We have seen this year that a new meaning has been attached to the phrase “Content is King” with the greater emphasis placed by the major platforms in the use of imagery. It is becoming less about the written word and more about great images.
The rise of platforms such as Tumblr and Pinterest has meant that Twitter and Facebook have had to react. Now you rarely see a Facebook post made by a brand (or person) without a picture associated with it. You can also now view images within a Twitter post, making the experience more fluid within the platform.
Sport has been quick to pick up on this and two of the biggest sports bodies in Australia have released ‘Social Hubs’ in time for their Finals. Both have been produced by specialist company Stackla who claim to ‘aggregate and sort the social content around your brand’ and allows clients to collect social user data for profiling and communications.
The Australian Football League have launched ‘The Huddle‘ for 2012 Toyota Finals Series, bringing together updates from both fans and official accounts. The nice thing about this software is that it lets you sort between seeing both fans and official updates (the default setting) or filter down to just one or the other.
The National Rugby League have also taken the step forward for their Telstra Premiership finale. The ‘Big Noise‘ is the name given for this activation and to join in with either this or the AFL site you have to create an account, ensuring that the league get as much data to use next season as they can.
It also fits into the website well as the options shown link through to the relevant section; news, team, etc. This makes the experience whole rather than trying to direct people to different sites for different activities. One of the difficulties has been over recent times has been, how do you integrate all these new sites you control so that fans get the full experience?
Facebook and Twitter are becoming better at, and releasing new tools, to show feeds and post comments within your site without the need to go to the platform to do so. Facebook has had this comments functionality for a while and many blogs make use of this. Twitter has just released its first official tool to embed twitter feed into your website, as we have done here at UKSN (look to the right of the screen).
We are going to see more of these hubs over the course of the next year as sports look to own the conversations and have them taking place on their sites. It’s always been a issue that no matter how many fans you have on Facebook or Twitter, you will never own that data. That belongs to Mark Zuckerberg and Biz Stone.
The best you can do is to move those people from using the platforms directly and have them use them on your site. The bonus is that when this happens and you have a strong Social CRM plan then it can benefit both the club/business and the user in the long term.
*Interesting side note – after publishing this story I received an email about the new Kred Story, a social hub to go with Kred’s influencer rating system. It looks cool but distinct similarities to the other two mentioned above. Year of the Social Hub!