When it comes to promoting and marketing, social media networks like Facebook and Twitter have obviously become a main tool. Recently, profesional and collegiate athletics have embraced this tactic in showing off its team or teams.
Recently, the athletic department at Youngstown State University has incorportated social media into its promoting efforts. Jamie Hall — an Assistant Sports Information Director whose duties include handling the networks — described how the Penguins use these to their advantage.
-How does YSU sports utilize social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc.?
Hall: We use social media to promote our student-athletes, coaches, and events.
-What are the biggest advantages of social media for YSU sports in terms of marketing the athletic teams?
Hall: The biggest advantage of using social media to market our teams is that we can control our message. Also, those fans that “follow” or “like” us on social media outlets receive updates and news immediately.
-How do you believe YSU sports’ use of social media compares to other universities efforts?
Hall: We are a small staff and charged with managing all of the social media sites of our sports. Each of us cover different sports that we manage, but we collaborate and on the main @YSUsports and facebook pages. In those terms, I think our social media efforts compare favorably. Some other schools have their own social media manager, and that person’s sole function is to manage social media. For us, it has been added to our other duties, like public relations, statistics, website updates and content
-What have you guys found to be the most effective tactics to connect with fans through social media?
Hall: A good example of us connecting with our fans was our #PackTheCastle twitter campaign for our football game against Illinois State on Oct. 12. We also have been trying to use twitter and facebook for giveaways. For example, we held a contest to giveaway two chairback football seats. Fans had to follow @YSUsports and send in their most school-spirited photo. With contests like that, we try to cross-promote between twitter and facebook.
In essence, it all depends on the creativity a staff has and the lengths they want to go to in determining how effective and valuable social media can really be for their product. Quite simply, the networks have become a great way to connect fans with the team.
As Hall described, YSU believes social media can have a significant roll in promoting the Penguins, so look for their staff to continue to embrace these opportunities.