Social Media Strategy of IPL Teams – Kolkata Knight Riders

KKR

Introduction

Staying true to its anthem, “Korbo Lorbo, Jeetbo Re,” KKR, as Kolkata Knight Riders is lovingly called, has started the new season in the same fashion as it had finished the last one – with a win. And this warrants my choice to begin social media strategy reviews of IPL teams in 2013 with weighing the efforts put in by KKR. In the process, I will review engagement efforts of the team on major social media sites – Facebook Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Google+.

Let’s begin our journey with Facebook, but before we delve deeper into each medium and come out with “gold nuggets” insights to form an overall picture of social media activities of KKR (and other teams in the subsequent posts), I’d like to give you a sense of temporality. To have a laser-sharp focus on the social media strategy, I will be analyzing the activities down from January 01, 2013 onward. I have kept the time frame to 2013 alone because of two reasons:

  1. Three months before an event is considered a warm-up period, which we must analyze, and
  2. Almost all teams significantly reduces its social media activities after the end of the season, so it does not make much sense to analyze what a team did in the months between the end of previous season and beginning of the warm-up period.

KKR on Facebook

URL

With more than 17 lakh fans and around 40,000 active participants KKR has a very strong presence on Facebook. A mere cursory glance on the fan page suggests how strongly KKR has projected its brand identity on Facebook, and how effectively it is engaging its fans (see image below), but out goal is to delve deeper and understand the nature of such engagement and trajectory it has taken since the warm-up period.

KKR - FB

In the said period, KKR has earned the trust of more than 260,000 fans, of which 81% are male and 19% are female. The growth rate of fan acquisition has been constantly on the rise, since January 14, but there was an ebb and flow in the number of fans actively talking about the brand only to show some consistency in growth Since March 08.

Kolkata_Knight_Riders_Fans_Number_Talking_About_Jan_1_2013_to_Apr_2_2013

Content Strategy

KKR has successfully mixed its visual content with interactivity to get a desired engagement from its fans (see the images below), which has led to an increased level of participation from its fans, so much so that, UGC (User Generated Content) on KKR’s Facebook page is way more than posts by the admin (see the third image), which is a testimony of successful engagement.

FB Engagement

Engagement Details

The social media team of KKR has also succeeded to some extent in retaining the interest of its audience, as it is evidence from the level of engagement on the following two posts – one done on January 24 and another on April 02.

Jan 24

April 2

During the studied period, the frequency of posts is more or less evenly distributed with Tuesday taking the maximum number of posts, but engagement is highest on Thursday, and it was information related to sports in general and other general happenings that caused the maximum number of engagement and not the posts strictly about KKR.

Timing

nature of posts

KKR on Twitter

URL 

With a total follower count of almost 169,000, of which around 30,000 (29,488 to be precise) followers have been gained in the studied period, KKR is going good on Twitter. Apart from live tweeting of the events, the twitter page of KKR is also abuzz with its followers’ verbal drooling (see the screenshots of sample tweets below).
Twitter follower growth KKR
Tweet 1 Tweet 2 Tweet 3

Twitter activities

Along with doing a semi-live tweet during KKR matches, social media team of Kolkata Knight Riders also applies themselves in creating non-match-related tweets, like the ones shared below. In these tweets you will see how the team has used the platform to not only inform about the match and guide visitors to the team’s website, but also to give insider information about the team. See the screenshot of the third tweet that talks about last-year video being played in a team meeting.

KKR1

KKR2

KKR3

Most of the tweets on KKR page are done between 9am and 6pm, with the maximum numbers of tweets done between 9am to 12 o’clock.

Tweet Timing

When you will look at the following image, you will notice that KKR had been moderately active in the beginning of the warm-up period with a couple of spikes in January and February. The activity got better from March mid onward with a little less than evenly distribution of proactive tweets, retweets and replies. Twitter admin of KKR has done a good job in including its important hashtags (#KKR, #KLJ, #KorboLorboJeetbo) in majority of tweets. Second most frequent item being links in the proactive tweets (see the images below)

Tweet by Type

Proactive tweets nature

Links may have featured less in proactive tweets, but it was very prominent in the replies KKR admin sent to its followers. An analysis of the nature of interaction conducted on twitter, it was found that most of the replies from @KKRiders were either positive or neutral.

Replies

Sentiments

KKR on YouTube

URL

In the studied period, the YouTube page of KKR has uploaded 6 new videos, gained 380 new subscribers to take the subscriber count to 2791, and got almost 33,000 new views taking the toll of total view to 511,222.

The team has not done very spectacular on YouTube, primarily because of the cost involved in producing video content and expensive mobile data cost for users, many of which are young and mobile  (guessing the demographic based on users profiles of Facebook fans of KKR), and might have been accessing social media from mobile devices. Nevertheless, KKR’s YouTube page has done better than an average sports-related YouTube Channels from Asia.

Twitter follower growth KKR YouTube video views KKR

The most-viewed video in the studied period was not one of the videos that was uploaded recently, but it was the one uploaded on April 27, 2011.

2011

Bisla’s knight vision video is the most viewed recently uploaded video on KKR’s YouTube Channel. Average length of a video content is less than 3 minutes, with a few going up to 4:30-minute runtime.

Bisla

KKR on Pinterest and Google+

URL (Pinterest)

URL (Google+)

It shouldn’t come as surprise to the readers of this post that KKR is not doing very great on Pinterest and Google+, it is doing relatively well on Pinterest though, which reflects the low level of acceptance of these social media websites among KKR fans in particular, and IPL fans in India in general.

On Pinterest, KKR has gained 33 followers in the studied period taking total fan count to 56, and done 7 new pins, got 26 new repins, and 17 likes in the same period. This as the number tells evidently is nothing to be proud of, but stats suggests that it is better than an average sports-related Pinterest profile from Asia.

Pinterest Followers

KKR Pinterest Boards

Pinterest

In total, KKR has 12 board with an average follower count of 40, of which Knights on Pinterest! Board has the maximum follower (50 followers) and 23 repins.

knights on Pinterest

One thing is very impressive about KKR’s Knight on Pinterest! Board, which is a very creative use of the board. To get a sense of what I am talking, you may like to click on the link and visit the board. Do not forget to scroll the page from top to bottom maintaining a good speed. It has created a nice vertically scrolling flipbook like effect.

Although the quality of posts on Google+ is not bad, the interaction level is very low (as evident from the posts below), and a merely 513 people have KKR in their circle. The lack of enthusiasm for Google+ can be felt on both sides – KKR’s social media team as well as users.

G+G+2

Conclusion: KKR on social media

KKR has been proactive in engaging its fans on different social media websites, and instead of spreading its resources thin, it has adopted a focused stance based on the level of users interaction, which is commendable. But it needs to put more effort on YouTube and on integrating video content in other social media. It could have also made its mark felt on Pinterest, but it failed in doing so, expect on one board where it has created a scrolling flipbook like effect. This is the kind of thinking the social media team of KKR needs to employ to make most of Pinterest. Integrating it with Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube can be a move the team should try. Although Google is trying hard to push Google+, I do not see much point in investing resources on that channel. A minimum presence is enough for the time being.

In conclusion, KKR’s social media team has done a commendable job! It reflects the spirit of the team and its anthem.

 

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