Boston College Athletics' Social Media Problem: How Can It Be Fixed?

Yesterday as I was perusing BC Interruption's Facebook page, I came across a startling fact. We weren't following BC Athletics on Facebook. Quickly I went to remedy the problem, and as I did a pop up came up:

"Thank you for following us BC Athletics on Facebook, as our thanks to you here is a $5 discount on any ticket to the BC-Duke Football Game."

Honestly I have never seen this type of advertisement on Facebook before and was pretty impressed that BC figured out how to do it. Last week Brian gave the not so shocking news that Boston College was ranked 96th in college social media following. Let's look at BC's Twitter and Facebook and see what they are doing right and what they could change to be a more effective marketing and interactive tool that reaches its fanbase.

BC Athletics Facebook Page

Right from the start the page catches your eye with their catch phrase "Every Day is Gameday" banner as their profile photo. The page's wall is basically filled with random fans comments about different players and the "Every Day" game questions. This is a good start in terms of interacting with fans. BC is giving away shirts and bookstore gift certificates to fans who win the daily contest. Though the "first person to answer the question wins" kind of limits its interactivity if you know someone else already answered the question correctly.

Besides this contest there isn't much else, which is a shame because there is so much BC could do with their page. There is a ticket tab on the site which you can buy tickets on. That's great, but how many people buy from it? BC should give you a reason to! Offer Facebook exclusive deals, maybe $10 in food coupons with your first FB purchase? The BC page isn't bad, but if you look at some of the bigger programs like Florida State you see the potential of what Facebook could be:

-- Daily deals if you follow them
-- Buy merchandise right off the page
-- Tons of other links to other FSU programs.

FSU and BC's page is different because of two words: exclusive content. BC's page sorely lacks in exclusive content that drives gaining new followers and sustaining the interest of the ones you have.  

BC Athletics Twitter Page 

This account is not engaging at all. It reads like a list of headlines from BCEagles.com with little to no exclusive content at all. They don't follow anyone, retweet anyone or respond to anyone. I know the program has to toe the party line, and wouldn't retweet anything @bcinterruption says, but wouldn't it make sense for them to retweet some of the great tweets of Jared Dudley or Craig Smith?

If you want to see how to do it right, look at Boston College's main twitter account @BostonCollege. They are everything that the Athletics page is not. Completely interactive and engaging. They wished me a happy birthday, retweet many of my BC tweets and follow lots of their alumni. BC Athletics should try to look at how their fanbase interacts on twitter and constantly follow hashtags like #WeareBC and #BCEagles -- which @BostonCollege and @bcinterruption jointly decided on when we realized we needed an athletics-only hashtag -- to see what their fans are saying. Most of us know that BC lost to Notre Dame so we don't need a tweet that reads "BC loses to Notre Dame 31-14". If the administration put any effort into its Twitter account they would  learn a lot about not only what they are doing wrong, but what they are doing right as well. 

The purpose of this post was not to rip BC Athletics and their inadequacies with social media, but to critically look at their current efforts and make suggestions on how they can improve. Tools such as Facebook and Twitter are critical for a program that is desperate to engage their students and alumni fan base. Is BC's 96th ranking the fault of DeFillipo and their administration? Quite possibly. But the answer is easy for the administration as there are 9,000 potential solutions right under their noses.

Get a student or someone from the AD to run the accounts and give them a little free reign to be creative with the content (with parameters of course). Get your marketing teams involved with Twitter and Facebook. Make us want to follow you, because right now, I don't follow either and I sleep easily knowing I don't miss anything important on either.

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