DOs and DON’Ts When Tweeting in Sports

Organizations should use twitter as a tool for conversations, building community and collecting feedback from target audience. But for brands, there’s an art to using Twitter, and the most successful at it follow an unwritten set of rules. No matter who your audience is or who is following you on social media- there are still a list of Dos and Don’ts that should be understood before sending those 160 characters on Twitter.

  1. Do Your Research Before Engaging Customers
  • What is your following base?
  • Background of active followers
  1. Determine Organizational Goals
    • Is the account used mostly for customer service or to sell?
    • Does the company want to provide updates about new products?
  1. Build Your Twitter Equity and Credibility
    • Retweet, ask questions, be personal, and honest
  1. Listen and Observe Before Engaging
    • Is the question or complaint worthy of a response? Will it help or hurt the image of the brand?
  1. Have Fun with Followers
    • Keep customers on their toes with witty response. “@” customers when responding 
  1. Mix It Up
    • Be spontaneous and creative with tweets- Videos, links, history of brand, fun facts, etc.

Much like twitter, there are also best practices companies should following when engaging with other forums of social media- including blogging. Blogging is often underutilized but it a great tool companies can take advantage of to create open dialogue with customers.

  1. Keep Each Post to One Topic
  • Focused and neat blogs are easy for readers to follow and will entice them to come back for more
  1. Catchy Title
  • Draw customers in. Set the tone for what customers will read.
  1. Follow a Schedule
  • CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENCY

Much like other companies that have a successful social media presence (Starbucks, Target) the sport industry has used some of the tips listed above when tweeting and blogging.

Sporting teams have kept fans engaged by showing their tweets on the score board. Usually during commercial breaks fans can see the selfie they took by just usually a hashtag like #eaglesloveselfies or #smile forthetwins. Sporting team has also done a great job of mixing up the way they engage with fans. Fans now have a wide range of options from winning a biggest fan contest or half-court shot contest during halftime.

By far the biggest way the sporting industry can help or hurt their image is by listening and engaging with their audience. As mentioned in a previous blog; some people can be cruel via to athletes and sports teams.

Take it from Lebron, there is no better response than a “smart” one…

bron

References:

Brito, Michael. 2009. 10 Twitter Best Practices for Brands. Mashable. http://mashable.com/2009/06/24/twitter-brand-best-practices/#Wz.R8vABgkqW

Winsauer, Emily. 7 Best Practices for Business Blogs. Vieo. https://www.vieodesign.com/blog/7-online-business-blog-best-practices-need-follow/

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Maybe More Athletes Should Stay Off Twitter

Sports fans love when they have the ability to interact with their favorite athletes and sports teams via social media. Like mentioned in the previous blogs, social media opens up dialogue between sports figures and fans who get to express the joy, happiness and sometime frustration and anger. I can only imagine how eager an athletes or sporting team must feel opening and reading their twitter account after a comeback win. And how apprehensive the same player will become when reading tweets after a disappointing lost to a rivalry team.

I am sure we have witnessed or maybe even engaged in a nasty “tweet beef.” In the sporting industry some of the challenges associated with athletes and sporting teams engaging in social media is the simple fact that they become vulnerable to both the highs and lows of the emotions of sports fans.  And some fans can go very low.

Jimmy Kimmel has dedicated some of his late night comedy show to have sports figures read some the mean things people say about them. I must admit it is as mean as it funny.NFL players read mean tweets

The damaging part of sports figures engaging in social media is when the athlete actually decide to respond to one of the hundreds of hateful and cruel messages they receive. Unlike ordinary people like you and I, if athletes like Steve Curry responded negatively to a tweet, his tweet will become a trending topic and will be retweeted thousands of time within the first 24hours-not good publicity.

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Usually, within a few hours, these athletes have to send out some sort of apology that appears to have been written by someone with a college degree in public relations. It uses words like “thoughtless” and “insensitive.” It talks about having “regret” then closes with the obligatory, although often insincere-sounding, “I apologize to anyone who might have been offended by my comments (Jones, 2016).”

