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Volume 25 No. 85
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Social Studies: Patriots' Cecily Faenza On Summer Content, Brady

Patriots (@Patriots) Social Media Manager Cecily Faenza first joined the franchise as part of their media relations department. Faenza took over her current position in ’15 and, as of last fall, has also started overseeing content and social media strategy for the Kraft family's Overwatch League team, Boston Uprising. Faenza said of fan engagement during the NFL offseason, “We’re definitely not at the level we are at in-season, especially our game day engagement, but there’s still plenty of interest in our team.” Despite the lull during this part of the league year, Faenza noted the Patriots’ content strategy “doesn’t change” throughout the year.

How social media strategy and content change as the league year progresses:
The biggest change is the amount of content. At the most basic level, our content strategy is to create relevant, relatable, authentic content and that doesn’t change based on time of year. At this time of year, obviously we don’t have game previews or any of the storylines centered around game day so it’s more focused on the various points in the NFL offseason calendar like preparing for the Draft, the Draft itself and then introducing the new players to fans from both an off-field and on-field perspective.

Preparing for a drop in engagement during the offseason:
We’re still trying to create content for all the various segments, from fans who are interested in what the roster will look like to those who want to know what the players are up to during the offseason to a horse named Gronkowski qualifying for the Kentucky Derby. In terms of the Boston sports market, I feel like all the teams really rally together around this time, from players attending the games to teams wishing each other good luck and supporting each other. But we try to stay mindful that we’re not just competing for people’s attention with the other Boston teams or the other NFL teams, but everyone in each individual’s feed -- whether that’s cute baby pictures from your cousin or Taylor Swift or the Celtics.

Producing content between Super Bowl and training camp:
That’s where we try to really focus on the conversation around us and how we can be relevant and relatable even though it’s not football season. That can take on many forms, from posting about the fact it’s still snowing in April in New England to "Fortnite"-themed graphics to viral memes. We try to be careful on deciding what’s a good fit for us -- not trying to insert our brand into everything -- but what makes sense and making sure everything tracks back to who/what we are: a football team. In terms of content types, it could really be anything from video montages to graphics to funny Photoshops or behind-the-scenes photos.

Content and platforms drawing the most fan interaction and engagement:
Instagram. Relative to other platforms, we post the least there and are trying to curate a feed of great photos, graphics and videos. We’ve really increased the amount of video we’ve posted to the platform. We’re trying to create complementary content on Instagram Stories that’s a bit timelier, meaning it’s up for 24 hours as part of a bigger story versus posted as part of the algorithm, and really brings you through a story from beginning to end and we’ve had really solid results in terms of engagements and reach on the platform. We’re working to create content specifically for the platform -- square videos only -- or cutting out clips from longer form content to put on the platform.

Patriots who do a good job with their own social media:
Tom Brady and Julian Edelman are great at creating original, engaging content that’s true to their individual brands, including graphics, videos and behind the scenes photos.

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