Google+ has begun to roll out it's pages for 'brands', in a similar way to Facebook. One of the major points of + is that groups of fans can be segregated into defined groups, so sports teams could issue exclusive updates to season-ticket holders before their other fans, for example. And the Google-owned Youtube continues to go from strength-to-strength, with the site adding more videos than one could watch in a lifetime each month.
We're pleased to say that Sotic clients are among the leading organisations on those social networks.
As well as being the current European Champions, Leinster also have the most Facebook likes for any rugby club in Britain and Ireland. With over 65,000 people liking them on Facebook, it's an incredibly powerful marketing tool. It's also a virtuous circle. As each person comments, their friends will be notified on their news feed and they might want to like and comment too - free publicity for the club, as well as capturing broad demographic data about each fan, allowing the club to target particular areas and see what posts work and what doesn't, through the free 'Insights' tool that lets you check how many people (not just fans) your stories are reaching.
The Dublin-based province are also no slouches on Twitter either! With hashtags like #leinstertainment widely used on top of tweets to @Leinsterrugby, they're second in Britain and Ireland with over 24,000 followers. Another Sotic client, Munster, are in the lead with 29,000.
And it's not just established teams and pages that are growing. The RaboDirect PRO12 had their pages created for them by Sotic in the summer. Since June, the competition now has over 8,000 Facebook likes and over 5,000 followers on Twitter. With Sotic raising the profile of the competition, their Chief Executive John Feehan commented in November: "I am happy to report that 'traditional' media coverage has been really excellent plus our website hits, Facebook likes and Twitter followers are ahead of target. This is very important considering the recent Rugby World Cup in New Zealand."
Pages are growing all the time and as well as being in a better position to read the pulse of your fanbase, you can also reach out to new fans and encourage them to come watch a game - you don't have to get on the phone to newspaper journalists and beg them to give you space in the paper - and even then there's no guarantee that people will read it!
Social media allows you to talk to a captive audience and answer their questions directly as the voice of the club or the tournament. And even if fans don't read your page on a regular basis, you can reach them in other ways. Another one of our clients, the Ospreys use their profile picture to advertise their next home game. The way you use social media is entirely personal and it's in the lack of rules that make it such a powerful and expansive medium to use.
Having things like statistics, an active and involved community and opinions of fans being supplemented by an official voice can show your advertisers that what you can offer them goes beyond the matchday programme or the website. And of course, you can tag them on their Facebook page and directly showcase them to your fanbase.
We hope that this quick guide shows you the power of social media, although there is so much potential to it, these examples and ideas only scratch the surface! Get in touch with us and we can advise you and walk you through almost every process imaginable, from linking your website updates to Facebook to getting your fanbase to adopt a hashtag.