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If you’re looking to grow your sports club and stand out from the crowd, you need to be on social media. Social media is easily one of the most powerful ways to market your club and with over 3 billion people around the globe using it, the exposure is something you don’t want to miss out on. If you don’t use social media for your sports club already, it can be confusing to wrap your head around it so that’s why we’ve put together a quick guide on how you can use it.

What can I do on social media?

  • Effectively promote your club and find new members for free (unless you use paid advertising)
  • Quickly share the latest news and updates on your club in an informal, friendly way
  • Create a community for coaches, athletes, parents, volunteers, sponsors, and supporters
  • Connect with your followers – start conversations and answer questions

What social media platforms are there? What should I use?

There are lots of different social media platforms out there, all suited to slightly different audiences and purposes. Usually, it’s best to start off with 1 and then branch out to others when you’ve got more time, confidence, and content. Some of the most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We’ve broken down the key points of each platform below to give you an overview.

Facebook

  • Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world, with over two billion active users
  • Choose from private groups or fan pages. Private groups work well for safeguarding members whilst fan pages help you build awareness and gain interest from new people
  • Post a variety of updates such as photos, graphics, videos, links, carousels, polls, and slideshows
  • Broadcast live matches, competitions, and tournaments so that no one misses out if they can’t make it
  • Use Facebook stories to reach users straight away as your content appears at the top of their news feeds

Twitter

  • Twitter is great for short and snappy updates because of the 280 characters limit per tweet
  • It’s perfectly acceptable to post several times because of how short the shelf life of a tweet is
  • Follow other clubs and coaches for insights and tips and use lists to segment them. These users are likely to return the favour and follow you back
  • Have a unique hashtag that people can identify you by. For example, Manchester City’s football club use the hashtags #MCFC and #mancity
  • Use GIFs to add humour and personality to your tweets

Instagram

  • Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform and is very popular with young people
  • It only focuses on visual content – photos, graphics, and short videos
  • Use up to 30 relevant hashtags per post to reach more users. For example #sportsclub #youthsports #training #competition #football #hockey #tennis #athletics and so on
  • Like Facebook, you can broadcast live matches, competitions, and tournaments
  • Use Instagram stories to tag other accounts, ask questions via polls, and use stickers and emojis. These encourage interaction and add some fun to stories

What can I post on social media? How often and at what times?

There aren’t any specific rules to what you can and can’t post, however you should make sure your content is relevant, consistent, and not offensive or spammy. Be creative and have fun with it. Here are some examples of what you can post.

  • Photos and videos from training (make sure you have permission from athletes and parents)
  • Weekly training highlights
  • Special mentions for athletes who are doing well
  • Staff introductions and updates
  • Talk about national days, sporting events, or trends
  • Event updates including results and wins
  • Training arrangements and cancellations
  • Links to your website and interesting news articles on youth sports

How often you post on varies for different platforms. As a guideline, it’s once per day on Facebook, 15 times per day on Twitter, and up to twice per day on Instagram. In terms of timing, this depends on who you’re targeting for what content. For example, what time do you expect athletes, parents, and volunteers to be online? Is it during the day, afternoon or evening?

What if I don’t have enough time for social media?

Planning, creating, and posting content to social media can be a full-time job and it’s likely that you don’t have a lot of spare time or the money to take on someone else to do it. That’s where social media schedulers come into play because they let you plan ahead and automatically post content for you. Examples of free tools are Buffer and Hootsuite.

Posting in real-time is quick and easy too. Simply grab your phone and take a quick snap of what’s happening, give it a caption and hit post, all in the matter of a few minutes.

How do I know if social media is working for my sports club?

It’s simple. Keep an eye out on likes, comments, retweets, and shares. Almost every social media platform has an inbuilt analytics dashboard, or you can use the one from your scheduler. These dashboards make it easier to see how many people are viewing and engaging with your content.

If you’ve got any questions on how to use social media for your sports club, let us know on Twitter @LoveToDoMore

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