As a soon-to-be graduate of an SEC school, I hold college football near and dear to my heart. I grew up 20 minutes away from the biggest college football stadium in the country, the Big House; and in small town Auburn, Alabama, football is what our lives revolve around. But what has connected us to these teams year round and regardless if we’re actually at the game or not is social media.
However, with every school comes a guideline the athletic department must follow in order to maintain a wholesome image, and have traditions they want all ties to the school to remain true to. While people may have stronger ties to the college they attended, professional sports do not necessarily have as strict of rules to follow. This is why their social media handles have a little more freedom, ergo giving the audience wittier, edgy content. This makes these sports teams more fun to follow, and here’s why.
All universities follow the same NCAA rules, so their social media accounts are somewhat universal. However, professional league organizations, like the NFL, leave most of these guidelines to individual organizations. They make their own rules, and have a wider cast net on what content they can use. They also have players that known nationally, which gives them a bigger audience to work from.
We looked at accounts that use relevant content with clean jokes and connect with audience members in a way that make many want to follow their account.
It Energizes Fans
One of the primary focuses of all sports organization accounts is to energize their fans. Here’s a couple of ways professional sports teams have elevated this simple task:
The Panthers did a great job here of taking someone everyone knows (Cam Newton), and a trendy pop culture reference (Drake’s Hotline Bling music video) and combined the two to cast a wide spread audience of people who know something about either of these popular topics.
The Detroit Tigers are constantly posting GIFs of funny things their players are doing during the game. Their fans love it! It makes it seem like the players are just like us.
They Poke Fun At Other Teams/People
This one is my personal favorite. I love when a social media account has a quick clap back to another team or its fans, all in good humor of course. Wittiness and sharp thinking is what people are drawn to, which is why audiences see this content a lot.
A Vancouver Canucks fan accused the LA Kings of stealing their slogan in a previous tweet or social media campaign. Given the Kings are, as of late, one of the best teams in the NHL, they thought they had some leeway to give a little punch to the fan of a struggling team.
After Indiana Pacers’ player Lance Stephenson was caught blowing in LeBron James’ ear during a playoff game to distract the king in any way he can, social media exploded. The Atlanta Hawks was one of the opposing teams who took advantage of this.
Poking Fun At Themselves
You win some, you lose some. All sports organizations know that. Sometimes you have to poke fun at yourself during a lull in your team’s performance.
Clearly, Cam’s being a little bit of a drama king. He got some flack for it, and the Panthers did not shy away from it.
Interacting Directly To Fans
Fans love when their favorite teams respond to them. Social media is the best way to do that! Teams can retweet, favorite, and respond to their fans when they tag the team’s twitter handle in a tweet.
A simple retweet shows this Chicago Cubs fan that they are listening to her, and they appreciate her commitment to the team.
Sports Teams Interacting With One Another
These tweets seem to get the most attention. When teams interact with one another, it brings together fans of each team, and fans of the sport in general. My personal favorite is a thread involving cat memes and GIFs between multiple NFL teams with cats as their mascots.
A fun bet between two teams never hurt anyone. Especially when pizza is involved.
Twitter isn't the only social media platform professional teams use. They're also live on Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. We can help you find who to follow, too. Overall, the professional sports organizations have the sharp thinking, brand, and ability to interact with fans to make them fun to follow and easy to make personal!
Want to learn how you can take these pointers about social media and put them to action? We have a free case study you can download to help you find new leads through tools like Twitter.