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Turn Fair-Weather Fans Into Diehard Followers

Turn your fans into diehard followers with these tips.

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Sports fans can be intense about their team. That’s what makes them awesome. But what happens when yourdie-hard fans become less than fanatic? It might be time to rethink your game plan. Increase fan loyalty with a newdigital engagement strategy and these 6 tips.

1. Engage on Game Day

Nearly twice as many fans use Facebook to follow sports than on other social platforms. But on game day, Twitter is used about 1.5 times as often as Facebook. Engage fans on game day by linking to a contact form on your Twitter account. Request a name and email—that’s it—to capture new leads during the game.

Nearly twice as many fans use Facebook to follow sports than on other social platforms. But on game day, Twitter is used about 1.5 times as often as Facebook. Engage fans on game day by linking to a contact form on your Twitter account. Request a name and email—that’s it—to capture new leads during the game.

2. Run a Social Media Contest

Your fans each have hundreds of friends and followers on social media. Create a contest that requires shares, retweets, and tags. That way, you can increase brand visibility with their friends. Be sure to use high-quality, branded images that stand out from the news feed.

Target your audience with a multi-platform contest. In one major ESPN contest, 55% of all the page visits came from social media. Of those, 30 percent were from Facebook and 25% were from Twitter. It’s important to cover your bases (pun intended) and reach all of the followers that you can.


When should you engage with fans?

According to recent research, contests receive the most entries from 1-3pm and around 8pm. Surveys, on the other hand, peak between 10am and 1pm.


3. Use the Second Screen

The sports industry gets great return on its mobile efforts. Since 84 percent of mobile users use their devices while watching TV, you have an enormous opportunity to interact with fans before, during, and after games. Be sure that your website is entirely mobileoptimizedso your fans won’t encounter any difficulties.

If you want to engage fans on mobile devices, responsive online forms are a must. Sports fans should be able to tap in their information, click the submit button, and get back to the game. If you want to be a player with a second-screen game, your entire website must be usable on any device.

4. Pay Attention to Time of Day

The sports industry can gain a competitive advantage by understanding fan behavior. According to recent research, contests receive the most entries from 1-3pm and around 8pm. Surveys, on the other hand, peak between 10am and 1pm. Increase fan activity simply by adjusting the timing of your marketing campaign.

Research also shows that there is not a one-size-fits-all time to post on social media. For example, Facebook sharing spikes on Thursdays and Fridays, while LinkedIn is most popular on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Twitter is best midweek through the weekend. Test which time of day results in highest levels of fan engagement.


Don’t be afraid of follow-up.

93% of people are happy for an event sponsor to send coupons, e-mail, and advertising after an event.


5. Keep Branding Consistent

Fans want a seamless experience of your brand. If they worry that a form is not secure or it does not fit the rest of your site, they could become confused and click away. Branding is essential for a high conversion rate, so use official logos and colors on all web collateral to maintain continuity.

In a recent survey of online form users, 62% of respondents said that embedding their forms onto their websites led to more submissions. Encourage fan loyalty by providing a consistent experience across all forms, social media platforms, and marketing.

6. Have a Fan Follow-Up

Whether you host fan days or other events, remember to implement a post-event email marketing campaign. Engagement with your brand at a game is a good indicator that your attendees are interested in your brand. In fact, 93% of people surveyed said they are happy for an event sponsor to send coupons, e-mail, and advertising after an event.

A great way to increase digital engagement is by taking advantage of the confirmation email. 55% of sports-industry forms leverage this kind of email. Personally invite a fan to be more involved with your team. Include links to connect on social media or join a relevant email list.

Fair-Weather to Die-Hard Fans

With a few tweaks to your online engagement strategy, you can transform your fan base. Boost loyalty and improve fans’ enjoyment of your team—win or lose.

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Turn your fans into diehard followers with these tips.
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