I first entered the world of esports back in 2013, starting as a casual competitor in the Call of Duty scene and creating short videos on YouTube of my gameplay, along with a (not so great) running commentary of my random life experiences. I’ve always had a passion for gaming from an early age, but being a competitive person, I fell in love with esports!
After studying Business and Games development for 2 years, my mind was set on working full time within the esports industry. I’ve medled in a ton of things, including starting my own female ran espotrs organisation (Riot Gaming), to running tournaments, covering live gaming events, all in all leading to where I am today which is a full-time freelance social media specialist – specific to the esports indsutry. So far I’ve worked with many companies involved in esports, including Belong Arenas, ESL, DreamHack, Dexerto and Gfinity.
Here are some of my top tips on how to make a great social media page in esports:
#1 – Know what you’re talking about
One of the most important things (and obvious) in social media is that you MUST be knowledgeable in what industry your brand is in. Mostly so you can understand the topics at hand, along with inbound communications from your audience.
#2 – Memesmemesmemes
It’s a simple fact that a huge portion of esports fans LOVE a good meme. It’s good to keep on top of what’s trending within the scene and make humour of it where appropriate. Some of the most engaging content within esports is typically something that’s been ‘memefied’. These are great for engagement and to give off those light-hearted humour vibes. I typically spend at least 15-20 minutes of a morning seeing if anything is trending, Reddit in particular is a good hub for this kind of content!
#3 – Don’t over-do the ‘whitty’ persona
What we see a lot of at the moment is esports teams giving off the whitty/arrogant type persona across their social medias, in particular when it comes to tournament play. This is all fun and banter, and great when you win, but it can be very embarassing when the team lose. One thing I’ve learnt, especially when it comes to esports team pages, is to find a good balance of both – Confidence is fine, cockiness… not so much. G2 Esports show perfect examples of this style of posting along with Beastcoast (a client I’ve worked for in the past). It doesn’t work so well when you’re an emerging team and haven’t found your place in the crowd.
#4 – Live Coverage
Depending on what company you’re working for – Live event coverage is one of the key content pieces you can frequently do, and people love it, especially if you capture that penta-kill with an epic audience reaction. Even if you’re not working on an esports team page or tournament coverage page, it’s still a good idea to highlight some of the best plays in esports, or even congratulate those winning teams. Everyone loves a good momento story, and who doesn’t love to see some crazy clips?
#5 – Esports Events/Threads
This is an absolute must do when working in any kind of social media, marketing or community management roles for an esports brand. If you don’t know your lol’s from your LoL’s then you’re going to need to do your research! For events, this is a great source. In terms of trends, I tend to create Twitter lists of popular news outlets within the industry, including Dexerto, Dotesports, Esports News UK etc. along with following popular hashtags (including #esports, #LEC etc.). Another source I use to check out trending world-wide events is this absolute gem which was kindly released to the public to use. This is great to track and put your own esports twist on world trending events.
#6 – Engage with your community
Unlike some other industries, engaging with your community is so important with esports, especially seeing as a huge majority of your audience uses social media and are online. Keeping your content fresh is key, along with replying and creating conversation with your followers as well as other esports brands. This also helps build your brand’s reputation in the big world of esports.
#7 – Know your brands and companies
There’s a wide variety of brands/companies within esports, from teams/influencers, agencies, events to product/peripheral companies. It’s good to be in the loop of who these people and companies are. Esports doesn’t stop at just the teams.
#8 – You do not need a huge budget
The great thing about social media within esports is that your audience is already there to tap into, you don’t need to pay to ‘convert’ someone into becoming an esports lover. There’s many things you can do that involve little budget to get your audience engaged in your content and click through to your page or streams for example. Giveaways are a great idea which don’t require a big budget, and gamers love them – Even better if you can make them fresh/funny and relatable to something on trend at the time. Example post. If your content is fun and fresh, the people will come! Make use of hashtags, networking and creativity within this space.
#9 – Esports is round the clock
Most companies expect to have a monthly, if not quarterly social calendar. The difference with esports is that it’s so fast-paced.. Anything can happen at any given time. It’s good to schedule things that you can plan for, however, it’s good to understand to always leave room for those crazy moments that we simply can’t predict. The majority of esports events happen on a weekend too, so expect to be around 7 days a week a lot of the time!
#10 – Track and report
Similar to most industries, tracking and reporting your companies social performance is key for growth and recognising what works and what doesn’t. There’s some great tools around to use for things like this, some of my favourites being Sprout Social and Hootsuite. If you’ve not the budget just yet, most social platforms offer free analytic tools within their insights page!
There’s a heap of ways you can get involved in social media within esports, but most of the time, you’ll have to start at the bottom. One of the most common ways would be to start out as a volunteer or intern. I do feel when it comes to this industry, although education is important, passion, work-ethic, networking and knowledge of esports can get you even further – It’s all about proving yourself first and reaping the benefits later. I first started my career with Belong Arena’s at the start of it’s execution, and I simply sent a message to the head of the department (On Twitter, of all places!) asking if they were looking to hire anyone to kick start their social/community endeavors. I was lucky in that I had a ton of esports knowledge behind me and a bit of experience up my sleeve from my work with Riot Gaming, and that I was a good fit to start things off.
One of the best things anyone looking to work in esports can do now, is to check out a job finder platform called Hitmarker, the leaders of all things esports jobs! I’ve found a lot of my freelance/contract work from here and over time, more and more opportunities are becoming available. Make sure you make connections along the way through your esports journey too, a good few of my opportunities came through keeping in touch with old friends and networking within the space.
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