The Clemson Tigers have been dominating more than just college football recently. In August 2016, Clemson University’s social media team ranked number 2 among the NCAA DI institutions, according to a report by the social media competitive analysis software Rival IQ. Clemson’s popularity on social media began to soar as it reached the national title game for the second time in school history back in 2015, and it was awarded the No. 1 Twitter handle to follow in college football by Sports Illustrated that year.
So what makes Clemson’s social media so special? Is it solely because of a winning record? Let’s just remember that correlation doesn’t always imply causation. Here are three ways Clemson is winning social media:
Jonathan Gantt, Clemson’s director of new and creative media, has a very simple rule: “If it’s really, really good, then post it.” Simple enough, right? Rather than curating content to fit a specific platform, Gantt and his social media team have decided to post content everywhere. “No one will ever complain that we post too many entertaining videos or amazing photos or graphics,” Gantt said.
As the football team rolled back onto Clemson’s campus, live feeds from the media team on the bus and on the ground captured the excitement of the fans and the players. Within 10 minutes, the videos had been shared with more than 10,000 viewers across the Tigers’ social media channels. Every aspect of the game-day experience is covered, and Jonathan Gantt and the social media team make sure that there is a video posted every hour to “keep fans engaged so they have a perspective of what’s going on.”
For Clemson, social media is not just about sending out game day updates. Their media team aims to tell a story. The short film “The Dream” continues to be one of Clemson’s biggest productions to date. The emotionally-charged hype video inspires fans as it chronicles the journey of a boy’s dream-turned-reality of playing football for the Tigers. “Coach Swinney has such a clear vision of what he wants his program to stand for,” Gantt said. “It’s very clearly laid out…It’s our job to package it in a way that will resonate with recruits and fans.”
As Clemson Assistant AD Joe Galbraith notes, “I don’t know how much of the growth is the incredible content we’re pushing out or the 28 football games we’ve won the last two years. Let’s be honest, the spotlight is on us because we continue to win, but we’re also putting better content out there than anybody else.”
It’s hard to argue with that.
We’ll see how these defending champions work to continue to dominating on the field and on social media, and if other teams can finally chase them down.