As sports fans, we all love when our team’s social media accounts prioritise up-to-date content on the club. Injury updates, lineup changes, game scores, you name it; fans want to know it, and it’s up to the communications team of each club to bring it.
However, the instant fan interaction can come to a screeching halt once the offseason gets under way. With no games or tournaments going on, team’s social media activity tends to slow down, a big problem for those looking for increased fan engagement.
But fear not, for there are ways to maintain interaction with consumers despite a lack of games. Here are some tips for club sports hoping to keep fan engagement up during the long, gruelling offseason.
Listen to Your Fans
More often than not, great content ideas can be found in conversations with your audience. Knowing what your followers are talking about is a clever way to come up with relevant ways to keep them engaged.
For example, say Arsenal fans were talking about the British Open on Twitter during the two-month Premier League offseason. Arsenal’s social media team, therefore, would be wise to join in on the conversation, perhaps by posting a video of an Arsenal player on the golf course, or a picture of a PGA star at Emirates Stadium. This way, the social media team knows that what they are posting is something the fans care about and should be well-received.
Also, be sure to get creative with your fan’s discussions. If plenty of Arsenal fans and followers are mentioning the British Open, a contest for tickets to the tournament would be a great way to engage fans. The fans will appreciate their team’s social accounts joining the conversation, and will likely strengthen the connection between the two.
The offseason may be slow, but depending on each sport, there is still plenty going on. The English leagues will have transfer updates, and eventually pre-season will begin. American sports leagues will have drafts, free agency, and training camps in preparation for the upcoming season.
The good news with trying to bring content during the offseason is that the time period is predictable. You know what is going to happen every year because you have seen it before. Therefore, organising content and understanding local trends on social media will give clubs a leg up in keeping their fans interested. To do this, just look back on content from previous offseasons, find out what worked and what did not, and go from there.
It’s All About the Athletes
Obviously, athletes are a central focus point for sports fans. That is why giving fans athlete-based content is always a safe way to go. For example, the New York Mets posted a Facebook Live video of three players being interviewed during the most recent offseason. Fans were supposed to provide the questions, but technical difficulties unfortunately shut that down. No matter; the video was still fun and offered a look at how the athletes live their everyday lives, something fans tend to crave.
Watch LIVE as we interview your #Mets at Citi Field!
Posted by New York Mets on Tuesday, 13 December 2016
Even when the athletes are not around team grounds, team accounts can still piggyback on what their players are up to on Twitter or Facebook.
Take this tweet from NFL superstar Aaron Rodgers, a quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. He attended a NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament matchup between the University of Florida and the University of Wisconsin. Rodgers tweeted his support for Wisconsin before the game started.
— Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12) March 25, 2017
If the Packers were looking to get some tweets out to stay productive during the seven-month-long NFL offseason, they could tweet at Rodgers wishing him good luck, or tweet out their support for the Badgers. Simple posts like this allow the social media team to connect with fans via their players. Whatever the athletes share, the team’s digital accounts can share too.