Posted on Jul 30, 2012 by Matt Garner
GUEST POST from James Royer – Director of Digital Media for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Be sure to connect with James on Twitter. When it comes to social media, we are fortunate that our ownership and senior leadership team are very interested in what is happening with our social media digital platforms. Here are five ways that social media reporting helps our ownership and executive teams, and how it can help yours.
1. Active Monitoring
The instant feedback nature of social media is crucial in our efforts to ensure that we are providing world-class services to our fans. The best example of this was last summer when we rolled out our Season Ticket Member (STM) jerseys containing a RFID chip. This enables our STM’s to get exclusive discounts on concessions and merchandise. We actively monitored our social media channels to find out how it was working, and if we needed to make any adjustments to ensure things went smoothly inside the arena.
We actively monitor the effectiveness of a television spot, as well as a fan reaction to a significant news announcement, trade or player acquisition. This drives our understanding of fan sentiment. This feedback is critical to help us shape messaging for future messages. Sometimes, the yield will be a change in how we package ticket sales messaging.
One of our brand pillars is investing in the Tampa Bay community. Last year, our front office staff contributed over 4,500 hours to local charities through our Contributing Hours Across our Region through Generous Employees (C.H.A.R.G.E.) program, often during working hours. Likewise, our leadership—like many executives—volunteer on community boards, work with civic and municipal leaders, speak at various events and spend time with business partners. Understanding the fan sentiment that social media yields is critical for preparation. This insight helps them to anticipate questions they are likely to receive while serving in these capacities.
3. Engagement and Reach
We look very closely at what messages, posts and comments are creating the most engagement, what is being shared and the overall resonance of our digital content. At the core of our social strategy is the need to create compelling content. We measure this through engagement and reach, which changes through each social media platform. We have found Facebook features more casual fans, and we tailor our posts to them. Meanwhile, fans who follow us on Twitter tend to want more of the hard-hitting news, so we adjust accordingly. We can now see engagement and reach on emerging platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and WhoSay. Reach also tells us about the relationships that are being built, and if fans are becoming our ambassadors to carry the message further.4. Brand Growth
Two and a half years ago, the Lightning franchise underwent an organizational change ushered in by a new ownership group, which focused on rebuilding the brand. While we have seen significant progress, this remains an ongoing task. One of the ways we understand how we are doing in social media is through benchmarking, in which we examine our channel growth compared to other NHL teams. If we do see a jump from another team, we are able to immediately examine what they did to accomplish that growth and determine if we can adopt elements from that strategy that fit within our brand.
5. Frequency of the Reports
One key item that helps us track our progress is our weekly social media report, which is considered essential to our ownership and senior leadership. This tool is used to examine the contrast between detail and delivery. We have found once per week is the sweet spot for our more detailed reports, but it is going to change for every organization. On days where we launch a major initiative or announce major news, we do provide an end of the day snapshot around these events for instant feedback, tonality and share of voice.