We’ve seen that there is a whole lot more to social media than just media or marketing. Social media tools and the tenets of listening, audience participation, user-generated content, real-time news and updates, sharing and voting are revolutionizing the way companies do business. Done properly and with a purpose, social media has the ability to transform the way companies look at:
- Market research
- Product development
- Customer service
- Sales and marketing
- Employee hiring
A few businesses and teams get this, but overall we’re still not there yet. Many teams are getting involved, but not always with a purpose or clear strategy. A Facebook page that has 100k people on it is worthless, without the proper strategy behind it. If you’re a team, you don’t really want Facebook fans, you want ticket buyers.
The video below describes some ideas for ways that teams can use social media the right way and what benefits they (and their fans) can get from this.
The last idea in the video is one I look forward to exploring more, and would love your thoughts on. It’s one thing to do some basic videos occasionally and make them exclusive to Twitter or YouTube to drive awareness and engagement. But hardcore fans are always willing to consume more, in my opinion. Why aren’t teams capitalizing on this?
More and more fans now want to participate, be involved in the creation of ticket packages, get exclusive, behind-the-scenes videos, articles and real-time updates, get personalized merchandise, vote on ideas for sponsor promotions, etc. Clearly people want content in new forms as indicated by the explosion of sites like Twitter. Why aren’t more teams taking some of these concepts, creating new content areas and fan clubs and charging fans for access to drive revenue?
If you’re a die-hard Lakers fan, wouldn’t you pay for the right to see Kobe’s real-time updates right after the game, before the press get a crack at him? Wouldn’t you pay to have access to short, 30 second videos from Phil Jackson before and after practice? Wouldn’t you pay for a chance to ask a member of the Lakers staff or ownership any question you wanted once a month? I know I would.
I think teams may need to rethink a lot of the things they’re doing online. There should be a balance between using these free social media tools to expand an audience and keep a pulse on what fans want/think vs. charging people for access to really cool content and opportunities. Some of the things teams and players are doing on outside sites could be moved in-house (and on team communities, so they have a better value proposition) so they can be better monetized and packaged for hardcore fans. I think this is the only way teams will see a good ROI from their efforts and will be able to justify spending money on new opportunities that serve to engage fans in more ways.
I’m always interested in hearing what you think. Thanks for watching/reading and I look forward to your thoughts on this.