SMW12 In Rewind: Fan engagement in Art and Sports

Social Media Week

Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas and insights into social media and technology's impact on business, society, and culture.

21 days until SMW Chicago. Watch live or on-demand. Activate free trial now!

A few topics in Tuesday’s events focused on using social media to draw out unlikely fan engagement through inclusive or exclusive content. For instance #SMWCreativity in Chicago discussed the boom of visually based platforms such as Instagram and their effect on the creative and artistic world. With everyone being creator of content, what sets social apart from art?

Positive aspects include the democratization of art itself. Social has brought enthusiasts and hobbyists out of the proverbial dark room to a public medium. Many wonder about the shelf life of creative apps such as Instagram and stress the real takeaway for creatives will be the connections that are built on these platforms more so than the content. Those who understand the context will be the true winners.

Just as social apps like Instagram may draw out the ‘closet creatives,’ sports organizations are using social media to activate ‘armchair quarterbacks’ into brand ambassors for their team or organization. #SMWLASportsFans discussed sports being one of the biggest aggregators of people outside of religion. Sports teams and organizations can focus social efforts on facilitating conversation between fans, and also sharing exclusive content. In a share and remixed world what becomes exclusive content will make followers feel special and included. Just like brands, sports focus on behind the scenes moments in ballparks and content that produces an emotional response. Social is about feelings, even in sports.

So whether it is through art or sports, social media teams can draw engagement from otherwise quieter or more unlikely fans. #ActionSports discussed scaling engagement and the reminder that all engagement strategies should always “ladder up” to a brand’s ultimate business objectives. This is a common ground and a good starting place when it comes to monetization of platforms like Twitter and Facebook. “Laddering up” your content will keep advertising feeling authentic as users will ultimately drive the bus on the success of monetization. If content does not feel authentic, they simply won’t engage. Know your audience and speak their language, not yours.

Our Sports Day concluded with NokiaxBurton at Brand and Brand: Getting the Most Out Of Sports Marketing By Working Together. Burton released their new film 13 and announced a great new initiative with Nokia to launch an insulator case for your phone when boarding or skiing.

If you really want to scale, you have to think outside the box and partner up with other companies that complement your work in an authentic manner.


Beckie Stravers is a New Yorker, lifestyle blogger at, and a social media pusher at She loves tweets and the internet, and hopes to see  you around the world wide web. You can follow her on twitter @cubicle57blog. She is one of our four Official Correspondents covering SMW12 for Crowdcentric.

Beckie Stravers


Beckie Stravers is a New Yorker, blogger in chief at, and a social media pusher at She loves tweets and the internet, and hopes to see you around the world wide web.

Want to write for Social Media Week?

We're looking for individuals around the globe to contribute articles on marketing, media, technology, and more.