The World Cup kicks off today, and with other exciting sports events on the horizon- the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup, US Open, and more World Cup this weekend alone- we thought we’d expand our 9 tips for watching TV on Twitter to include, specifically, sports events:
- Definitely announce ahead of time if you’re going to be live-tweeting a game so your followers who can’t watch in real-time can mute you or avoid Twitter as a whole. Sports fans do not take kindly to being spoiled on events they plan to watch later.
- Related: “Do not tweet spoilers” is a trickier rule with sports events; after all, how else can you talk about what is going on if you’re not referring to the plays that are being made and how that can or is affecting the game? With enough warning ahead of time that you intend to live-tweet, and use of official hashtags so your followers can mute event-related tweets, you should be fine talking about everything that’s happening in the game.
- Check for an official hashtag. These days it’s rarer that a big event won’t have its own hashtag already set up; check official accounts to see which ones they’re using to talk about events and excitement leading up to the big game. @FIFAWorldCup is keeping it simple with #WorldCup this year for the event as a whole, but they’re also using other hashtags for individual matches: #BRACRO for Brazil vs. Croatia, for example.
- Mention official accounts for the teams playing, individual players, the organizers, or even the event itself, if applicable. You never know when you might get a retweet, and those accounts often have a large following. (You can find them by searching Twitter for the show name and choosing the official account that pops up with a verified checkmark, or by going to a team or organization’s website – social profiles are usually prominently displayed.)
- If you already have a large following for something unrelated to sports- you’re popular YA author John Green, for example- you might consider setting up a second account for live-tweeting sports events, so those who follow you for the latest news about your book-to-movie adaptations won’t have to mute you every time a game comes on, and you can even potentially reach new fans who are sports fanatics.
- Interact with other people talking about the game to enrich your conversation, which should help you find new accounts to follow related to your favorite sports teams, events, organizations and more.
- That said sports talk can be contentious, so don’t be afraid to mute someone who is especially volatile, or even block them if they become excessively aggressive or rude.
- If you’re having a party to watch the game with friends, consider posting pictures of your setup, and include guest’s handles in your tweets. Some event sponsors have contests around using their products in watch parties, so check those out ahead of time to see if you can win something for a party you were planning to throw anyway!
- Share your content to other networks like Tumblr and Instagram. If you’re trying to build a following around live-tweeting games (something you could translate into writing articles, perhaps) you might consider condensing the best of your live-tweets into a story and putting them on your Tumblr, or using Instagram to share a visual live-tweeting of your watch party. But be careful of auto-sharing everything you post elsewhere; those who follow you in multiple places might get bothered by the redundancy and decide to unfollow you. It’s great to cross-post some, but be selective.
- Related to that: See what the conversation is like about these events on other networks. What’s the World Cup conversation like on Tumblr, or Instagram? Seeing how people talk about it in those places can give you new outlets to discuss your favorite sports, new ideas for how to talk about them, and new accounts and people to connect and share with.
Do you tweet while you watch sports? Got any tips we missed? Tell us how you do it in the comments below!