A quick overview of the previous post: Became a social media strategist for a local arena football team, social media analysis, social media calendar. You can find Part 1 HERE.
As soon as the social media calendar was complete, the ownership of the Bloomington Edge gave me full reign of all social media channels. Initially, the focus was going to be on Facebook and Twitter, as there was already an established following. The Instagram channel was fairly ignored from the previous seasons and would need some real attention to get going.
After some difficulties in getting passwords and accounts figured out and updated, it was on to creative! The first social marketing strategy was 12 days of GIF-Mas run on Facebook and Twitter. This entailed the creation of highlight GIF’s from the previous season and posting once a day up until Christmas. There is a precise reasoning behind this content strategy other than creating content for followers.
There are four stages of sports consumption. These stages are comprised of Awareness, Attraction, Attachment, and Allegiance. I would bet the entire population of the city knows about our team, but rarely if ever purchase tickets or know when games are. For the Bloomington Edge, awareness was incredibly high, but attraction and attachment were weak. In the past, it was believed you could market a sports team solely based on the desire for someone to watch the game they love. For instance, our team would only advertise we play football and hope football enthusiasts would visit. Unfortunately for marketers, it’s not that same simple.
Statistically, the team generates 25% of their tickets through season tickets (allegiance/attachment) and the rest through general ticket and group sales. Why don’t more people come to games? They haven’t reached the Attraction stage of sports consumption, and there are several psychological and physiological reasons for that. Instead of just advertising that we are a football team, we have to connect with different segments of consumers based on what their motives are. Some common motives we target are entertainment and aesthetics. As an arena football team, we can provide that benefit and are able to showcase it through video/gif content online.
It is crucial regarding success and for your own growth to realize what your consumers and clients are looking for and why or how you’ll be creating specific content. It’s incredibly easy to say “We play football, come support your local team” but it’s harder to entice consumers without shoving a sales pitch down their throat. My goal for all social media channels with the Edge was to remove the sales pitch from posts and generate content that showcases why arena football is different, why the team is different and why it BENEFITS them to come to our games.
The 12 days of GIF-mas was a huge success! Although the reach on Facebook wasn’t consistent with the posting, the engagement was. Several shares, likes, and comments were flying in. GIF’s aren’t a typical media on channels like Facebook, so the engagement consistently had to do with the fact that current/past players/dancers had their “own GIF’s now!”. GIF’s are incredibly common on Twitter, so the reach was consistent and generally more accepted. Either way, engagement was increasing, and it was a great sign for me to create more and different content.
— Bloomington Edge (@BloomingtonEdge) December 16, 2016