As we’ve written before, sporting events are natural generators of social media energy – and it can be a great medium for sourcing user-generated fan content, gaging sentiment and capitalizing on the buzz surrounding a big game.

As marketers and media outlets have been quickly learning, sports fans in general love to talk. They love to talk about the game, their favorite teams and their favorite players. Avid sports fans love to brag, talk smack and discuss, and social media provides a perfect platform to allow those fans to have those conversations in real time.

Monitoring the Buzz in a Social Media Command Center

With the Super Bowl being one of the largest and most watched sporting events of the year, it is no surprise that the folks at the NFL want to carefully monitor, view and track the enormous number of tweets, Instagram photos, Facebook posts, Foursquare check-ins and other social media activity during the course of the game.

While the NFL unveiled the first ever Super Bowl social media command center at last year’s big matchup, they were actually not the first sports organization to roll out a social media monitoring command center.

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sports marketing + social media

Using Social Media as a Primary Source of News and Information about a Team

“The lifeblood of college football fandom is changing.”

Or so reads the opening line in a recent article from Wired magazine on how social media is changing the collegiate sports marketing and news world.

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.

Now, social media has become the go-to resource for many fans seeking fan photos, news, information and behind-the-scenes peeks for their favorite teams. The same Wired article writes:

“Social media is a win-win for college football because it can act as both a conduit for personal interactions and a source for information. That means Michigan fans, from news hounds to stat nerds to those with a voice to share, have a place to bleed Maize and Blue pixels alongside their fellow college football community.”

Kent State recently created a social hub on their website, where fans of the Flashes can interact with and view all Kent State related social media content. Kent State used Postano to aggregate all of the fan-generated social media content (via hashtag), along with the official school feeds, and then display the content on the site.

university social hub The social hub creates a one-stop destination for fans to interact with the Kent State community and engage with all of the great social content being created.

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It’s pretty safe to say that social media (in one form or another at least) is here to stay. And, more than five years after the major social networks started taking off and adding huge numbers of users, it’s also safe to say that businesses of all kinds have embraced using social media marketing as a business tactic.

In fact, even businesses that have decided not to actively participate in social media, have realized that’s not really an option any longer. People will use social networks to talk about you, your brand and your products, whether you choose to participate or not. This is where social media monitoring dashboards become increasingly important. You can either fill social networks with your perspective, or your customers and competitors will fill it for you.

Monitoring helps with branding and marketing and can help identify quality control or customer care problems that may have gone unnoticed.

So, social media monitoring is a no-brainer. But how exactly do you accomplish it? With so much information floating around the social media world (and the greater world wide web), finding and engaging with the best and most relevant content can be a challenge.

With the aid of some third party sites and tools, there are now several options for those looking for the best ways to monitor social media – for brand mentions and conversations surrounding your products, competitor news, industry insights and thought leadership, customer sentiment, and more.

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