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Sportsnet’s Erica Dymond Embraces The Changes And Challenges Of Social Media

Erica Dymond | Senior Manager, Audience Development - Digital and Social Media Strategy | Sportsnet

As someone who has always worked in digital, it’s an industry that relies on change – so you have to be able to embrace it and even thrive from it.

Erica Dymond

Senior Manager, Audience Development - Digital and Social Media Strategy

Sportsnet

× The interview with Erica Dymond was conducted via a typed conversation. Editing changes were made to make it easier to read while maintaining the voice of the interview.

Tell us about your role as the Senior Manager, Audience Development - Digital and Social Media Strategy of the Sportsnet.

I measure Sportsnet’s audience data across our digital properties to help inform our strategic decisions – what’s working, what isn’t and how we need to pivot or tweak our existing content plans.

I use a variety of tools to measure our performance and engagement for each platform, including 3rd party analytics software and native analytics (the analytics tools that are offered directly by each).

We create regular weekly or monthly reporting to evaluate growth, report on major sporting events or tournaments, or ad hoc requests which are often looking for direction on a particular strategy or acquisition.

My process is to typically

  1. Collect
  2. Analyze
  3. Present the data in a visually appealing and easy to digest report or presentation

How important is social media for you personally? Which social networks do you use most frequently, find hardest to navigate and use, and see changing the most?

I have been working in digital media for 15 years, so when social media first emerged, I was an early adopter.

As a “Xennial”, my primary platforms are Facebook and Instagram which I use for more personal use. I’m very active on these platforms – I consume and contribute content on a regular basis. I’m on Twitter almost daily but I mostly use it as a professional tool and news source. I consume more than I contribute here.

It’s my outward-facing tool where I try to share industry news – exploring the cross-section of technology, data and sport. I was fairly active on Snapchat for a while until Instagram Stories launched – more of my peers are on Instagram so it just made sense!

I poke around on TikTok and have even made a couple of videos, but I don’t think I have “TikTok star” in my future.

I’m pretty quick to pick-up new tools in any digital capacity, so I don’t typically find any difficult to navigate, but Snapchat and TikTok both were adjustments to the typical feed that you see on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And now they’re all borrowing functionality and features from each other.

In terms of which platform I see changing the most, I think all platforms are about to integrate AR (augmented reality) in a more sophisticated way – beyond “cat ear” and “baby face” filters and in a direction where it will be used as a tool for users to help and discover information – instead of just being used as a gimmick.

With the variety of communication channels available, how do you decide which is the best option to use? Please provide an example to support your discussion.

With each tool having its own unique audiences, we try to reach our fanbase across all platforms.

It’s really about creating the content for that specific platform. You may be trying to communicate the same story or promotion, but the content will look different on Instagram Stories compared to YouTube.

It’s about using the platform’s tools and specifications to adjust that content to fit into it. For example, we may post a longer form video on YouTube and IGTV and use Instagram Stories to promote it with a trailer.

What do you see as the future in the growing world of sports media as the industry continues to change and evolve? How are you positioning yourself to adapt to the constant changes?

COVID has pushed the boundaries for a number of industries, and working in digital media and sports has certainly been an example of that.

There are some aspects of how we’ve adapted to working and engaging our fans that could stay beyond where we are today. Some of the activations we’ve tried on our digital platforms such as Watch Parties with our Sportsnet hosts or even normalizing the “Zoom interview” for viewer consumption – things that can increase access and engagement for the fans at home and are easy to produce with shorter turnarounds.

As someone who has always worked in digital, it’s an industry that relies on change – so you have to be able to embrace it and even thrive from it.

I get excited about shifts in how things are done, even if it appears to impact something negatively you can usually find the positive in it. You’re forced to grow which always has value to it.

Andres's Final Thoughts

Today, more than ever, we are seeing constant changes to all forms of digital media. Erica Dymond, Senior Manager, Audience Development – Digital and Social Media for Sportsnet, explains perfectly how to manage and take these changes head on. In an industry where fan engagement is critical, Erica utilizes the tools and platforms given to continue to keep fans active and interested during COVID-19. And that is something very important to be able to keep these fans once things get back to normal.

Connect With Erica Dymond