Their season may be over after the weekend's crushing loss against cross city rivals Giants, but Sydney Swans have at least been kicking goals online this season.
Sydney Swans Digital Media Manager Shane Potter has shared his tips on how to get the best out of social media, with a focus on Twitter.
Key for him is to be able to take fans behind the scenes and show them not just the highs and lows of life at the club – but even some of the stuff that might seem routine to insiders...but is fascinating for fans.
What is your role within the Sydney Swans?
Digital Media Manager – I oversee the digital strategy across the business and the day to day content strategy across all Sydney Swans digital platforms.
How is the Sydney Swans engaging fans across the season?
We continually provide fans with different ways to engage with the club both through our digital channels and in person, during the week and on game day. We use content on our digital media platforms and our consumer business offerings which includes membership and merchandise. On game day we do some very innovative activations to ensure fans remain engaged while at the game.
Why is Twitter an important platform for sports teams to engage fans around Australia?
All Australians are passionate about sport, it is ingrained within our culture. Twitter is where a lot of fans go in order to receive not only the latest news and behind the scenes content but also an opportunity to interact with the AFL community at large. This forum gives our fans a way to interact with our players, the club and other fans on a daily basis, giving them the chance to feel even closer to the club than ever before.
On Game Day we see plenty of fans sharing their experience with us as it unfolds at the SCG, and then when fans are in front of the TV they use Twitter for a second screen experience to share their passions as they watch the game unfold.
Have you seen an increase in engagement on Twitter between 2017/18 seasons? If so, what would you attribute the increase in support to?
We have definitely seen our Twitter audience interacting more strongly with our content throughout the 2018 season. We’ve made a more concerted effort to increase our video output, in particular behind-the-scenes content, and give our fans the insights they may not be able to get anywhere else.
Do you have any tips/tricks for other sporting organisations looking to engage fans?
Give fans a unique experience when they come to follow you on Twitter. This does not always have to be insights into tactics or meetings, but just the little things around the organisation that you may see on a daily basis that the general fan in the street would not have access to. Tailor your digital content to be what cannot be consumed anywhere else on other digital channels or through other platforms.
What types of content work best on Twitter?
Players celebrating the wins in the room after the game with family and friends always gets heavy engagement with our audience. They also enjoy video content that takes them behind closed doors so that might be a player finding out they are making their debut or a warm up ahead of training or the match. Another piece of content that resonates well with our fans is using historical video of classic moments, not just from years gone by but reflecting on the season just gone. This is something we have done particularly during the finals series to build up excitement ahead of finals.
How have you used hashtags to support your Twitter campaigns?
The consistent hashtag that our club uses across its social channels is #ProudlySydney to ensure that whenever anyone is talking about the club they are able to show their passion for the club. On each game day we also use #goswans as an opportunity for fans to further engage with the on field happenings on game day.
Are there any athletes on your team doing particularly good work on Twitter?
Sam Naismith @samnaismith35 is great at having some fun to show his personality through his Twitter account.
Do you see Twitter as a good way for at-home fans to connect with the Swans community?
Twitter is a great way for fans to be able to have a second screen experience when watching the footy from home. The application also allows for the interaction of like minded fans to be able to join in the conversation as the on field action is unfolding.