Bridging the gap between the online world and the offline world is powerful at events. When you have fans’ attention in-venue, it’s the perfect opportunity to enlist brand ambassadors and bring new ones into your community. Social and digital initiatives are also a great way to entertain fans during lull periods. And, there are many ways to bridge the gap between the online world and the offline world. From hashtag campaigns to contests and full-blown social media nights, the opportunities are endless.
Just last week UNC held a robust Social Media Night that is a great example of how to plan and execute one. According to Lynnea Phillips, the social media coordinator at UNC, their goal was to drive awareness, action and engagement. Here’s a look at all the moving pieces:
Coke Zero Fan Cam
The Coke Zero FanCam was a 20,000 megapixel interactive image that allowed fans to zoom in and explore every inch of Dean Smith Center in face-level detail. After the game, fans visited www.cokezero.fancam.com to zoom, tag and share. They had the opportunity to prove that they were there and enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win great prizes.
Carolina turned @GoHeels over to the fans. They were encouraged to use the men’s basketball game day hashtags (#GoHeels and #UNCBBall) to live tweet play-by-play. The best tweets were retweeted from the @GoHeels Twitter account. GIFs, photo edits & emojis were encouraged.
Attendees had the opportunity to use selfie sticks (& props) to capture their game day photos. After the game, pictures were uploaded to a photo album on the official UNC Athletics Facebook page.
Fans were able to request songs prior to the game by using #TarHeelTunes.
Twitter Quote Graphics
Fans that used the game day hashtags (#GoHeels & #UNCBBall) had the chance to have their tweets made into graphics that were released from the @GoHeels Twitter account during the game.
400 Student Section T-shirts
Shirts were given to the student section as a reward for being one of our most engaged and receptive audiences.
Cutouts were given to the student section to tie in the social media theme in the arena.
Served as a video board piece, used to tie in the social media theme in the arena and to entertain during a scheduled media timeout.
While selfie sticks and emoji fatheads may not be for everyone, the initiatives were the perfect fit for UNC’s target audience.
“The majority of our in-arena promotions revolved around the younger audience,” explained Phillips. “We did that intentionally because we wanted to reward students for being one of our most involved audiences.”
With any social media initiative, understanding your audience is a huge key. And, it was UNC Athletics’ understanding of audience that helped make the event so successful. The @GoHeels account saw an increase of nearly 1,500 followers and an uptick in favorites, link click and replies; the selfie sticks and emoji fatheads were a big hit with 250 pictures taken. A win-win for both fans and the athletic department!
For those interested in hosting a social media night, Lynnea has some solid advice: Promote, promote, promote! If you can spread the word, rally your troops and plan initiatives that resonate with your audience, you’ll be sure to have a winning social media night.
A big thanks to Lynnea Phillips for taking the time to offer insight into UNC’s Social Media Night. Be sure to give her a follow on Twitter @LynneaPhillips along with the @GoHeels.
Thanks for reading!