We’re in a day and age where programming schedules may feel less important. After all, set your DVR to record your favorite shows, or go to Hulu/Netflix and watch what you want, when you want, right? While that is all true on the receiving end, it creates even more of a responsibility on the rest of us. Those of us in the digital space need to be pretty clear and transparent around what we stand for… and then make that as incredible as we can.
Perhaps that thinking is why I was pretty inspired by what I’ve noticed lately. The offseason is a tough time for a college athletics department. There’s no natural calendar to lean on, no big matchup getting publicity on ESPN, and no practices to report from. Which means there’s opportunity to get creative.
When you click into each school’s approach, you’ll find a daily plan of attack. Missouri (link here) will offer this programming across Facebook and Twitter:
Mizzou Monday: Fun facts about the teams, coaches, and Columbia.
Trivia Tuesday: Test your knowledge about the program.
Where in the World Wednesday: Submit photos from around the world in Mizzou gear.
Throwback Thursday: Sharing photos, videos, and memories of great Mizzou moments.
Food & Friends Friday: Favorite recipes, including one chosen “of the week”.
Meanwhile Louisville takes a different approach (link here), elevating a different social media channel each day:
#mmmMonday: Pinterest will drive fan favorite recipes, with the best ones chosen.
#TutorialTuesday: On YouTube, Louisville coaches will offer tips to fans to improve their games.
#wordyWednesday: Fans on Facebook will be challenged to caption photos.
#ThrowbackThursday: Twitter conversations will focus on moments from the past.
#FrameItFriday: Instagram photos will be elevated, looking for fans spelling out L1C4 or CARDS.
So, what’s all this mean?
Programming is great, for several reasons.
- It makes your content predictable and structured. As a fan, I know what to get, when, and where.
- It gives you an opportunity to craft an identity around multiple social networks. This is a point to use the summer break as a way to build your long-term plan. If Pinterest is a place you are going to build a franchise long-term around food, cool. (think tailgating photos, fans of the game, pregame meals for the team, etc.). If it’s only an idea for the summer, maybe this isn’t your best approach. But it’s really important to think long term and then apply it short term.
- It lets you have fun. In an ironic way, it is adding this structure that lets you become more loose and fun. How can you show off your school, coach, or player personalities given the structure you have in place. Structure gives fans some predictability — it is now up to you to make it exciting, dynamic, and surprising.
- Content can define your program. Picking the right themes or programs serve as the way all of your programs can define themselves through the same voice.
Can’t wait to watch this and see how it works!