Move over, summer. Fall has arrived. It’s time to say goodbye to flip flops, swimwear and sunscreen and say hello to all things fall. For many, fall means sweaters, boots, colorful leaves, hot cider and pumpkin everything. For sports fans, however, fall means football season.
With the completion of Week 2 of the NFL season, many teams have already dominated on the field and in our social feeds. This season, teams are further embracing social media to increase engagement with their loyal, unwavering fans and to increase their fanbase. Just how are NFL teams doing this? One word: content. Teams are getting creative with the ways they’re producing and sharing content on various social media platforms.
In addition, there are a few teams that are really going the distance and scoring major touchdowns on social media. There’s a lot that we can learn from these NFL teams, so grab your social media playbook and add these game-winning tips to it!
1. Facebook and the Dallas Cowboys
Known as “America’s Team,” the Dallas Cowboys became the first sports team to be valued at $4 billion, making them the most valuable sports team in the world, according to Forbes. The loyalty and devotion of their fanbase have also been proven, thanks to their 8 million-plus fans on Facebook, which makes them the most followed NFL team account on Facebook as of August 2016 as well. Let’s take a look at how America’s Team is winning so many Facebook fans.
Game-winning tip: Photos are an integral factor in the Cowboys’ Facebook game. Their page utilizes photos in a variety of ways, ranging from high-definition images with creative copy to humorous memes of “Dak to the Future,” (see ya, Romo). Plus, they take photos to the next level by giving their fans an interactive way to show their team pride.
As seen above, fans get to have fun updating their own profile image to proudly represent Cowboys Nation. With fans flooding the feed with their unique picture frame, the Cowboys continuously remain visible and a topic of conversation.
Try experimenting with different ways for your customers to share photos that represent your brand, to maximize impressions and reach! User-generated content keeps your current customers engaged and leads to new prospects.
2. Twitter and the New England Patriots
The Cowboys have the most fans on Facebook, but the New England Patriots have the most followers on Twitter. The Patriots are dominant on all of their social media accounts, but they are particularly clutch with their tweets. So clutch, in fact, that they were the No. 1 trend on Twitter for a bit on Sunday (Garoppolo’s injury might have played a part in that).
Game-winning tip: On their Twitter account, the Patriots provide their devoted fanbase with the latest team news, highlights, stats, analyses and more. They do this through the use of photos—mainly GIFs—as well as emojis in their copy.
During games, fans love keeping one eye on their TV and the other eye glued to their Twitter timeline. GIFs are visually captivating, and fans are always eager to retweet them on their timeline to let everyone know that their team just scored an awesome touchdown or made an incredible interception.
Follow the Patriots’ lead: Don’t just use text to keep your customers up to date on your company’s latest news, products and events. Add various forms of imagery, whether it is a GIF or an event flyer, to exponentially increase engagement. Who can resist Liking or sharing an enthralling picture?
On the other hand, the simple use of emojis in Twitter copy sometimes does the job without the need for words, as shown in the example above. Emojis give tweets personality and humanize your brand. Can’t fit everything you want to express into words or want to enhance a sentence? Try using emojis, but make sure to keep it playful and appropriate.
3. Instagram and the Seattle Seahawks
There’s one team in the NFL that has an undeniably dedicated (and loud) fanbase. That team is the Seahawks. The proof is in the moniker that Seahawks fans have received — the “12th Man,” or, simply, the “12s.” The proof is also in their twice-set Guinness World Record for the loudest crowd noise at a sporting event. Their fanbase has only grown and gotten stronger since their first Super Bowl victory against the Broncos, and so has their Instagram game.
Game-winning tip: On their official team Instagram account, the Seahawks post pictures of their fan-generated content with the hashtag #WeAre12. Hashtags are a clever way to get users involved and an easy way to keep track of posts. Create a witty or meaningful hashtag for customers to use and watch the amount of engagement blow up!
In addition to the Seahawks’ official Instagram account, the “12s” also have their own Instagram, and it definitely gets the loudest cheers. The account posts hundreds of high-quality photos of the 12s, which encourages other fans to show their support and share their photos as well.
Just as the Seahawks and the 12s do, allow customers to do the talking for you! Follow the examples of both the Cowboys and the 12s by embracing UGC to increase engagement and reach as well as to strengthen your brand.
Thanks to these NFL teams, your social media playbook is complete and ready for game time. Get out there and experiment with different types of content. Try a variety and see what works best with your audience. Anything can happen on any given Sunday (or Monday or Thursday), but these game-winning tips are sure to preserve your winning streak on social media.