How to Master Your Twitter Marketing the NBA Style

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The new NBA season is just getting underway, and fans on Twitter are gearing up for another exciting season in 140 characters or less! With NBA basketball being such a fast paced sport, and Twitter being such a fast-paced platform, the two seem perfect for each other.

The NBA has 4 different aspects to their Twitter marketing, highlighted by four different accounts:

  • @NBA: This is the main account they use. If something big happens they documented it on this account.
  • @NBAOfficial: Was there a controversial call during your game?T hen this account will tell you what happened and explained the rules in real time.
  • @NBAStats: This account is used to get re-tweets quickly as they share very interesting statistics as they happen, or at the end games.
  • @NBAHistory: For good content all year round you can stop by the @NBAhistory account. There are many stories to tell from the decades that the NBA has existed, and they love to tell them on Twitter.

The NBA’s Twitter marketing is just as exciting as the game. They keep things lively, they keep things moving, And they keep getting their fans reasons to come back again and again. I’m going to show it all to you so that you can learn and apply these lessons to your own Twitter marketing.

In addition to all this, the NBA made a big move this offseason to add live streaming video commentary on Twitter:

You can be sure that the NBA and Twitter are only going to get bigger together as the 2016/17 season goes by. Let’s start the season off right by learning about how the NBA markets on Twitter.

@NBA: Where Big Things Happen

With so much going on in the world of the NBA, they have to break things down a little bit in order to present as much information as possible. The main account, @NBA, is where they like to present all of the biggest things going on.

This can include tweets like this one, which summarize upcoming games or season information:

To tweets like this one which show the results of games:

They will also show interesting league-wide statistics:

These are always replays of things that are happening right now in a game. Twitter marketing is all about what is happening right now, and the NBA wants to give it to their fans right on their own Twitter account. This means that fans don’t have to wait until after the game to see the highlights on SportsCenter. Just open up your Twitter app, and make sure you’re following the @NBA. What’s more, these highlights can get people to tune into the game after seeing it on Twitter.

Something else that you will notice on the main account is that they like to retweet the individual teams. This helps them easily create new content, while also popularizing the individual team. Here are a few things they retweeted recently:

https://twitter.com/ATLHawks/status/790332512891445249

They are, of course, only re-tweeting the best content. The main account is all about highlighting the best highlights going on around the NBA. A few contributions from the individual teams every now and then helps build a complete picture of what’s going on around the league.

@NBAOfficial: Can You Believe that Call?!?

The NBA have made the days of waiting to read the rule book, or hear the commentary of pundits after the game, a thing of the past. This new account, @NBAOfficial, tells fans exactly what is going on right during the game as it happens. It helps clarify calls, and helps show people what was done wrong by their team or player. This has done a lot to help alleviate issues amongst fans during games:

Information is what Twitter is all about. Brands which learn to share information quickly will be best suited to use this platform. With officiating always being a sore spot in the sports world, this can be great information to share. Hopefully this account helps people understand the game better, and see that, yes, every now and then their players do commit fouls.

When the game is over this account still has more than it can teach fans. At the end of every game they send out something they call the last two minutes report:

As the off-season progressed they were sure to use this account to update fans on new rules. They kept the account relevant year-round thanks to tweets like this:

But we have not yet touched on the secret of this account. The secret of this account is that this is the NBA’s unofficial, official, account for customer support.

Every business needs an account just like this as it pulls controversy away from your main account, and puts it here instead. This is the goal of all customer support accounts on Twitter. Be sure to monitor your social media, and see if a Twitter support account is something that you need as well.

@NBAStats: Know All the Things

Out of all the accounts which I am showing you here today, this one is certainly for the most hard-core of fans. Every single statistic which you can think of is shared, analyzed, and commented on. The hard-core fans eat up Twitter content like this:

They also do flashier content like this, using the hashtag #SAPStatLineoftheNight:

Sharing this type of it in-depth statistical analysis can create incredible engagement on Twitter. The type of fans which love this type of content also loves to talk about it. The more they talk about it on Twitter, the more they are doing to popularize the NBA’s Twitter account.

You can almost think of this statistical sharing as how the NBA is trying to increase their influencer marketing. With the influencers right there on Twitter @mentioning their accounts it helps to push their popularity. They don’t get this when SportsCenter shares it on TV and people discuss it sitting in a bar. Now they get it on Twitter, and they discuss it on Twitter.

Once again the NBA shows us that proper Twitter marketing is all about sharing information. The better the information you share the better retweets you get, the more followers you get, and the better your Twitter marketing is. People like to go on Twitter to look smart, and re-tweeting your good data is one way that they can do it. This can apply to any industry, any genre, anywhere in the world.

@NBAHistory: For All the Feels

Out of all the different accounts we have looked at, this is the one with all the feels for true NBA fans. @NBA tells us what’s going on right now. @NBAStats takes us deeper. @NBAOfficial helps us understand the game. But @NBAHistory allows us to remember the golden moments of years gone by.

The account has two main strategies. The first strategy is tying in flashbacks with what’s going on in the league right now. An example would be the night the Cleveland Cavaliers got their new championship rings. The account did a series of tweets centered around famous moments when other famous players got their first rings:

Sharing this type of content is easy. They can prepare it well in advance, get a hashtag ready if they want, and just sit back and wait for hundreds of retweets to come in. And they do:

Think of this account as the NBA’s form of content repurposing. This is all old content that we have all seen before. But they share it at the right time, to hit the right feelings, and they use it as a key way to earn retweets.

One last thing that they do with this account is something that’s one quite often on Twitter: Sharing quotes. Where most Twitter accounts will share quotes from random people throughout history, this account prefers to tweet out inspirational messages from their game’s all-time greats:

As a side note, I would be happy if they shared Vince Carter dunks all day:

The NBA’s Exceptional Twitter Marketing: What Makes it Work

If you have learned anything from the NBA’s Twitter marketing, it is that information is what makes Twitter relevant. For your Twitter marketing to be relevant you need to share good information. And just like the NBA you can share information in a number of different ways:

  • Like the @NBA account, you can share the biggest news going on with your company on your main account.
  • Think of the @NBAOfficial account as customer support.
  • Set aside a separate account for detailed information, just like @NBAstats.
  • You may not need a separate account for content repurposing, like @NBAHistory, but you certainly need to use this tactic so you always have great information to share.

Your Twitter marketing may not have highlight reel dunks, controversial officiating, or a history that spans decades, but I can certainly learn something from the NBA’s exceptional Twitter marketing.

Keep digging, I have only scratched the surface of what the NBA’s Twitter marketing can teach you. They still have many more accounts that you can learn from. Is there one that I didn’t cover that you enjoy learning from? Comment below and let’s talk a little basketball, and a little Twitter marketing.

More from Matthew: I Learned All My Youtube Marketing from Epic Meal Time (and You Can Too!)

BIO: Matthew is the editor, and writer, for the Devumi.com blog. You can read his latest thoughts on the world of social, video, and online marketing every week. If you like to tweet, send something 140 characters or less to the @Devumi Gorilla. If you didn’t already know this, #WeTheNorth.


Photo Credit: Visual Hunt

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