From a desert, from the driest continent, from this land at the opposite end of the globe ...
... as remote as could be in the hockey world ...
... came one of the world’s oldest winter sports trophies.
A cool tradition, a dream of champions, and a story we owe it to our children to tell.
Legends of Australian Ice.
Making your social mean something
If we aped anybody early on, we learned from Red Bull. I was a huge fan and I became enamored with the brand. And I was drinking a lot of Red Bull I 'm not kidding, getting a company off the ground isn't easy. I was inspired by how Red Bull isn't about the drink, it isn't about the product or the can. Red Bull is a platform to celebrate all that humans are capable of accomplishing. They built a lifestyle movement, a brand that sold this product. And they never really talk about the product. It's just all about the lifestyle. If I walk up to a can of Red Bull, I'm thinking about Formula One, I'm thinking about incredible athletic performances. And it helps me choose that can over something else to either side of it. That was really my first lesson in what a brand meant. I learned that most people buy based on emotion, not on a rational breakdown of the product or service. Nick Woodman, founder and CEO of GoPro
We don't know whether there are clubs out there that are platforms to celebrate all that humans are capable of accomplishing. We just think there should be. Did you know that Real Madrid, a club owned and operated by members since 1902, is the most valuable team in all of sport? Of course you did. They generate more revenue than any other sports club in the world. The NHL are shut-out of the Top-25 but the Leafs are the highest ranked NHL team at No. 26. Even though the Blackhawks have twice their Facebook fans. The top-8 sport social media powerhouses are all football (soccer) clubs and so it's no surprise that Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has the second most popular Facebook page in the world, with more than 102 million Facebook fans. Social media popularity and value tend to go hand in hand.
Closer to home the most popular clubs are the Brisbane Broncos with a Facebook army of almost 540,000 and AFL powerhouse Collingwood with the biggest Twitter following (over 66,000). The 'Pies have attracted the largest average crowd and highest cumulative television audience of any team in the country in recent years. RMIT university sports marketing expert, Con Stavros, has said the level of engagement a club has with its fans is a key consideration in their popularity, but the challenge for all sport teams all around the world is how to generate revenue from that support. You can have that brand, but what does that brand actually mean?
Well, as we suggested in our last article, you have to make it mean something and that requires a social media strategy plan. A strategy is where you're headed. A plan is how you'll get there. Once you have the strategy, you'll need to implement it, to monitor and measure it, and to think it over again: this is what we want to do; this is how we're going to do it; this is how we did. Repeat. And so it is that a good strategic plan for social media not only has objectives, but also performance metrics for monitoring progress on the way to attaining those objectives, adjusting tactics intelligently as you go. And this is little different in principle to any other form of business plan.
No-one and no one part of your club should "own" social media strategy. Build a team from among your club's main operating areas to help formulate and operate the strategy.
Go online. Explore social media beyond your club. Listen to your fans and compare competing clubs. That will reveal the social networks in which you need to become active, how your fans are using social media, and any complaints (pain points) they have with your club, your team, your merchandise. Remember that each social network approaches content from a different perspective.
Exactly what are you trying to do? Awareness? Sales? Loyalty and retention? Pick one to start because you can't start by doing it all. Focus in on what you initially want social media to do in your club or association. Revisit your core focus often, apply new tactics and even aim for a new objective, if necessary.
How will you know if this is actually making a difference? Work out the key measures you will you use to evaluate the success or otherwise of your social media strategy. How will you develop beyond likes and engagement? If your core focus is sales, you'll want to track click rates, social e-commerce sales, and conversion rate. If its loyalty, you'll track engagement, sentiment, and influence. If awareness, you'll track growth, engagement, shareability, likes, and subscribes.
Do you know with whom you will be interacting in social media? What are the demographic and psychographic profiles of your current or future fans? How does that impact what you can and should attempt in social media?
It doesn't matter who you are, or what you sell, your merchandise features and benefits are not enough to move me, not enough to get my blood up. How will your club appeal to the hearts of your fans, rather than the head? Disney isn't about movies, it's about magic. Apple isn't about technology, it's about innovation. What are you on about?
Social media is really not about your club logo or jersey; it's about people. You really do need to act like a person, not an entity. If you can't, find a real human being who can. Amateur sport has more than its fair share of people promoted to their level of incompetence. Focus more on how to BE social, and less on how to DO social media. Your club must compete with your fans' friends and family to get their attention. Work out how you will do that.
When you know why you're active in social and how to measure your strategic success, only then should you turn your attention to the how to of each of the channels Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and all the others. It takes time and resources, so you should have a justifiable reason for participating in each different medium.
Implement the strategy. Schedule, create, and post updates. Engage with the community, Monday through Saturday, at least once a day. As a guide, revisit your strategy to make sure you're on the right track and focusing on the right areas, say every Sunday for up to 1 hour. Check your metrics. See how you're doing on your goals, and identify areas for growth, say every Monday, for about 1 hour.