Slam Dunk Your Facebook Strategy by Learning From NBA Teams

Opinion: Working in sports doesn’t mean that you have to be boring on social media

Images were the most popular post type on 21 NBA team pages Renato Arap/iStock

Facebook is just like Marmite: Either you love it or you hate it. But one thing is clear: If you want to be successful, no matter what domain you’re active in, you’ve got to at least be present on the platform. And that’s the reason why Facebook is on everyone’s minds and in conversations and articles. Most people see it as being a fun way to keep in touch with friends and members of the family, some people see it as a key factor in their business and invest money in it and some people find it a time-wasting network and encourage others to quit it.

If you’re in the second category, you know that when it comes to Facebook, data is king. Data is what helps us prove the efficiency of our campaigns and optimize our services and products, and it made Facebook the leader of the digital world.

We at Bannersnack always believed that the best projects are the ones that involve at least one aspect we love. In this case, it was basketball. For this article, we decided to analyze the best Facebook posts of all National Basketball Association teams for 2017 and bring out the data that might be useful to you for your future campaigns on social media. So, sit back, and pay attention.

In order to easily find all of the data we needed, we used BuzzSumo’s Facebook Analyzer feature. It’s pretty easy: Enter the page you want in the search box and the results begin to run.

Top three posts

The three posts with the most interactions are from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets.

The Cavaliers’ most popular post is a video recorded before the NBA Finals against the Warriors in which shooting guard J.R Smith and superstar forward LeBron James dance to put themselves in the mood for the game.

The Warriors’ best post, as expected, is one from after the team won the championship. The post features four players holding the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

The Rockets posted a photo of James Harden after beating the New York Knicks Jan. 1. After the game, Harden became the first player in NBA history to finish with a 50-15-15 stat line (50 points, 15 rebounds, 15 assists). Through this post, The Rockets reminded fans to vote for Harden as Most Valuable Player for the season.

What can we learn from this? Show your fans and followers another side of your team. Just like other businesses show behind-the-scenes content from their production and meetings or after hours, you can do that, too, by showing people how your team has fun. Let people get a glimpse of your team’s personality off-court.

If there is something to be celebrated, let your fans know and be happy with you.

Support your players’ individual successes. This is a great proof of your team’s solidarity.

After analyzing all 30 NBA teams’ Facebook pages, we realized that there was a certain kind of post that received more attention than any other. Facebook Analyzer gives you exactly the information you need when looking for a summary of a page. For example, you can see the most popular post type on the page, along with the most popular post length, day and time.

Out of the 30 NBA team pages, images were the most popular post type of 21, followed by questions (five), with only two pages having video as their most popular post types and just one each for giveaway and coupon.

When it comes to length, we found that most teams were under 50 characters, as many of them use Facebook to share scores. Also, they’re using hashtags like #NBAVote or #DubNation (the Warriors’ much-loved hashtag) to help followers rapidly identify what the post is about.

Even though most brands and businesses are posting content during weekdays, believing people usually don’t spend that much time on social media during weekends, the majority of teams we analyzed turned out to post more often on Saturdays.

The best time to post on Facebook for the NBA teams turned out to be early in the morning, at 6 a.m. Is this because the first thing most people do after waking up is check their phones? Maybe.

What can we learn from this? There is no perfect equation for getting the most interactions on social media. But if you’re looking for a strategy to begin with, maybe you should try what the big guys in basketball do. This is a great place to start from, especially if your audience is similar to theirs. After getting the first results of your strategy, optimize it based on what you found out. Testing is the only way you can shape up a strategy that works and that brings you results.

NBA’s game on Facebook

More than 34 million people like the league’s Facebook page, and almost as many follow it. Its most popular post is a throwback video to Michael Jordan’s best plays, which got 411,000 likes, 488,000 shares and 23,000 comments. The total number of views for the video is almost 40 million.

Since many of the NBA’s fans grew up with the legendary Jordan, this was a great reminder of what a good player he was, and the video brings back many memories. This was a great post because it made people emotional and they shared it with their friends due to that.

What can we learn from this? When people get emotional about something, they tend to like, comment and share faster than if they’re not moved at all. That’s why John Lewis’ Christmas ads go viral so fast after they go live—because they wake some feelings in people’s hearts.

This is a takeaway tip you should always take advantage of when there really is something to be shared. But don’t go overboard with it. You don’t want people to feel like you’re trying to manipulate them into taking some action.

Creating great social media visuals isn’t difficult, but you need some tools to help you get exactly what you need. If you’re a design aficionado, good for you. Then, you know that your desired Facebook visual design is some clicks away in programs like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator.

Below, you’ll find some of the best posts we selected from the 30 NBA teams for your inspiration. Check them out:

In conclusion, working in sports doesn’t mean that you have to be boring on social media—on the contrary. There are so many creative ways to play with the posts.

Robert Katai is a visual marketer and brand evangelist for online banner creator Bannersnack.



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