Social Media in College Athletics


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Billy McDonald has spent the past two years of his college career monitoring Web traffic. He has worked diligently to discover the most efficient method for integrating social media into everyday marketing strategies.
McDonald will graduate with a double major from MSUM in May. He will receive a degree in mass communications with an emphasis in public relations, as well as a degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing.
In January 2011, McDonald accepted the position of social media ambassador for Dragon Athletics. During his time with Dragon Athletics, he has discovered that social media is responsible for 25 percent of the Web traffic for the Dragon Athletics website.
In order to conduct his research, McDonald worked on multiple dashboards, which allowed him to manage multiple accounts, browse the Web for valuable information and monitor keywords posted on Facebook, Twitter and Google. With the use of “Google Analytics,” traffic created from a special formatted click-through on a social media site is easily measured and studied.
McDonald has always taken an interest in social media. “I used to joke that Facebook was my major during my freshman year,” says McDonald.
After taking a year off from school, he came back and added mass communications with an emphasis in public relations as his second major in addition to his degree in business administration.
During his time away from school, McDonald spent much of his free time researching media and learning Internet codes. It was then that he discovered a social media-driven career was what he wanted to pursue.
Before finding success with Dragon Athletics, McDonald paved the way for himself at Absolute Marketing Group, a full-service communications firm dedicated to creating effective marketing campaigns for Fargo area businesses. While working for the company, McDonald promoted Twitter and Facebook pages along with a text club for the local Pancheros restaurant. McDonald was responsible for the text club’s growth from 50 members to 800 members. It was after this experience that he bought his first book about social media.
Recently, the mass communications department at MSUM has added a class about social media, which McDonald applauds. However, he wishes the class had been available previously so he could have enrolled in it. “Social media is an integral part of mass communications,” says McDonald.
All of McDonald’s progress is just a small-scale trial of the type of social media marketing he hopes will become large scale for the entire university.
“The larger implications of my findings is that social media is always evolving, so there is no way to forecast its growth in our culture perfectly, but surely it’s not going away.”

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Social Media in College Athletics

