With the FIFA World Cup kicking off, social media for businesses is booming with soccer competition hype. Facebook estimates that 500 million of its 1.28 billion users are soccer fans, including 110 million men aged 13-34 in big markets. This is a huge market for advertisers, especially those with a social media presence.
There are even predictions that this year’s World Cup will generate more online social buzz than any other sporting event including the recent Olympic Games the 2014 Super Bowl. One trending social marketing strategy that companies are currently investing in is interactive World Cup games to promote brand awareness and generate hype for the the global games.
The New York Times, for instance, created an interactive World Cup game called “Spot the Ball”. They gathered a few highlights from the first round of the games in Brazil and removed the ball from the photos. The purpose of the game is to see if you can figure out where the soccer ball is in the photo. This is a great example of a fun, engaging online game that the New York Times used to discreetly promote their brand. Other big name brands, like Castrol, McDonald’s, and Hyundai are using the World Cup to promote their brand as well.
One of the toughest parts about utilizing this type of social brand awareness is how to effectively measure their direct impact on your sales or lead numbers. To some extent, social metrics will always be ambiguous; however, there are a few things you can do to measure your social success.
1. Set Social media goals – Are you a new company interested in getting your name out there, or a more familiar company going through a rebranding stage? If so, your social media goals would be around brand awareness. However, if you’re promoting your new apparel line of World Cup jerseys, your social media goals should be tailored around ROI and sales. These goals are important to know when defining your social strategies.
2. Quantify your Social Media Listening – One of the most often overlooked uses of social media is brand “listening.” Listening the process of identifying and analyzing what is being said about a brand. If you’re not listening to your customers,
you’re missing the point of social media.
3. Create a rating system for your social engagement – Facebook likes, for example, get 1 point, Facebook comments get 3 points and Facebook shares get 5 points. A quick sum of values during your campaign will help you know whether or not your efforts are successful.
4. Determine the right social media platform for your brand. What works for some companies, may not work for yours. I found this link helpful when determining how to choose social media platforms to build my brand.
5. Determine social media success based on traffic from the social source, social media reach (or impressions), lead numbers, and conversion rates. Depending on the business, conversion rates and goals should be tailored around online purchases, contact form completions, clicks to site, newsletter or blog signups, whitepaper downloads, social interactions, video views, and so on.
6. Track your campaigns and report findings. There are many social platforms tracking sites that you can use to aggregate your data from all social channels to view in one place. While some companies, like Tagboard (a cross-network, hashtag engagement tracking company) are more specific and only allow you to track one type of social metric, other companies, like SumAll, allow you to view all of your social campaign data from all platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) in one place.
Below are a few more tips to remember this year while utilizing social media to connect with potential brand fans:
- Play nice! Don’t bash teams that do not do well, be polite and show your nation’s pride through your social posts.
- Create fun images and memes to share across social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, etc. Try not to make them too negative like all of the memes about Spain.
- Stay in top of the games to update your tweets and Facebook statuses. The more social engagement and buzz you can create, the better.
- Utilize hashtags to make it easier for people to find and follow your brand’s discussions.