Back in December of 2013 we took a look at how Vancouver’s resident sport’s teams were faring with the use of their twitter and facebook accounts. We’re back to break it down a little further and to see if any teams have jumped to the head of the class or if any have fallen behind and need extra tutoring.
In this fist post we’ll provide a breakdown of who the teams are, how we will be grading them, and what criteria we will be using to grade each social media account.
This time we’ll take a look at the following six local teams; BC Lions, Vancouver Canadians, Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Giants, Vancouver Stealth, and Vancouver Whitecaps.
Much of the buzz around social media in sports has been largely marketing & media centered, with teams pushing out their promotions, shoring up ticket sales and getting the latest game day lineups out. The teams using social channels for sales are still at the vanguard, believe it or not.
But the utility of social for security & guest relations is pretty well untapped. The availability of inexpensive, off-the-shelf solutions to know who’s in the building and what they’re talking about is right at safety personnel’s fingertips.
Following last week’s very well-received “Twitter Report”, we thought we’d share our observations on our Vancouver Pro Teams’ leverage of Facebook.
Posted 31 March 2011
We’re already looking forward to the next #YVRSportsbiz tweetup!!
As a little case study of its own, we thought we’d outline how the whole event came together. With so many social media pros in the room, we thought this would provide a good discussion starter, feedback on what we can do better for next time and maybe help a few people out as they plan their next digitally-driven event.
WEEK 1 – March 14th to March 21st
- Scanned the sports calendar to find a date that would work for most sports business people
- Connected with @Mozy19 and @Fiveholeforfood
- Coordinated space at The Charles Bar between Canucks games and any other big schedule items for most leagues and stakeholders
- Created twitter list of YVR sports social media people: @5sports/yvrsportsbiz-sm
- Set up Eventbrite invitation – Very effective, easily shared, monitored, and optimized.
EVENTBRITE: Top Traffic sources: 1) Direct Traffic 2) Twitter 3) Facebook 4) LinkedIn 5) Google
- Set up profile on VancouverTweetup.com – No responses, but we did direct any traffic here over to the Eventbrite registration page. That or you guys just don’t hang out on this site.
- Posted event into Plancast.com – similar results to VancouverTweetup.com
- Posted to 5T Blog – 43 hits with little to no social media push to this page.
- DM’d, LinkedIn, Facebook messaged, and emailed a number of direct contacts with invitations and an ask to help spread the word (And you did! Thanks!)
- Distributed PRLog release –
- Started Tweeting and posted to Facebook – In week one we tweeted 48 times earning 47 mentions and 9 retweets and connected with 59 new followers.
- Built a twitter list of YVRSportsbiz social media tweeps, started using #YVRsportsbiz
- Connected with key influencers for blog support and to invite them to the event for their insights.
- Monitored discussions online – engaged and amplified wherever possible
All 50 tickets were reserved in week one!
Week 2 – March 21st to March 28th
- Opened 25 more tickets after connecting with The Charles Bar
- Sent email blast through EventBrite to existing team contacts in vicinity of Lower Mainland – 41 emails sent, 20% open rate, 6 bounces.
- Organized data on attendees and sent out targeted invites in order to balance the group between Bloggers, Marketers, Key influencers, Teams, Sports Organizations and Sponsor Company’s.
- Daily tweets about event – In week two we tweeted 43 times earning 31 mentions and 2 retweets and connecting with 32 new followers.
- Corporate Champions Vancouver offered door prizing – WOOT!
- Created a public twitter list of registered attendees for #FFhttp://twitter.com/#!/5TSports/yvrsportsbiz-tweetup-1
Week 3 – March 28th to March 30th
- Some great pickup with local bloggers (thanks again guys) made for a twitter filled Monday
- Wrote an email blast to everyone inviting them to start chatting pre-event through the hashtag #YVRsportsbiz as well as to inform them on how to enter for the @CC_Vancouver prize and support @fiveholeforfood!
- Connected with a few more sports bloggers to get their input at the event.
- Whitecaps donated tickets to raffle off and The Charles Bar offered to get things going with a few pitchers of beer on the house.
