This week on Social Media Philanthropy, I want to talk about a topic that I don’t necessarily have answers for: How can Professional Sports Teams use Social Media? I’m going to throw out some ideas but I’d like some comments and hear your thoughts on the subject.
One difficulty for me in this scenario is that I live in Philadelphia…we have die-hard fans in virtually every sport. I also grew up in New York, another area of our country that has little problem selling out a stadium. So engagement is something that is something that is difficult for me to see a team struggling with.
In spite of this obvious bias in perception, I am going to try and work through some thoughts about how professional sports teams can use social media to:
- Increase attendance
- Improve television ratings
- Increase Merchandise sales
- Promote Special Events
Today, let’s start with Twitter.
All sports teams should have an account on Twitter. It’s time. Set up 2-3 people to monitor it, and have it monitored all day, especially during games. Put the names of the people that monitor Twitter in the bio, have them respond as themselves. Create a set of guidelines. You don’t want a PR nightmare for someone ripping into a belligerent fan or rival team’s fans.
First and foremost, Twitter should be a place to give official updates on player injury status or promote special events or whatever official news needs to be pushed out to fans. Beyond that, there are a few other ways I’ve thought of that Twitter can be used by sports teams.
Some additional ideas for sports teams using Twitter
- Each team should curate a list of all of the players on the team into one Twitter list.
- Each team should curate a list of all managers, coaches and support staff into another Twitter list.
- Create a list of your biggest and most vocal fans. Highlight them, they’ll be even more vocal.
- Retweet content from players when appropriate
- Retweet content from top fans
- Search for people talking about your team
- Organize contests using certain hashtags at games
- Tweet things like: “HOMERUN” or “TOUCHDOWN!”
- Tweet short videos of players doing interesting tricks or special talents in practice.
- Tweet when there are available tickets with a special discount code and a call-in number.
- Integrate Twitter with the jumbotron: Section with the most tweets gets put up on the jumbotron or on TV.
- People can tweet disturbances at the game by using a hashtag and section number. This can be used for fights or inappropriate language.
- Offer special edition merchandise to Twitter followers or special in-game offers.
- Listen for your team name (measure sentiment)
- Listen for the coach’s name (measure sentiment)
- Listen for star player’s names (measure sentiment)
- Listen for ideas and perspectives. Most pro coaches might not want to hear from 99.999% of people about their opinion but there might be a few jewels in there from time to time.
That’s what I’ve got, anyone have additional ideas of how to use Twitter as a Professional Sports organization? Sound off in the comments.