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The most powerful content you can create on social media

June 18, 2015 Kevin DeShazo Social Media Strategy Tags: , , , 0 Comments

When it comes to our digital and social media efforts, we’re all in search of compelling content. The perfect image, the emotional video, the perfectly-timed GIF or Vine. “What will our fans respond to?” “What will resonate with them?” “What story can we tell?”

This is a commendable and necessary pursuit. We’re a visual society. Images and videos win. They capture our attention, stir up emotion and can cause us to take action. Keep pursuing that.

Where most teams/brands/organizations go wrong on social media is in the area of listening and responding. A recent study by Socialbakers showed that 80% of US companies don’t respond to questions on Twitter. 60% don’t respond on Facebook. [insert facepalm GIF]

Every day, people are talking about your team. Sometimes they tag the official accounts, sometimes they don’t. To ignore this is to miss out on an opportunity to create meaningful connection. While fans love that cool graphic, they love even more to be acknowledged. That video may have them doing a standing ovation at their desk, but a simple reply will let them know you care about them.

A great example of this in the college sports space? Chris Del Conte, the director of athletics at TCU. Check the scenario below.

A fan had asked if there were any tickets TCU’s game at the College World Series. He’s not the ticket office, he’s not the main TCU athletics or team account, he has many things to do during his day, but here he was engaging with a fan (many of them, in fact). He told the fan that he would see what he could do then a bit later replied with this tweet, letting them know that in fact there were 3 seats and he had gone ahead and put this fan’s name in at will call.

This, friends, is more powerful than any graphic or video your digital team will ever create. It’s not sexy and it’s not something that gurus or experts want to talk a lot about, but the impact this has is immense. This is what social media is all about. To listen to, acknowledge and engage with those who care the most about your team/brand. This builds loyalty and gives fans a positive and personal connection. Imagine if you spent an hour each day simply replying to fans (and not just fans who directly asked a question/mentioned you, but doing a Twitter search for your team/school name and responded to those who were talking about you)? This is what Seth Godin is talking about when he tells us to “surprise and delight” our fans.

Graphics matter. Video matters. Storytelling matters. Invest in and get better at all of it. But nothing, absolutely nothing, beats a personal connection.

Fieldhouse Media is an award-winning firm dedicated to helping athletics departments get the most out of their social media efforts, from educating student-athletes and staff to providing an overall strategy. To find out more about us or to join the more than 70 schools utilizing our services for their athletics department, contact us today.

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