We have all seen fantastic moments on social media from some of the world’s top clubs, including Borussia Monchengladbach changing their name to ‘German Team’ on the back of some misinformed spelling from a Scottish pub, to the Sport England #thisgirlcan campaign. What interests me however is how these clubs and organisations are incorporating social media as part of their wider marketing strategy, both online and offline, and how they are turning positive campaigns in to tangible benefits for themselves.
What many people are unaware of is what exactly is possible through social media and how it can become a key driver for personalising messaging to individual fans – increasing engagement, brand loyalty and ultimately spend. There is an all too common misconception that pushing out content via your Twitter or Facebook feed is enough to interact with your fans online – why should your season ticket holders receive the same information as a new fan?
Each of your fans carry tremendous amounts of data with them online, we can learn about their habits, preferences, networks and how they interact and consume your content. This gives us the opportunity to create personalised content, appropriate to each individual, increasing ROI and engagement.
The important question – how do we collect this data?
This is where we look to integrate social media with your overall marketing strategy. Data can be captured at a variety of different touch points. Initially, we can start to build consumer profiles from what they browse on your website, what they view on your online store and what content they interact with on social media. Alongside this we can integrate data from ticket sales (both offline and online) and interactions through other media such as email campaigns. The information we gather becomes extremely powerful and from this we can tailor specific campaigns, formulating interesting content that promotes the fan to share and engage. Interestingly, statistics show that people are 71% more likely to purchase something that is referred by a friend via social media.
If we can begin to tailor content, we can start to increase the likelihood that it will be interacted with which in turn will lead to wider audiences being targeted. It seems like a contradiction but focusing on the individual really can help you increase your reach.
Integrating an effective social media and overall digital marketing strategy is clearly not easy and requires knowledge, time and expertise. However it is fast-becoming a necessity and an area that clubs/organisations need to invest in appropriately in order to capitalise on the digital world.
Isn’t social media just for Millenials?
Millennials clearly play a key role when it comes to social media, they are the next generation of fans, the ones that need to be nurtured and looked after to turn them in to long-term brand carriers for your club/organisation. They are the biggest sector on social media and clearly an extremely important part of ensuring your growth.
Alongside this however, the online space is becoming increasingly popular with the older demographics. Facebook’s fastest growing area is the 55+ age group, and 56% of internet users aged 65+ utilise the platform. This further highlights the importance of personalised messaging and the potential for a fully immersive digital strategy.
What quick wins can you implement now?
As I said, a fully integrated digital marketing strategy and effective use of social media is something which takes time and expertise to implement. There are however a couple of smaller ‘quick wins’ that will set you on your way:
- Facebook & Twitter Pixels
A simple data collection solution and one which is fairly simple to implement. Facebook and Twitter pixels are small lines of code that can be added to your website which track behaviour and flow. Information is collected about each browser, forming a basic picture of their interaction with your site, creating audiences for you to utilise back in your social advertising campaigns.
- Personalised Re-Marketing Ads
Through the information you gather, you can begin to re-market to different segments. This is simple to achieve through the Facebook advertising platform which now also encompasses Instagram. Alongside this you can also utilise Google to push re-marketing adverts, encompassing a wider digital footprint.
Social media is a complex world and one which, if utilised correctly, can add tremendous amounts of value to your offering as a sporting organisation. Treat your fans as individuals and let them help you grow online.
We are offering a free initial consultation and review of your current digital marketing strategy. If you’d be interested in working with our team then get in touch.