How Social Media Will Save Your Youth Sports Team
From posts to tweets and everything in between, social media can be sometimes be like a twisted yarn ball of confusion. If you don’t know where to start or don’t have a planned method of scheduling content, it’s easy to get lost and tangled in your own mess.
And with players and parents both having schedules of their own, adding a full week’s of games, practices, and other events can sometimes only add confusion to their busy lives. If you and your team aren’t communicating effectively or aren’t in contact out of game-time, overlapping schedules and frustrated parents are due to come in time.
But before we scare you any further, don’t worry! We’ve pulled together a few tips and tricks to get you started on your own social media strategy that will only help you better communicate with your target audience. Growing your follower base and keeping them happy is key to running any organization, and all it takes is just a few minutes a day for those who are savvy with media outreach. If you want to get the most out of your sports team and have everyone on the same page as you, keep reading to see just how effective a well-planned and supervised social media tool can be.
1. Don’t be a ghost, but don’t over-post
Yes, I’m still patting myself on the back for that title. But in all seriousness, pushing the right amount of content to your follower base is key. In fact, it’s probably the most important tip we could give. Too often we’ve seen administrators who either spam their team with content and updates that don’t promote engagement, or social media pages that haven’t been touched since their birth. Providing parents and players with posts that will actually drive team involvement is just as crucial to communication as knowing how often to post this content.
But how much is too much? We’ve come to the conclusion that posting 1-2 times a day has been the most effective in terms of follower engagement. And that’s what you’re aiming for: a team that knows how to communicate and engage with one another. Now, you don’t have to follow this rule to the T, but getting an idea of your own posting schedule can help immensely and make parents look at your account much more often than usual.
2. Become a social media master in one platform
Although being a “Jack of all trades” of social media often looks like a good idea, try not to be. For a number of reasons, hopping from one social media channel to another doesn’t always bring in the most engagement and can even cause more confusion within your team. For instance, many parents will often have only one form of social media that they use. Most of what we’ve seen is parents engaging with others within Facebook, although some millennial parents have been found to be using Twitter as their main source of online communication. Begin by knowing who you’re team consists of, then starting an account on the most popularly used social media tool.
Next, ask other parents who aren’t already using that tool to create an account and follow your page. Although some may be hesitant at first to cross the border into what they may believe is unknown territory, you can let them know how easy it is to create an account on any social tool today. It’s as simple as downloading an app, entering in an email account, and typing out your username and password. It takes no more than 5 minutes to do so, but will keep everyone connected all to the same people, and allow points of contact to be easily shared among everyone.
Another reason to become a social media guru of one platform is simply for the peace of mind for you, the administrator or coach. You won’t have to worry about posting schedules, updates, rosters, content, email lists, contacts, and more through multiple media channels. Just sign into one, post what you want once, and forget about it. You also won’t have to constantly check your multiple pages across apps multiple times a day, as you will have the ability to check in once maybe every couple hours to see what parents are posting or updating about your team.
3. Expand the size of your website
The best and most efficient tool to keep everyone in the loop is definitely your team’s website. For parents who refuse to use social media or just don’t want to bother making an account, your website is their saving grace. In a nutshell: the tool you should be promoting, updating, and using consistently. This differs from your social media page due to it’s ease of accessibility, and will act as your “hub” for all things team-related. You’ll even be able to embed your social media accounts into the website, so that you can string everything together in one place.
4. Be consistent with your own engagement
When parents ask questions—and they will ask questions—be sure to respond not only as quickly as possible but also as consistently as well. Answering one question out of five a week won’t do much to help followers trust your social media skill, let alone management style. And the same applies back to Tip #1: don’t spam, but be consistent with your posting. Otherwise could very easily scare your group away.
5. Be friendly, post photos
You might be saying, “Well, duh, of course I’ll be nice,” but this is another common mistake we see when social media pages begin to fail. Sometimes managers just aren’t human enough, and don’t show the care they have for their team or the appreciation they have for their players. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple thank you post to the parents or showcase of photos from the last game. And on that note—if you have photos, post them. Parents love photos, and that is one huge factor in driving both engagement and follow-count.
With these five tips and maybe a few tricks of your own, you should be set well on your way to creating a social media swiss-army knife of tools to engage and increase your user base. From one case to another, be sure to test what works best for your team and what may need some changes.
What’s working for your organization on social media? If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!