One of the NFL’s key constituencies is people like me: young, educated, eager for entertainment, and constantly on their mobile devices ready to share content. 5 out of every 6 millennials (ages 18-34) in the US connect with companies on social media networks. Recognizing this public as “influencers”, the network is able to increase fan awareness of certain events enabling individuals to act as brand ambassadors and drive content publicity indirectly by using Twitter as its vehicle.
The NFL Twitter account regularly updates its feed with live stats, rankings, interesting facts, promotional videos, competitions, and opinion polls. A way Twitter is able to enhance user-participation is with its Vote Live Twitter Poll feature. If you want your followers’ opinions on anything- who will win tonight’s game, which team is more likely to be in the Super Bowl, there’s no better place to get answers than directly from the people. For the NFL, it is a way to engage with Twitter’s massive audience and understand what your viewers and fans think.
For those participating, it is very easy for your voice to be heard and for fans to interact with others, meanwhile the organization can watch conversations unfold right before their eyes (screens). This is not only limited to the NFL Twitter account which currently boasts 16.2 million followers, but also allows each individual team to participate as well, narrowing down their audiences. The polls have proved to do well for brand engagement and follower interaction.
Another important concept the NFL employs to engage with its constituents through Twitter is the use of promotional videos before games, highlight clips post-game, and videos showing an interaction between the players and coaches with fans. The use of the retweet and like button is important with this feature because fans or followers who like to content will share it with their networks. Users who are attached to their online applications (a majority of this key constituency) are motivated to share because of emotional and social acceptance.
In perspective, an individual’s social network is endless because one network connects to another, and so on. With the use of Twitter, NFL is allowing its fans to do marketing for them. Creating and sharing content to their followers can even reach publics that they couldn’t do using their own strategies.
This promotional video aired by the NFL shows up on the NFL’s Twitter feed and once the post is made the global sharing begins.
Lastly, it’s important for the NFL network to not only keep fans interested in content but also keep them coming back time and time again for more. The network’s encouragement of comedy with Twitter videos serves to increase conversation and anticipation between their followers. Fans look forward to a segment at the end of each season where a YouTube channel called “Bad Lip Reading” releases the highlights of NFL athletes in interviews and game footage where the creator overlays audio of the players reciting fallacious but hilarious words. Here is this season’s videos:
Although professionalism is gravely important when communicating with an organization’s stakeholders… they are real people too, not just statistics. Everyone enjoys a good laugh and the NFL has successfully used Twitter to create a balance between comedic relief, promotion, and civility.