Check out these tips on how to boost brand engagement among sports lovers through social media.
They say sports bring everyone together, and that holds true even in sports marketing. So how can brands use social media marketing as a tool to increase their brand value and catch the eye of the sports lover? Check out a few ways here.
While the world’s finest football players are busy fighting for glory in Qatar and grabbing the headlines, before the start of the world cup, Portugal’s superstar Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed the headlines and set the internet ablaze. Cristiano Ronaldo became the most followed person on social media with 500 Million Instagram followers. Such is a craze of sports personnel both on and off the ground. And that is why social media plays a tool in attracting new customers and creating a brand image. In its report, Nielsen’s 2022 World Football Report, social media is now a go-to platform for all things football, with 72% of fans claiming they use apps to watch the action.
So the question is how brands can leverage social media and use sports to connect with the audience. Here are a few tips for the same on leveraging sports social media.
Before drawing a social media strategy, brands need to know their target audience, as different sports have different followings according to countries. In the USA, rugby and baseball are far more popular than football (or soccer). So localization of content is the key to an excellent social media strategy. And this is where social media analytics plays a pivotal role in grabbing the attention of sports lovers. Social media analytics can help marketers get deep insights into a particular fan’s behavior and how better brands can engage with the fans. Marketers can readily use various tools, such as CRM and social listening tools which can help track down the right audience.
In his article, Rob Pinkerton, SVP of marketing, Oracle, mentions that about 91% of respondents preferred brands to be funny. He also says that a humorous presence on social media can help customers strengthen their relationships with brands. That is why memes can be the best tool for sports marketers to rely on during any major sports event. One because they can tickle the fan’s funny bone if done right. Memes are easy to understand and relatable as well. Memes are like catch fires that can go viral quickly, making them easily reachable to anyone. One more aspect that makes memes so popular is easy shareability.
Image of a recent meme after Saudi Arabia defeated Argentina in the FIFA World Cup
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Celebrated Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar once said, “you can’t win unless you learn how to lose.” And that is what sports is all about — winning and losing, and no fans love to lose; all want to win. And that is why contests, trivia, and games are a great interactive way to connect with sports fans. Sports fans can be engaged on social media via activities such as captioning the photo, asking trivia questions, predicting the score lines, predicting the winner of the game/ player of the match, etc. This ascertains that fans will visit the social media page to check if there is new content that the brand has run. It further helps sports fans with immediate brand recall. However, the brands need to be cautious about running the quiz and the contest and have proper plans chalked out. Ideally, brands should run the contest a day before the start of the match to build up the excitement.
From gym workouts to on-ground preparation, sports fans want to keep themselves updated with everything about their favorite player. Besides, those sports fans are very emotionally connected with their favorite player. So why not take advantage of it and leverage the athlete to create the brand image? The emotional connection with their favorite player helps fans connect with the brand instantly.
Here is classic example of Nike using Ronaldo
Twitter was set ablaze recently during the FIFA world cup match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia, in which Saudi Arabia surprised the Argentina team by beating them 1-0. Football fanatics who could not tune in to watch the game live were catching all the live updates about the match on Twitter. So providing them with live updates about the game and updating scores on the timeline is very crucial. Not only do live updates of the scoreline keep fans updated about the game, but they are also a great way for the fan to engage with other fans worldwide. Fans can easily comment, share their thoughts, discuss tactics etc., all on the go.
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Teaser campaigns are one of the great ways to connect with the audience. The reason teaser campaigns are a helpful tool is because of the anticipation factor. Brands can create teaser campaigns before every sports event according to the local region. Social media is an effective channel for this as it allows you to share pre-game teasers that could entice fans to tune into the event. For instance, you could share videos of fans entering the stadium, lovers getting ready for the match etc.
One can easily say that sports marketing has evolved over the years. It has become more aggressive and more competitive. To thrive in these changing times, brands need to engage fans and win their trust. They need to tap the emotions of the fans. And there is no better platform than social media to do this. So let the games begin.
How are you using social media to boost engagement among sports lovers during this Football World Cup? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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Sr. Content Operations Associate, Spiceworks Ziff Davis