4 Best Practices for Managing Your Sports Organization’s Social Media
Social media is ever changing due to the introduction of new technologies and platforms over time. At one point, MySpace was the most used social platform where you could design your own website using custom html and share music with friends. Now, TikTok has taken the world by storm by focusing their platform on short video snippets ranging from 5 seconds to three minutes.
Social media connects the world through images, videos and status updates mainly through user generated content. Between all of the platform choices we have as users, the thought of managing your youth sport organization’s social media can feel like a challenge!
To help you feel more in control, we have four tips that can help you take on the task of managing your youth sport organization’s social media with confidence.
Tip #1: Quality Over Quantity - Knowing Which Channel is Right for You
There are numerous social media platforms that your youth sports organization could choose but knowing which one is right for you is crucial. Below are popular social media platforms and more information about each one. We recommend choosing 1-2 platforms to begin with. This will allow you to not feel overwhelmed with managing multiple accounts or cross posting content!
Facebook - A must have for youth sports organizations
Facebook is the most-used and engaged-with social platform in 2021. As of March 2021, it has 2.7 billion monthly active users! Facebook allows you to create a business page which means you can keep your own personal profile separate from the organization’s page. This is important because multiple people can help manage one account! We recommend signing up with a general email address for the organization to ensure security. Facebook is a great platform for organizations that post regularly and often require longer posts that contain images or other links.
If you already have a Facebook, check out this article on how to make sure your website is linked properly.
Twitter - a great place for coaches to interact with parents or players
Twitter is a platform that allows a user to post short updates up to 280 characters in length. It’s a great place to post quick updates or timely information. Twitter can be used to post images or videos along with short captions. A great way to have your audience interact with your organization is to create a unique hashtag that you use at the end of all tweets. This will allow your audience to click the hashtag and find all tweets using this. This can create an online community where you encourage parents or players to share their own thoughts or stories and connect with you.
Instagram - the place for interactive sports photo sharing
Instagram is a platform for mainly image sharing. It’s a great way to visually connect with your audience by allowing you to create posts and stories. Stories are up for only 24 hours and can allow you to post timely updates about a change of venue or even an updated practice time. You can also easily tag other users in your posts which allows the tagged person to reshare to their own network. This can be a quick way to grow your following through quick interactions.
YouTube - Quickly becoming a "must have" for competitive and recreational sports
Youtube is a video sharing platform that trends towards longer videos, usually over 1 minute. YouTube is the primary video sharing platform and can be used to help shape the brand of your organization. YouTube can be more complex than other platforms due to video editing capabilities but it’s impactful if done right!
Once you’ve selected your platform, be sure to use your website to promote your channels! It’s common to add your social media links in your website footer. The majority of your audience will more than likely have at least one of the above channels so encouraging them to follow and interact with you is a must!
Once you've chosen the social media channels you want to use, you can get started on creating engaging posts with images, videos, or text using sports templates. You can even re-size your posts and post them on multiple platforms at once.
Tip #2: Update Often & With Intent
The key to staying relevant on social media is to have your audience expect to see your posts. If you’re an organization that posts frequently about updates to schedules, game or meet results or even shares photos - then parents will look at your feed to find this information.
While it’s recommended to post often, you want to make sure you have intent behind your posts. You want your audience to look at your posts for valuable information to see your social media as a source for important information. We recommend creating a monthly content calendar where you outline key posts you intend to create. This calendar will more than likely be based upon your season and any games or tournaments you will be participating in.
This could be as simple as sharing a photo of a player who did well or as detailed as posting a short recap of the team’s result. The key is to be predictable so your audience knows where to look and what to expect from you.
Getting creative can be as simple as having Team Tuesdays where you post an image of the team from their most recent practice, game or event. You could even do a Player of the Week during your season to highlight players that went above and beyond on or off the field. To learn more about how to best share images and videos, check out our article where we share our favorite tips.
Tip #3: Understand Your Platform's Algorithm
Social media algorithms are the way that posts are sorted based on relevancy instead of just publish time. This means that you might see posts in your Facebook feed that are from two days ago before you see something that a friend posted 15 minutes ago.
Algorithms change all the time to meet the needs of the platform. For example, Facebook will automatically give more weight to people they deem as your closest friends. This means if you tend to interact with your mom’s posts you will start to see all of her posts show up first in your timeline regardless of when she posted it. The more you engage with a page or a person, the more likely it is that you will see their images or status updates.
Knowing this is a key to understanding the way your posts will perform. You’ll want to encourage your parents or players to interact with your posts by liking, sharing or commenting on them. This will encourage their personal algorithm to continue to show you in their feed!
A way to keep parents motivated to do this could be through an online giveaway. For example, you could have a window of three days where you ask your friends or followers to interact with a post on your page and they could be entered to win a prize.
Posting important updates on your Facebook page is a great way to interact with your community.
Tip #4: Keep Organized Internally
We always encourage organizations to have more than one admin tied to the website to make sure tasks can be allocated among multiple organizers. This is important to ensure that nobody feels overwhelmed with managing the website, communication or online registration.
We recommend a similar approach to managing your social media but caution the desire to give everyone access. Keeping your social media team to 1-2 people will allow you to stick to your set schedule (see tip # about a content calendar), response to comments quickly and keep a consistent tone.
Tone is the way in which your posts are written to your audience. You want to make sure your posts are coming from the brand of your organization as opposed to one or two individuals. We recommend setting some standards around how you write posts as well as what images you use to support your messaging.
When creating your social media platforms, you’ll always be asked to create a username and password. We recommend using a general email address such as email@example.com as opposed to an individual’s email address. This will be helpful when it comes time to transition board members. You’ll want to keep all of your credentials maintained so the account doesn’t become inactive.
Looking for more advice on how to best manage your social media? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to figure out your best social media strategy!