How Social Media Platforms and Tools Can Benefit Properties and Sponsors

I had a great time last week in Calgary for the Western Sponsorship Congress, a fantastic event put on by Brent Barotees and his team at The Partnership Group. I spoke on how social media platforms can benefit properties and sponsors, and had a lot of fun listening to some of the other presenters, meeting some smart folks and hanging out in Calgary (the Flames-Oilers game was definitely a highlight).

Here are the slides from my presentation, as well as some key points. My goal was to give examples of opportunities made possible by social media and share some ways brands/properties can enhance current fan experiences or create new ones. The video from slide 19 didn't make it into Slideshare (it didn't work during my presentation either), but you can watch it here. On a couple of the other slides, the formatting looks a little strange, but hopefully you can still get the main points.

3 Main Points

  1. Social media tools and platforms are unlocking some great opportunities for properties and sponsors
  2. We can measure this stuff and prove its value
  3. There are people out there doing some really cool things


Social media tools and platforms are everywhere. But they're not social on their own; people are social.

There are a lot of opportunities--listening, responding, content delivery, promotions, etc. 1 to 1 conversations and 1 to many.

What do you do? Focus on your fans and enthusiasts. These people have always been passionate about brands/teams/properties they love. Social tools have just helped amplify their voices and bring people close to the things they love and others who share their passions.

Fans crave experiences, engagement and recognition. This has always been true, but now there are new opportunities to deliver these things.

New opportunities - beyond the stadium, for enthusiasts and fans to engage with each other, and for properties and sponsors to engage fans.

Example of access, engagement, and recognition coming together - Old Spice response campaign with Isaiah Mustafa. 40 million views after first week. Now, most viewed YouTube channel of all time. And sales went up.

Relationships are the currency of social media. Likers, fans, followers, subscribers are essentially the same--people you can build a relationship with. Relationships are what help you increase the things you care about--awareness, sales, attendance, customer lifetime value, etc.

Opportunities to make current fan experiences more social

Socialize your website. Enable and encourage people to share your content. Over 1 million websites use the Facebook Like button. People who like articles click on 5.3x more links than average Facebook user and have 2.4x as many friends (310 vs. 130).

Encourage fans to share their experiences. Empower your advocates and enthusiasts. Strategically reward or incentivize people to encourage sharing.

Socialize your events

  • Location-based services. Offer rewards (content + experiences) to incentivize check-ins and increase awareness, foot traffic and sales.
  • Encourage people to share content while at events
  • Show people at events what others are saying about it

Group buying. People like buying things with others, especially if what they're buying is cheaper this way.

Socialize your giveaways and promotions. Encourage people to share them and think of how you can use social platforms to get the word out and create/run specific promos and giveaways for social platforms.

Ideas for creating new experiences

Identify your passionate and profitable fans - within your database and outside it. Involve these people in new experiences and targeted programs.

Appreciate and Involve Bloggers. Warriors did a great job of this with their Tweedia Day.

Create new content. If you want people to care about you, you have to offer them something of value. Offer people exclusive, behind-the-scenes content on Twitter and Facebook (use tabs and maybe require a "like" to unlock the content)

Extend your event's reach. American Express and Twitter created a great real-time hub for Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week. The site displayed tweets, pictures and videos about the event from fashion gurus, models and others. Great way to reach people who may not have attended the event, but still wanted to keep up with what was going on. And another way for AmEx to further align its brand with fashion while giving people exclusive access and content.

Social media is unique in that it powers experiences and is also used to promote them. Social-only programs are cool, but it's a lot more powerful when you have a great idea/program and can integrate social into it.

Panthers Purrsuit case study. The Panthers teamed up with a main sponsor (Allen Tate) and 14 other sponsors to create a social media scavenger hunt. The event wasn't just a social thing-it was promoted  in a variety of ways (email, social media, banners on Panthers/sponsor websites) and generated some great coverage in traditional media. On Saturday, October 23, 64 participants started at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC, and followed clues to arrive at specific sponsor locations. People had to tweet, post content, check-in, complete challenges, etc at each location. More than 1000 photos were posted to sponsor walls and there were 1200+ tweets with the #purrsuit hashtag posted on the day of the event. More importantly it drove actual people to sponsor businesses to help build new relationships and it showed businesses that Twitter and Facebook are more than just tools for pushing out content.

Measuring Success

  • Establish goals
  • Map metrics to goals
  • compare before/after numbers
  • Look at long-term trends

What to measure:

  • Business metrics
  • Share of voice and sentiment
  • Awareness
  • Engagement
  • Influence
  • Popularity

7 keys to success for implementing a program - slide 41.

5 things an agency can help you with (obviously there are more than 5, but here are a few)

  • monitoring what's being said
  • identifying enthusiasts and influencers
  • help set up/socialize presence on social sites
  • creating and executing promotions
  • Measuring results and collecting data

Hope you enjoyed the slides/notes. Would love to hear what you think.