Turning Social Media Followers Into Ticket Buyers

March 30, 2016

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The National Basketball Association (NBA), teams and players combined to reach the 1 billion milestone in social media followers this past February… they play to over 90% capacity yet only 1 percent of those fans actually attend NBA games.

Obviously, not all of the 1 billion followers have geographic access to arenas or the means to purchase tickets, but what about those that do and still aren’t coming?

How can we close the gap between social media followers and ticket buyers?

It is a question of whether we are giving fans the right type of content. Are you creating content that completely satisfies the fan via their mobile device, or are you motivating them to get off the couch and attend live?

Creating “Reality/Must-See TV” in your venue is one of the most important ways to convert social media followers to ticket holders. On your social posts, show the slam dunk or the amazing catch and the crowd exploding. Demonstrate the excitement is real and authentic. You want to create that “fear of missing out”.

Instantly post different shots from around your venue of the roaring crowd or team chants up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

More and more fans inside a venue are using Twitter during a game. MLS’s Sporting KC fans are fired up when Graham Zusi of Sporting KC scores a goal late in the game. The Club instantly tweets out a special offer to order a Zusi jersey to be picked up at the venue that night.

Fans can only redeem that special jersey offer if they are in the house. It is an opportunity missed by the fan sitting at home or at the local sports bar.

One of the main goals for social media is to build an emotional connection between the fan and the team.  We have recommended properties hire students with an interest in communications, marketing, or journalism. For collegiate sports, assign one of them to each team. Their job is to attend every practice and game to get 30-seconds of footage of “peak behind the curtain” activity. Get the coach talking strategy, clips of practice, player ‘fun facts’, behind the basket free throw distraction dances, etc. to build the bridge between the fan and the team.

Use this content on your social media platforms to build fan relationships with their favorite athletes, teams, and sports. This increased engagement leads to further monetization of your fan base.

Use social media to identify the most avid fans who should be season-ticket holders and use your sales staff to lure them in. They will come to the game for a unique peek, and then after a great game experience you will have more fans attending for life.

This is how you turn social media into a MVP of your overall sales strategy.

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