Essential of Social Media in Sports
In today’s competitive business world, the role of social media has grown significantly in every industry. Social media is defined as a collective of online communications channels that are dedicated to community-based, interaction, content-sharing, collaboration and input. This file will discuss the essentials of social media in sports and evaluate how sports brands use social media sites to their advantage. Further, pros and cons of using social media in sports industry will be analysed. Organisations in sports industry use social media sites for different purposes such as marketing, targeting customers, conducting market research, increasing customer interaction and others. Social media along with mobile technology is transforming sports and business related to it. The companies use social media sites to open new communication channels between with their customers which lead to creating new commercial opportunity with sponsors. The benefits of using social media sites include brand affinity and loyalty that leads to increased profitability for enterprises. Social media provide a large platform to sports fans which is available 24/7 for them, and they can share and interact with people of similar interest.
Social media sites enable sports brands to create and publish their own content online which creates an online brand profile of the firm. It provides tools for analysis to corporations in sports industry which they can utilise to conduct market research that allows them to target new markets. The companies use online presence for relationship building with customers since they have the option to communicate directly with their audience (Witkemper, Lim and Waldburger, 170). Adidas is one of the biggest leading sports organisations which effectively use social media to its advantage. The company has presence and huge following on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. The firm uses these channels to post great content which is based on their brand and the industry that provide them huge response from the public. Online brand presence is crucial for sports companies, and Adidas maintains a positive brand image. The main competitor of the firm, Nike, fiercely use social media sites by hiring controversial sports person in its marketing campaign. On the other hand, Adidas create a positive brand image by sticky by establishing a positive culture and following a set of values. These factors increase brand awareness and profitability of the company which leads to
Pros of Social Media in SportsLarger Fan Base
There are more than three billion social media users around the globe, and most of them access their social media account through smartphones. As per Statista’s ‘Most Popular Pages on Facebook 2017’, sports pages have huge following such as Real Madrid CF has more than 106.1 followers and FC Barcelona has more than 103.49 followers. These statistics prove that social media sites provide a huge platform to sports companies that they can utilise to increase their fan base. Accessing social media site is convenient for both followers and corporations that make it one of the most popular medium for interacting with people and marketing their products or services (Williams and Chinn, 422-437). Social media sites provide great reach to sports organisations since they can gain followers from all around the world.
Social media sites are free to use for everyone which makes it a cost-effective tool for marketing and consumer interaction for sports organisations. Anyone can create a free account on social media sites which makes it easier for companies to connect and interact with a large number of audiences who are interested in their brand.
As compared to other modes of marketing or customer interactions, social media route is substantially easier. It is an easy tool which can be used by sports organisations as brand awareness tactic. The companies just have to open an account on any social media site, and interested people automatically follow them. The firm can post great content on their profile which attracts more audience and increases their brand awareness (Brown and Billings, 74-81). Therefore, it is a substantially easy tool that is used by corporations in the sports industry to increase their brand awareness.
Increase in Brand Loyalty
In addition to providing a wider audience, use of social media increases the brand loyalty of companies as well. According to the study of Laroche, Habibi and Richard (76-82), people who follow brands on social media sites are loyal to them as well.
Social media sites allow companies to monitor their social media statistics through which they can gain valuable information regarding their audience which assists them in making smarter business decisions. For example, social analytics provide information such as which country has most followers and what people feel about company’s brand. Such information assists sports organisation in making smarter business decisions and increasing their audience.
Cons of Social Media in SportsNegative Feedback
Social media users have the option to post negative feedback regarding a firm if they did not like its products. Many customers write angry rants about a company’s products or services. In sports industry, people who are attached to a sport write negative things regarding opponent teams which can adversely affect a company’s reputation (Alexander, 717-733).
Potential for Embarrassment
Use of social media exposes a company’s posts to the world and any mistake can lead to embarrassment for the firm. Organisations have to ensure that their posts are right since it can lead to a public embarrassment which is negative for company’s brand image (Dijkmans, Kerkhof and Beukeboom, 58-67).
Time Intensive Process
In order to effectively use social media sites, companies are required to continuously engage or interact with its audience takes a lot of time and effort. Organisations which focus on maintaining an interactive social media presence require investing manpower and resource. The sports companies that have limited resources find it difficult to manage a strong presence on social media sites. Social media sites require daily monitoring and companies have to activity management their profile to see real benefits.
Risk of Cyber Attacks
Using social media sites expose the companies to the risk of cyber-attack or hacking. Cybercriminals hack into the account of large corporations and post things that can negatively affect the company’s brand image (Kaplan and Haenlein, 59-68). For example, HBO’s social media account was hacked which leaked many confidential data of the company. Therefore, sports companies are required investing in cybersecurity infrastructure which increases their overall costs.
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