4 Social Strategy Lessons from Dan LaTorraca and the @BrooklynNets

I recently talked social strategy with Dan LaTorraca of the @BrooklynNets.

Last August, Dan was named Senior Director of Digital and Social Strategy for the Nets after spending six seasons with the Carolina Panthers. While in Carolina, the @Panthers’s Twitter account was named the best in the NFL by SI.com and best in pro sports by Athlon.

The Nets’ social media presence has emerged as one of the sharpest in sports. Brooklyn stands out with a distinct look and feel that frequently triggers my thumb when scrolling through my feed. These are examples of just some of the content that caught my attention:

Like many of us, Dan lives his life hashtag to hashtag. Here’s what Dan had to say about social strategy:

How Facebook prioritizing people over pages affects sports accounts

There is a natural affinity around sports and entertainment brands, so our industry could give us an inherent advantage over other brands.

Mark Zuckerberg even stated in his update that “there are many tight-knit communities around TV shows and sports teams,” so I’m hoping that sports brands take less of a hit than some less dynamic properties.

These changes could result in ad prices seeing a dramatic increase – and sports brands may need to rely on a paid strategy to reach their audience for more than just conversions, but also growth and engagement.

The importance of two-way conversation

The fan will always be the most important member of the team. So many brands don’t take the time to respond, engage and invest in their fans. It may seem like a simple, tiny gesture, but commenting on fan’s Instagram photo or sending a fan a card in the mail can convert a casual into a die hard. It can sometimes result in a season-ticket or jersey purchase. Bottom line, you need to invest in your fans if you want them to invest in you. Take the time to engage and converse, social is about speaking with, not at.

His team’s biggest change this season

I’m still pretty new to the NBA, but the biggest change we’ve made is investing more energy in our in-game video workflow and adding some high quality assets that are a fit for sponsor activation. Outsourcing those assets also frees up our creative team to develop more custom projects for theme nights or holidays.

His approach to analytics

You need to adopt a creative and analytical approach to get the most out of your social strategy, and looking at content performance for other teams is just as valuable as reviewing your own. That said, analytics only tell a portion of the story. You can use those numbers to eliminate, amplify or repeat content that resonates with the fan, but you don’t want to be at the mercy of the numbers – they can also stifle creativity. #

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