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Esports Management — Chapter 4 — Social Media
In this series, I’m going to discuss the different aspects of an Esports Organization’s business model, why it’s important, and the way I…
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In this series, I’m going to discuss the different aspects of an Esports Organization’s business model, why it’s important, and the way I see it getting implemented to drive your business forward.
Table of Contents:
4. Social Media
5. Content Creators
6. Competitive Rosters
30 years ago, if you wanted to deliver a message to an audience, you’d have to pay for access to that audience via traditional mediums like newspaper, radio, or television. Today, you still have access to those mediums, however, the ability to collect your OWN audience that you can contact at any time is now possible. Where do your audiences consume your media? Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitch among other places. These are the avenues we’ll be discussing in this chapter. I’d like to point out that this is not an exact science. In fact, at Disrupt, we don’t all fully agree on precisely how social media should be utilized. For example, some think that Twitter should be reserved for more formal announcements. Personally, I don’t agree with that. I think Twitter can be personable and have some “spice”. Some great examples are Wendy’s and Chipotle as major brands who aren’t scared to push the envelope from their Twitter account. Again, the following are my opinions on how social media should be utilized within an esports organization.
I believe the nature of the Twitter platform actually tells you how it should be used. First, the fact that Tweets are limited to 240 characters, in my opinion, tells me that no Tweet should be time consuming in creation. Because Tweets shouldn’t take too long to create, you can assume that you can be pretty liberal in terms of your number of Tweets a day. How many tweets you ask? I don’t think there is a right number, but you SHOULD NOT be scared of being generous. If you get consistent negative feedback that you are annoying your followers, maybe tone it down. The second function of Twitter that tells you how to use the system is the “@” system. Essentially, any messages that begin with an “@” are not shown on your timeline. This implies that Twitter intends for accounts to reply and interact. So use this opportunity to engage with your audience. Make a funny reply, tell a joke, or be serious. It doesn’t really matter which angle you choose, just make sure to engage!
The third function of Twitter that tells you how to use it is the fact that video can only be 2:20 long. Twitter is not a platform designed to consume long form content. This ties back to what I wrote earlier about not spending too much time on any one tweet. So keep your content short and sweet and make up for lack of length with frequency.
Here are some ideas for things to post on Twitter (uploading quick videos, graphics, or animations is always recommended as they get far better engagement): roster updates, live tournament updates, themed days like #wallpaperWednesday, tweets representing your sponsors, and polls. That list could be a lot longer but you get the idea.
Instagram does share some characteristics with Twitter, like a vertically scrolling feed, however IG is a FAR more visually oriented platform. We’ll break IG down into 3 sub-categories: regular feed, stories, and IGTV.
The regular feed is really designed for photos, 1 minute videos, and graphics. These posts should take a bit more time to manicure than Twitter, so therefore not as many are needed on a daily basis. Your IG output should be in the 1–3 post/day range. You can do more if you have quality content to post. Really make an effort to “brand” your IG feed consistently. Some of the best feeds are ones where the grid view of the account’s photos has a consistent feel.
Your Instagram stories are key to keep your audience engaged in between posts. By being consistent in IG stories, your brand will stay at the top of your audience’s home screen. You do not need to be too choosy in what you post here, but as many IRL moments as possible is what you should aim for. You can Google methods to really give your stories cool effects with tags, “@”s, gifs, and other animations.
IGTV, is still a bit new and I’m not entirely sure how that portion of IG will turn out. However, the “better safe than sorry” approach is probably best. This essentially means uploading some or all of your longform video content in a vertical format. You can also do horizontal, but the platform really stresses the vertical format, so I think it’s best to keep it that way.
As I mentioned in the video chapter, Video content is how you are going to truly tell your story. Currently, YouTube is the best platform for young organizations to host their video. In theory, you’d stand to gain more long term if you were to host your videos on a private platform as YT’s fees are quite extravagant, however, the additional exposure you get simply by being in the YouTube ecosystem is undeniable. Don’t get cute here, stick with YT until you are getting millions of views per month.
The YouTube algorithm is notorious for being random and unpredictable. You should always do your best to optimize your videos with appropriate titles, keywords, and tags, but ultimately, I’m of the mindset that nothing truly replaces quality content. You can hack the system all you want, but at the end of the day, consistently outputting quality content will win.
Your YouTube content should be the center of your “wheel” and all of your other social media platforms should be the spoke that lead back to/feed your YouTube videos. This means creating “micro-content” from your long videos to post on other mediums to ask people to watch the full version. If you are providing quality content (aka value), they will happily oblige!
Twitch is an interesting platform from an organization perspective. I have yet to see an Org truly optimize their use of Twitch, so I’ll share some thoughts that ***I THINK*** would be effective but have not personally executed.
Because you likely have a stream team that is devoted to their own personal channels, getting talent onto your actual org stream could be difficult. In lue of this, I think the organization’s Twitch can be utilized by management to engage with and communicate with the community. Hang out streams, updates, etc are some ideas you could try. Generally speaking, anything that builds community and engagement is worth trying, so grip it and rip it when it comes to trying new ideas!
There are certainly a lot more platforms than the ones I covered here, but generally speaking, they are similar enough for you to use similar strategies. For example, SnapChat could be used a lot like IG Stories.
That’s it for Part 4 of my Esports Management Series. Please stay tuned for Chapter 5 when we dive into the role of Content Creators. You can read the last chapter on GFX here. Thanks for reading!