NHL on Facebook: Why the NHL is the Darling of the Social Media Community

A few weeks back the NHL launched their custom Facebook page. Full disclosure: the NHL is a client at Buddy Media. They have quickly become the darling of the social media community because not only are they engaging in social media, but together we have implemented one of the most dynamic, engaging, fun and “fan centric” Fan pages on Facebook. 

Let’s break down what they’re doing properly on their Facebook Page:

When you first begin to interact with the NHL’s custom Facebook page it’s apparent that there has been some phenomenal customization of the page. The look, the feel the style guide – even the pacing of the content replicate that of the NHL website. You’re no longer engaging in a Facebook community. You’re now engaging with the NHL, but the major difference is that you’re able to share all of the content with your friends and family.

Each of the custom modules that Buddy Media implemented on behalf of the the NHL is viral. Meaning that after you interact with the module it will either post to your own Facebook newsfeed, or automatically post to your friends newsfeed. Each of these seemingly small interactions all function essentially as Advertising Units on behalf the NHL within the Facebook ecosystem.

When Facebook changed the formatting of the Facebook home page, everyone lamented that it too closely resembled the micro blogging site Twitter. What they failed to realize is that Mark Zuckerberg is a genius, and he was opening up the lines of communication within the Facebook community for the viral sharing of brand content.  Below is a snap shot of the first 1/4 of the NHL page. You can see that they’re driving “fanning” of all 30 NHL teams, video viewing and sharing, as well as invaluable polling of Fans.  Perfect.

NHL Teams

As you continue to engage with the NHL Facebook page, you begin to see where Mike DiLorenzo Director of Social Media at the NHL is able to see his vision come to life. When I first met with Mike the idea of virtual gifting piqued his interest.  We were able to show Mike some amazing examples of virtual gifting modules for Facebook pages that Buddy Media has implemented via our Platform, however Mike was ready to push the envelope. What the NHL is doing that takes this page to the “next level” is that once a person sends a virtual gift, they not only driven to “fan the page” that they just received a virtual gift from, but they are prompted to even purchase the item that was sent to them.  Exciting stuff.

Virtual Gifts

Mike DiLorenzo and I discussed how the NHL has such amazing video content that our video module would have to “take it to the next level”. Not only are fans able to view videos, but when they click on a “share” icon they’re prompted to share numerous video highlight reels. These videos can be shared via there own newsfeed, or send as direct mailings to their Facebook Friends.

Share Videos

For sports leagues or anyone presenting time sensitive information on their page for that matter it’s important to be able to allow your fans to share this information in a “cross social network” integration (ie, via Twitter). If the fans just clicks on “tweet-this” they are automatically brought to Twitter and are able to share the content. They key to the success of this feature is that by leveraging a custom facebook page built on the Buddy Media platform the user doesn’t have to type a thing. The copy and Link are automatically populated into their Twitter status box. All they have to do is hit submit. Cool.

All of these factors and an eye on social media like no other sports organization have helped to take the NHL to the next level and made them the darling of the social media community. I bet their fans are pretty pumped too.