I’ve loved sports for as long as I can remember, and ever since I realized I would not be a professional athlete, I’ve always dreamt of working with them in some capacity. I have several athletes’ numbers stored on my phone, and I would be lying if I said I think it’s no big deal. Because I don’t think that. I think it’s freaking awesome! That’s why I understand this: a simple @reply goes a long way…

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Limits of a Team’s Brand

When sports teams first began using social media, they gained followers and fans primarily because of their brand. Fans wanted to be part of their favorite team’s community and sports teams were more than happy to have them. Still, many sports teams eventually faced the realization that their brand could only bring them so far. Teams that relied on their brand identity to generate interest soon discovered that after most ‘hardcore’ fans had discovered their teams Facebook or Twitter page, the numbers dropped off. To attract the casual fan, teams had to prove to them that they could bring value.

For teams, providing value to fans means winning games. Winning games fills seats and keeps fans happy. When it comes to creating value on social media platforms though, winning doesn’t necessarily translate into happy fans or engagement. Winning will get fans interested in a team, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it will get them to follow or like their fan page.

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What We Can Learn About Branding from Stephen Strasburg’s Injury

Did we just witness the entirety of Stephen Strasburg’s professional baseball career in the span of mere months? I doubt it, given that the success rate of Tommy John’s surgery is over 90%, but it is a possibility.

Strasburg is one of the most hyped players in professional sports in recent memory and he was living up to the buzz in his first season. Not only was he delivering on the mound, with 98-100 MPH fastballs and dirty curveballs, but he was generating more television viewers, ballpark visitors, and straight cash for the game of baseball, a sport which is still struggling somewhat from the Steroids Era.

Many have called Strasburg’s injury a “sad day for baseball.” And it is. But let’s forget about the game for a moment and think about the individual. What a potentially awful day for Stephen Strasburg.

Considering that significant injuries happen all the time in sports (St. Louis Rams’ wide receiver Donny Avery tore his ACL last week, for example, and is out for the season), and that we live in a time where personal branding has become so important, is it foolish for any professional athlete, Stephen Strasburg or not, to not be focusing on building their brand off the field? [More...]

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Creating Brand Advocates Through Word of Mouth

This is another side to Social Media that is often overlooked, when organisations plan their online approach yet can be as important, if not more so than having a Facebook/Twitter page.

A old approach that has taken on a new meaning and been opened up by social media is creating brand advocates and generating positive ‘Word of Mouth’. This is important because you as a brand can only generate a certain amount of trust in what you say to people.

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LeBron’s Exulted Brand Takes Detour

I swore to myself before the start of the NBA free-agency period that I wouldn’t write about LeBron James. Sports media are putting in enough hours of coverage about his team status, for all of us.

I realized, however, that I work in and write about sports publicity and PR, and since James announced he would share his intentions of what team he’ll join for the next few years in an hour-long broadcast on ESPN, his story became a good PR/bad PR story.

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The Importance of Brand Loyalty

Just like with traditional marketing, is there brand loyalty when it comes to sports apparel?

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Build a Brand Like Apple in Sports

When you think of brand positioning for Apple Inc. (Public, NASDAQ:AAPL) a few words come to mind: creative, quality, dynamic design and secretive. In light of the last definition, most all information that has any hint of a new product, design or circuitry hits every mode of media within minutes.  Apple’s PR department has one…

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The World Cup Brings Big Opportunities For Brands

The World Cup is the world’s biggest sporting event, and I can hardly wait. There is something special about this tournament. It attracts a wide audience of people from different cultures and very few other sporting events can evoke such emotion and passion from across the globe. This World Cup is also the first in…

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What You Need to Know About Facebook’s Recent Announcements

Note: While this article is heavy on tech and social media, the following information is very important, and the implications for all of us in the sports industry are clear. In case you weren’t aware, Facebook made some pretty big announcements at last week’s F8 Conference. Mashable‘s Pete Cashmore went so far as to say…

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LeBron is Missing a Massive Opportunity

Let me start by saying that LeBron James is doing just fine for himself. LeBron can pretty much do whatever he wants (e.g. get dunked on at his own camp and confiscate the video, walk off the court without shaking hands after losing the Eastern conference finals, back out of the Slam Dunk Competition) and…

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