By Parth Shah, @shah_parth_
We know how to #MakeYouSmileIn3Words - Social Media Seven! Welcome to another jam-packed edition, where we showcase those teams that dazzled us on the field and on social media. Let's drop the puck!
Hockey season is back! The NHL dropped the puck this weekend, with tremendous excitement surrounding the upcoming year. The league’s social media account likes having fun with posts, which was on full display prior to the opening faceoff. The social media team put together a fantastic montage hype video that does well to capture and highlight the energy and passion within the game. These videos, attached directly to tweets and playable on timelines, do really well in terms of shareability and engagement, as they cut out extra steps of clicking on a link and being redirected to YouTube. The other posts are geared towards all hockey fans, as they aim to be personable and relatable to how followers are feeling with the season so near. Even for those that may not find themselves in those situations per say, it helps build excitement just by circumstance. The NHL’s social media team was successful this week in trying to be just like any other follower, a fan of the game. There’s no excitement like true, genuine excitement.
2. Cleveland Indians
Another week, another standout performance from the Indians on and off the field. As they continue their magical run in the ALCS, the club’s social media team is also as hot as ever. After dismantling the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS, they put together a really nice postseason graphic that is simple, yet to the point. There is beauty in not over-doing posts that dwarf the moment. Afterwards, the team had some fun with their success, at the expense of the Red Sox and the MLB analysts. Although not the first team to do this, the Indians executed the computer folders to a T, poking at the fact that there were no losses on record. On top of this, they took a shot at Yahoo! Sports’ MLB writers, who all predicted them to lose and/or be the most disappointing team of the playoffs. Bulletin board material indeed. They also seamlessly integrated a viral meme in social media, the beloved Ken Bone, into a post about wearing red, and put together another simple yet powerful graphic, this time a GIF crossing off the number of wins needed to win the World Series. Easy to share, and something that fans are proud to do, especially with the lack of recent playoff success. Finally, the Indians have decided to frame their postseason message around Cleveland vs. the World, trying to prove others wrong. Their hype video recapping the ALDS and getting fans excited for the ALCS, and feeling like they are a part of the club, is exceptional. If you’re studying social media, the Indians are a great place to start.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
It was a lighthearted week in Pittsburgh this week, as the Steelers were coming off of a win against the Jets. The social media team did well to reflect this atmosphere around practice, something that is an underrated aspect of providing coverage. Showing followers that their team and favorite players are having fun and happy about life boosts morale and confidence during the week, both in the team and in their personal lives due to psychological connections. Star WR Antonio Brown was captured smiling from ear to ear, and it’s hard not to feel happy seeing him this way. Plus, that caption has a ‘cute’ factor to it, almost like when talking about a puppy. This makes Brown even more lovable amongst Steelers and NFL fans. The team also played along with Twitter’s social trend of #MakeMeSmileIn3Words, something that is simple and easy to do, but goes a long way in building brand loyalty with the casual fan that finds this relatable. Lastly, the Bud Light commercial for the Steelers was seamless integration of franchise history and modern day culture. Promoting the team specific through one of the most noteworthy plays in league history is a great way to bridge the cap between a franchise and the brand.
4. Northwestern Wildcats
An early candidate for most creative social media campaign of the year comes from Northwestern’s Men’s Basketball program. It’s tough to be in a smaller program that doesn’t have as strong of a following as some in college basketball, but the Wildcats are giving it their best shot to have fun with this upcoming season and hopefully pick up some fans along the way. They started a campaign centered around PG Bryant McIntosh, a leader in the clubhouse and on the court. With his game largely as a distributor, the team took “dropping dimes” to another level, starting the push for #BMac4TheDime. This series of “mockumentaries” pitch the guard as the next face of the dime, and goes behind the scenes as he hits the campaign trail. Even Sports Business analyst Darren Rovell had to tip his cap to Northwestern, as the physical marketing behind the social media campaign has worked hand-in-hand. While social media campaigns are nothing out of the ordinary, kudos to the Wildcats for giving something way out of the box a try – and for succeeding with flying colors so far.
5. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings’ social media, also no stranger to the Social Media Seven, had some fun this week (noticing a trend?), parodying the very-popular Pardon My Take series produced by Barstool Sports. Having players do ridiculous things is something that fans appreciate and enjoy watching, and this video is definitely, well, interesting. A large part of engaging with followers is providing them with content that isn’t too serious all of the time, and finding an overlap with popular culture. The team is riding high to start the season, and it looks like they’re having fun off the field too.
6. Clemson Tigers
They’re at it again! It seems like every week that Clemson’s social media team is catching our attention, and for good reason. Our good friend at Front Office Sports, Professor Karen Freberg, went behind the scenes on our Snapchat this Saturday, showcasing the electricity in that community on game day and providing a cool inside perspective on the Tigers’ social media team. In terms of content, we detailed the incredible 360-degree graphic that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers used last week. This week, it was Clemson that jumped on the trend, something that we are sure to see more of in the coming weeks and months. Digital Sport UK has a really cool video showing just how much fun these graphics are to play with. Increasing engagement? Check. Incredibly shareable? Check. Fun and creative? Check and check. It’s a no-brainer, these graphics are a can’t-miss. Move aside, Alabama. Clemson has the #1 spot in the rankings (fine, the social media rankings, but STILL.)
7. Must-Read Article: opendorse - Huskers
Opendorse put together a really interesting case study on how the Huskers were able to leverage their alumni to garner video views, post engagement, a growing following, and more. Read more about the components that go into successfully building a brand and using social influencers to do so. Everything that social media in sports strives to do!
Thanks for joining us this week! What strategy stood out to you the most? Was there something that you wished was featured? Drop us comments on Twitter: @frntofficesport!
Thought of the week: “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is the best.” – Tim Dunca