Since 2012, there has been a lot of emphasis on how small businesses are utilising social media however, there is much more to social success than what small companies are doing on a low budget. We can all learn from how big brands and companies are investing millions of pounds into their marketing campaigns, especially sports brands.
Whether you believe it or not, sports and social media go hand in hand. During a sporting event, there will be spikes across all social networks and this is where sports brands are using their heightened social activity to engage with as many active online users as possible.
On a budget or not, it is good to know how sports brands should really utilise social media so you, as a follower can see when are they are most likely to engage with you.
1. Real-Time Updates
I always like to call Twitter the devil's advocate. Although it is a great social network, reaching so many potential new followers in less than 140 characters, it can also break a brand's reputation if real time updates and responses are not a part of an online marketing strategy. Social media is a customer service outlet and this will not change. The Adidas UK Twitter account is proof that engaging with followers in real time is a great way to boost a brand's reputation.
2. Capturing and Distributing Rich Content
Something which needs to be considered is the use of rich content. I don't just mean sharing relevant and original content, sports brands need to think outside the box if they want to stand out from their competitors.
Google+ is a great social network that has only really been utilised fully by those in the technology world. With the ability to create Hangouts On Air, sports brands can interact with their community in real time while producing content for YouTube,Instagram and Pinterest.
In my opinion, this is something that could have been done as part of the F1 2014 build up. Following the trend of having athletes answer questions they receive on Twitter e.g.#AskJenson, #AskAndy is getting old now and for sports brands to show their fun side, they need to start being more innovative when it comes to using social media.
3. Use of Video's and Imagery
Instagram and Pinterest are the UK's guilty pleasures. We respond to our favourite celebrities/brands more on Instagram than we do elsewhere because it is a visual medium. Photo platforms give sports brands the opportunity to build momentum around an event or new product release.
As you can see below; Nike have used imagery to introduce the #Magista which received over 186,000 likes. This is a trend among sports brands, associations and athletes. To build awareness and support, the use of imagery and video is a great way to utilise social media.