“Undoubtedly, athletes are public figures. In the connected world of today, aspiring professional athletes must be prepared to act as professionals at an early age. Young athletes must realize/be instructed that anything they have ever posted on a social media account is available to anyone that wants to dig deep enough. Here are some tips for aspiring, young athletes to easily control their public image by navigating the minefield of social media:

  • Delete old accounts– If a social media account is not being used, it should be deleted.
  • Clean up current accounts– Go through all of the posts on active accounts.
  • The Grandma rule– Before every post, an athlete should take a second to think “Would I want my Grandma to see this? (Quiels, 2015)”

20 great deleted sports tweets 

Unlike athletes, it is imperative for companies in the sporting industry to have their brand represented via social media. In recent years, social media has played a key role in the success of brands like Under Armor, ESPN and the NFL. Sporting brands use social media to stay competitive through offering updates on new products, professional athlete sponsorship and promo codes. However, just like professional athletes, brands in the sporting industry also have a responsibility to interact with fans and customers in a sensitive manner that is beneficial to the brand’s image.

denver

Guys its simple…be a good sport 🙂

References:

Jones, Tom. 2016. Maybe More Athletes Should Stay Off Twitter. Tampa Bay Times. http://www.tampabay.com/sports/football/bucs/maybe-more-athletes-should-stay-off-twitter/2131845
Maggio, Andrew. 2015. Top 15 Incredibly Dumb Athlete Tweets That Were Instantly Deleted. TheSportster. http://www.thesportster.com/entertainment/top-15-incredibly-dumb-athlete-tweets-that-were-instantly-deleted/
Quiles, Roger. 2015. How Young Athletes Can Avoid Social Media Harms. LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-young-athletes-can-avoid-social-media-harms-roger-quiles

Apps that work for sport fans

The sporting industry continues to improve its capabilities of using different applications to keep their consumers engaged. Apps are used to provide injury report updates, give statistics on upcoming games, stream games live and also pick players for a fantasy league.

It not uncommon for sporting fans to follow their favorite teams’ official Twitter or Instagram account to stay updated throughout the year and feel like a member of the team. According to Laura Depta , “one of the best things about the ever-increasing popularity of social media in sports is the actual team involvement. Running an official team Twitter account would certainly involve walking a fine line, as a lot of sports teams are amping up their online game.”

“One mark of a great sports Twitter account is the ability to handle trolls. The Columbus Blue Jackets displayed that ability brilliantly in June when a fan had the audacity to insult the team. They also joined in on a delightful interaction between the Toronto Maple Leafs and another troll, forging a beautiful social media friendship. And even though 2015 is in the spotlight here, it would be wrong not to mention what was perhaps the most epic response to a sports tweet in history (Depta, 2015)”

Zach Muraca @ZachMuraca28

@BlueJacketsNHL ok thanks, didn’t think you guys could put 3 W’s together

ColumbusBlueJackets 

✔@BlueJacketsNHL

.@ZachMuraca28 we interrupt your troll attempt to bring you #facts pic.twitter.com/CfO7yjDDug

11:09 AM – 3 Jun 2015

Arguably, the most popular sports app is one that is not specific for one individual team but instead is the headquarters to gather information for all teams. This app is used to bring service for anyone and everyone interested in the sporting industry from information on a local team, to scores and updates from games being played outside the United States. One unique feature is after the app is downloaded to a smart phone or tablet; the way one sports fan views the app may be totally different than someone else views it- as it is totally customizable. Another big feature that helps fans stay engaged is the ability to stream the games and never miss a play as you can watch the games on the go.

“The app is divided into three main sections: Scores, a customizable feed that displays your favorite teams and the scores of games in progress; News, which shows you the day’s breaking news and development; and now, a blog-style feed that features viral content and commentaries (Tweedie, 2015).” ESPN On-Air also has its own dedicated icon in the bottom toolbar, which lets you stream audio while continuing to browse the app or even if you lock your phone or hop over to Facebook.

