Just before the World Series got underway, we shared an infographic about how to connect with the teams. It was clear from the beginning that the Red Sox had a winning strategy for social media engagement and, in the end, they took the 2013 World Series Championship title as well.
The Dachis Group, a provider of real-time social engagement analytics solutions, tracked four official team accounts to analyze social media engagement during the series. According to the data, the World Series generated nearly 900 million social media impressions, with Twitter as the main hub of conversation.
Brian Kotlyar, Dachis VP of Marketing says Twitter is just a more natural way for viewers to engage in “second screen viewing” and browse social media while watching the game.
“The nature of Twitter is far more conversational,” he says. “It’s much easier to generate a lot of back and forth on Twitter without much effort, via mobile, in 140 characters. So you get a lot of ongoing dialogue.”
While the data also indicates that a team win resulted in a spike in social media engagement for either team, the engagement did shift depending on which team was winning. Still, the Red Sox dominated the social media conversation with more than 40 percent of the engagement during the series.
Kotlyar attributes this to the overall savvy of the Red Sox social media team in general. Both teams have a pretty big following but the Red Sox had nearly twice as many social media followers as the Cardinals before the series began.
One of the lessons here for marketers who hope to engage an audience during a big event is that you have to build your audience before the event.
“You’re not going to be able to show up the first day of the World Series and have a massive audiences to work with,” he says. “While St. Louis had millions of subscribers, the Red Sox had an inherent advantage from the beginning.”
The other big lesson is that brands need to adapt to the conversational environment that’s becoming more important for major sports events — and really any event that hopes to capture the attention of culture. Hashtags and a good content strategy are critical, Kotlyar says.
“You need to find a way to join the conversation in real-time that is adaptive to the events on the field or on the screen,” he says. “In doing so, you’ll really be able to build that engagement with the audience.”