With Social Media becoming so integral to the marketing initiatives of any professional sports team, transparency is an essential issue to confront at the very beginning. People want to know who they are interacting with when they connect with a team over social media. I thought Mike Volpe’s post on when transparency in social media is and isn’t needed was very succinct and I thought I would apply it to the sports world.
When you see the social media profiles of teams, those accounts are usually managed by a person or a team of people, likely in the marketing or communications departments. In this case, transparency isn’t necessary. People should see that teams and more broadly, brands or companies have this same sort of internal structure. The realization is that the “team” is speaking but the posts are being put out there by a team.
In the case of individual player accounts, these are personal. However, transparency is necessary. People want to know whether they are speaking to Sidney Crosby or a team handling Sidney Crosby’s Twitter account. In this case, many athletes with Twitter accounts, for example, will use the line “Tweets are my own” or some variation of that to indicate the authenticity of what is coming from that account. As Volpe notes, its not entirely bad for an athlete to have someone post on their behalf. Some do it well.
However, the important part is that transparency is not always needed for teams in social media but definitely for athletes. If for some reason the sports marketing tie-in is beyond you, well, social media is one of the biggest ways that teams connect with their fans. Furthermore, teams need respectful and transparent players to be connecting with their fans and promoting the team’s brand. The end goal is to build a bigger fan base, sell more tickets and get people in the door.
- How the San Francisco Giants use social media to communicate with fans (accesspr.com)
- How NBA Teams Stack Up in Social Media (visual.ly)