Social Media Strategy- Chennai Super Kings [IPL 5]
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has been one of the best IPL teams thus far. It reached the semi finals in all four seasons and played 3 finals,and won two titles. It is a remarkable feat indeed. CSK has not failed to impress its fans, but the charm of charismatic captain of Two-Time IPL-Winner and the exuberance of CSK fans have failed to make an impact on Google. When I tried searching for its Facebook page or twitter page, the first result was not that of the official profiles. This was surprising to me.
But overcoming the initial surprise, let’s move ahead. In this article, I’ll analyze social media activity of Chennai Super Kings. We’ll see what CSK is doing with the equity it has built with fans in the last four seasons of the game. We will see if the team is trying to engage its fans on social media, and how successful has it been in doing so.
Tools of engagement
Chennai Super Kings has a presence on three major social media channels, namely, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. CSK social media team has included two types of blogs on its nicely designed website and we analyze each of them in details in the paragraphs below. Let’s see how well CSK is using these tools of engagement, and if they have succeeded in it or not.
As mentioned above, finding the official Facebook fan page in Google was not an easy affair. In fact, the official fan page didn’t appear on the first page of Google, which was a little strange. The first result that I got was the following:
But when I finally did land on the official fan page of Chennai Super Kings, I was greeted by a nice cover asking me to raise my hands. And it is precisely where the engagement started. The first update that I found was about a contest “Spot the super king”.
Next post and next to that were also of similar nature announcing winners, asking questions, and engaging friends. One of the posts sought strategic suggestions pertaining to IPL matches from Facebook Fans (see image below), and then there was a picture of Fan of the Day.
CSK has emerged very strong in its attempt to engage fans on its Facebook page. It has nicely used a mixture of image and texts in its status updates. CSK has also shared some “behind the scene” images and news on FB wall (see image below). Only thing missing from CSK FB wall is video. CSK should at least have used videos from interviews and match highlights to take the engagement to the next level.
Although CSK has spent a great deal of time in thinking about the engagement, it leaves scope for improvement on the real estate use. The like and twitter button should have been replaced by “Behind the scene” and “King’s club” tab boxes, or any other tabs which call for engagement, and they should get attractive thumbnails like Kolkata Knight Riders page.
CSK has 9.79 hundred thousand fans, of which 41,909 are actively engaged with the page. On an average, close to 1000 people like each status update, and a couple recent updates received more than 4,065 likes and 280 shares.
Hash tags: #CSK, #raiseyourhands
Like other IPL teams we have analyzed, Chennai Super King is also very active on Twitter. The posting frequency is good. CSK engages its fan by semi-live tweeting of the match on the day when CSK plays. On the match day, there are no other tweets.
In my view, CSK should tweet more about their contests, and other engaging activities on the day of the match, which they do on other days, because when the team plays CSK fans are actively engaged and are willing to receive information about the team from all kinds of channels. Sharing information about contests or some insider info, at this point, may make things go viral.
Most of the tweets on CSK timeline are text-based. CSK social media team should consider sharing some occasional photographs or links to their YouTube video.
From the branding point of view, the twitter page needs a lot of work. Talking of branding, there is one image of CSK Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, but it is hidden behind the tweets on the timeline, and one can only see it if one scrolls down. The background should have been used in a much better way. Even the bio section needs improvement. CSK has a verified twitter profile, which is a strong positive. In total, it has 45,294 followers on twitter.
YouTube Channel of CSK is not a very active one. There are only 434 subscribers and even they do not have any reason to visit the channel regularly, as almost all the videos are related to CSK IPL matches – interviews, man of the match presentation video, wicket-fall videos, inning highlights, and best player, etc. These are the things that fans can see anywhere, and in fact, they do see it on TV.
To make this channel engaging, CSK should have posted videos which are not available elsewhere. Like of players talking, or video snapshots of the dressing room. Using fan videos would have been a nice way to engage fans as well. It has missed out on the opportunity.
The best thing about Chennai Super Kings’ online presence is its website. It has a very nice Pinterest-like design, only it is more symmetrical, which looks elegant. The 7 boxes on its home page bring all the important information on the homepage. The website is aesthetically done.
When you go to the blog section, you will find more than one blog, but what will invite you is yet another contest called Super Blog Contest. Here the attempt is to engage fans, for one more time, by asking them to blog about team and its performances in the current season, which may fetch them some reward. There are four more blogs on the website which are written by four CSK players.
Another link that you will find under blogs is the caption contest. At the time of writing, a private photograph of Suresh Raina was posted there and fans were invited to write captions on it.
From the design point-of-view the only thing needs improvement is the lightbox in which a blog post appears. There should have been other ways to display blog posts, or at least lightbox should have been slightly bigger.
The fans are actively engaged with CSK on social media, as it has given them a lot of ways to engage in – from writing caption to fan of the day contest to winning CSK merchandise contests. Like its winning streaks, social media activity of CSK will also impress its fans as well as critics. The effort has been totally geared towards engaging fans. To this end, Chennai Super Kings is hosting a lot of contests, sharing insider info, and private photographs.
In Social Media, Chennai Super Kings have done things in the right way. The engagement is better than any other teams we have followed so far, probably with a noticeable exception of Mumbai Indians, but a little more care should have been given to planning and social media updating, especially on Twitter and YouTube. This is where CSK lacks.