Losing first three matches in the current IPL season has in no way dampen the spirit of Delhi Daredevils fans (and also its social media team), as the tournament is far from over, and it’s a long way to the finals for all IPL teams. With Players like Kevin Pietersen, Mahela Jayawardena, Virender Sehwag, and Morne Morkel it is only time before Delhi Daredevils (DD) start firing, all guns blazing. While the future unfolds for DD, its social media team is going to keep you engaged and entertained on all the major social media platforms, and their social media strategy is what I am going to analyze in this post.
DELHI DAREDEVILS ON FACEBOOK
The frustration of losing the first three matches of the series can be felt on DD’s Facebook page, and along with that you can also see a hope among fans, which is mainly pinned to the return of Virender Sehwag to playing eleven. Return of Virender Sehwag in the field is the only way to stop the losing streak of the team, as it appears from people taking about it on FB.
Before the beginning of the current season, on April 02, 2013, DD had 613,152 fans of which 53,594 was acquired between January 01 and April 02, 2013 (or the warm-up period), and since then Delhi Daredevils has acquired 16576 additional fans to take the fan tally to 630,998, of which 88% is male and 12% is female, ageing below 30 (98%) and largely single (55%). The demographic makeup of DD fans between April 03 and now is same as the overall demographic makeup of Facebook fans.
In the studied period, there had been in total 944 posts, averaging 10 posts a day in the warm-up period, of which 139 were by page admins and rest 805 by the fans.
If we go by the length of the posts made by fans (qualitative approach) along with the likes and shares of various posts, we can trace the passion of DD’s fans on the social media website, as evident from the following four images posted below, the first one of which was made by a DD’s fan.
As you can see in the above three screenshots taken of the posts done in three different months, social media team of Delhi Daredevils have tried to diversify the nature of the posts to keep fans engaged throughout the season, right from the beginning of the warm-up period. It is also evident from the image below. In total, admins have used 69 different tags for the posts. They have also used hashtags to some extent.
It appears from the image shared below that Delhi Daredevils’ fans are most active on Mondays and Saturdays, whereas, admins seem to be active on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. And it appears to provide a good mix of posts related to sports in general and team in particular, though it needs to make more general posts and somehow find a way to connect it with the team’s activities.
Sentiments in Fans’ posts
As far as the posts made by fans are concerned, they were not only numerous, but they were also not negative, despite the dismal performance of the team in the recent matches (or in earlier seasons). Of the total 732 posts that were analyzed to understand the sentiments of the posts, only 3.3% were found to be negative. This score is not less than impressive.
Delhi Daredevils on Twitter
After some initial reservation, twitter users have started lapping Delhi Daredevils’ twitter profile. As you can see from the screenshot below, the follower growth rate was uniform but slow between January and February, but since February 28 it in on a steep upward track. The reason for this sudden change can be ascribed to qualitative change in the nature of social media engagement by DD. In the studied period, the team has recorded a follower growth rate of 37.9%, which is much better than the average Sports Twitter account from Asia, which experienced a growth rate of 19.1% in the time period.
Despite that, the army of twitter followers of Delhi Daredevils is almost half the size of KKR’s twitter followers and so was the growth rate during the warm-up period, when DD acquired 18,722 followers, but experience has taught me that in social media, particularly on Twitter, number is not a very strong indicator, so we should dive deeper and analyze other social media success indicators for the team.
Talking of success indicators, it is worth mentioning that twitterverse correlated to in-field happenings, as reflected in the following tweets where both admins and followers are talking about recent losses.
During the warm-up period, hours between 12 O’clock and 6 Pm had been the busiest for the team, with a focus shifting towards a 6-9 PM slot during the series
Most of the tweets by Delhi Daredevils (#delhidaredevils and #DD) have been proactive in nature with replies and retweets almost missing from the action, as you can see in the following image.
The frequency of tweets in the period has also been abysmally low, but there was a significant improvement in the number of tweets between April 02 and April 10 (at the time of writing this post), but as the screenshot suggests the effort was quite haphazard. The three peaks that we see in the graph correspond to the match day and the graph is at a low ebb on rest of the days following the pattern of activities during the warm-up perio
Social media team of Delhi Daredevils has done justice with the scope provided by Twitter’s 140 characters. It has made an ample use of links and Hashtags (#DD, #delhidaredevils #Apnemunde, and #apnemunde) in the tweets. This has been a strong positive in favour of twitter use by DD.
The study of flow of emotions in the tweets in the warm-up period had been neither positive nor negative, but between April 3 and April 10 (see the second image), it was colored with positive emotions (42%), and some of the tweets contained negative emotions (9%), while the rest 49% replies were neutral in nature.
Delhi Daredevils on YouTube
The number of new views in the studied period (3,435) and 31 new subscribers suggest that there is some interest in consuming video content on YouTube, but the social media team of Delhi Daredevils has failed to capitalize on the opportunity by uploading a lone video on YouTube.
Although the team has not succeeded in registering any win in 3 matches it has played so far, there would be moments of glory in each match which should have been used on YouTube for the fans. They would have worked well in keeping the audience engaged and at the same time the positive moments from losing games had created hope for the future games. DD has missed this low-cost video content production opportunity.
Delhi Daredevils on Google+
With a strong presence in the circles of around 400,00 people, on Google+, Delhi Daredevils has done a better job than Kolkata Knight Riders. The content strategy on the platform has been quite decent. Along with making a contest related post (like on Facebook), on this platform, the social media team has done a commendable job in using positives from the matches the team has lost (see the images below). This will boost the morale of fans and help them forget the loss and focus on rest of the series.
Despite good content and a good number of people following thw page on Google+, there is almost no interaction or engagement, and more than DD’s social media team, it the platform that is to be blamed for this dismal engagement.
Conclusion: Delhi Daredevils on social media
In conclusion, I’ll say on Facebook, DD’s social media team needs to align the posts’ timing with that of audience activities to get the maximum out of the platform while maintaining the diversity in its posts. The social media team of Delhi Daredevils need to make team related posts more meaningful. Overall, DD has successfully used Facebook to a considerable extent.
On Twitter the team needs to be more active. It was a little worrying to find retweets missing from the twitter activity list by the team. Retweeting fans tweet is a very powerful tool available to the team to utilize to boost engagement. All in all, twitter activity is not very impressive.
On Google+ the social media team of Delhi Daredevils have adopted a nice content strategy, but not to their mistake, the platform hardly causes any real engagement, so the effort has been wasted. Instead of letting it go like that, DD should think of replicating the content strategy on other platforms.