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Creating Great Content with Social Media

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.

In the first two posts of this series I covered the importance of listening in social media and turning your sports team into a social experience. In last week’s post I briefly touched on the importance of content. Today’s post we’re going to take a deeper look into this subject.

You Have 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.

Think about what content people will want to see: fans, players, coaches, sponsors – what appeals to them? What will make them continue to pay an interest in you? And importantly when you’re looking to expand your fan base and reach new fans, what will they share? That is your great content.

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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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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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Sports Clubs, Do You Know Your Audience?

(This is a guest post by Daniel McLaren)

When talking to people about their social media plans, most will talk about Facebook and Twitter. Yes, these are the most popular platforms and we are all aware that Facebook has recently topped the 500 million mark.

But is this the right audience for your team?

Taking a step back from the technology and looking at who your target audience is and where they hanging out is the first step that any organization should take. You may be surprised with the results and it will certainly impact on your plans.

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Pro-Athlete Bloggers

One of the first posts I ever wrote for SportsNetworker was about Gilbert Arenas, the true pioneer of the social media space for professional athletes. Shaq gets the credit for being the one who led the way, because of his use of Twitter, but Gilbert was in the space first. And Gilbert was a blogger! Forget Shaq writing 140-character tweets in 2008, Gilbert was writing blog posts that consisted of hundreds if not thousands of words… two years earlier!

Anyway, this post is not about Shaq or Gilbert Arenas or anyone you’ve likely heard of before. This post is about Swedish professional golfer Alex Noren and minor league baseball player Matt Antonelli. Why? They’re both professional athletes and outstanding bloggers. We focus so much on Facebook & Twitter as the tools athletes should be utilizing, but let’s not forget the power of the blog.

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CoachBook – revolutionizing social media in the coaching industry

CoachBook is a powerful networking site that enables users to have the ability to connect with other coaches. Anyone can sign up on CoachBook—it’s easy and free. CoachBook encourages members to create a profile that allows them to promote not only themselves, but also their website, products, services, or company.

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Sports Business Weekly Buzz

LeBron Can Make More With Heat Than Cavs

* But if you match up what James’ salary would be for the first five years in Cleveland and the five years in Miami, you find that the Cavaliers are only offering him $4 million more.

Tebow Leading League In Jersey Sales

* It has been three months, and Tim Tebow still hasn’t taken a single (real) snap under center for the Denver Broncos, yet he’s leading the league in jersey sales.

Gillette, Not the Best Ads a Man Can Get
* Cynicism runs amok among our hallowed list this week. And the biggest culprit of that kind of audience distrust is none other than Gillette. The razor maker owns the top spot with last week’s debut video, “Perfect Length,” as well as this week’s No. 5 slot, newcomer “Young Guns,” which drew over 3.7 million views combined.

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The Nets’ Blueprint Wall: Extending the Story

Just before July 1, the Nets began to unveil a 225 foot x 95 foot painted sign on the side of a building at 34th Street & 8th Avenue in midtown Manhattan. The wall features prominent images of the Nets’ new owner, 6’8″ Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, and part owner & hip-hop legend, Jay-Z. Above their faces is the phrase, “The Blueprint for Greatness.” The Nets feel strongly about the direction their team is heading, and the wall is a tribute to the positive growth this organization continues to make.

The wall is part of an aggressive marketing campaign (along with several major digital and print advertisements), placed within walking distance of New York Penn Station, a major hub for the Nets moving forward. They will move to Newark for the next two seasons, at least, and then permanently to Brooklyn. Many, many Nets fans will pass through Penn Station in the years to come.

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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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One In a Trillion: How Mark Titus Wins with Social Media

Mark Titus is a former walk-on basketball player for The Ohio State University.  On the court he was fairly unremarkable, playing 47 minutes and scoring 9 points in his collegiate career. However, off the court is where Titus shines. In November 2008 he started his blog, Club Trillion. The trillion part of the name comes…

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Minor League Teams and Social Media

Q: Can Minor League Teams Build Social Media Followings? Recently, Sports Networker reader Todd E. Jones wrote in with a great question. He asked, “Do you think it is possible to use social media to build or grow a fan base for a minor league sports team? A few hundred or even a couple thousand…

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Now is the Best Time to be a Sports Fan

As some of you may know I’m a huge basketball fan and I live in the UK. A few years ago this meant following the NBA could be difficult at times. It often resulted in struggling to stay awake at work or school after staying up until 4 a.m. the previous night to watch a…

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