How the Huskers Use Social Media to Win the Recruiting Game

How the Huskers Use Social Media to Win the Recruiting Game

In Nebraska, there’s nothing bigger than Husker football. On game days, Lincoln’s Memorial Stadium becomes the third largest “city” in the state and grocery stores from Omaha to North Platte are so empty it might as well be the middle of the night. The history of the Huskers brand (and its championship pedigree) is well known around these parts. But what’s interesting (and perhaps not as well-known) about the legendary sports brand, is how effectively the university uses social media to reinforce its brand identity and win the recruiting game.

If you are Huskers fan who is active on social media, particularly on Twitter, you’ve probably noticed a few things about the way they operate their account.

They tweet a lot.

The @Huskers account doesn’t just tweet your basic stats and curiosities that you might expect from a sports organization. They promote hashtags, giveaways, and when there’s not all that much football news, they get other sports into the mix. They post video highlights and interviews, often from behind the scenes. It’s not unusual for them to tweet 10 times or more during a day. While your audience might not need to see that much content from you, you want to post enough to stay in their minds.

They get others involved.

This is important. You’ll see them retweet other accounts that mention or feature the team. Perhaps most importantly, the coaches and players are actively involved. This helps the fans feel even more connected to the team on a personal level. This involvement often starts even before the players arrive on campus. Even the recruits themselves have gotten involved, with recent recruits from Calabasas, CA Keyshawn Johnson Jr. and Tristan Gebbia promoting the #Caibraska hashtag and encouraging other top California recruits to attend Nebraska.

Their messaging is current/culturally relevant.

You’ll see the Huskers social media team using lots of video (which, as we have discussed, is the future of content delivery), and make reference to popular culture or current events, and use hashtags and emojis. It’s not that they are trying to be cool or hip, they just know their audience. At the time of writing, the audience numbers 337,000. On Twitter, that audience is used to taking in information in small, vibrant doses. That’s exactly what the Huskers Twitter account provides.

The man in charge of the Huskers’ social media has shed a lot of light on how and why they do what they do with their social accounts, and why it matters for the brand as a whole. In 2011, Kelly Mosier was one of two people in charge of social media for the Huskers. Now, there is a staff of 15. While the Huskers have the third most followers of any collegiate athletic department in the country, it’s not just the massive amount of followers that requires so much time and attention.

These days, every young person is on social media and many of the Huskers’ recruiting targets see social media as a place to begin building their personal brands years before they even have the option of turning pro. Mosier sees it that way for the Huskers, as well. Except, rather than simply introducing recruits to the brand, it endears them to it. Mosier very astutely said, “They always talk about the website is your doorstep to your business. Well, anymore, social media is the sidewalk that leads up to your door. So that’s really how you get people into your brand.”

At KreativElement, we couldn’t agree more. Even though the Huskers enjoy a crazy dedicated fanbase that the vast majority of brands can only dream of, we still think there’s a lot for the little (or medium-sized) brands out there to learn about how and why we all need to be on social media today. Still not sure about jumping into the social media waters? Get in touch with us. We’d be happy to discuss a range of options and what kind of plan we can create for you.

Want to know more about social recruiting? HR Software published a great article to inspire social recruiting greatness. Read Also: 8 Reasons Why Social Recruiting Beats Traditional Recruiting

Dylan Thaemert
dylan@kreativelement.com
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