NASCAR’s Social Media leaders among drivers, teams and sponsors have been studied during the Christmas vacation with surprising results.
I had always thought Brad Keselowski was the ‘King of Twitter’ – after all, it was his tweeted photo of the drivers on track during the infamous red flag for the fire-rain delayed 2011 Daytona 500 that brought many more followers (even resulted in a new rule of no cell phones, recording devices allowed in the cars)…. remember?
But, apparently not.
This study shows how important the Social Media has become to drivers, teams and sponsors. I found it to be interesting as I hope you will also.
The Social Media study was conducted by Tuckahoe Strategies, a strategic communications firm by scoring drivers, teams and select NASCAR sponsors and partners on a 20-point scale.
To start, Joe Gibbs Racing topped the charts with a Social Media Score of 15 points, while Hendrick Motorsports trailed by only one point – at 14 points.
Joe Gibbs Racing‘s online accounts comprise one of the broadest social media strategies for reaching fans of the sport. The team site, www.joegibbsracing.com, is up to date with timely features, and the homepage points to six social media platforms, including a mobile app for iPhone, Blackberry or Droid. The team maintains active social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and FourSquare. Gibbs’ social media score bested Hendrick’s by a single point because of its slightly more effective home page promotion of its social media platforms.
Jimmie Johnson is the most comprehensive user of social media among drivers. He reaches his audience on a broad array of platforms including: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Johnson’s social media reach (the sum of all social media followers across platforms) is 1,066,347. This veritable “media machine” has a following larger than the circulation of the Los Angeles Times, which is the fourth largest newspaper in the country.
The sport’s largest audience holder and content curator across the board is NASCAR. This actually should come as no surprise as NASCAR had partnered with Twitter to organize the (hashtag) #NASCAR. Every tweet with the #NASCAR appears on their Twitter page, drawing users to go to one place – this has allowed beating out the circulation of the largest U.S.paper, The Wall Street Journal.
Jimmie Johnson, Marcos Ambrose (12 points), Kyle Busch (12), Jeff Gordon (11) and Danica Patrick (11) scored highest among 45 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers, while Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Penske Racing (12), Robby Gordon Motorsports (12) and Roush Fenway Racing (12) collected the top scores among 30 team owners. Among industry sponsors and partners, high scores were awarded to Ford Racing (12), NASCAR (11), SpeedTV (10), Toyota (8) and Sunoco (7). (NASCAR was grouped with sponsors and partners.)
The team with the broadest social media reach is Roush Fenway Racing, with an audience of 976,755. The vast majority of this audience engages with the team’s Google+ account, which includes 912,961 “circles.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. scored nine 9 points in the study placing him in the middle of the pack. However, NASCAR’s most popular driver holds the single largest audience for a driver at 1,637,697. About 90% of Earnhardt’s audience is concentrated on one platform, his Facebook page, which accounts for 1,470,212 likes. Earnhardt also has a robust YouTube channel with 1,630 subscribers and 610,714 views. Earnhardt maintains a Pinterest account that includes 231 followers and 124 pins, but it is difficult to find without any promotion from the homepage. Earnhardt does have a Twitter account with 165,855 “followers” with zero tweets.
Many in the sport can easily improve their social media scores by making simple updates to their websites and expanding their use of social media platforms. Another common misstep is a lack of shareable content. NASCAR is a photo- and video-rich sport with an avid fan base. Teams, drivers and sponsors would do well to utilize photo-sharing platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest, and video sharing services such as YouTube or Vimeo. A number of industry websites feature terrific photo and video galleries but they are isolated on the site and not easily shareable.
Goodyear stood out for its lack of any social media presence at all. In fact, one can find virtually no mention of NASCAR at all on its online properties. There is no mention of NASCAR on Goodyear.com and no dedicated Facebook page or Twitter account. Seems kind of odd since they are well known as “the tire of NASCAR.”
NASCAR’s fuel supplier, Sunoco, has an active, racing-related Facebook page with nearly 1.2 million likes and an active Twitter account with over 8,000 followers.
NASCAR title sponsor, Sprint, also is expanding the reach of its corporate brand through its NASCAR-related social media presence. Sprint is active on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube via its brand ambassador campaign, Miss Sprint Cup,with a social media reach of more than 1.3 million.
Content supplied by press release from Tuckahoe Strategies
Social Media Scores in the NASCAR Industry Survey data by Tuckahoe Strategies. All rights reserved.
Social Media Score – Based on online presence, number of social platforms activated and timeliness of updates. Highest score possible is 20. Survey data by Tuckahoe Strategies. All rights reserved.