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Sports and social media are converging more and more every season. Networks such as CBS Sports Network and Fox Sports Network are capitalizing on increasing engagement with viewers through the use of social media. Sports networks have a great opportunity to maximize their engagement and viewership because of the nature of the passionate community of loyal fans that are more than ready to talk about their favorite teams. This past weekend as I was watching college football, I noticed the use of hashtags and social media mentions even more than usual.
On Saturday, CBS Sports Network created a social media initiative entitled “Super Social Saturday” with the goal of encouraging fans watching at home or in the stadium to interact and engage with the team and network. The initiative incorporated fan tweets, pictures and interactions throughout the day from the games and studio programming. Viewers were encouraged to use the hashtag #CBSSuperSocial for all social activity related to the games.
Incorporating social media into the viewing experience increases and maintains interest in the games and network for the viewers throughout the day. What made this social media initiative stand out for me was that CBS was consistent and semi-obnoxious by constantly bringing up the hashtag throughout of all the programming. In order to get people to buy into using the hashtag and staying engaged, you have to consistently state what the handles are and which platforms to use, and CBS did this.
Another reason that this social initiative was successful was that CBS Sports Network’s game announcers and studio team interacted with fans all-day on Twitter in order to keep the conversations going. They answered questions on-air and provided commentary from the official handle, @CBSSportsNet. Another aspect that made CBS shine yesterday was empowering notable alumni and giving them the opportunity to take over the official Twitter account to answer questions and tweet during the games. This gave viewers and fans an incentive for following along all day- getting to tweet to alumni and receiving real-time answers to their questions. This was a great move by CBS because it provided value to all parties involved and increased the overall excitement and engagement with the games all day long.
The integration between sports, TV programming, and social networks are only going to increase and become commonplace in order to obtain successful viewership. CBS did a great job of rallying fans behind Social Saturday and creating conversations around the content that they were already watching. It’s great to see sports networks using social media the right way and reaping the benefits from it every single weekend.