It’s time to continue our conference-by-conference look at NCAA Digital best practices, revealing the 10 Digital and Social Media best practices from the Southern Conference. Our goal remains the same: to shine a light on programs who are trying new things in the hope of inspiring the rest of us towards something even greater.
10. Charleston Shares Panoramic Look at Their City
To me, part of using social media to your advantage means you think about your advantages. The College of Charleston did just this, creating the video below. As you’ll see, the setting of Charleston’s campus and city is unique and gorgeous. This is, no doubt one of the recruiting keys for all programs… making it a great thing to bring to life via powerful panoramas on YouTube.
9. Western Carolina Launches Football Gameday Pinterest Page
Pinterest brings a collection of visual ideas into one curated page or experience. As you’ll see here, this idea is incredibly powerful as it relates to showing off a gameday experience. WCU created a gallery that creates one collective visual of the activity taking place at a football game, playing to the strengths of Pinterest: easy to update/add to, easy to share, and easy to infuse with your own point of view.
8. Samford Athletics Does Bad Lip Reading Video
Bad Lip Reading videos are not what I expected to be adding to a Top 10 list. But (as you’ll quickly note below), the way Samford introduces this idea does an incredible job not just of making us laugh… they found a way to make their programs feel more personable or approachable. And, importantly, they had some fun along the way!
7. Western Carolina Gives Us the Game Ball on Facebook
There is something intimate about the idea of a game ball. It’s a scramble when a ball flies into the stands in baseball or softball, and it’s an honor when one is awarded to a player in the locker room. Yet I hadn’t come across one in social media until I saw this idea from Western Carolina, here, that introduced a game ball into Facebook. When you think about it, the idea is pretty cool: award a player the game ball, as you normally do… and then share this to your fans through Facebook. The beauty of course is that this creates an easy opportunity for fans to share love for the moment and the player – things that are much harder to do without a presence like this in social media.
6. NC Greensboro Asks Fans For Best Celebration Photo of the Year
Photography is a constant that unites all sports. As you’ll see here, UNC-Greensboro takes this idea and uses it as a way to bring fans into the discussion in the offseason. They’ve created a simple visual that allows fans to vote for the best celebration image of the year. This idea is simple, repeatable, and reinforces an important thing: If you go to Greensboro, you’ll have reason to celebrate!
5. Western Carolina Softball Teaches Fans the Cheers on YouTube
If you’ve ever attended a softball game, one of the craziest things to get your mind around is the chants or cheers throughout the game from the players. This is incredibly unique to the flow of any team, and it is certainly something that can draw players together. That’s what I loved about the video below from Western Carolina: by showing off the insight into what the team does during a game, it not only helps the fans understand the game, it creates an experience they can participate in around the program.
4. Furman Creates Mini-Documentary on the Future of Paladin Basketball
There’s something amazing about documenting a journey that you don’t know will end up well. That’s what first caught my eye when I saw the Facebook cover and YouTube videos put together by Furman Athletics. Furman Basketball may or may not emerge as a powerhouse program. They might make it to the tourney and capture the nation’s attention. Or they might not. But the way they boldly tell this story not only makes us wonder what is possible, it brings us into their story. Powerful examples of leading through a vision.
3. Southern Conference Asks Fans To Vote For Best Picture
When you see the way the Southern Conference unveils their best photos, your mind opens. As you can see here, they take a simple idea (vote for the best pictures) and give it a stage. They serve up the best photos (starting initially with 8 finalists) across all member programs and all teams. Each is given a stage through their posting strategy and they let fans vote for the winner. Given the way amazing visuals can pop from the news feeds of followers, the power of this idea to gain momentum is real. I’d love to see a prize awarded to the winning school, team, and photographer.
2. Davidson Gives Us the Year in One Infographic
A lot can happen in a year. So much so that it is almost impossible to remember a full year of moments at once. As you can see here, Davidson Athletics takes that challenge and introduces us to the full 2012-13 season infographic – your one-stop shop for positive energy from Davidson Athletics.
1. Elon Baseball Delivers Split Second Image in Facebook
There’s no way to look at this image and not appreciate for what it is: A reminder of the power of being in the right place at the right time (with the right equipment). As you can see here, they had to put a camera person into place (with access) in order to capture that moment. The level of planning that defined this day must have been incredible and beautiful… much like the image that resulted.