In Module 5, we continue to look at communications in sports. And here we also concentrate on crisis communications, which so often is called upon in sports. We also look at the role of social media. Social media is a form of electronic communication through which users create online communication to share information, ideas, personal messages and other content. Almost 3 billion people in 2017, a third of the world's population, use social media. And 70% of Internet users were social network users. The top social channels are generally social media users. And in June of 17, Facebook surpassed 2 billion monthly active users. It took Facebook 13 years after launching to get to 1 billion users, but it only took 5 years to go from 1 billion to 2 billion users. So the problem, of course, is that teams and leagues and athletes who have huge fun bases want to speak to their fans. The challenge for them is to think about using social media in a way that grabs attention and ensures enormous popularity. And yet, at the same time, they have to think about how to post? When to post? How to resource? And how to figure out which channel to use and when. This is a dilemma for sports organizations and requires the creation of a social media strategy. If you take a look at many of the teams, this is a difficult thing to do, to create a unified and coherent marketing strategy that encompasses social media. Many organizations keep their social media marketing groups separate from their general overall marketing groups. And so this causes an approach to the audiences that aren't integrated. And if there's one thing that current marketing holds appropriate, it's that all approaches to stakeholders ought to be integrated and cohesive. Social media and corporate communications should include similar messaging. Whether it's directed toward ticket holders, marketing to business to business, and the investors in the sports teams, the owners. Even the regulatory bodies who look after the governments who are particularly inclined to be interested in sports teams within their political boundaries. One of the problems, of course, is that social media being 24/7 has a very demanding curve to it. As well, each athlete has a social media account and a singular voice. And the downside of one poor message can very much outweigh the upside of any good message. So as you build your social strategy, you need to think about what it is that you're reflecting in your brand identity. If you take a look at example, the Toronto Raptors, they are the only Canadian team in the National Basketball Association in North America. And in 2014, 17% of Ontarians, those people who live in the province of Ontario in Canada, believe that the Raptors were the prestigious brand. But also when you looked at the rest of the teams in the league, Toronto was a bit of the outsider. And it was hard for the Canadians to think of themselves on par with the other teams in the league. So the Toronto Raptors had to start thinking about a new way to brand themselves. How could they take this outsider approach and fashion messaging that would deliver on they're being the only Canada-based team. While also being a message that served to unify them with the rest of the league. The Raptors came up with a very distinctive approach to overcome what they had seen as an inferiority complex. Of course, some of that was built upon they're having a franchise and hadn't actually been all that successful. While they are also were an NBA team that far north. But what they did is showcase, quote, We the North, unquote. And you can look at it in the links, some of their marketing campaigns. And you can see that it is defined as an identity, a slogan, a methodology which they carry through everywhere, not just in advertising, but in their social media. If you take a look at that, you will see that their social media activity spiked over 300% once they started using it in all their content. As you think about building your identity and pulling it together in an integrated fashion, you also need to think about using your social media as a storytelling venue. It's not just so many character, it's the value of storytelling. Think of the ad shown in a recent Super Bowl in America where the young kid is trying to make the car start while his parents watch from inside with the key fob that starts the engine. This is a story. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. The idea this ad actually was a successful on social media prior to the Super Bowl as it was during the Super Bowl. And it lives on in social media now because it is a very good story. For social media and sports, it's particularly relevant to use visuals. Sports is a visual opportunity. People who watch sports think visually. And so to tell a sports story just in words doesn't do it justice. So think about showcasing scores with graphics and visuals. Think about appealing design. In social media, it's also very important to tell fans things they can't find out in any other place. Go behind the scenes, tell them something about the athletes that they wouldn't know in any other way. If you want, show some personality. Give them something that tells them that the people who are running the social media sites actually have a voice. But be careful not to go beyond civility and appropriate behavior. We've talked about sponsorship and other places in this course. But social media is also a good place to feature your sponsors, and you can use that by even thinking of contests. So some teams have frame of the game, or picture of the week, or the fact of the night, or the win of the moment, brought to you by sponsors. The most important thing in social media is to be sure to edit. People feel that timeliness is so important in social media that they forget to proofread. They accept auto correct and auto correct can mean typos. Don't allow that to happen. Make sure that you're putting out a product that has appropriate wording. Not all social media can be utilized with the same word counts and the same picture design. So make sure you pay attention to character limits and image sizes. And of course, social media is meant to be fun. But make sure that you follow good behavior and ensure that you're always appropriate. You should never ever have cause to embarrass your team, your league, or yourself.