Five Social Media Tips to Implement During Sporting Events

This article is a guest contribution from Rory Nicholson of the Rugby Store

sports and social mediaDuring sporting events, social media channels are often a hive of activity.

With passionate supporters looking to keep up to date with the latest news, discuss events with fellow supporters and engage with their team and favorite players, there are plenty of opportunities for relevant sports brands to get involved.

Social media and mobile technologies are transforming the face of sport, which means it’s more important than ever for marketing professionals in the sporting industry to stay up to date with the game. Creating a buzz and building relationships with the community to organically build your social media presence should be an essential part of any brand’s social media strategy - here are five ideas on how you can use sporting events to boost your social media profile.

1. Schedule posts

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Live tweeting at an event can be time consuming, and sometimes returns little reward - especially if your brand isn’t closely related to the teams or sport. One way to combat this is to offer your own commentary on key points before, during or in the fall out of a match. This allows you to schedule posts ahead of a game - posting about your predictions for the outcome of a match and then follow up later.

2. Make the most of hashtags

As social media continues to take over the marketing sphere, hashtags are growing in popularity. Make sure you discover and utilize the official event hashtags to reach others who are using the hashtag to search for updates and information.

With the last football World Cup peaking at over 600,000 tweets per minute there’s a lot of noise surrounding big events - and you need to make sure your brand stands out from the crowd.

There is nothing worse than tweeting out some insightful tidbit, only to use the wrong hashtag and in turn not reaching the largest potential market.

3. Encourage debate

From live tweeting during matches to following up with a final review of the tournament, social media channels are a great platform to spark debate. Whether you’re privy to a player’s interview or you have a particular opinion on a ref's decision, use your social media platforms to get your brand’s voice heard.

4. Target blog content

If your brand has a blog, matches and tournaments can offer a great opportunity to create highly targeted, focused blog posts to move your engaged social media fans from Twitter and Facebook to your website. Keep your blog posts relevant to the event and your brand and use the content to funnel new visitors towards your products.

5. Promote competitions

Competitions are a fun way to engage a large base of event fans, while promoting your own product - and this needs to remain relevant to have maximum effect. If your products aren’t a suitable fit for a competition, explore other options; such as a giveaway with prizes of your product, event tickets or merchandise.

To get the most from your social media strategy it’s vital to continually track the performance of your posts, engagement rates and goal conversions.

As events are generally just a small part of your long term strategy, don’t wait until the end of the event or series to measure the performance. With continuous fine tuning of your strategy, you can stop what ISN’T working and react appropriately - providing more of what IS working and being engaged with, rather than waiting until the next tournament.
By Brian Clapp | April 13, 2016
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