Social Media and sports are seemingly made to go hand in hand. By just looking at the social media accounts of some of the top sports teams you can see the size of their following and get a feel for the digital conversations they are starting. With millions of sports fans taking to social media to discuss their favourite teams and players, a great deal of analytical data is being created. What organizations do with that data is becoming ever more important in their ability to gain an edge on their competition and becoming a driving force in their digital marketing plans.
At the University of Waterloo it sometimes seems impossible to imagine their athletics department not having and using social media. Today’s technology allows the Warrior fans to connect with the athletes, teams and the organization. Real-time updates made to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram are letting fans be part of the action during away games. Social media’s growing popularity among the warrior fans gives them almost instant access into the details and events their favourite teams are participating in. So how are the Warriors using social media analytics to help them increase their followers and how are those analytics changing their digital marketing plans?
Steve Brooks, the department’s Social Media and Brand Manager, says that social media analytics aren’t really changing their digital marketing plans, “they are driving them”.
Because of the analytics on the Warriors’ accounts, Mr. Brooks can see what is working. “On Instagram for example, a post with text doesn’t do as well as a post without text. But on twitter, text doesn’t hurt the engagement.”
However, for the UW Warriors, the most important statistic is where the traffic to their website is coming from.
“By using our analytics, we can tell where people are coming from, where traffic is coming to the website from, so we know which channels are better suited to getting people back to the website.”
So why is it important to have people visit the website? “Because that’s where the information is. Social media is the tool we use to get people back to the website where they can buy merchandise, purchase games tickets and sign up for recreation leagues and classes. “
With google anaylitics, Mr. Brooks can see what words people are searching within the website and which word searches are bringing them to the website from search engines. This important is because it “helps us determine what people are looking for, and what areas of our website need further development to provide the content fans are looking for”.
All in all, social media metrics and analytics are helping the Athletics Dept. provide better information and services to their students.
Lessons for Others
Analytics are important, they are the ears to help you listen to your customers online. Learn to use and read the analytics available to you on all your social media platforms and determine what they are saying. Let those metrics guide you in your social media marketing to help you reach your business goals.
UW Athletics and Recreation
Name of Organization Contact: Steve Brooks
Authored by: Carey Brooks
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