Sports teams on Social Media: it’s something that almost every professional organization has adopted in the last few years. Not every team took on the social media world though — Manchester United just hopped on the Twitter train.
We probably will never know what took them so long to join the social media marketing world. But we can look at what a successful sports organization can do to capitalize on social media marketing.
The Phoenix Suns have never won a NBA championship. They lost their start player when Steve Nash left. And yet they are rocking the digital media world.
Just take a look at their Twitter account. Nearly 200 thousand followers — not bad, they aren’t the Twitter leaders in terms of followers in the NBA, but they aren’t last. They do a great job of posting content whenever they have it. Many teams work business hours, nine to five, but social media doesn’t have set hours — it’s a 24/7 business.
A team cannot go dark on the weekend, even if it’s during the offseason. The Suns seem to get this; after all, Saturday, July 20, was a busy day for @Suns.
The Suns’ digital media manager, Greg Esposito, told the Phoenix Business Journal that the Suns’ goal “is to try and develop the Suns’ brand as a personality; the biggest Suns fan on the Internet.”
It’s an interesting take on promoting a brand. While social media is a great tool for customer service, brands need to use social media to connect with their followers. After all, social media was created for people to connect with one another. A brand has to represent its mission statement, but at the same time they need to become a personality and not a “cold” brand. Traditional media just doesn’t work as the only means of conversation.
The automated response emails aren’t going to cut it anymore. People want instant results and interaction.
“In the past, media has been more dictation than discussion. That’s changed over the last half decade with the advent of social media, commenting and blogs. Really as a company, you have to take advantage of that and I think that’s what we’ve been able to do.” — Greg Esposito
Esposito is spot on with his description of a company social media network. Discuss with your fans, interact and become friends with them, after all wasn’t that what social media was designed for? Friends talking with other friends.