Today I will be performing a social media audit on the New York Cosmos professional soccer team.
As a new feature here on my blog, I will be performing social media audits on brands, celebrities and sports teams to assess what they’re doing right and what I think they may be doing wrong…and how they can improve upon the success of their social media endeavors.
These audits are very similar in nature to the audits I would perform on a client’s social profiles. However if I have admin access on Facebook, I can dive a little deeper. But even in this format, the profile being audited can get a very good assessment as to the health of their social media marketing.
Team Name: The New York Cosmos or simply The Cosmos
Team Background: The world-renowned soccer club from New York City. The New York Cosmos soccer club was founded in 1971 by Warner Brothers President Steve Ross and Atlantic Records’ co-founders Ahmet & Nesuhi Ertegun.
The New York Cosmos was a legendary team of rock-and-roll era bad boys, soccer legends, and champions that played and partied together until 1985.
On August 1, 2010, international soccer icon and Cosmos Legend Pelé announced that The New York Cosmos has returned to inspire, develop, and field world-class players once again. The Cosmos returned to the North American Soccer League in 2013.
In this post, I will examine the social media profiles of the New York Cosmos. I will also be making recommendations as to how I believe they can better engage with their audience. For information on the team’s social profiles, please click on the tabs below.
Facebook: ( page link ) Currently the Cosmos have 50,656 fans as of September 15, 2013. They are enjoying an engagement rate of approximately 5%.
The Cosmos currently average over 4 Facebook posts per day. In the month of August 2013 the team published 125 posts that generated over 19,000 engagements for an average of 156 engagements per post.
The most engaging type of content has been photos. However this may be skewed as photos were the most posted content over videos, polls etc.
As for sentiment, 88%-89% of the activity is neutral or positive in nature. The optimal posting time is on Saturday evening between 9pm and 10:00pm.
All of this indicates that there is a base of fans who have an interest in the Cosmos content. However, where the problem comes in is regarding the actual reach on the page. During the month of August the Cosmos were only able to obtain an engage rate of 3%.
This is primarily due to the fact that Facebook’s algorithm is only showing the content to a fraction of the Cosmos’ fan base. There are a few ways to over come this to increase engagement. Currently the Cosmos response to the comments from the audience is basically non-existent.
Recommendations: Employ Facebook ads to reach a higher percentage of fans and friends of fans. Immediately begin engaging more with the fans who do respond. And begin creating, developing, and executing exciting social promotions on an ongoing basis.
Twitter: ( page link ) The Cosmos have 20,239 followers on Twitter and are following 4,426 people as of September 15, 2013. Currently the Cosmos Twitter account is “unverified” which is odd for a professional sports team. This needs to be investigated immediately.
The measurement period of this Twitter audit is August 31, 2013 through September 13, 2013. I believe this sample lot gives a fair indication of the overall Twitter activity.
The Cosmos are averaging nearly 12 tweets per day with moderate fan engagement and they have 88% positive or, at minimum, neutral sentiment. During this sample period the Cosmos gained zero followers.
In addition, only 3.2% of the Cosmos Twitter followers are engaged with the team. This is well below average and indicative of a Twitter following that isn’t responding well to Cosmos activities on Twitter.
The best time for engagement is between the hour of 7:00PM and 8:00PM. This is when the Cosmos should be spending a lot of time engaging and interacting with fans. The best day for engagement is Sunday as over 25% of the team’s engagement occurs on Sunday.
The most troubling datapoint uncovered is that the Cosmos have an obvious strategy of NEVER responding to anyone. This is a failure. The only good thing about this is that it is immediately rectified.
The Cosmos should be posting more multi-media to Twitter. Videos, micro-videos and pictures do far better with the team’s Twitter followers but the team is sending far more text only tweets than tweets with multi-media. Tweets with images and videos get 124% more engagement.
Twitter is a conversation, not a monologue. The lack of participation by the team explains the lack of interest by the followers, and the low rate of gaining new followers. If you’re going to have a Twitter account you MUST respond. The Cosmos should seek a response rate in excess of 60% and they should be responding at minimum within a 60 minute window.
YouTube: ( page link ) Currently the Cosmos have 1,215 subscribers to their YouTube channel. The team has uploaded a total of 86 videos. Total views of all videos is 305,374. This gives the New York Cosmos an average of 3,550 views per video.
However this is extremely misleading as 2 videos from 3 years ago (see one of them below) have received the bulk of the views and are very dated. New videos posted by the team struggle to reach even 1,000 views.
The videos are being posted regularly. So the lack of viewership is pretty easy to pinpoint. The problem goes back to what was revealed in the Twitter audit. People want to see videos, but the Cosmos aren’t promoting their video content.
They aren’t publishing their videos on Twitter or Facebook. Since there is no promotion of their YouTube channel, very few fans know to access the very content that they most want to see.
Recommendations: The Cosmos are creating great video content. However they are not promoting it. By cross-publishing the video content and implementing a strong call to action campaign to drive more subscribers, the Cosmos can have a thriving YouTube channel. I would also suggest the development of a YouTube promotional strategy s well.
Instagram: ( page link ) Currently the Cosmos have 1,878 followers and they are following 171 people fans as of September 15, 2013. They have made 464 posts. The sample period of this audit on Instagram was August 1, 2013 through August 31, 2013.
During the month of August the Cosmos enjoyed an average of 104 engagements per post. However digging a bit deeper you will find a bit more interesting data. Images posted to Instagram enjoyed an average of 102 engagements.
However, videos received 30% more engagement with 131 average engagements per video. As the Cosmos only posted 7 videos this would be great cause for further experimentation on Instagram.
As with Twitter, the most opportune time to post on Instagram is between 7pm and 8pm. However for Instagram, the best day to post is Saturday.
Recommendations: Increase the amount of Instagram videos to confirm if the 30% higher engagement is indeed going to be the norm. And if that’s determined to be the case, amplify Instagram with a micro-vid strategy that produces more engaging content. I would also endeavor to cross publish Instagram photos across the other Cosmos social profiles until such tme the audience increases engagement.
In addition, the cosmos may want to begin executing Instagram promotions wrapped around a designated hashtag to build an ongoing conversation and content thread.
Google+: ( page link ) Currently the Cosmos have 54,135 people who have them in their circles. The Cosmos are posting content on a regular basis. However, the content isn’t seeing much engagement on Google+.
The content that is posted on Google+ seems to be the same content as published elsewhere so there may be some duplication issues in terms of content already having been see. While a cross platform approach is advocated herein, a complete re-distribution of content is not advised.
The Cosmos should seek to spend the bulk of their Google+ endeavors providing access to exclusive content.
The SEO and indexing strength of the Google integration warrants a more focused, somewhat like a blog, publication strategy. Care needs to be given to properly constructing titles and implementing hashtags into the publication process.
Google+ allows for long form contextual content.
Recommendations: Begin posting exclusive content that the audience can’t find elsewhere. Use Google+ for more long form content than you would normally post on Facebook. Begin using Hangouts to provide the audience with real-time interaction that they can’t get anywhere else. Many people forget about Google+ in their social strategy. They’re making a big mistake. Google+ is very important and is becoming even more important to an overall strong social media strategy.
If you would like a free, comprehensive social media audit performed on your social profiles, please click here to contact me.