Much to college football fans’ chagrin, time has run out on the 2017 season with the Alabama Crimson Tide on top. Yet, the Charlotte Sports Foundation and LGA are already thinking about the kickoff to the 2018 season and staying relevant in the meantime.
Miller Yoho, digital content specialist at LGA and the voice behind the Belk Bowl’s social media accounts, recently shared insight into how he fosters relationships with college football fans online and uses social media to impact the business objective of the Belk Bowl and Belk College Kickoff Game.
“We strive to connect with fans in a way that is appreciated by them and not heavy handed by the brand,” Miller said. “It’s all about timing and staying top of mind throughout the year to create an affinity for our games so that when a fan’s team is selected, they are interested in buying a ticket or staying engaged with us on social during the game.”
The Belk Bowl is active on several social media platforms, but Miller focuses heavily on Twitter and Reddit. The voice is witty and current, commenting not only on the events in Charlotte but across the college football landscape.
“We use a lot of GIFs and puppies,” Miller joked. “It’s odd, but we always see more traffic when we use cute animals to help sell tickets.”
Miller also has written a few viral tweets during his tenure with the Bowl by trolling Alabama’s success, including this one that received a SportsCenter mention in 2016 and garnered 2.2 million impressions. Similar efforts in 2017 yielded 1.4 million impressions.
“These are the only two tweets in our account’s history that have reached over a million people,” he said. “Conversation around Alabama always ignites engagement, which helps with views, because people are so passionate about that particular team.”
On the Reddit College Football channel, Miller does an AMA (Ask Me Anything) before both the kickoff and bowl game to talk with fans. Before Belk Bowl team selection in 2017, he gave followers the criteria and let them suggest teams to choose. Then, he shared the fans’ insight with the staff that worked to pick the teams.
“We’re the only Bowl that’s consistently using the platform,” he said. “Their active college football Twitter account piqued our interest in 2014, which led to a conversation about how we could work together.”
This strategy has led to over 4 percent engagement on Twitter for the 2017 game day. The Reddit post about team selection received over 850 responses and 2,500 up-votes (likes). The Reddit College Football channel appreciated the collaboration so much that they surprised our team with a custom graphic for the AMA this year.