What if I told you that you were currently missing out on opportunities to get closer to your fans, and to make some money?

What if I then asked you how much you’re currently doing on Facebook? My guess is nothing much other than the business as usual, right?

Facebook bill themselves as the world’s largest stadium with over 2.3bn people using one of the Facebook family of apps each day. 700m of those Facebook app users are sports fans, and there’s approximately 400m sports fans on Instagram. It might not be high up on your list of go-to apps on a daily basis from a personal level anymore, but there’s still some value to be found there for those that do regularly use the platform.

Chris Cairns, who works in Sports Partnerships for the tech giant, recently joined Michael and I on the Scottish Football Marketing Podcast to give us the lowdown on how Facebook, and Instagram, could be better utilised by sports clubs for their own benefit. You can listen to that episode below if you haven’t yet. I’d really recommend it.

I’ve summarised a few of the key uses that Chris walked us through below. Have a read and try them out!

Paid Online Events

Got an event coming up? Paid online events enable you to monetise your event through a one-off access charge that’s collected when guests register to attend.

Using the events creator tool through your FB Page you’ll be able to set the price, select co-hosts (who’ll be able to co-promote to their followers) and create ads to drive awareness and purchases by targeting those most interested in your offering. So many clubs have lost revenue this year from no fans being able to attend live, this could help recoup some of that loss. While many of our clubs already set up their own streaming products to replace match attendance, maybe these paid online events could be used in another way? Clubs might want to broadcast their end of season awards, for example.

The Facebook success story is from Subversion Jiu Jitsu in Australia. When Covid hit, they went online and behind Facebook paid online events. They made $29k revenue across their first three events and had a 55% increase in revenue for the second event compared to the first.

Fan Subscriptions

Subscribing to streamers on Twitch or supporting content on Patreon is almost second nature to a lot of sports fans these days. Your club can enable fan subscriptions on Facebook that allow fans to support you through monthly, recurring payments.

While fans already regularly financially support their clubs through various means, why wouldn’t a club open up another potential revenue stream that fans might be willing to use to show their love and loyalty?

Fans will expect something for their loyalty and money though won’t they? You’ll be able to serve them up exclusive content like behind the scenes access, exclusive live videos where subscribers get the chance to pose questions or provide feedback on anything club related or discount codes for merchandise or events can be provided to fan subs.

It could be the perfect chance to get even closer to your most loyal fans.

The Savannah Bananas have a pretty unique style when it comes to their approach to everything but they successfully grew a 500-strong subscriber base in the first 10 days of it launching. Their main aim being to replace lost earnings during Covid, but obviously to give fans a chance to get closer to the action when they weren’t able to.

Leveraging Video and Ads

Facebook and Instagram users spend 5x longer looking at video than static content on both platforms.

Branded content can be created in collaboration with club partners, tagging the sponsor when uploading the content. It’s leveraged by some of the biggest clubs and brands in the world, but I think it could be done by clubs and organisations across Scotland too with the partners you have.

In stream ads and opening your club up to the Facebook Audience Network are two other ways you could generate revenue from the platform.

Spurs are another club who’ve leveraged both Facebook and Instagram successfully over the past year. They’ve obviously had a few moments like Alex Morgan and Gareth Bale joining the club, as well as Jose Mourinho joining Instagram, to capitalise on, but they’ll be plenty of similar scenarios and strategies that you could put together at your club. Utilising content and being creative with your approach. Across the year they’ve produced 700 3min+ Facebook videos, increased Facebook 1min views by 180% and 7x’d their in stream monetisation payouts between March and November 2020.

Facebook are currently running a webinar series focused specifically on what sports clubs and organisations can do on their platforms. You can sign up for them here. The next couple are geared specifically towards earning more money through using Facebook and Instagram and I’d really recommend you sign up.

The Sports Partner Resource Hub is also available to be accessed. It contains resources and guides to get started with using Facebook in a much better way than you are currently.

If you’d like to get in touch with Chris at Facebook to find out more about anything in this post then get in touch with me in either way below.

Thanks for reading. Guest posts are always welcome on Sports Marketing Scotland if you’ve got an opinion to share on the business or marketing of Scottish sport. Find me on Twitter @sportsmarketsco or email the address below.

I’m currently working with a couple of clubs and individuals across sport to improve their marketing efforts. If you’re reading this and would like some help too then email chris@sportsmarketingscotland.co.uk