Nothing beats watching a sports game in person. It’s little wonder millions of fans leave the comfort of their homes to swarm stadiums and see their favorite teams play live.
In addition to seeing the game in person, stadiums allow fans to sit next to other fans with similar interests, develop a personal bond with the team, and even access live entertainment options before, during, and after the game. Altogether, stadiums can offer the ultimate fan experience.
As the world embraces large-scale digitization, emerging technologies can even further improve how fans experience live sporting events. To attest to this, a study by Statista showed that an average of 69% of sports fans agree that technology has enhanced their viewing experience.
Social media has now, more than ever, become ingrained within stadium culture. More than just a way to keep fans up to date on team news, social media engagement provides a means by which stadiums can market to and interact with fans for a small cost and a high return on investment.
Why Is Social Media Engagement Important?
In an age where almost everyone is online, social media has become an excellent way for brands and businesses to reach a larger audience. This digital familiarity has led to content saturation, requiring a targeted effort in keeping today’s audience interested and engaged with any piece of digital content.
To navigate this saturation, stadiums need to market and push content effectively. When publishing content to social media, the goal should be for fans to actively engage with your content in the form of likes, comments, shares, or saving the content for later.
Social media engagement, however, is much more than gaining a high following. It’s all about communicating in an online community and building a strong camaraderie with fans via your social channels. Not only do you want your followers to interact with your content, but you also want them to feel as if they are a part of your brand’s story.
5 Effective Marketing Strategies for Social Media Fan Engagement in Stadiums
Social media engagement can serve as a particular boon to stadium-owners. Not only can social media help a brand engage with fans in a stadium, but it can also help a brand to reach users across the globe — leading to even more fans flocking to the stadium in the future.
To help you create a memorable experience, we’ve compiled a list of five of the most successful ways to entertain stadium fans and increase social media engagement at sporting events.
1. Implementing Hashtag Campaigns
One key draw of sports is the sense of community. Sports fans love to talk about the game — whether through cheering on their own team or talking trash about another. Hashtags offer a key way to connect fans by segmenting posts based on specific interests.
With a well-thought-out and branded hashtag, stadium-goers and fans at home get an opportunity to interact with the game in real-time. Posting from the stadium using a hashtag, fans watching the game in-person can share footage of high-octane plays directly from the stadium. This allows fans across the globe to take in stadium views and feel incorporated into the live experience. It also gives the stadium account a way to display what fans are doing across the venue, possibly allowing them to highlight certain concessions stand deals or PR events that other visitors may have been unaware of.
When a unique hashtag is created, users are encouraged to use it while engaging in online discussions along with posting pictures and videos. Eventually, this hashtag may expand beyond the constraints of your own marketing efforts, becoming ingrained in fan culture and driving even more revenue to your stadium.
2. QR Code Implementation
QR codes are another excellent approach to encourage online interactions with stadium fans. Stadiums can place QR codes throughout the venue for visitors to scan and automatically open social media apps such as Twitter and Instagram — giving fans an instant opportunity to share their experience online.
Stadiums should strategically place QR codes throughout the venue at key spots of engagement, such as concession stands or photo opportunity booths. Then, fans can scan the QR code to immediately share their experience. QR codes can even prompt stadium-goers to use a branded hashtag — synergizing your stadium marketing strategy.
3. Sharing Online Polls
As mentioned previously, one thing that makes sports so engaging is the ability to discuss opposite opinions on sporting events. When watching a soccer game, for example, the “Man of the Match” varies greatly depending on who you ask. Fans are passionate about these issues, and will jump at the opportunity to share their opinions.
Online polls on social media give fans a more objective way to discover the majority opinion among their peers. Polls can ask targeted questions to stadium-going fans — possibly prompting an in-person debate and rallying fans to encourage others to vote and prove their point.
Online polls are also great for feedback. Stadium-planners can use them to get suggestions, or ask fans about certain stadium features. By engaging in feedback, fans feel like they are a part of a larger community within the stadium as a whole, which works to help increase their investment in the team and drive a positive association with their visit to the venue.
4. Personalized Interactions With Fans Across The Globe
Personalized social media interactions go a long way in improving the stadium experience and subsequently reaching fans anywhere they are in the world.
Because not all fans can attend events in-person, it is important to make sure that your stadium extends its social media presence beyond the venue itself. To do this, there are many tactics the stadium can take to incorporate at-home fans into the experience, such as hosting a live stream where stadium representatives or sports announcers read off Tweets and questions from users in real time.
Additionally, social media can help replicate the environment of the stadium by prompting fans to participate in virtual challenges, utilize image filters, or engage with the stadium’s social channel to possibly win branded prizes. There is also an opportunity to display at-home fans social media images of the game on an in-stadium display and live broadcast.
Simple interactions like these help to establish a positive association with a business and build an online community. As your stadium builds a reputation for personalized engagement that extends beyond its walls, more fans will flock both to your social page and your in-person venue.
5. Potential To Be Featured On A Stadium Screen
From kiss-cams gone wrong to dance battles, fan camera videos from sporting events go viral all of the time. Fans and online users alike love to watch the spontaneity of an event-goer acting humorously on camera.
Capturing fans in the stadium doing exciting activities and sharing those moments in real time via social media can be a great way to drive fan engagement. By posting online using hashtags and tagging stadium accounts, fans can connect with stadiums to feature themselves on the big screen. Once featured, fans can share that those moments made the big screen — offering yet another opportunity for online fan engagement.
Stadiums should also focus on creating activities people can easily engage with. Stadium screens can be used to pay tribute to long-time match attendees, wish a fan a happy birthday, or get the audience to engage in an in-person game. Whatever the tactic, fans will happily engage in a unique digital experience within your stadium.
Drive Fan Engagement in Stadiums With Hospitality Network
A great stadium experience boosts fan engagement, especially when using effective social media strategies. In order to implement these strategies and give fans a flawless digital experience, however, stadiums need reliable internet connectivity to allow visitors uninterrupted access to social media.
Hospitality Network offers cutting-edge WiFi solutions and internet connectivity that help revolutionize the fan experience while assisting today’s modern stadiums in providing a higher degree of fan engagement. Reach out to us today for powerful networks and world-class implementation that drives fan engagement in stadiums.