Today, sports clubs are often faced with the question of how to compete in an increasingly crowded sports market.
One way for sports clubs to build a competitive edge is by leveraging social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.
For many sports clubs, social media can be used as a tool to generate excitement around their club or team, provide fans with exclusive content, and even attract sponsorship opportunities.
In this blog post, we will explore some ways that sports clubs can make effective use of social media platforms to engage new audiences both online and offline!
Why should you use social media to grow and engage your sports club’s online audience?
There are a number of reasons why sports clubs should use social media to grow and engage their online audience.
First, social media platforms provide sports clubs with an easy way to connect with fans and followers all over the world. Additionally, social media platforms can be used to share exclusive content with fans, which can help create excitement around your club.
Finally, social media can also be used to attract sponsorship opportunities.
It is not uncommon for some clubs to think they are too small or not interesting enough to use social media to help grow their club or their audience.
Perhaps they think they won’t cut through because of the number of other clubs in their area, or because their sport is niche or the level they play at is too low.
The truth is, however, that there is incredible interest in sports at all types of levels.
If you are a new sports club, social media can help people in your area or who are interested in your sport find you.
If you are an older sports club, engaging with social media can make it easier for your former players and members to find you and re-engage with the club.
Perhaps best of all, generating exciting content on social media is easier for sports clubs, compared to other traditional businesses.
Whilst traditional service or product-based businesses can sometimes struggle when it comes to finding new and interesting things to talk about, sporting clubs literally have something to share every week.
Showcasing the match-day experience and creating a story around your club and your trials and triumphs over the course of the year is a great way to capture attention and social media is the perfect platform to use.
What are the benefits of using social media for your sports club?
Using social media to grow your sports club has many benefits.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that it provides sports clubs with an easy way to connect with fans and followers all over the world, which can help sports clubs generate a larger following or audience both online and offline. This increased reach can lead to sponsorship opportunities as businesses may become interested in associating themselves with sports clubs that have a large online following.
Additionally, social media is an excellent way to share exclusive content and engage your audience both online and offline! Social media platforms make it easy for sports clubs to share short videos, images or even live streams of sporting events which can help create excitement around their club or team.
Finally, social media can also be used to attract new members or players to sports clubs. Sports clubs that regularly share interesting and engaging content on social media are likely to see an increase in website traffic as well as membership or player registrations.
How can you use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to increase engagement with your online audience?
There are a number of different ways sports clubs can use social media to increase engagement with their online audience.
Perhaps the most obvious way sports clubs can engage fans and followers is by sharing interesting content that sports fans will be interested in seeing or hearing about!
For example, sports clubs could share videos of training sessions on Instagram; live stream important matches (with commentary) on Facebook Live; post image galleries from match-days on Instagram; share match-day updates on Twitter and so much more.
For many clubs, the hard part is often:
A) Getting started and
B) Assigning someone to the role of Social Media or Marketing Manager.
Whilst the possibilities are endless, it can be hard for one person to take on the role by themselves.
However, this is where User Generated Content can be particularly useful for sports clubs.
User Generated Content (UGC) refers to any type of content that is created by users or customers, as opposed to being produced by the brand itself.
For sports clubs, this could include things like photos and videos sent in by fans at the game, team fan art sent in by supporters or videos from parents of their kid’s games (if you are a junior club).
By encouraging your members, followers and fans to share their own content about your sports club on social media, you can help increase engagement with your online audience as well as create a sense of community around your club. Additionally, UGC gives sports clubs an opportunity to showcase the diversity of their fanbase which can be great for marketing purposes.
Another key ingredient to successfully using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube is also consistency.
Thankfully, there is often a solid structure to any in-season week when it comes to sports teams.
Here’s a good example of a simple posting schedule for clubs with senior teams AND junior teams, assuming senior teams are playing on Saturday and Junior teams are playing on Sunday.
Monday – Senior Results: Post a graphic with the senior team score and a few lines about the game. If you want to take it to the next level, write a match report and publish it on your website and ensure your social media post contains a link to the full report.
Tuesday – Junior Wrap Up: Wrap up the weekend’s results for your junior teams. If you have a lot of junior teams, rotate through them every week and feature one team.
Wednesday – Photo Gallery: Did you get photos from the weekend’s game? Share them and make sure you encourage people to attend the weekend’s game.
Thursday – Senior Preview: Post a graphic with all the relevant details for your senior team/s next game and be sure to highlight why this match is important (because let’s be honest…they all are!)
Friday – Junior Previews: Where are your junior teams playing this weekend? Let your audience know and get your parents and players pumped for a packed weekend.
The weekend is prime time for match updates, live pictures, live streaming and more! Bring your match-day experience online with social media.
If you’re out of season, then you might like to announce new players signing for your club, new coaching appointments or share some of the highlights of the previous season.
Do’s and don’ts when using social media for sports club purposes
Here are some very simple things you should do and things you should avoid doing when starting out on your sports club social media journey.
- Invest some time and/or money in creating a consistent look for your posts (EG: Have a template for match result graphics)
- Invest in a decent DSLR or Mirrorless camera. There are some great budget options for under $2,000 that will do a good job, particularly if you can pair it with a good lens
- Post consistently
- Ensure you have a photo/video opt-out policy for participants, particularly juniors, and ensure members are aware of the policy
- Encourage members to share their photos, videos and positive stories from their time at the club
- Showcase your history
- Use social media to showcase your sponsors
- Direct traffic to your website or online store as appropriate
- Ignore bad results – they are part of the journey
- Use social media to complain about controversial match-day decisions – it’s not a good look
- Leave comments unmoderated. Ensure any potentially defamatory or discriminatory comments are removed, as your club may end up being liable
- Ignore negative comments. If someone is unhappy or has had a bad experience, reach out to them and try and resolve the issue.
Getting Started with Social Media for your Sports Club
We hope that by now, you have a good understanding of how to better use social media for your sports club and the benefits it can provide.
We hope that these tips help you grow and engage your online presence in order to attract more people as members, players, fans and sponsors.
If you want some extra guidance on what platforms are best suited for your needs or which do’s and don’ts will be most effective, contact Content Hype today!