These days, social channels are vital to the success of athletics departments’ promotion and marketing for many reasons. Whether you’re promoting your institution’s fantastic academic accolades, your athletic wins, successes, or stats, you’re trying to recruit the best of the best and social media is now the doorstep to your program. Knowing social media plays a major part in marketing and promotion, it’s important to ensure your profiles are branded well, you want people to know they’re visiting a profile under your umbrella.
As your program looks to promote and market individual sports want to push their own specific content, it’s important to ensure they all represent the athletic department correctly while still pushing their own identity. While at Colorado State and now here at Miami, we’ve created a graphic identity in which we apply to everything, making sure all our social pages are branded. As you can see with these graphics, we ensured our primary mark is prominent with the sport being secondary. At Colorado State, the Ram Head is a large round mark and easy to work with. The logo can easily be seen with a secondary element in the back, which makes for a dynamic profile photo. At Miami, we’re not allowed to put anything inside the “U” (as it should be) thus, we had to go with a subtle text line. In both instances you have the brand front and center while still allowing for individuality.
The same can be said for the Colorado State cover photos in which each sport has their individuality while continuing to strengthen the brand. Here at Miami, we’ve tried to ensure all our profile pages look strong and carry our new digital look, with a great slogan.
The last piece of branding that I think is crucial for college sports is the hashtag. I know recently there has been a lot of chatter from folks in the industry that hashtags are dead, but I don’t subscribe to that group. For me, I think hashtags do two things; they create cohesiveness amongst your tweets and promote whatever your rally cry or signature is (#GoCanes, #CSURams), and it allows you to get into the conversation amongst your fans. Every tweet I post, I ensure we have one of three hashtags: #GoCanes, #TheU, #ItsAllAboutTheU. There are specific examples when we use one over the other, but no matter what hashtag we choose, we’re continually pushing brand and specific conversation.
Whatever your strategy is, make sure you’re moving forward with your brand on all of your social channels. No matter where fans, recruits, or folks looking for information you want to make sure you’re branded well and your conversation is driven the way you want it to be.