Welcome back to the 3rd week of the SEC Social Media Fan Experience. Each week leading up to the start of the college football season, I’ll be looking at how the SEC teams are leveraging social media to connect with their fans. Two weeks ago we looked at how Florida and Vandy are using social media to connect with their fans, last week we looked at how Tennessee and South Carolina are doing this, and this week we’ll head to the West Division to take a closer look at how the LSU Tigers and Miss State Bulldogs leverage social media to connect with their fans.
How The LSU Tigers Use Social Media to Connect With Their Football Fans
It’s becoming quickly apparent that most SEC teams are focusing on The Big Three for connecting with fans; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. LSU is no exception as they have a dedicated account on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for their football program. Still a bit surprised that none of the SEC teams are jumping on the Ello bandwagon 🙂
Most SEC teams so far have been using their Instagram accounts to share the majority of their visual and video content, then seeding this content via Facebook and Twitter as well. LSU is doing the same thing, though at a bit of a slower clip than I would have expected. Right now there really needs to be a content push as we’re heading into Fall Camp, and at minimum daily updates on all channels. LSU isn’t doing this, the last Facebook update is 2 days, the last Instagram update is 2 days ago and the last tweet is 2 days ago. A great opportunity to create content is to share videos from Fall Camp. The SEC teams typically start each practice with a ‘media viewing period’ of 20 minutes or so. This would be a perfect time for to send a couple of students from the video production department down with a camera and shoot video for 15-20 mins. Then go back and edit them down and you’ve got a ton of content available. Ironically, this is exactly what pay sites do, they send a crew to the practices, they shoot videos and take pictures, then post this content on their site and charge subscribers typically anywhere from $5-10 a month to access the content.
LSU is doing some of this, here’s an Instagram video from 7 days ago shot during one of the practices:
But there’s a big opportunity to create more content. If I were working with LSU’s social media team, I would want to see at least one video like this from every practice. Also, there’s an opportunity to focus on individual players that fans want to keep up with. For example, running back Leonard Fournette is arguably the team’s best player, and a fan favorite. It makes sense to create content and videos focused on LSU’s best and most popular players, because this is the content that fans want to see. And there’s another potential benefit for LSU: It could help kickstart a Heisman campaign. A steady stream of video content showcasing how great Fournette is doing in practice would only build excitement for his season among fans, and that increased fan buzz could spill over into talk of Fournette winning the Heisman. If enough fans start buzzing about Fournette being a Heisman contender, sites like ESPN could notice, and give him more exposure in their Heisman watches. Just something to consider when these teams are thinking through their content strategies.
In addition to the Big Three, while checking the complete list of LSU’s social media channels, I noticed that most of LSU’s football coaching staff is also on Twitter. And here’s a tip: Most coaches that use Twitter aren’t typically there to tweet, they are on Twitter so they can send and receive DMs from recruits. It’s an NCAA violation for coaches to discuss recruits publicly before they sign their Letter of Intent with a school, so coaches use Twitter to talk to recruits privately. However, that doesn’t mean that sometimes the coaches can’t have some fun, and who has more fun coaching than Les Miles?
For the record, I have been working on LSU football all day so this is not me but an imposter at Tom Brady hearing. pic.twitter.com/xYpWKYa95Q — Les Miles (@LSUCoachMiles) August 12, 2015
How the Miss State Bulldogs Use Social Media to Connect With Their Fans
Once again, we have another SEC team that has dedicated social media accounts for the football program on the Big Three sites; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It looks like Miss State is putting out a healthy dose of content via these channels. One thing I noticed was that as some other SEC schools have done, Miss State is turning to social media to drive ticket sales, as you see here with this Facebook update:
When I looked at MSU’s Instagram account, I noticed something very interesting. They are creating a lot of content there, averaging about 3 updates a day on IG. But many of their videos feature the athletes as the stars of the video, such as this one which uses the players to encourage fans to attend MSU games this Fall:
And this one from a recent MSU practice:
A video posted by MSU Football (@hailstatefb) on
I think it’s a great idea to use the players themselves in the videos, and MSU is the first school in this series to use this approach. I like it, and MSU fans will too.
And just when I thought that was about it for MSU’s social media usage, it turns out that the Bulldogs are also on Periscope! Here’s a screenshot of a Scope from yesterday with the players after practice:
I have to say, so far Miss State and Tennessee are a bit ahead of the other SEC teams when it comes to creating engaging social media content for their fans. I think Tennessee is a bit better at photos and visual content, while I like what MSU is doing with Instagram videos and Periscope a bit better (UT uses Periscope too). I still think there’s opportunities for improvement with YouTube videos as well, so it will be interesting to see if any other schools can improve on what these schools have accomplished so far. There’s still plenty of SEC heavy-hitters left, including Texas A&M, Georgia and the Alabama Crimson Tide, so it will be fun to see what’s in store as we close in on the start of the SEC season on September 3rd.
If you’re new to this series, here’s the schedule for every SEC school:
July 30th: The Florida Gators and The Vanderbilt Commodores
August 6th: The Tennessee Volunteers and The South Carolina Gamecocks
Today: The LSU Tigers and The Miss State Bulldogs
August 20th: The Texas A&M Aggies and The Kentucky Wildcats
August 27th: The Georgia Bulldogs and The Missouri Tigers
September 1st: The Auburn Tigers and The Arkansas Razorbacks
September 3rd: The Alabama Crimson Tide and The Ole Miss Rebels
See y’all next Thursday when we Gig Em Aggies and Go Big Blue Nation!
UPDATE: This comes from Kyle Niblett, the Social Media Coordinator for Miss State:
@MackCollier Appreciate your coverage! Also want to encourage you to join the nearly 20,000 fans following us on Snapchat (HailStateSnap)!
— Kyle Niblett (@KyleNiblett) August 13, 2015