Fast Five – Best Of Social Content Strategy: College Football

Five examples and analysis of exceptional social content strategy in college football and how to make it happen. Read more.

Notre Dame's Football Stadium during half-time and packed with fans as the marching band spells out the initials ND on the field.

Welcome to the first of a new series Greenfly is excited to introduce. In this recurring feature, we’ll showcase five interesting examples from the world of social media across a variety of industries, along with insights you can learn from them. If you see [or produce] any examples worth sharing, tweet us @Greenfly! This week, we dive into the world of college football.

Next time you lament the 24/7 nature of social media, the quenchless thirst for content, the ever-pressing need to balance priorities and resources with social media analytics – next time it feels like there’s simply too much to do, think of those working in college athletics.

They’re often balancing six, seven, eight, or even more sports in action in the same season, all with their own social media needs, games to cover, and audiences to serve. Also, it’s typically only a handful of full-timers leading content production, marketing, analytics, and operations, along with – if they’re lucky – some students or freelancers to help out.

And yet they’re on the front lines, simultaneously trying to reach and engage fans of all ages, donors of all ages, alumni of all ages, students, potential recruits, and regular old fans – local and national and even international. Making it even more difficult, they’re often in a neverending arms race, pitted against their peers, to do more content, do it better, and do it differently.

So how can college athletics digital and social teams maximize the staff and resources at their disposal to deliver meaningful content? How can they activate and amplify content across their global community of fans, staff, students, freelancers, and volunteers all while maintaining the messaging and brand that define their institution?

Here are five examples from a gameday Saturday in the 2019 college football season of schools giving fans unique and emotionally stimulating content and making it feel like they have eyes and ears (and cameras rolling) everywhere. We champion great content and how our technology can make content collaboration and trafficking easier and at scale. So examples like these below can come to life:

Utah Football Gives Fans a Sideline Pass for Incredible Access

Not every school is lucky enough to have a staff sizable enough to man the sideline. There are game operations and marketing setups to coordinate, press box duties to manage, and simply keeping up with updating all the digital and social platforms. Yet, Utah is right there in the trenches on the sideline, understanding how powerful it can be to capture content from up close. Fans love the access and intensity, recruits get to see how much fun the players and how they support each other, and alumni can see how much pride and emotion players play with to represent the school.

With so many other responsibilities to attend to, it can be tough to find someone to work the sideline and produce video. Let alone edit it, cut it, choose where to upload it, and present with the verbiage and tone befitting the school, the game, and the brand. It takes a lot of trust, collaboration, and communication to pull it off and the Utes were doing something right this past week — not just their demolition of Oregon State – and fans got to feel every ounce of the win.

How Greenfly could help: Anyone – from players and coaches to staff, employees and fans – anyone with a smartphone and steady hand can help out and get such sideline video instantly in the hands of the digital and social media manager – allowing them to post it at the right time on the right platforms with the right messaging to speak on behalf of the team. Heck, the social manager can even request specific content – including vertical vs. horizontal, as well as watermarks – within the Greenfly platform, among so many other features.

Oklahoma Has Alumni in the NFL Shouting Out the Sooners

Whether or not OU coordinated with NFL All-Pro alumnus Lane Johnson,, he was one of multiple former OU players to sing for the Sooners in advance of their Red River Rivalry (or Shootout or Showdown, depending on your preference) game against Texas. Schools know how powerful it is – for their fans, boosters, and certainly for potential recruits – to see their most successful alums supporting the team on game day, be reminded of the success their alums are enjoying, and see how much the Sooners still mean to them.

Now more than ever, schools are starting to realize how valuable their alumni really can be because not only do many fans still remember and love them, but a lot of alums have amassed enormous social followings and a single tweet can provide a ton of value for the school and its football program. Therefore, there is a growing opportunity for communication, for collaboration; making alumni still feel part of the program and the school getting a nice boost from the player’s digital audience being exposed to his alma mater and the program that has meant and still means so much to him.

How Greenfly could help: With Greenfly, OU could share tons of content with alumni and ‘request’ they share on social about the game, letting them choose from the videos, graphics, GIFs, links and pics provided. Or schools can even request a video shoutout for the OU account to send out.

Not to mention, players on the Greenfly platform can still have access to their content years after they’ve graduated and a player graduating in 2019 would be able to revisit the highlights and photos of his own Red River Rivalry experience to pick something out to share before they watch the big game as an alumnus.

