Tuesday, January 29th, 2019 | 6 min read
If you’ve ever tuned in to the radio broadcast of a sporting event, you know how fast-paced the coverage is (unless, of course, you’re listening to a golf tournament). There’s the constant on-field action, steady stream of analysis, and the endless weaving in and out of commercial breaks.
Now imagine taking that excitement and energy and multiplying it by the millions of voices on social media. Community managers in the sports world must listen to, monitor, and respond to online conversations in real time. They must keep messaging on point and deliver updates as they happen. That’s a lot of pressure!
As the Head of Social Media Marketing at Verizon Media, Liz Lapp oversees hundreds of social media channels across different platforms during the world’s most-watched sporting events. Having a reliable social media management partner allows her team to keep track of each discussion.
“My team uses one of the most sophisticated applications of Sprinklr, because our goals center around analytics, so it’s about more than just publishing,” says Liz.
With Sprinklr, Liz and her team can see every piece of content that’s going out across all social channels. This is especially helpful for campaigns that go live outside of normal business hours – which happens quite often in sports.
For example, for the Yahoo Sports National Draft Day, Liz oversaw a team spread across the United States. Instead of making everyone report to their offices, Liz encouraged everyone to work where they felt most comfortable, whether that was at home or at a local cafe.
“Everybody was working remotely – in their pajamas, at Starbucks, however they wanted to do it,” Liz explains. “And I’m at the heart of it on Sprinklr seeing what conversations are happening and making sure we’re engaging in real time. It was the first time we were doing this in Sprinklr instead of natively on the platform.”
With Sprinklr, Liz’s team saw who was talking about Draft Day online and tagged those people for future interactions, which was a game-changer for Yahoo Sports and Yahoo Fantasy Sports.
“We identified them from an organic landscape. If you did this all natively, just imagine trying to find all those people who were talking about football this week,” Liz says. “Natively, that would be like a needle in a haystack. But with Sprinklr, I can go back to those people and say ‘Hey, are you watching the game? It’s on.’”
Reporting on any major sporting event requires careful coordination to make sure all the action gets adequate coverage. When broadcasting a centuries-old international event with dozens of competitions going on all at once, providing real-time coverage becomes a challenge of Olympic proportions.
“We were able to follow real-time conversations during the Olympics that I was then able to share with our editors,” Liz explains. “We could also share information with our journalists on the ground and see what our competitors were covering. That’s the power of seeing, in real-time, what’s getting attention and how we can use that to support our editors.”
Seeing what people are talking about online is about so much more than keeping up with conversations. Flagging posts for future reference means that community managers can spark new discussions with the people most likely to respond to them.
A reliable stream of social data also helps brands plan out the best times to start campaigns. Yahoo Sports tracked past mentions for March Madness and saw excitement building soon after the Super Bowl. Liz’s team used this information to its advantage starting in 2017, kicking off promotions earlier than in previous years. With that new strategy in place, they saw the highest registration ever for their Tourney Pick ‘Em game.
“This past season we replicated starting early but did more community management,” Liz explained. “We had Draymond Green join our Tourney Pick ‘Em, and we monitored who was talking about him so we could jump in and say, ‘Hey, you like Draymond, join his draft.’ The turnout was one of the highest we’ve had.”
A cohesive social media strategy can help any brand improve its reach and overall presence online. For Verizon Media’s social media marketing team, having a single platform where users are able to see and manage engagement allows for speedy responses and well-thought-out future campaigns. In the sports world, where things are constantly changing, having this oversight is a major competitive advantage.
For non-sports brands, active and informed social engagement means more personalized, 1:1 interactions with fans. This is a critical part of modern community building, and any company can benefit from this model. In fact, 62% of Twitter users want brands to create more personal experiences. All it takes is finding a partner that bridges the gap between what fans are saying, and what your team is seeing.
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