It’s game week, y’all! Welcome to the 6th installment in the SEC Social Media Fan Experience series! This week we will be wrapping up the series with today’s look at how Auburn and Arkansas are using social media to connect with their football fans and recruits, and on Thursday we’ll do the same for The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Ole Miss Rebels.
This is actually a huge day for SEC programs and their social media efforts. September 1st is the first day that the NCAA allows schools to contact recruits for the 2017 class directly via Direct Messages on Twitter. It’s still too early to judge how teams will be using Twitter to reach out directly to recruits since the only way we’ll know is if recruits share that info as schools aren’t allowed by NCAA rules to discuss recruits by name.
How the Auburn Tigers Use Social Media to Connect With Their Football Fans and Recruits
Here’s the complete list of social media channels and accounts for Auburn. I appreciate the fact that Auburn has a very clear-cut and organized listing of all their accounts in one place. This is the easiest to navigate and cleanest list I’ve seen so far from any of the SEC teams in this series. There is a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account of the football program, and Auburn lists NINE different social media accounts for the athletic department as a whole. I also noticed that when you click on the link for Auburn’s Periscope account, it takes you to this page that explains what Periscope is and how to use it. Smart thinking, because most fans have never heard of Periscope so it’s a nice touch to educate them.
As with most SEC teams, Auburn’s football program is making use of the Big Three: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to distribute content for fans. As I mentioned above, Auburn also has a Periscope account, but they are making very sparse use of it, and apparently aren’t sharing any scopes from Fall camp, which is a bit disappointing. I can understand not wanting to share video from actual practices, but other SEC programs like Miss State and Tennessee are regularly utilizing Periscope to share press conferences and interviews from coaches after practice. This is something Auburn could be doing as well.
On Instagram, Auburn has been sharing some photos from Fall camp, about one a day, but no videos. However, the one thing Auburn is doing very well is using its social media accounts to link to content on its main website, www.auburntigers.com. Here’s a couple of examples from Facebook and Twitter:
— Auburn Tigers (@AuburnTigers) September 1, 2015
Note that Auburn is using different content on both Facebook and Twitter to push fans back to the same link on their website. Auburn is probably doing the best job of any of the SEC programs so far when it comes to linking back to the content on their website. This might not seem like a big deal but it really is, Auburn is driving engaged traffic back to its website with each of these updates. They are leveraging social media accounts to build up online properties they own, which is what you should be doing as well. How the Arkansas Razorbacks Are Using Social Media to Connect With Their Football Fans and Recruits Arkansas has a pretty sparse collection of social media accounts, typically sticking to the Big Three for each sport. The football program has the familiar accounts on Facebook(If anyone from Arkansas’ SM team reads this, you have a bad URL linked for the FB account, need to edit that), Twitter and Instagram. While the content frequency to the Facebook and Instagram accounts are a bit light, Arkansas is tweeting up a storm on Twitter:
One thing I noticed that Arkansas has been doing is live-tweeting press conferences from the football coaches! Of course, what a great idea! The Hawgs are also sharing some backstage content about the weight program, etc, but the live-tweeting really caught my eye and it’s a great way to build a following on Twitter. Also, for those SEC teams that aren’t interested in sharing content via Instagram or Periscope from practices, live-tweeting PCs is a great idea as it gives you complete control over what is and is not shared.
The rest of Arkansas’ social media usage is pretty straightforward. But like Auburn, they are doing a nice job of leveraging social media to drive traffic back to their www.arkansasrazorbacks.com website. Yet they still find time for some fine hawg-callin’…
So far in this series, I think top-to-bottom, Texas A&M is doing the best job of leveraging social media to connect with its fans, with Miss State and Tennessee close behind. More specifically, I think Miss State is doing the best with video content, Arkansas is the best on Twitter, Georgia does the best job in using social media to connect directly with recruits, and Auburn is probably the best in using social media to drive traffic back to its main website. But we still have two teams left to examine on Thursday, and I have a feeling my Crimson Tide may have something to say about which team uses social media the best.
Here’s the complete series so far if you want to catch up:
August 13th: The LSU Tigers and The Miss State Bulldogs
August 20th: The Texas A&M Aggies and The Kentucky Wildcats
August 27th: The Georgia Bulldogs and The Missouri Tigers
Today: The Auburn Tigers and The Arkansas Razorbacks
Thursday: The Alabama Crimson Tide and The Ole Miss Rebels
See y’all on Thursday for the end of this series and the kickoff to the college football season!