With the ever-increasing presence of social media in today’s society, it is extremely important that collegiate athletic programs take advantage of these platforms as a means of communicating with their audience. Social media marketing is an inexpensive yet highly effective way for these schools to provide followers with in-game statistics, team news and updates, and other engaging content. Western State Colorado University is a Division-II college in Gunnison, Colorado that serves as a prime example for how these social networks can be correctly employed to help promote college athletics. The Mountaineers primarily utilize Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to cover their 11 varsity teams.
Western’s Facebook page, Western State Mountaineers, provides lots of useful information to its 5,177 followers in its “About” page, including a contact details, a link to the athletics website, and a list of varsity sports offered at the University. It also shares that the Mountaineers compete in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and have won 15 national championships and 93 RMAC awards since 1911. Their Facebook features multiple videos of game highlights, player and coach interviews, and season previews. There are also a number of photos that are shared through this account, including in-game action shots, game summaries, and team posters. In addition to multimedia, the Mountaineers’ Facebook is also a useful tool for providing other information about the athletic teams, such as All-Conference and All-American announcements and post-game news stories.
Western Mountaineers, the University’s official athletics Twitter account, consists of 2,490 followers and contains the widest variety of multimedia out of all three of Western’s social media accounts. From photos and videos to GIF’s and memes, the Mountaineers’ Twitter carries its own “personality”, as it provides a mix of entertainment and information all in one account. This entertainment may include humorous memes or GIF’s related to something within Western’s athletic programs. It also allows for the greatest amount of interaction with fans, given the fact that responding to Tweets is fast and easy to carry out on Twitter.
The Mountaineers’ Instagram account, Western State Mountaineers, is a great tool for building the athletic programs by visually capturing the attention of fans. Similar to its other social media platforms, their Instagram is full of pictures and videos of special events, upcoming competitions, game recaps, and team posters. The variety of content helps to keep things from being overly repetitive, therefore maintaining the viewers’ engagement.
If I could change one thing about the Mountaineers’ social media usage, I would like to see them post content multiple times each day. By doing this regularly, I think that fans will feel more up to date with what is going on in Western’s athletics. As a result, they may be more likely to attend games and become more invested in the program. However, after examining all of the social media accounts of Western State Colorado University Athletics, I believe that they do a great job of informing, updating, and entertaining their followers. This is especially impressive since their teams compete at the NCAA Division-II level, where some of the marketing opportunities that are used at the Division-I level are not available.