Athletic departments have begun to see the benefits of putting money towards their social media content plan. Both Clemson and Ohio State have each invested over $100,000 annually into creating a team of content producers who make everything from GIFs in order to attract new recruits, to Vines that give a behind the scenes look at a post-game celebration.
This arms race in college sports has led to Ohio State nabbing the honor of having the No.1 Twitter feed in the country according to Athlon, a spot they wrestled away from Clemson, who topped the same list last year. Clemson’s creative team even received a call from an official at Manchester United, the second most valuable sports franchise in the world, who was so impressed by their work, he reached out to personally compliment them.
So what’s the main driver forcing campuses to try to figure out how Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram can become a part of game day and beyond? According to Ohio State’s football coach Urban Meyer, it’s a fear of complacency. “If someone has something better, we have to ask the question, ‘Why?’ They shouldn’t.”
Urban Meyer is absolutely right. Why shouldn’t your school have the same firepower behind them as other schools? But while GIFs and social graphics can be created for recruiting and other internal goals, you need to invest a heavier amount of attention on the external side of your business. It’s great to go viral, but it’s even better to turn that virality into sold seats, and to do that, you need a solid strategy.
Investing money into the system you’ll be using to communicate with your fan base isn’t as sexy as hiring a superstar digital content team. The metrics for success are easier to measure when you’re dealing in Retweets and Views, but all of the attention and hype you’re generating for your athletic department is being wasted if you’re not recording that information in a single platform, and then taking action on that information.
When you can capture and track data related to your fans and store it in one place, you’ll understand the broad range of demographics that exist on your campus. Knowing what your fans or donors are tweeting about before, or during the game, gives you a chance to create a special moment for them by potentially visiting or upgrading them. Similarly, you can gauge a fan’s sentiments on the team before contacting them to renew their season tickets.
When you can consolidate all of the information you have on your fans into one location where you can dive into specific details, you open up a new world for your athletics department. When you’re looking to create smarter promotions that will help you consistently reach your ticket revenue goal, don’t you want access to all of the information that can help you at your fingertips?