- Ron Sombilon volunteered to photograph the event and support #FHFF, we’ll email out a link to the photos asap.
- Continued monitoring and engaging in discussion and daily tweets up to the event. Some of our tweets about the event started earning 10’s of thousands of impressions (crowdbooster.com)
A seriously great time at The Charles Bar. It was a great crowd and we overheard a lot of great discussions and ideas being tossed around.
Fiveholeforfood got some good exposure and with your donations earned a decent chunk of change to put towards the food bank. Also, moving forward, it would be great if we can all help @fiveholeforfood with some good buzz through the summer to help drive donations at their 125Vancouver game and their cross country food drive!
The buzz earned us a lot of new followers and hopefully lead to a lot of new follows and connections amongst the group as well. We doubled our average number of daily new followers from 3.3/day before the launch of the event to 8.2/day post launch on the 14th(twittercounter.com).
A lot of good traffic to our site, Google Analytics from the start of the campaign on March 14th: 1295 pageviews, 605 Unique Visitors, 71.57% of which were new visitors. This resulted in some great conversations with people from all sides of the sports business game.
The Charles Bar also got some good buzz out of the event, particularly a good number of impressions thanks to some top blogger RT’s. They also got a full bar of sports lovers (all of us) who will spread the sports watching gospel that is per table tv’s. Surely we will all be back to catch a game and enjoy our replays up close again soon.
Based on the already great feedback we’ve had, we are committed to continuing the series. Our gut tells us every other month is about right. We’re open to suggestions and ideas on this one and will keep everyone posted on the next location and timing, we’re thinking late June. Let us know what you think!
Our strength to support Vancouver sports industry, community building, and just general fandom is amplified when we connect on this level and get to know the people behind the Twitter handles and web sites. The world of online sports marketing is changing and evolving everyday – knowing you have an awesome sounding board here in your own backyard helps everyone stay on target. We hope to see some awesome partnerships, activations, creative executions and cooperative support come from this inaugural get together.
We’re sure we’ve missed a few great tweeps so please invite whomever you think might find and add value to the group. We have set up a LinkedIn Group: “Vancouver Sports Business Network” and think it will be a good place to stay connected and keep sharing insights and opportunities with each other.
What’d you think?
We’d really like your input on how we went about getting the event out there. What can we do better next time to get people pumped? Are there any cool apps out there that we missed or could have developed some more buzz for the event and Five Hole for Food? Please tweet at us or comment below!
Looking forward to even more great discussion into the future.
PS. We’ll be sending out an email with an invite to the LinkedIn group as well as a link to all the great shots that Ron got from last night. Looking forward to the tagging madness to begin!
With the start of the New Year we here at 5T decided to take a moment and appreciate our surroundings. What we found was a great cross-section of different approaches sports teams can and are taking toward social media sitting right in our back yard! The top teams and franchises here in beautiful British Columbia Canada are all diving into social media, and they seem to be coming at it from a plethora of angles with diverse results. See what our local teams are up to below, determine how well their approaches are working for yourself, and let us know what you think is the best, worst, or perfect mix for a sports teams to bring to the twittersphere in 2011!
A more qualitative look:
Vancouver Canucks – Klout.com score 74 (see Klout.com for a description of their ranking metrics and to check your own social media Klout)
The Canucks, as the premium sports property in the province, use twitter very effectively for a number of purposes but remain on brand, “We are all Canucks”, by building in a valuable level of direct fan interaction.
Content Breakdown: 40% direct engagement (RT’s, Mentions), 30% team news and information, 20% link backs to high value content off twitter, 10% fun facts and behind the scenes info.
Content Substance: In arena contests, social media activations (see #DJontheroad), build up for game time, interesting facts and behind the scenes info, and tweet ups. Canucks also have multiple accounts including @CanucksStore [retail], this allows them to divide and conquer goals and ROI metrics and maintain a consistent brand voice across each twitter handle.
BC Lions – Klout.com score 50
The BC Lions seem to really be punching above their weight class on twitter with an almost complete focus on fan engagement, inclusion, and interaction.
