Every week through the start of the college football season on September 5th, I will be profiling how SEC teams are leveraging social media channels to connect with its fans. Last week I looked at how the Florida Gators and Vanderbilt Commodores are using social media, this week I’ll show you how the Tennessee Volunteers and South Carolina Gamecocks are leveraging social media to connect with its fans.
How The Tennessee Volunteers Use Social Media to Connect With Their Football Fans
When looking at each SEC team, I start by seeing how many social media accounts each team has that are dedicated to just the football program, versus ones that are for the athletic program as a whole. Tennessee has dedicated football accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It looks like these three platforms are going to be very popular with SEC schools as all three are great channels to share visual and video content that will be popular with fans. Plus, the content itself can remind SEC fans of the calendar:
As I’m going through this series, I’ve decided to not look ahead on what the other SEC schools are doing. This is purposeful because as I’m doing the series I am going to comment on what I’d like to see the remaining schools do with their social media efforts. For example, last week I mentioned that moving forward, I was going to be paying close attention to whether or not the remaining SEC programs gave fans a backstage pass via its social media channels. One way to do this would be to give fans access to Fall camps, which are starting right about now. I was delighted to see that Tennessee is doing exactly this, by leveraging Periscope to give fans special access to the Vols’ Fall camp. LOVE this! Looks like the Vols are going to use Periscope to give fans coverage of Fall camp as well as the head coach’s press conferences after each practice. The bar has been raised, if the other SEC schools aren’t doing something very similar to this, they should be. Tennessee is doing a great job of creating photos from Fall camp, and then using those photos on multiple channels. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, even using the photos via Exposure, which is a service I hadn’t heard of before this. So kudos to the Vols for understanding how important visual content is to its fans!
Not a lot of video content (where are the hype videos?), but there’s such a feast of photos being created by the Tennessee social media accounts that it’s hard to quibble. The Vols are doing a great job of leveraging Fall camp as a content stream for its social media platforms. As we continue through the series it will be interesting to see if the other SEC teams can match or exceed what Tennessee is doing.
How the South Carolina Gamecocks Use Social Media to Connect With Their Football Fans
Now let’s venture to the Palmetto state and look at how the SC Gamecocks are using social media. South Carolina has a dedicated Twitter and Instagram account for the football program according to its main site here.
South Carolina is creating a lot of photos from Fall camp just like Tennessee did, but I noticed they are also creating video content from Fall camp such as this video posted on Instagram:
Also, I noticed something interesting with this tweet, see if you notice what I did:
— Gamecock Football (@GamecockFB) August 5, 2015
They are using the same video that was posted on Instagram, so they are re-sharing content among multiple channels. But what I love about this tweet is notice they add a call to action that asks fans to go back to GamecocksOnline.com for the full recap. I *love* that because they are leveraging social media to move traffic off Twitter back to their website. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it is. Once SC moves fans back to its website, then they can sell them merchandise and tickets. Anytime you move traffic from sites you don’t own to sites you do, that’s a win and you can’t do that without that simple call to action.
South Carolina also has uploaded a ton of videos devoted to coverage of Fall camp from its main YouTube channel for its athletics programs. These are great and easily shared via other channels like Twitter and Facebook. You can see all the social media accounts related to the South Carolina athletic programs here. Also notice that 3 of the football coaches have their own Twitter accounts listed, but unfortunately that doesn’t include the Ol’ Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier.
Even though South Carolina only has a Twitter and Instagram account dedicated to its football program, they are creating both visual and video content from Fall camp at a pretty healthy clip. Again, this is ‘behind the scenes’ or backstage content that fans love. I also love that they are sprinkling in calls to action to move fans back to GamecockOnline.com. Very smart.
So that’s this week’s look at how the Tennessee Volunteers and South Carolina are leveraging social media to connect with its fans. Last week we looked at Florida and Vandy, so that means we’ve covered 4 teams from the SEC’s Eastern division so far. Next week we’ll move out West, and look at how the LSU Bengal Tigers and the Mississippi State Bulldogs are using social media to connect with their fans. See you next Thursday!