As a Bay Area company, we’re celebrating the Oakland-based Golden State Warriors’ NBA Championship win. And while they dominated on the court, they also dominated on social media. Wow! We were impressed with their approach and their use of #DubNation to unite, rally, energize and engage their fan base. Whether fans bought tickets or not, no one was left out when it came to #DubNation.
While we’re still celebrating the Golden State victory, we thought it’d be interesting to look at how social played such a key role connecting both teams with their fans.
To do so, we looked to Klout, which tracks social media activity and influence based on Twitter, Facebook and other social channel reach, engagement and influence.
Each day, more than 15 billion pieces of data are processed to update Klout Scores and by using that data, we pulled the top 10 posts with the most social engagement during the NBA finals. Interestingly enough, we found tweets from President Obama and Kobe Bryant making the list. We also saw the hilarious video from BleacherReport, portraying Stephen Curry as the infamous “Stone Cold” Steve Austin wrestler, and the Warriors traditional sing-along to O.T. Genasis’s “CoCo” make the list.
The top 10 Most Engaged Social Posts from the 2015 NBA Finals are:
1. @warriors– The wait is over – Your Golden State #Warriors are #NBA CHAMPIONS!!! #GSW #NBAFinals
2. @SportsCenter– LeBron James is 1st player in NBA Finals history to lead BOTH teams in points, assists & rebounds for entire series
3. @hbarnes –You already know we had to make the Championship edition!!! #DubNation
4. @NBA –The Golden State @Warriors are the 2015 #NBA Champions!! #NBAFinals #DubNation
5. @SportsCenter– WARRIORS WIN NBA FINALS! Golden State claims 4th title in franchise history with 105-97 win over Cleveland in Game
6. @BleacherReport– Stephen Curry drops the Stone Cold Stunner on the Cleveland Cavaliers!
7. @POTUS– What a team win for the Warriors and an epic season for Steph. Kudos to LeBron and the Cavs for an unbelievable effort under adversity
8. @kobebryant– When the players you’ve known since they were preteens beat the vet you’ve known since he was a teen #vetsvet #CongratsWarriors #ThisIsNOW
9. @warriors– We hear you back in the Bay, #DubNation …. WAAAAARRRRIIOOOORRRSSS. #StrengthInNumbers
10. @NBA –Steph takes a moment! #NBAFinals
The Warriors really were on top of their game when it came to social—just like they were on the court. First of all, they were inclusive. They focused their social media posts on everyone – head coach Steve Kerr, owner Joe Lacob, starting players (like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson), off-the-bench players (like David Lee and Leandro Barbosa) and fans—no one was left out. They also won on “team ball” meaning there was no one superstar who won the game or garnered the entire spotlight. Everyone mattered.
What can you learn from them?
• It’s not just about trending on Twitter or the number of “likes” on Facebook. Connecting with everyone – social media followers, employees, team leadership, fans, players, influencers/commentators—is the real make or break. The Warriors did so on every channel (both online and offline).
• It’s about sharing the ultimate “Fan Experience” on digital – whether you bought a ticket or not. All fans were created equal to #DubNation.
• They embraced breakout stars like Riley Curry and Draymond Green’s Mom to provide the fans the creative content they wanted (Your customers and superfans can create far more trusted and interesting content than your marketing team).
• They drove excitement with the hashtags (for example: # IggyShrug and #StrengthInNumbers) to help fans feel they were an active and valuable member of the community and part of the rally to win.
• They stayed authentic on Twitter. They posted real images, gave updates and responded to fans’ tweets. No marketing speak, just real people communicating with each other.
Is there anything the Warriors could have done better in terms of social? They could adopt what we call a “Total Community” approach. And while that starts with customers (or fans, in this case) at the center, it is also centered on having your own platform as the hub for all other activities. Lasting brands know that using others’ social channels is just the start. To create long-term engagement, you need to have your own community on your own web site—and be able to access the data, insights, and content from all channels (including your own) to deploy as strategically as possible.
Sounds like an opportunity to keep the Golden State Warriors winning streak going—and we’re excited to see what this team has in store for all of us next season.
Katy is Lithium’s Chief Marketing Officer and GM of Lithium Social Web, leading all strategic marketing activities for the company including branding, positioning, communications, go-to-market strategy, and customer acquisition programs. You can find her on Twitter @katykeim or at her blog, BookSnob.
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