By: Parth Shah, @shah_parth_
It's been a great week on and off social, from curses breaking to internet sensations that are making waves while sitting still. Seriously. You don't want to miss this week's edition of the Social Media Seven, so welcome and let's get started!
1. Chicago Cubs
Yes, Chicago, it finally happened! The Cubs are World Series champions for the first time in over a century. What a momentous occasion. With the gravity of such an event, the Cubs social team had the task of documenting the celebration of a lifetime. And boy did they bring it. In all honestly, just take a scroll down the @Cubs timeline - you won't regret it. The long-awaited celebration was covered from any and every angle, including all social media platforms, VR360, videos, GIFs, images, emojis and more. The Cubs' social media team pulled out all the stops to make sure they served this moment justice to their fans at home and around the world. They were able to put together some incredible videos and highlight packages that are sure to give any Cubs fan goosebumps. They also had a field day with the celebration parade, documenting the 7th largest public gathering in history with awe-inspiring pictures and sights. They integrated on Snapchat with a Go Cubs Go filter that brought the celebration to every fan at home. Also, the team found a great balance between curated video content and authentic, hand-captured video clips that provide a more personal, unedited experience to followers. On social and on the field, the Cubs were able to #FlyTheW. Congrats, Chicago!
2. Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
The Jacksonville Suns, a Minor League Baseball team that is the AA affiliate of the Miami Marlins, made the bold choice to rebrand into the Jumbo Shrimp. Oxymoron aside, the team's bold marketing strategy centered around #CrustacaenNation seems to be paying off so far. While there is concern that this may be more short-lived as a novelty, there is room for staying power for the Jumbo Shrimp brand, just because of how distinct it is. It's difficult to attract as many fans as a minor league team, so organizations have to become increasingly creative with their approaches. The team has been active on social, retweeting fans and their positive comments, a great way to build brand loyalty and spread optimism and excitement for the new logo and merchandise.
3. North Texas Football
The North Texas Mean Green find themselves amidst the crowd of powerhouse Texas football programs, but that doesn't stop them from building their own support and proving there's always room for football, especially in Texas. The promo video that their social media team curated for their home matchup against LA Tech was outstanding, doing a very good job connecting with fans and displaying the atmosphere and culture that the program envisions itself with, one that the fans embrace and can hopefully build upon. Looking for a textbook example on how to make curated content seem personal? For a smaller D1 program, it's all about loyalty and community. This homecoming video exemplifies both perfectly, and shares the feeling of family and togetherness that makes up the core of any fanbase. Who knew the Mean Green could be so nice?
4. Los Angeles Kings
The LA Kings have become one of the more popular teams in the NHL with their large market and recent successes. They've also been recognized as a top team on social media, and they continue to show these merits online. As the organization celebrates its 50th year, the Kings look back on the history that brought them to where they are today. Content that connects the past to the present is invaluable in educating fans, especially those younger, about the history and tradition of a team, and in turn potentially building deeper ties that fans have with them. The video of the players high-fiving the little kid is heartwarming, something that most will look at and say, "awwwww." Don't underestimate the cuteness angle! Also, the Kings have an exceptionally strong graphic team, and the goal GIFs that are prepared for individual players look sharp and clean, distinctly fitting in with the organization's aesthetic. Lastly, the social media team had a good time poking fun, but at their own team? Yes, you better believe it - the Kings had some fun once the goals started rolling in. This is your weekly reminder that it's important to not take yourself *too* seriously on social; be funny, engaging, and relatable.
The Mannequin Challenge is the latest internet sensation to captivate our interests on social. The hashtag has been posted over 5,000,000 times between Twitter and Instagram, and has created many more times worth of impressions on both platforms. As the challenge continues to grow in popularity, it has also found its way into sports, with teams giving it a shot in the locker room and on the practice field. Notable teams and programs that have been successful in their own ways include Wisconsin basketball, TCU football, Clemson football, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Not only is this light-hearted content that shows a fun atmosphere around the organization, but also has the virality component to it, which is huge in social if at all possible. These teams executed to perfection in their videos and presentation, and reaped the benefits because of it. Give these a videos a watch; I expect to see some inspired Mannequin Challenge videos shared with Front Office Sports this week!
6. Shah's Social Media Strategy
In light of Vine shutting down operation, teams and organizations are looking to replace their presentation of short, looped videos for use on social media. Posting content as short Twitter videos is a strong option, as these often receive higher impression rates being similarly embedded directly in one's timeline. GIFs for looping quick plays are also popular, especially in cases where audio/broadcast rights may vary. Perhaps a strong option to consider would be formatting fan-footage into shareable Twitter moments, capturing these plays from multiple angles while also engaging with followers and encouraging fans to share their content.
7. Must-Read Article: Snapchat vs. Facebook
Snapchat is continuing its pursuit of social media dominance, as the company is attempting to challenge Facebook in app-installation ads, one of the largest sectors of mobile advertising. It will be interesting to see if this push has any implications within social media sports, especially as teams look to push their own individualized apps with additional content and features. The AdAge article in full length can be found here - be sure to check it out!