Edelman attended this morning’s #TwitterBrekky hosted by @SportsGeek, where the local Twitter team talked through some key milestones in the Twitter world of sports (with the added bonus of George Calombaris, Wil Anderson and Charlie Pickering talking at the end).
As Twitter continues to grow throughout Australia, the number of people engaging with sports brands on the platform is growing at a dramatic rate. The ability to provide instant updates on team news, converse with fans and provide a unique experience for fans has led to this dramatic rise as demonstrated by these amazing numbers:
- The total number of Tweets per second has been broken six times in 2012 – four times during Euro 2012 football championship alone!
- During the Euro 2012 final there were more than 16.5 million tweets with over 15,000 Tweets per second when Spain scored
- The total number of Tweets per second is increasing around 20 percent from each major sporting event to the next
The opportunity for sports teams and personalities on Twitter is huge, with teams like FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and the Lakers leading the charge on a global scale, whilst Collingwood and Essendon are the bigger players from an AFL view point.
Here are some top tips from Twitter and Edelman Melbourne’s resident twiterati, Alex Lefley, on how teams, sponsors, and personalities can make the most of Twitter:
For clubs or teams:
- Use it to break news about the club and create a simple #tag for fans to follow e.g. #teamFCnews – this makes it easier for fans to find and follow your updates
- Spend some time identifying the #tags your fans are using. You can use these to join conversations and drive engagement with a pre-screened audience
- Reference other accounts (e.g. players accounts, other teams, coaching staff etc) when Tweeting to cross promote and build your community
- Create Twitter lists to highlight different groups e.g. Players, coaching staff etc to make it easier for fans to follow more of your internal Twitter users
- Don’t forget the real world. Include your handle on everything from stadium advertising to merchandise to tickets – it will help build your fan numbers a great deal
- Push the boundaries – leverage the players’ numbers by including a Twitter handle on match-day uniforms
For sports personalities:
- Use Twitter to control your narrative and build your personal brand story around key events. For example Ricky Hatton did a great job of this round his retirement, as did Lolo Jones on her run up to the 2012 Olympics
- Spend time responding to comments. Just 30 minutes a couple of times of week can build loyalty and increase engagement immensely
- You don’t need to follow everyone back but don’t forget to show some fan love by replying and retweeting. If you’re a big star, follow those that interest you and paint a picture of who you are and who influences you.
- People want to know you and what it is like to be you – show them this with pictures and video – really try to build a snapshot of your sporting life. This also helps you draw a line between what’s for public consumption (e.g. larking about after training) and what isn’t (e.g. family time).
- When dealing with internet trolls sometimes the best thing to do is to retweet the post and allow your fans to leap to your defence – something George Calombaris does on a regular basis
- Fans crave behind the scenes access that only those in the club can get so make sure your content strategy includes plenty of behind the scene images and videos
- Re-Tweeting players, coaches and the team is a great way of building awareness of your sponsorship with your existing audience
- Use competitions to ignite conversations and give back to your fans – think about tapping into applications that are linked to Twitter such as Instagram to drive additional, deeper engagement
- Encourage the team or players to retweet your content to increase your follower count and likely audience
- Join in conversations that are happening around your properties – for example if you are sports drink brand and there are questions about what a player is drinking during a game – use this opportunity to engage with fans and answer the question proactively
- Negotiate with the teams you sponsor to widen your package to include social media. Having logos on a shirt is great, but it limits the potential reach of your sponsorship. Look for opportunities to have the clubs engage with your brand socially and you’ll see much greater engagement from the club’s fans.