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3 ways to take advantage of social media in football stadiums

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NFL Game Day

From the NFL’s official Instagram account

Many NFL and college football stadiums have built-in wifi to help fans post to their social accounts during games, but teams are still trying to figure out to take advantage of social media IN the stadium. We have three suggestions for how to get fans to increase their existing social activity, or start posting if they aren’t already.

1. Make it worth your fans’ while

Consider working with vendors to create and share some social-only deals during the game. Customers will get used to routinely checking their accounts for deals on hotdogs, drinks, merchandise and more during games. Just make sure they know about it ahead of time by promoting it across social media leading up to games and by announcing it around the stadium with physical collateral.

Want to take it a step further? Organize a contest to meet one of the players, be an official game photographer for five minutes, or take a game ball home. You could also organize social contests to win tickets to a game, or special VIP seats and treatment, increasing your reach when the winner shares their experience and tags your accounts in it! It’s also possible that a winner who is a casual fan will be motivated to invest more on tickets, merchandise, and more for future seasons because they had such a great experience.

2. Show some behind-the-scenes action

While this may, at first, seem counter intuitive- after all, if you’re posting it on social media anyone anywhere can see it, not just those in the stadium- if done correctly you can encourage more casual fans to want to be in the stadium where the behind-the-scenes action is taking place.

How? Talk to the social media teams behind each team, and see what kind of content they can work up that gives a feeling of access to what players, coaches, supporting staff, and overall teams go through leading up to a game. If the content is good enough, you can foster some serious FOMO (fear of missing out) for those not experiencing the action both in real life and on their screen; they’ll want to be the ones explaining to their buddies in the seat next to them exactly what everyone was doing that lead up to that great scoring play.

3. Be consistent

This is a major rule of playing in social in general: The more consistent you are with your content, the more your existing audience is going to stick around and engage with you, and the more new fans and followers will be encouraged to become just that in first place. If they come to your profiles in the offseason and don’t see plans for what you’re going to be doing when things start back up again, they’ll be less interested in checking back in later.

If you are posting consistent, engaging content even in the offseason- sharing how teams plan, how players train, what else goes on in keeping a stadium up and running that most fans never think about- they’ll be even more excited for official season activities to launch because they’re so much more a part of the entire process.

And it all starts with some good, strong, in-stadium wi-fi.

Written by Sarah

November 25th, 2014 at 11:02 am

Posted in Guides

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NFL fans and Instagram: 5 steps to follow fan activity

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NFL fans

From the @nflfanstyle Instagram account, a good start at UGC content and fostering fan engagement

To keep your fans’ attention, you’ve got to meet them where they are, and they are definitely on Instagram. User-generated content is an important part of a robust social strategy that engages your fans and followers; it’s exciting for them to know that you’re paying attention to what they’re posting for a sports team that they love, and that they might even have a chance to be featured on an official account or win a prize from their activity.

Step 1: Follow the general #NFL hashtag on Instagram.

What kinds of content do you see? Click around on some of the photos, keeping an eye out for those that seem like they were posted (or at least taken, we’ll get to that in a minute) during a game. What do they have in common? You will want to pay attention to those that fall into two categories: Those posted from an off-site watch party such as their home, a bar, or a friend’s house, and those posted from the stadium itself.

If your aim is to boost engagement from fans who are in the stadium during games, pay attention to the captions on photos, as well as the other hashtags being used. Are they posting a photo taken in the stadium, but uploading it from a different location after the game, or even days later, because they couldn’t get service in the stadium? The hashtag #latergram is a big indicator here.

What other hashtags should you look for? That’s in the next step.

Step 2: Check out related hashtags used on those #NFL posts.

What other hashtags are people using? If you see a lot of #latergram, you know you need to do something like implement better wifi in your stadium so fans don’t have to rely on using their cellphone data or an overcrowded network that isn’t reliable. Pay attention to any other recurring hashtags from the fans you’re wanting to connect with. Is there an organic hashtag they’ve created around their favorite teams or players? Which ones are you seeing over and over? Make a note of them, because you’ll need them in the next step.

Step 3: Track and listen.

Using something like our Union Metrics for Instagram analytics, set up some monitoring around the hashtags that specifically target the fans you want to reach. Concentrate on any hashtags fans have created and spread to one another. These will give you unparalleled insight into how fans discuss teams, players, and their overall experience with being an NFL fan.

Step 4: Implement a plan to increase engagement where you want it

Now that you have an idea of what the existing conversation is like, you can make a plan for how to improve it. Would more fans post during games if you improved wifi or cell service in the stadium? Do fans seek an incentive, like contests or social-only deals that go out during a game? How else can you increase engagement from fans?

Figure out what it is, make a plan, and make it happen.

Step 5: Measure, rinse, repeat.

Once you have some benchmark numbers from your initial analysis, make sure you keep checking to see if your engagement levels are increasing with each new step that you implement, like upgrading service connections in the stadium, for example, or before, during, and after a contest. This will tell you what’s working and what’s not, to let you know what you should keep doing more of and give you new ideas for content and strategy moving forward.

Anything else?

This doesn’t just apply to the NFL either; these same steps can work for college football or any other sports you’re interested in.

Have specific questions about how to make that happen, or how you can start using our Union Metrics for Instagram analytics? Leave us a comment, or shoot us an email. We’re always happy to help!

Written by Sarah

November 24th, 2014 at 8:23 am

Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady on Twitter

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The NFL NFC and AFC conference championships both played out yesterday, determining the Super Bowl matchup of the Denver Broncos vs. the Seattle Seahawks. To make things more interesting, we took a look at mentions of quarterbacks Peyton Manning of the Broncos and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots on Twitter, before, during and after they played out the AFC championship game. We were curious if the same name would come out ahead in social mentions as in the game itself. The verdict?

Tom Brady came away with about 13% of the mentions in the overall conversation, but Peyton Manning got ahead of him with 15%. And while the range of things said about professional athletes on Twitter is impressive, the two tweets below naming the QBs sum up the mood around each of their mentions pretty well.

The most retweeted tweet mentioning Brady:


And the most retweeted tweet mentioning Manning:

 

This just didn’t turn out to be Brady’s year. Better luck next time, Brady! In the meantime, we’ll keep an eye on the talk around Manning and much more as the Super Bowl approaches.

Written by Sarah

January 20th, 2014 at 4:01 pm