In the pre-internet age, companies needed effective advertising and marketing. Traditional print, cable, and even web-based advertising aren’t nearly enough in 2020.
Modern companies must have a social media presence to unlock their full potential. Esports organizations are no different.
Value of Social Media for Esports Organizations
Esports teams possess great potential to grow audiences through social media thanks to their heavily-invested audiences in a highly-coveted age demographic.
Effective social media strategies aim to boost fan engagement through:
- Giveaways – The team can giveaway products or merchandise to a set amount of followers who engage with the post
- Contests – The social media team can request user-generated content for the most original post, artwork, or dress up as their favorite game character in exchange for a prize.
- Polls – drive engagement by enticing followers to click on an option to view results. While social media users might scroll past specific content, they might be more inclined to join interactive content.
Quality social media posts inform their followers about the state of the organization. They’ll discuss any personnel changes and advertise the newest merchandising line.
Social media is a great place to amplify the reach of news and other team content. Written and video recaps of recent tournaments, highlights of top performers, and game strategy analysis are all effective ways to engage a team’s audience.
Revisiting Social Media KPIs
Effective social media teams set goals through key performance indicators or KPIs. These indicators help companies gauge their social media campaigns’ success through statistics like views, likes, and overall engagement.
If a team isn’t receiving desired results based on their KPIs, it could indicate a need to pivot to a new strategy that drives more engagement. Additionally, it could indicate that expectations are too high and need adjustments to more reasonable levels.
A less-established esports organization without a dedicated fanbase might focus on awareness and building followers. An effective strategy for building a following is through the use of micro-influencers.
Micro-influencers aren’t celebrities; they are internet personalities with high trust within their communities and dedicated followings. Micro-influencers often offer their services in exchange for free merchandise. Newer esports teams lack large budgets to hire spokespeople, making micro-influencers an attractive strategy.
Established companies can focus on different strategies and performance indicators. Established teams might focus on showcasing their streamers and merchandising. In this case, their KPIs may measure their gear’s sales and the popularity of their streamers.
Leveraging User-Generated Content
As previously mentioned, user-generated content is one of the most effective ways to drive fan engagement. Social media contests can create movements among the fanbase and get people involved while raising your brand’s profile. It will trend among users interested in esports and spread beyond the initial fanbase when it works effectively.
After a user-generated content fan contest, fans will feel more involved and will be more likely to reach out, creating fan-made movements of their own. Occasionally, these fan movements become so popular they attract the attention of members of the organization themselves.
For example, before the Philadelphia 76ers 2017 playoff run, the Philly faithful created the “raise the cat” social media campaign. What began as an entirely organic fan-made campaign became so popular it looped back to the team, with star player Ben Simmons joining in.
As you can see, an organic movement like this can attract attention across the internet and drive engagement without the team ever lifting a finger.
Understanding your competitors
In any competition, it helps to be aware of what others are doing. Social media is no different. Effective social media teams should always keep track of their competitors. By keeping track of what your competition is doing, you’ll be able to learn through their successes and failures.
How are other esports teams communicating with their fanbase? Do they post with a distinct tone that works effectively? Keep an eye on what promotions and contests competitors use and how frequently they occur. Analyze their most successful posts and how consistently they post.
Be sure to balance the usage of photos and videos. While multimedia elements are essential for effective social media usage, there is a tipping point where it can become too much. It needs to stay varied enough to keep audiences engaged.
Tracking the social media usage of competitors goes a long way towards predicting your future success.
written by Christopher Connors