Content Breakdown: 25% player quotes, 25% player/coach RT’s, 25% fan interaction (questions, RT’s, Mentions), 20% team news and updates, 5% retail sales
Content Substance: Wrapping the players into the feed really creates a feeling of belonging and ownership for fans. In the CFL this element of ownership is key, re: “This is OUR league”. The strong focus on interaction also helps people feel like part of the team and this is a big reason a lot of fans head to twitter in the first place, to have a voice, it’s also a big reason why a lot of fans buy tickets!
Whitecaps Football Club – Klout.com score 60
The Whitecaps seem to use twitter almost solely as a distribution medium for their website content. Beyond this they have run an interesting contest on twitter (see: Scavenger Hunt).
Content Breakdown: 80% website content distribution and link backs to Whitecapsfc.com, 15% fan interaction/contests, 5% live online events (press conferences).
Content Substance: Information about the MLS, insights and backstories on MLS rivalries and teams, some fan engagement (commonly around ticket sales), and press conference coverage and links to live streaming. Their scavenger hunt contest provided a lot of twitter content and interaction that seemed to go over well. The white caps also have an additional handle @whitecapsmatch that may allow for more diverse interaction as they get into their season.
Vancouver Canadians – Klout.com score 38
The Vancouver Canadians are taking an interesting approach. With fewer resources than the Canucks or Whitecaps, the Canadians are striving for online efficiency by reaching out and connecting with top bloggers and twitter voices to help amplify and spread their message.
Content Breakdown: RT’s, mentions, and offline activation’s with top tweeps 20%, BlueJays (affiliate) RT’s 20%, Insider information and event updates 20%, Fun Fact Fridays and other trivia 10%, Mascot and Staff related content 15%, Website and other media distribution 15%.
Content Substance: A lot of Bluejay’s RT’s and content, including a BlueJay’s twitter background, helps the team really leverage the new partnership. Connecting with bigger twitter names (such as @VIAwesome and @Team1040) both on and off line by providing tickets and game day giveaways extends the teams reach online.
Vancouver Giants – Klout.com score 47
The Giants use twitter most prominently to broadcast their updated website content, their game time play by play commentary and highlights.
Content Breakdown: 50% game time updates, 30% website content distribution with links, 20% twitter contests conducted off of twitter.
Content Substance: Almost entirely links to off twitter landing pages that hold recent stories and website updates. Information and contests almost always directly relate to on ice team information.
That’s our look at the twitter sports landscape in our backyard, (content breakdown is just a quick estimate on our part). Let us know which team you think is leading by example, dropping the ball, or pushing into new territory with their approach to twitter. If the perfect mix isn’t here, what do you think it might be or where is it?
After finding this awesomeness in our own backyard we decided to do a little more digging over the next couple weeks. We’ll dive into each teams approach to Facebook next week and see if there is a similar cross section of strategies and approaches for us to draw out and engage with.
Thanks for reading! Looking forward to hearing what you think!
Growing a following, connecting with the right groups, and delivering on objectives can be daunting tasks at first for any sports organization taking the dive into social media. Online tips and tools can be tempting and sometimes are helpful, but as an organization takes its first real steps into social media, these tools are often under-utilized, used incorrectly, or just plain ineffective at building a targeted following from ground zero.
Here’s a better way to build a foundation in social media:
If it’s been said once, it’s been tweeted a thousand times: social media is a vital tool for almost all businesses and organizations – Sports businesses, teams and National Sports Organizations or governing bodies are no exception. Many high end sports properties have jumped in full-tilt and are increasingly throwing more of their advertising budgets and HR resources at different social media activations, (check out Sports Fan Graph’s top performers to see what they’re executing across social media channels).
If the above were a jeopardy answer, the question would be “What is the secret to deeper fan engagement for sports teams?”
I say ‘hit ‘em where they care – hit hard, hit often. It’s all wrapped in a velvet glove after all. People are responding to cause marketing like never before –according to eMarketer, a whopping 80% of fans are likely to switch brands based on a company’s affiliation with a cause. and giving them options to do good while supporting the home team cements that affinity for your organization. It also gives you a terrific opportunity to reach out to passionate audiences of a cause and potentially turn them into passionate fans of the team.