Of course, I cannot end this blog on the topic of the sporting industry and social media apps without discussing the quick rise of fantasy sports apps like DraftKings and Fanduel. Over the past couple of years you could not watch Sport center and other sporting shows without a commercial popping up about how to quickly win money every weekend by “drafting” your favorite players through the weekly fantasy apps.

Sports apps like Fanduel and ESPN are just a few of the ways that the sporting industry has done a great job of keeping consumers engaged in every aspect of the sporting industry. With new apps developing every sporting season you have to wonder what will be the next phenomenal. In the meantime, we can depend on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to provide all the updates we need.

Do you think sports teams should respond to mean tweets? Or do you think it just begins a slippery slope…?

For more examples of apps that are great for sports fans:Sports Apps

 

References:

Depta, Laura. 2015. 10 Best Sports Teams on Social Media in 2015. Bleacher report. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2600489-10-best-sports-teams-on-social-media-in-2015#

Tweedie, Steven. 2015. ESPN launches a sleek new universal app to replace the aging Sports center app.Business Insider. http://www.businessinsider.com/espn-launches-new-app

Sports + Social Media= Happy Fan

Sports and social media go hand and hand. Social media will always be a voice for sports to have a voice; rather it is a billion dollar brand like Nike and Gatorade or a billion dollar name like Serena Williams and Cam Newton. You cannot think about retweets, repost, hashtags, and likes without thinking about pop culture. According to Digitaltrends, Facebook reveled their biggest topics of 2015. Sports always gives politics, world news and award shows a run for their money when it comes to most trending in our society. So I would say the current state of the relationship of sports and social media is strong with specific sporting topics like safety, nutrition and education growing more popularity a well (Clapp, 2015).

One example of the strong relationship is through fan engagement. Sports organizations have mastered different mediums of social media to increase fan loyalty and excitement; “in today’s digital environment, many sport discussions occur on social media between friends or on official team digital channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Many teams have caught onto this trend and are increasing their use of social media to boost fan engagement ahead of a big game. For example, the NHL held its eighth annual Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, pitting two pre-selected teams against each other in an outdoor game of hockey. 

To boost anticipation leading up to the outdoor game, both teams updated their social media accounts with promotional messages teasing the Winter Classic throughout the first half of the season. According to data pulled from MVP Index, the Bruins posted 184 messages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram between June 1 and December 30, which were liked and retweeted more than 507k times. (Parkinson, 2016).” Wow over 500 tweets for one regular season game!

Video of teams with the best Social Media

Major league sports also use social media to allow their fans to make decisions and vote for their favorite players to different all-star game. Out with the old school way of coaches and general managers deciding who the best 20 or so players are that deserve a sport on the all-star roaster. “In a world dominated by Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, the NBA became the latest organization to hop on the trend. The All-Star game is played to honor the players whose performances are deemed the best in the league. In a new social media initiative, the NBA now allows fans to vote for players via social media in addition to casting votes through the NBA website and app. The NBA recognized that social media is an integral part of today’s society and leveraged it as a platform to gauge whom the fans wanted in the All-Star game. While it produced some unexpected results, the NBA achieved its goal of getting fans more involved. Some players whose numbers warranted a starting spot might not even receive a reserve spot given the roster constraints. At the end of the day, the players whom the fans want to see will be in the game (Barton, 2016).”

Image result for nba votes

Image: http://www.nba.com/bulls/vote-bulls-2015-16/

A few other social media tools that sports have used to help keep the fans engaged include updates throughout the game, ESPN’s virtual college town and evening sports figures like LeBron James tweeting and posting on Instagram. I would have to say Gatorade currently wins my personal award for best fan engagement via social media. The sports nutrition and hydration company has almost 90 thousands followers on Instagram. The company uses creative ways through their social media pages to promote new products and marketing efforts (love of sports for example). The company has even released “match point” a playable video game on Snapchat celebrating their popular athlete Serena Williams. “The game includes 22 levels of tennis, with each level representing one of the 22 Grand Slam singles titles Williams has won in her career. In each level, players attempt to win the “match point” of one of those matches (Shaul, 2016).”

