How To Use Twitter For Sports Promotion

Make no mistake, Twitter recognizes that sports social media is an integral part of its appeal, and it has published a guide for college and professional sports promoters on best practices for keeping fans engaged.

The guide is aimed at employees of teams with large numbers of sports fans, but it is a useful resource for anyone interested in using Twitter to build interest in a team. Here’s the case Twitter makes for using its service to get the word out:

Twitter and sports fit together because sports are live, immediate, suspenseful, and fun—and these are qualities Twitter mirrors and enhances in real-time. People use Twitter to follow their favorite players, sports writers, and teams, but most importantly: they use Twitter to talk about games as they happen…With every touchdown, goal, or home run, you can literally see the spikes in Twitter activity.

Statistics Show Sport Fans Interaction

To build its case, Twitter highlighted the 2010 Major League Baseball World Champion San Francisco Giants. It showed that on Nov. 1, 2010, Tweets per minute spiked twice during the game. Once when Giants’ Edgar Renteria hit his three-run homer to give the Giants the lead, and again after the Giants clinched the championship. Here’s Twitter’s graph:

 

 Best Practices in Sports Social Media Promotion

 Twitter outlined several techniques that the Giants and other teams use to engage audiences, and several of them are easily adaptable to any sports social media promoter. Here are four things anyone can do to build interest in a sports team:

  1. Live-Tweet Events: use color commentary and live play-by-play
  2. Share pictures: show the team in transit to a game, pictures of the players, practices – anything to keep people in engaged. It is one thing to build excitement with words, another to build excitement with images: Twitter claims photos are the best way to promote an event.
  3. Break news: Even a little league team has news. Keep it appropriate, and don’t get your team disqualified like a mother did on Facebook, according to The Nashville Tennessean. Once you do that, it is OK to send out newsworthy information that will help fans engage with the game.
  4. Interact: talk directly to followers, and ask questions

Additional Steps for Pros

Of course, not everything in Twitter’s guide applies to every sports social media practitioner. Twitter also provided some tips that only apply to professionals responsible for getting butts in the seats. Here are three tactics Twitter identified:

  1. Connect to the larger conversation: It is just fine to mention other teams, athletes and high-profile sports figures, Twitter says. It gives your channel authenticity, and provides opportunities to promote
  2. Run a contest: As evidenced by the Fanatic Fans mobile application currently rolling out at Arizona State University, University of Denver and University of Grand Canyon home games, scoreboard contests tied to branded social media applications are the wave of the future. But that’s not to say you can’t run your own contest on Twitter. There are guidelines for running a contest on Twitter, but it is one heck of a way to engage your audience.   
  3. Make Twitter Actionable: Twitter says sports promoters can drive fans to buy seats, especially if a television blackout will occur if they aren’t gobbled up. Tweet on the day of the game and provide a link for buying seats, Twitter says. 

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