Fall is in the air, and with it comes the nation’s annual rite of pageantry and mayhem known as the college football season, which kicks off this Saturday and is sure to be a spectacle across multiple media – including digital and social.
Social media has been a game-changer for all kinds of businesses. This is especially true for sports teams, who seek to deliver real-time engagement with sports fans eager for interaction. Like major consumer brands, many sports organizations have already tapped into the power of social media in order to increase fan loyalty and deliver a significant return on investment.
With this in mind, major collegiate organizations have been learning how channel these dedicated, vocal and emotional fans on social media and leveraging the passion they share on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social networks. Turning that loyalty into ticket, memorabilia and other sales makes it essential for sports organizations to not only be present on social, but also to use fan-generated content to further these goals.
It’s no longer enough to simply push promotions out to social media and passively read what fans are saying. The real opportunity is to channel these interactions into a productive digital activation. Collegiate sports brands must create a powerful feedback loop of interaction between the sports organization and its fans that builds community and engagement.
Embracing Social as a Marketing Channel
It’s hard to imagine that just a few short years ago (in 2009), the SEC actually considered banning social media at sporting events, before adopting a much more realistic and beneficial not-for-profit social media policy – allowing fans to post updates and pictures, as long as they made no money doing so.