How cool must Serena feel having an app? lucky her! 

Serena Williams' Match Point Screenshots

Reference:
Barton, Nick. 2016. The Hoya. How Social Media Impacts All-Star Roaster. http://www.thehoya.com/barton-how-social-media-impacts-all-star-roster/
Clapp, Brian. 2015. Unique Strategies for using Social Media in Sports Marketing. http://www.workinsports.com/blog/unique-strategies-for-using-social-media-in-sports-marketing/
Parkinson, Gary. 2016. Scribble. How to Engage With the Passionate Sports Fan in 2016. http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2016/01/05/how-to-engage-with-the-passionate-sports-fan
Shaul, Brandy. 2016. Social Times. Gatorade Launches Snapchat Video Game Ad Serena Williams’ Match Point. http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/gatorade-launches-snapchat-video-game-ad-serena-williams-match-point/644139

Social Media used in Online Classrooms

When it comes to social media I usually stick to the basic sites that everyone is familiar with- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and if I am feeling adventurous Ill browse Pinterest. I have always been a “shy” social media person with little activity. For example, it is not uncommon for me to go two or months without posting a picture or updating my status. However, I do check my Facebook and Instagram account several times a day and “like” status and pictures of people I am following.

So when I registered for a class that was centered on social media, I had mixed feelings to say the least. I was nervous because I knew the class would more than likely make me step out of my “liking only” comfort zone. However, I was also excited to explore other social media tools that may be more centered on education and schooling rather than the usual social aspects.

VoiceThread

VoiceThread is the first tool that caught my eye. VoiceThread is a tool that is ideal for bringing a different spin of engagement for online courses. It is similar to the discussion boards that are often used in most online courses where students have to research and share their insights and opinion on a topic. Discussion board engagement takes place when students and professors respond with their thoughts to the original post made by their peer.

VoiceThread uses the same interactive concepts but different elements. The main tool that is used for VoiceThreads is videos. Videos are more personal than written articles and discussions and allows for an in person verses a virtual classroom feel.  Alexandra Pickett, director of the Open SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence, started using VoiceThread in 2006, primarily as an icebreaking activity in her online course, “One of the things that you want to do initially in an online course is to establish a sense of social presence among the participants in the course and with the students,” said Pickett. “And so I want to represent myself as a real person because that way they know that I’m real; I’m not a robot, I’m approachable, I am multidimensional (Pickett, 2015).”

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You may also interact via VoiceThread through images and audio files as well. As social media- including tools like VoiceThread continues to involve I can imagine professors engaging their students in forums that are more relatable to them like SnapChat videos, skits and Emojis. Professor Pickett expresses, “It allows the material that you’re talking about more engaging visually as well as in terms of interaction. It’s less passive than just reading text.”

Scoop.it

Scoop.it is another social media that’s primary focus is to help students interact with their peers and professors. The format of Scoop.it is similar to Pinterest, where a student or professor can search for an idea and “pin” or attach it to their personal page and also share it with others via other social media mediums or blogs. Rhode Island Professor Dixon has begun to incorporate Scoop.it in his class as an information headquarters; “Students are required to do readings from Dixon’s Scoop.it page, and then they “re-scoop” some of that information with their own notes to verify that they’ve read and understood the material (Meyer, 2015).”

scoop.jpg

Both Scoop.it and VoiceThread are tools that are beginning to be utilized in classrooms, especially online courses for engagement. These innovate and fresh tools are the future of learning and can hopefully take the place of traditional text books and discussion boards sooner than later. I am sure you won’t hear students complaining!

 

What apps have you used in a school atmosphere? Should SHNU try Scoop.it and Voicethread?

 

References:  Meyer, 2015. 6 Alternative Social Media Tools for Teaching and Learning. https://campustechnology.com/Articles/2015/01/07/6-Alternative-Social-Media-Tools-for-Teaching-and-Learning.aspx?Page=2 Pickett, 2015. VoiceThreads. https://voicethread.com/about/features/ Scoop.it. 2016. http://www.scoop.it/