This week I met with Cardiff Devils Social Media Manager Fie Adolfsen to talk about social media, sport and fan engagement at one of the best Ice Hockey teams in the UK.
Fie started at the Devils in September 2017 and was straight in to the action with pre season matches and European league matches, a busy first few days but this allowed Fie to get to know all the players and staff pretty quick.
What appealed to you about working with the Cardiff Devils?
“Moving my whole life from Glasgow where I was at University was a big move but one that I jumped into after talking to Todd (Todd Kelman, Cardiff Devils MD) and he told me more about the position he had in marketing. We discussed a brief plan but Todd assured me that he would trust me and listen to my ideas about social media and marketing and we had freedom to try things, something that isn’t always the case with business marketing.
What’s the most important part of social media for the Cardiff Devils?
Fan engagement without a doubt, without the fans we have an empty arena! Fan engagement was good last year, the year before I came but we wanted to grow on that and make it bigger again. We have a big following on social media but it’s not too big so I still see every tweet, every message and post to our accounts. Good and bad, we win and everyone is happy, we lose and people aren’t so happy.
We want to make everyone and anyone feel a part of the club, replying to tweets and re-tweeting is so important and it keeps the fans coming back to our pages. We have tried to have some fun with social media this season, try out some new and different tactics like our St David’s Day campaign, you have to see that it was so much fun and the fans loved it too. See the video below.
With such a busy schedule during the season, do you schedule many posts and tweets or are all the social media posts live?
It’s nearly ALL Live! We have some time to plan certain posts but nearly all our activity is on game day and during the game, I prefer it this way and prefer the control of doing it live; it’s a harder way of doing it for sure but you know everything is correct.
I travel to nearly every match home and away, our game night tweets and posts are the most important as not every fan can go to every game and if they can’t watch it online then social media is there only way of keeping up to date with scores. Game night is obviously the busiest for us with tweets and posts from fans and we try and reply or re tweet all of them.
Are you planning to use anything new next season on social?
We tried Snapchat, but with the recent changes to the app plus the fact it’s only really me managing the social media accounts it was too much of a stretch and we didn’t see any benefit for us in using it. This season we did have a really big push on Instagram to try and reach 10k followers and then open the swipe up feature in our stories.
How did that go? Have you used the swipe feature much?
We nailed the 10k followers and started using the swipe feature straight away, we have so many fans watch our stories and we have had so many hits to the website from the stories. We recently had a jersey sale and had the biggest jump in traffic with the majority coming from social and most of that was from our Instagram account and stories, it works so well.
What is your preferred social media channel?
Twitter for sure, it get’s the best reaction from our fans and it feels the closest to our fans, we can engage with them one on one. We update our twitter throughout a match with goals, penalties etc so it’s really busy and then with any of the warm up action and post match reaction we use all of the platforms but for sure twitter is our preferred platform.
So with a few months now until next season how do you keep fan engagement in the off-season?
This is the hardest part of the job, with no matches, no players around because most have gone back home it’s hard to find content but we have things planned with the player announcements, we will announce the pre season fixtures and our European League matches too.
Plus we had such a great season this year that we will be posting plenty of pics of trophies and our season highlights so we can ride this wave we’re on at the moment.
Thanks to Fie for talking to us and giving us some insight on what it’s like to manage the social media for the Cardiff Devils.
Good luck for next season, we can’t wait to come to another game!