On the court, the Atlanta Hawks are killing it this season. Over halfway through the season and the Hawks boast:
- The best record in the Eastern Conference (10 ½ games in front of the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers).
- NBA season-best 19-game win streak from December to February.
- During the win streak, the Hawks went 17 – 0 in January, setting the record for best month in NBA history.
- Four players (Kyle Korver, Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague and Al Horford) and Coach Mike Budenholzer selected for Eastern Conference all-star squad.
- On pace to set the Atlanta Hawks franchise record for wins in a season.
Know where else the Atlanta Hawks are killing it? On social media and in particular, on Twitter.
Really and truly, the Hawks are doing some provocatively creative things on social media, breaking unwritten rules, engaging with hometown fans, taking jabs at opposing fans and setting a new social norm for sports franchises.
Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) Twitter Following from November 2014 – February 2015.
So how are they doing it?
The Hawks organization, and specifically Jaryd Wilson, social media coordinator, have agreed on the voice and messaging of the organization. Wilson and his social team have nailed down the personality of the brand and how they communicate with their following. And with a tone that’s crafty, witty, sarcastic and antagonistic, the results are downright entertaining.
Said Wilson, “The key to having success on social media is to be able to educate everyone internally about the voice that we have and why we ultimately do some of the things that we do.”
With this aligned social voice, the Hawks aren’t afraid to be creative and have some fun with their social presence. That’s a strategy embraced from the top of the organization.
“We’re just having fun, and I think Hawks fans and sports fans truly appreciate that,” said Hawks CEO Steve Koonin. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously and like staying current and in the pop culture conversation.
As successful and creative as the Hawk’s social presence, Wilson admits they do push too far. “We have an internal battle about how far we can push the boundaries sometimes. I want to push them farther sometimes than others want to.”
We applaud the Hawks for their ingenuity and their willingness to push social boundaries. Others have noticed too, like COMPLEX, which ranked the Hawks the second-best Twitter account in the NBA.
Too edgy or just right? You be the judge. Check out some of our favorite Hawks highlights from Twitter:
Hawks Fan Takeover
The Hawks have mastered crowdsourcing, letting their fans participate in the social action, from crafting headlines to calling game action. For #HawksFanTakeover, the team account republishes (retweets) original fan tweets throughout the game.
During the sixth best win streak in NBA history, the Hawks had some fun with their Twitter profile. As Atlanta extended their win streak, they would add another ‘W’ in their twitter name.
You know those little smiley faces and pictographs? Yeah, those emojis [ee-mo-jeez] are popular in text and instant messages, as well as on social media. The Hawk’s favorite emoji is the “en fuego,” which is fitting since the Hawks have been “on fire” all season. The trademark en fuego post, the Korver Kounter, emerges when Hawk’s sharpshooter Kyle Korver starts draining three-pointers.
An infographic is intended to visually display information in an easy-to-understand format. Where a bar chart leaves off, an infographic picks up, allowing a brand or organization to display lots of information on a single graphic.
When properly graphed and branded, infographics are highly engaging and see high impressions and shares. The Hawks don’t pass up an opportunity to create an infographic, especially after a big win.
There’s a distinct tone to the Hawk’s social presence. If you’re fluent in sarcasm and wit, you’ll appreciate the level of irreverence for social media norms. They’re not afraid to throw a few zingers toward opposing teams and fans, sometimes at the expense of a big personality.
Most memorable, a certain Al Horford tweet amassed quite a bit of feedback, as the Hawks trolled on the Dallas Cowboy’s quarterback, Tony Romo, who, unlike Al Horford, wasn’t able to lead his team to a win.