by Jayson Schmidt, Preseason
(Check it out if you want a deep dive into email marketing metrics, in addition to web and social.)
This week, we’re talking about your team’s qualitative brand strength, or in layman’s terms, a non-numbers-based approach to the strength of your brand.
Social listening is when you track the mentions and conversations related to your program/brand.
The first component is looking at your own social media accounts––– who’s commenting on your posts/tweets/videos and what are they saying? This is an easy tell regarding the strength of your brand because those who interact directly with your program will often be positive-to-neutral. Anything you receive that is neutral-to-negative is a sign that there is more going on behind the scenes that needs attention. Just like an airline whose social accounts are flooded with frustrated travelers, most negative online interactions are accurate representations of how a user feels about a brand.
Likewise, consider who’s tagging your Instagram profile, mentioning you in their comments, or using your hashtags. These interactions are often more authentic than interactions that happen with your team’s social media accounts.
Sometimes, the easiest way to measure conversations for your program is to hop on Instagram on the day of a game/match/meet and read your players’ posts. Consider the language, use of emojis, and energy level of their content as an indicator.
You can also measure the comments and replies from their personal following, too. It’s all a measure of your brand because your athletes are a measure of your brand.
The key amid all of this is to correctly utilize social listening to direct energy or care for your community, while gathering brand cues to inform future steps.
Surveys for feedback.
Creating a brand awareness survey is a little more on the nose, but it can also provide direct insight into how users see your program/brand.
When Preseason is hired by a college athletic department to review their brand, we utilize a three-step process: audit, analyze, and strategize. In this workflow, our first step is to audit a department’s brand by gathering as much feedback as possible. That internal audit is done through first-person meetings and online surveys, both of which you can do for your program.
The goal when finding feedback is to get raw, honest truths. Glossy answers that only seek to garner favor or create an echo chamber will hinder your brand. Find the trouble spots and pain points that allow you to rework your strategy and build a stronger program.
Having trouble staying connected to your audiences? Shoot me an email and we can discuss two easy solutions for your program’s strategy in 2022.
This article is the eighteenth in a series on athletics branding. Jayson Schmidt is a former NCAA Division II head coach and managing partner of Preseason, a creative agency that helps colleges win.
Struggling with your brand or just simply want an edge on the competition? Preseason can elevate your story and deliver it to recruits, fans, and donors.