This week, Twitter-owned Periscope celebrated its first anniversary. Last week marked Twitter’s 10th year on our screens. As I’ve written, I use other social media and advise clients to use what meets their needs, but Twitter is my primary social media platform.
Since my last post regarding Twitter’s value to sports, many told me that they use it, but they’re unsure if it’s effective. They asked how sports businesses could best use Twitter to engage with fans and followers. While I share as I did above, that everyone’s need is different, I created a list of 10 ways to create a simple, yet super social media experience with Twitter. Each has to be customized to the organization or individual that’s using it to get the most from it.
I may be preaching to the choir since many of us are already in the space, but we feel that if Twitter is good for the sports industry, others could convert these concepts to their businesses.
Sports Twitter 10
1 • Information flows – From waver wires to breaking news, many people learn up-to-the-minute news from our first morning log-in to the last task of the day, and many of the same people are sources for that news. NOTE: Be choosy about the experts you follow and trust to get your information. As sure as the sun will rise, there will be fake Twitter accounts during sports deadline periods.
2 • Athletes and Coaches are on Twitter – If you read print or consume any electronic media that reference tweets each day, you know that many athletes and coaches use Twitter. Some even do it without controversy! Twitter allows athletes and coaches to share thoughts about everything from games to fan love to pictures from their vacations in just a few minutes.
3 • All the cool reporters are there – There are few places where you can find sports reporters from throughout the country in one big virtual coliseum. It’s also a forum where they can show their personalities and truly connect with readers and listeners in ways they couldn’t before. For public relations types, it’s a super place to develop relationships with media you may not regularly see.
4 • And the survey says … – Twitter has an easy tool with which any reporter can create a survey and get followers’ feedback about a trending topic. When described as an “informal survey,” results provide real content for bloggers that are on tight posting schedules.
5 • Quick – tune into a nail biter! – I can’t count how many times I learned about a tight game in-progress because I read about it on Twitter. Thanks to those glued to their tubes, I’ve caught some great events because of the heads-up. Dan Patrick Show producer Paul Pabst has established a reputation of alerting followers to snug games, and now his followers alert him in the rare instance he isn’t watching.
6 • It’s a club where fans gather – NFL Sundays and college football weekends; NBA and NCAA basketball are just some events that bring fans together on Twitter. It’s a virtual sports bar, which is why teams have jumped into the game to provide incentives and product to loyal followers.
7 • SEE it for yourself – From Periscope to Twitpics, Vine or uploaded graphics, there are plenty of ways to add visuals to tweets. Statistics show that people are more apt to pay attention to and share your post when you include some sort of visual. As a fan at a game, your backdrop is the field or court. As a television announcer, show behind-the-scenes in your broadcast booth or position. Your fans love peeks inside your world.
8 • Coaches, athletes, announcers interact with fans – Twitter is one of the quickest, simplest ways for people in the public eye to interact with fans. Some designate times to answer fan questions while others do it as their schedules allow. It has never been easier for them to build a fan base.
9 • You’re being watched – People on Twitter often forget how many people actually see their posts. This can be good for the person with a great sense of humor and humility, and bad for the guy who continually picks “fights” and lets critics get under his/her skin. My mantra is to “kill ‘em with kindness” and if that doesn’t work, use the BLOCK button. Why does all of this matter? I’ve had business people tell me that they became interested in my clients because of what they read on Twitter streams.
10 • In case of emergency – Crises happen in sports more than we’d like. Twitter is a smart place to communicate a well-thought response if you or your club happens into an unfortunate public relations situation and you want to address it quickly. Incorporate it in your crisis communications plan.
These provide just a snapshot about how Twitter can benefit sports businesses. Could you suggest other examples of how Twitter contributes to your sports experience or ways companies and individuals can use it productively? Let’s hear them. We’re on the same team, after all.
©Gail Sideman; PUBLISIDE 2016