Minnesota Makes Sure To Thank Fans After a Big Home Victory

The Golden Gophers are having some kind of season so far in 2019, now 6-0 and looking poised to challenge for a spot in the B1G title game. And they know that now is the time to make sure their fans know how much it means to them when they pack the stadium and cheer them on to victory. What fans see is a super-short, selfie-style video on the field. What they don’t realize is that, amidst the chaos on the field after the game – and with tons of other responsibilities for the digital, social, and communications team to mind – it’s not easy to shoot, cut, and post that video.

There is always a huge crowd on the field after a game, especially a win (and this one was not of the rush the field variety) – between media, players, family, friends, the sizable staff of the team, security, officials, and if you’re lucky a communications or digital staffer with a camera or smartphone trying to grab some photos and videos for social. And most individuals in that crowd are in a hurry. So it’s by the grace and grit of the Golden Gophers to track down a player and work together as a staff to get that excited message out to the masses.

How Greenfly could help: It doesn’t matter who films the video and there’s no need for the fragmented combination of FTP, cloud storage platforms, text messages, and email attachments to get that content out to social. Players can shoot it on their own phone and make it instantly available for the social manager to post even as they’re finishing up a graphic or a website recap. Communications staffers can even ‘request’ video shoutouts from players after the win, and they can record them on the bus ride to the airport. Collaboration, baby!!

South Carolina Shares the Love of Their Victorious Return to Campus

The Gamecocks had an upset for the ages, taking down the previously undefeated Georgia Bulldogs in a game nobody expected them to keep close, let alone emerge with a win on the road at Georgia. But that’s why they play the game! Gamecocks fans all over celebrated, particularly in the heart of Columbia where USC (the eastern US version of USC, at least) is situated. And a good chunk of fans were waiting for the team to return to shower them with love and appreciation.

Sharing that contagious emotion is a great way to maximize the big win and capitalize on the opportunities presented — engaging target audiences of all types as potential recruits see the passion of the fans, alumni get to feel that tinge of nostalgia and emotion that everyone in external relations seeks to foster, and fans all over get those goosebumps as the players they cheer on every Saturday bask in the thrill of a hard-fought win. It takes a village to make it happen. The South Carolina Athletics staff was ready to capture the moment with high-quality video that was then cut, edited, and uploaded to social media to share with South Carolina fans, alumni, and students all over.

How Greenfly could help: Part of the magic of Greenfly is feeling like the staff is everywhere all the time, and in this case can get video and images from the production team, football staff, or even regular old fans cheering on the players arriving and make it instantly available for the Gamecocks staff to share, stitch together, or use for marketing, recruiting, and branding purposes. Content producers are everywhere and with Greenfly, it’s incredibly easy to connect and collaborate with them and their content!

Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly Shares Raw Emotion From Inside the Locker Room

Most major college football coaches are now on Twitter (far fewer on Instagram, incidentally) and they use their accounts to share their recruiting visits and wins in the offseason, and varying degrees of glimpses, hype videos, and graphics provided to them during the busy season itself. And, yes, most coaches aren’t actually the ones pressing ‘send.’While this video is just one example of some of the good stuff being shared by coach accounts (not just head coaches), it stands out because it’s so raw, not produced, and feels like it came from Coach Kelly (or, at least, his assistant) just sticking up a phone for a quick video inside the victorious locker room after the Irish took down USC in South Bend.

But the communications and digital teams do want that professionally shot video of the locker room, too, and it’s not so easy to have someone around to grab that raw video for other purposes, whether for the team’s Snapchat or coach’s accounts. It takes forethought, planning, and collaboration to make sure that content happens, and the result is a video teeming with authenticity that gives fans, players, and – important for coaches – the recruits of tomorrow that get a taste of the unfiltered, emotion-filled locker room.

How Greenfly could help:
Instead of trying to get a post out amidst the chaos following a locker room speech or, G-d forbid, text the video to someone else to post, it can all happen in Greenfly and become available for not just whoever is best suited to post for the coach, but also for players to post, for former athletes to access and share, and of course the official team accounts, too. It’s not sorcery, it’s Greenfly.

College Athletics is more extensive in its breadth and content demands than just about any other entity in sports or industry, in general. College Athletics also has larger, broader, and more emotionally invested communities than anyone. There is content to be created, content to be shared, audiences to engage, and if everybody works together, everybody wins.

That’s not all: Nobody beats Greenfly’s collaboration tools, but Greenfly is also THE leader in the space when it comes to automation, efficiency, and organization. Through Greenfly’s extensive set of integrations, the content operations is more powerful than ever, and the entire community — the team’s accounts, those of the student athletes themselves, coaches, alumni, partners, and even fans are all extensions of the content and the communications team.

Do you want to take your content collaboration to the next level?
Contact us at Greenfly!

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