An Overview Of The NHL’s Social Media Presence

NHL Social Media

NHL Social Media

There are so many social networks for brands to choose from these days. Now you have Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, blogs and a million apps thrown into the mix. The key to finding the right balance is not only finding the ones that work best for your brand, but it’s also about staying on top of the trends.

According to Edelman, North America’s largest public relations firm, the three biggest social media trends today are:

  1. Digital storytelling
  2. Real-time marketing
  3. Brand advocacy and influence

At this moment, digital storytelling is in the lead by a long shot. Brands are continuously trying to nail it on the head – everything from blogging to videos. It’s all about the story.

However, real-time marketing is expected to eclipse digital storytelling’s profoundness by the end of 2013. I also believe brand advocacy platforms have to be seriously considered a lot more then they currently are. Online influencers have a wide readership, viewership or following. They can reach a lot of people, fast! They’re also a trusted source. These days, that’s getting harder and harder to come by. It’s a pretty big win for any company who can leverage the power of these individuals in their social media marketing plan.

The NHL is certainly making their digital footprint in the world of sports entertainment. There are so many different ways to utilize each and every social network. This is where the element of creativity becomes imperative to today’s “best business practices” in terms of social and digital media marketing.

My goal over this eight-post series is to inspire sports marketers everywhere to become agents of change in sports entertainment. It’s not okay to just do the basics anymore. You have to be innovative, clever and relatable to your audience – as I’m sure every seasoned marketer knows.

To begin changing the pace from “just keeping up” to “taking the lead,” lets for a moment, put a finger on the pulse of the NHL’s online presence.

Twitter Leaves Door Open For NHL Trash Talk

Wow, this subtitle makes Twitter sound like a terrible media outlet for the notoriously ridiculed company on Twitter. In late 2012, Bruce Dowbiggin published an article on The Globe and Mail; NHL Losing The War On Social Media. “Almost everyone concedes that, because of social media, the NHL is running uphill in this PR battle compared to the lost season of 2004-05” (when Twitter didn’t exist) he says. He then went on and listed some pretty bad Tweets he found, all tweeted in the same day:

  • 15 Reasons Why Hockey Fans Hate Gary Bettman
  • 9 Ideas For NBC To Replace The HNL
  • Threats To Boycott NHL Sponsors on

At first glance, this seems pretty bad. But do you honestly think that BECAUSE of Twitter, people feel this way? Media is changing, yes, that much we can agree on. The only difference is, people can easily articulate and spread the word about their most frivolous opinions, regardless of how valid they really are. Ever heard of constructive criticism?

For the first time ever, the NHL got a REAL sense of their perception in the eyes of their fans. Now the NHL knows what their fans don’t like and they can do everything in their power to change that and give them exactly what they do like. Maybe a new commissioner for the National Hockey League? I don’t think so, but perhaps Gary can work on his personal public relations issues – if that’s really what the core issue is.

The great thing about social media is there are no filters. You’re getting the whole truth. What a beautiful concept! There is so much you can learn about the way you’re perceived in the public eye by taking a moment to listen to your audience.

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About author
I’m a hockey fanatic with a drive for all things related to digital media. I think the role of social media in public relations is impacting the way other sports fans consume media. Media trends are rising like there’s no tomorrow, digital brand advertising is too often neglected and writing for the web has become an unprecedented terrain for anyone born before 1985, hands down. My marketing background goes back to 2009, where I earned a diploma in advertising from Georgian College. In 2011, I continued my marketing education at Algonquin College, where I received a post-graduate certificate in social media. Not content to rest on my laurels, I headed back to Georgian College to acquire yet another notch on my educational bedpost – another post-graduate certificate, but this time in Fundraising Resource and Development.
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