  1. 1. The World of New Media Communications viaDragon Athletics Department Presenter: Billy J. McDonald @BillyJMcDonaldSocial Media & Communications Coordinator of Dragon Athletics
  2. 2.  Senior in Business Administration emphasis in Marketing, and Mass Communications emphasis Public Relations. Social Media Analyst for MSU- Moorhead for 16 months Work under Jon Wepking, Interim Athletics Marketing Director Marketing Coordinator of the Dragon Entertainment Group (2years) Looking for a job in social media marketingWho am I?
  3. 3. What it is about…RelationshipCommunitiesCustomer ServiceMedia RelationsInternal CommunicationsCommunity SupportTHE STUDENTS Athletes
  4. 4. What it is not about…The ToolsSizeNumbersMoney Intangible gains far exceed the bottom linePride
  5. 5. Goals of Social MediaBusiness PartnershipsIncrease Traffic toGenerate LeadsIncrease RevenueBuild Brand Value and AwarenessImprove Dragon Athletics SEOBrand AdvocacyReduce CRM Cost
  6. 6. Dragon Athletics Rules of SocialEngagement The tone of all messaging is to be positive, transparent and Authentic. Playful banter is okay, as long as it’s engaging. There is no point in just amusing yourself and present the university as arrogant. All content must be relevant. Otherwise we are just spamming our audience. Timing is everything. We want our influencers to tell our story, but we need to be the provided them leads. Admit mistakes
  7. 7. What channels are Dragon Athleticscurrently using outside of social media? Email Websites the frequently generate  Dragon Weekly content about Dragon Athletics  Dragon Fire Newsletter   Scores and New Updates  Direct-mail   Sent when deemed appropriate in such ndigest/ events such as (Holiday cards,  Homecoming, Dragon Fire events)   On and Off Campus Print Publications   Alumnews   The Fargo-Moorhead Forum   The MSUM Advocate   Pioneer Press  Etc.
  8. 8. Social Tools that should be used andthe potential/purpose: Google Alerts Google Analytics  Hootsuite Social Platform Meltwater Press
  9. 9. Twitter Key Influencers External Twitter Influencers for  @GoAugie Influencers for @DragonAthletics  @MSUMavericks @DragonAthletics  @ADDougPeters  @WolvesAthletics  @DomizzoWDAY  @JonWebbie  @SCSUHuskies  @KVRRTV  @BillyJMcDonald  @CUGoldenBears  @KunkelW  @MSUMoohead  @WSCWildcats  @JimNelsonFox  @Nemzek Noize  @WSUWarriors  @FargoBigE  @UMDBulldogs  WDayNews Competitor Twitter  @BSUBeavers  @WDayAM970 Accounts  @UMarySports  @MidcoSportsNet  @NDSUAthletics  @MSUBeavers  @SidearmSports  @CobberSID  @SMSUMustangs  @ElsenMidcoSN  @UIUPeacocks  @FargoMoorhead  @USF_Cougars  @fmwfchamber Internal Twitter NSIC Twitter Handles
  10. 10. Shifting Personalities of the Internet
  11. 11. How to deal with negativecomments1. Identify the Issue2. Humanize Your Responses3. Be Prompt4. Get Your Customers Involved5. Think Twice Before You Delete6. Go to the Big Dog
  12. 12. Facebook fan page(s)  Post positive media mentions  Encourage interaction on pages, events and groups  Content should be timely, Social relevant, authentic and not repeated Networks  Interaction between the pages and events will encourage growth across all pages Short term  Create unique posting schedule the alternates message delivery objectives: across fan pagesGoogle+  Develop new social network  Items like create circles, encourage interaction, create content  Also, participate in Q&A, other groups, etc.
  13. 13. Micro-Blogging Short Term Objectives (Twitter)Short term objectives: Key Metrics: Use Twitter list  850 Friends/Followers Promote dept. post through other  1260 2nd‐order followers Dragon Athletics accounts (follower’s follower count) Communicate to users about  2 Velocity‐ avg. of first‐ and support issues such as broken second‐order followers attracted links and event times/details per day since the account was follow‐up established Build reputation Promote other social networking activities/sites through Twitter
  14. 14. Short term objectives:Increase engagement  Create sharable content that is relevant  Encourage comments; submit RSS feed to sports forums and local publications.  Write more opinionated to drive a conversation  Increase Subscribers through campaigning Blogging Short Term Objectives
  15. 15. Short term objectives: Update videos on social video sites and link to core site Create video series for YouTube Include full bio and caption story with every video posted Produce only quality video for channel Video- Review and critique each video as if you were the viewer Increase subscribers (71) Sharing Use keywords with videos to improve SEO Include videos in playlist Short Keep records of Social clicks Term Objectives
  16. 16. Google Analytics Now its about the numbers. Well, sorta…
  17. 17. What is Google Analytics? Website Traffic Measurement Tool Onsite Metrics Collection Page Tags Cookies Think of it more like a thermometer for you website.
  18. 18. Overview of Impact of SocialMedia Usage to Web Traffic
  19. 19. Overview Referral Traffic byMonth
  20. 20. 09-10 vs.10-11
  21. 21. 08-09 vs. 09-10
  22. 22. Where is this increase in WebTraffic Coming From? This years traffic has increase 29 percent 14 percent can be contributed to the Universities new landing page The other 15 percent is from Social Media. - Facebook 9 percent - Twitter 5 percent - YouTube/Etc. <1 percent
  23. 23. Offsite Metric ClickMeasurement
  24. 24. Additional Social MarketingBenefits Branding YouTube views <51,000 Blog views < 21,000 Twitter @DragonAthletics 850+ follows Facebook <3650 ‘Likes’ on 13 pagesALL in 16 months…Other Social Networks on the move:- Google+, Pinterest,
  25. 25. Problems in Google Analytics andOffsite Data Collection Hootsuite Account Collection Error API Server Failure Tracking (and other short URLs) in Google Analytics Bounce Percentages (Pages/Visits, or New Visits Miscalculations) Cookie Transmissions, IP Addresses <10.5 avg. Search Engine Spiders (???) Missing Page Tags
  26. 26. How to deal with Accuracy Issues Supply each intern with necessary tools Page tags Follow bounce rate trends in 2012-2013
  27. 27. Any Questions?PLEASE stop me later if you would like to talk to me moreabout the more technical side of web analytics, or social mediastrategy.