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ESPN is the leader in all things sports and social. It is a company that is finally using social media to create a brand community and makes it a point to engage consistently with their fans. They understand the importance of variety in social.

With 1,282,897 likes, ESPN gets it. Fostering and increasing engagement with the audience is essential in the success of any social media strategies. Let’s see how they manage to do this…

Fill-in-the-blank statements.

These are so simple and quick, yet they allow fans to come together and state their opinions publicly.

In just 5 hours after posting, College GameDay received 1,834 comments and 21 shares. It is easy to simply “Like” a page, so this is not a metric that is truly a measurement of engagement. However, shares and comments expand the reach of the audience and provides fans an opportunity to create a conversation not only with the brand, but also with other people.


ESPN is a sports network (to state the obvious). So they align their business model with their social media strategies and channels. It is not all chatter with ESPN- it is a channel to communicate what is going on and what their fans are interested in reading.

Again… the engagement is there. They have a perfect trifecta of likes, comments, and shares.

Campaigns and contests 

Social media is not a platform to simply sell your product or communicate information. No one is going to spend a lot of time on your social media site if there is nothing they can participate in or nothing that excites them.

Yesterday marked an important day in the year… the start of the College Football Season. ESPN has utilized Facebook to promote their #GetUp4GameDay campaign. College GameDay officially begins tomorrow at 9AM. To encourage people to view and participate as much as possible, they are motivating people to wake up early and spend their entire day surrounding themselves in all things college football related. The hashtag will most definitely be found anywhere on the ESPN channel tomorrow and throughout the day, you will see conversations about College GameDay increase exponentially.

For example, ESPN created an entire album on Facebook with each football team and a graphic to share entitled with the “Get up. It’s GameDay” headline. This is a great way to have people talking about a campaign by personalizing it for every fan, not simply just posting a status about the campaign and telling fans to “like” it or “share” it…that’s been done. Innovation is the key to success.

Anticipation, and so much more. 

ESPN fosters a sense of excitement on their Facebook page. Whether it be through countdowns, inspirational pictures or results of a voting competition (such as the new logo for College Football Playoffs), ESPN continually keeps fans engaged with new content that actually makes you want to check back every day to see what they posted. Exclusive content on social media sites really entices people to check back on a more regular basis.

RIght Picture: Notice the amount of engagement that a simple countdown to GameDay caused…people are passionate about things- figure out who those people are and they will engage.

ESPN knows social.

Let me know what you think, I would love to hear it!


2 thoughts on “#GetUp4GameDay

    Lindsay Cochenour said:
    September 8, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Hi Ania-Lee!

    Great post! Having attended the UGA game yesterday, I am now recalling seeing some of these ESPN tactics. I agree that ESPN is getting it right. I love how they engage the consumer through multiple social platforms.

    In addition, their goal seems to be consumer focused, not self centered. They want to get the consumers talking about sports, not just ESPN. As a consumer myself, this makes me more kin to ESPN and have goodwill towards them. I love how ESPN engages their consumers through social platforms and agree that they get it right.

    Thanks for this insightful post!

      Ania-Lee responded:
      September 14, 2013 at 5:04 pm


      I agree in your statement that ESPN’s goal is to be consumer focused. I think that is what makes them so successful, because they provide an outlet for community and not social media platforms that act as advertising and promotion.

      It is amazing what you begin to see when you pay attention to the tactics that are used during sports events that you may not have noticed before.

      Thanks for the comment!

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