While attending the CMU vs. South Carolina State football game I became aware of all of the different ways the CMU athletic department uses social media to connect with students and fans. Throughout the game the announcer would frequently encourage anyone listening to “stay connected” to what is going on with the football team and the athletic department online. There is a Facebook fan page called Central Michigan Football which provides an easy way for people to get information about the team through posts updating fans on whatever new is happening. I found this page extremely helpful as a student because I am constantly wondering what the game schedule is and this page provides a list as well as separate event pages that people can attend. This page also offers direct links to buy tickets and Chippewa merchandise.
These announcements would also mention to follow CMU Athletics on Twitter to get updates on the department, mainly the football team. The Twitter page CMU_Football was providing frequent updates on the game through tweeting. The tweets mentioning CMU_Football are also sent to a live feed on the Facebook page that I mentioned previously.
I feel utilizing the tools such as Twitter and Facebook is an effective way to get the attention of fans, especially students, and keep them interested in the brand. When organizations take the time to reach out to people online it shows that they are trying to adapt to social media and develop their brand as much as they can.
Even though not many people at the game immediately pulled out their smart phones and started following the Facebook or Twitter pages after hearing the announcements it helped them become aware. Those pages most likely get the most followers from people seeing their friends or followers liking or following that page but if they were already exposed they will be more likely to click the link and give their attention.
I feel that the CMU athletic department is doing an adequate job of building their brand online but they can improve in some areas. Doing more special offers through their pages with local businesses and giving away free merchandise can garneted more clicks and followers. They should also be looking into using Foursquare during the games, possibly taking a list of the people checked in and offering prizes. The word “free” goes a long way when communicating to college students.