July 23, 2024

How Sports Organizations Build Their Brand on Social Media

By Jack Berenson

Social media has turned into a never-ending competitive game. With countless numbers of influencers, brands and organizations jockeying for engagement and followers, it may be difficult to stand out from the rest. For sports organizations and teams, in particular, there are a multitude of ways to build a social media brand that allows them to be remembered for not only what happens on the field of play, but off it. Here are the most notable ways sports organizations build their brand on social media:

Be a good team. It may seem like a crazy concept, but some of the best sports teams have hundreds of millions of followers. For example, Spanish soccer powerhouse Real Madrid has over 100M followers on Instagram with nearly 50M more on Twitter. They post frequently, but nothing more than game recaps, photos and highlights. Teams that are brands on the field, are usually brands on the Internet as well. Sometimes, the key to being the most followed sports team on social media is to just win a lot of games.

Create a unique hashtag. During the 2022 NFL season, each team created a unique, personal hashtag containing their team logo as a way to build a community for fanbases. Each MLB team has done the same for the current season, as well. Similarly, Nike has built campaigns around hashtags and encouraged followers to share their stories using hashtags they created–such as #nikewomen or #justdoit. With these teams and brands using hashtags on their posts, it allows fans to see a variety of posts just by clicking on it. However, creating the right hashtag is crucial. It must be unique and make sense for that specific team/brand.

Keep fans updated. It sounds simple, but it’s not. Sports teams must keep their fans updated daily throughout each social platform in a variety of ways. Whether it be in-game updates, new players, new uniforms, promotional events, etc. Fans and followers need to feel connected to the team to want to engage with them and stick around. Teams/organizations that post infrequently or are too generic in their content will lose appeal and become uninteresting. Creating humorous, unique videos and memes can relate to the casual fan and keep them glued to the content.

There is no denying that social media has helped grow sports in a tremendous way. Sponsorships, ticket sales and TV revenue have boosted in several sports leagues because of the way social media can reach across the world. Athletes have also benefitted from the rise of social media. Even a non-sports fan will tune into a game and recognize a player or two because of a commercial they were in or due to their 50 million Instagram followers. Building a personal brand is the key to success on social media, while also having a community that shares the same passion as you do. Sports organizations must have that in mind when growing their social brand.

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3 thoughts on “How Sports Organizations Build Their Brand on Social Media

  1. I think being a good team definitely helps attract followers on social media. Similar to the hashtags you talked about, I think having a catchy playoff slogan helps raise awareness. All NBA teams that made the playoffs have a playoff slogan and when teams’ social accounts reference those on their posts, it helps garner more followers for the months they are in the playoffs.

  2. Hi Jack,
    You make a lot of great points! I think another thing that also reels fans in is behind the scenes content. I follow many NFL teams closely and they tend to post a lot of more personalized content, like the players walking into practice or mic’d up practice/game videos. I personally really enjoy this content and think fans love getting to know their favorite players on a more personal level.

  3. I think a consistent theme that I’ve seen about big organizations promoting across social media platforms is that consistency is key. I agree that a good way to achieve that consistency is through creating hashtags. It’s hard to find a certain highlight or post when the team is tweeting: #LALakers #LosAngelesLakers #LakeShow #LeKing #PurpleandGold.

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