Tips for Staying Social All Year Long

Yesterday marked the kickoff of the NFL pre-season.  Twitter and Facebook are buzzing with conversations about football and NFL teams are sharing photos and videos from training camps to get fans excited for the start of the regular season. Sports fans can be very vocal and active on social media. In fact, a Fan Engagement Study from Catalyst found that “nearly 70 percent of sports fans who “like” or follow brands on social media are willing to take additional action, including purchasing, commenting or sharing brand content.”

But what happens in the off-season? Do people still want to hear about a sports team that isn’t playing? Whether you’re marketing a sports team, a ski resort, or a TV show, there are times of the year when your brand may not be top of mind for your fans.  But this doesn’t mean you should stop talking to them. In social media, there is no off-season.

Here are a few things to think about to keep your brand visible and your fans engaged:

Stay Relevant

When it’s the middle of summer, people are probably thinking about beach vacations and picnics at the park. So if you’re a ski resort, flooding your fans’ news feeds with content about hitting the slopes will just fall on deaf ears.  During low season, it’s even more important to keep your content aligned with what’s top-of-mind and relevant to your fans. Leverage tools like Spark, to get a peek into what your fans are talking about on social right now. Those are the conversations you want to join, not interrupt.

Breckenridge Resort won big this weekend by chiming in on the #ColoradoDay hashtag to celebrate the state's 138th birthday.

 

Recalibrate

Consider adjusting your goals and the frequency at which you push out content.   For example, when football season ends, there’s less content to share about game scores and players.  While they will want to know about big developments, like player signings or new uniforms, fans are probably not looking for play-by-play updates in the off-season. They may have even moved on to a new sport.  So find a content cadence that still keeps your brand visible but doesn’t overwhelm your fans.

After their season ended, the University of Michigan Football team kept the conversation "Maize and Blue" by supporting the Men's Basketball team in their run at the National Championship. 

 

In terms of goals, you may need to make some adjustments. Tracking sales conversions may not be a priority in your brand's "off-season".  Instead, you might focus on collecting testimonials and feedback or testing out new messaging.   

Look Back

Get your digital team together to review the tapes. Take stock of your social activity from the peak season and review the resulting data. Leverage analytics tools to determine what worked and what didn’t and uncover actionable insights that can inform your social strategy for the next busy season.  The best strategies are informed by real data.

Don’t just review your own plays. The best coaches develop strategies by taking a broad look at the field. Our resident data scientist, Chris Kerns, uncovered interesting takeaways for marketers by reviewing conversations taking place at The X Games and the World Cup.

 

Your favorite sports superstar isn’t turning down the heat in the off-season. Neither should your brand. What tips do you have to stay on top of your social game? Let me know in the comments.

Justine Navaja's picture

Justine Navaja

@sfjustine
Justine Navaja is Spredfast’s Market Director in San Francisco where she is the lead social business consultant for the west coast. When she’s not talking to brands about social media best practices, you can find her eating her way through the San Francisco restaurant scene or trying to perfect her volleyball serve and her old fashioned cocktail recipe.