You might cringe at the mention of social media, but believe it or not, it can be one of the greatest marketing tools for promoting your youth sports club.
Social media is free to use as a marketer making it one of the cheapest and easiest ways to market your club. You can always choose to spend money on social advertising to up your game, but it’s not required.
Here are some tips on how to promote your youth sports club with social media.
The first step is to create accounts. When creating your social media accounts, you want to ensure you are creating profiles on the platforms that will attract your key audiences.
Most youth sports clubs will likely want to start with these social media platforms:
- Facebook: According to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, 68 percent of all adults who are online in the U.S. use Facebook. This ranks second overall, behind only YouTube. While today’s youth might not be running to Facebook, their parents are. And that is who you are trying to reach. You want your athletes’ parents to be able to find posts and updates on your club via your page. They can also use the page to contact the organization and connect with other team members.
- Twitter: Twitter is the best platform to be able to broadcast a message to a large group in real-time. Facebook posts can get lost in users’ news feeds, so urgent messages might not get seen. Twitter allows your team to see last-minute, important messages. In other words, Facebook is for socializing and Twitter is for conveying information.
- YouTube: You might not think of YouTube as a social media channel, but it’s the top choice for adults in the U.S., according to the Pew poll. The purpose of YouTube is different from Facebook and Twitter, but it’s still effective. Use YouTube to post videos of your club, team events, highlight reels, interviews with your staff, testimonials from players and parents, and more. YouTube gives you the opportunity to show potential players and sponsors the people and the overall culture of your organization.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a networking tool. You won’t use this platform to post schedule changes or urgent team information, but LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to showcase your club as a business to potential sponsors. It’s also a way for your staff to network with other coaches from various leagues.
After you set up the proper channels, you need to create content to promote your youth sports club on social media. When posting content on social media, you want to think about the purpose. What is your goal with each account? Is it to get your club information in front of more people? Inform your current players and their parents? Create a way for your followers to engage with your club? All of the above? Varying content will allow you to achieve different results.
- Content posts: Content can take on many forms, and the key is to vary your posts. You can share blogs, articles, testimonials, white papers, and other items created by your club. Sharing content related to youth sports will generate thought leadership and expertise that can appeal to prospective families and sponsors. Posting content about your youth sports club to social media can help bolster your communication overall, improving your ability to manage your club properly.
- Informational posts: You can share schedule updates, tryouts information, and other club announcements via your page through simple text posts and links to inform your current players and their families.
- Videos: Video is king in the content world, so try to post videos to your page when you can. Closed captioning on the videos is recommended on videos for parents who are checking your accounts during the workday; they likely won’t listen to the video with sound. They’re more likely to watch and read the subtitles. Best practice is to vary the types of videos you post, from game highlights to testimonials to staff interviews. This will show different aspects of your youth sports club and engage current players and prospective athletes alike. Videos are also very shareable, meaning followers are likely to re-post videos featuring their kids on their own pages, allowing your content to be seen by a much larger pool of people.
- Images: Social media platforms are visual, so images are always recommended. Posts with images are more likely to catch attention in a busy newsfeed. Whenever possible, use real images instead of stock images to make your posts stand out and be more authentic.
- Galleries: Posting image galleries of tournaments, tryouts, and team events will encourage parents to share the photos on their own pages. The more parents that share the content, the more people will see your page.
- Polls/Surveys: Posting a poll or survey on your page is a great way to get feedback. Polls are also a great way to drive engagement on your account.
- Open-ended Questions: If you want to start conversations on your page, engage your audience with questions. These can vary from genuine fact-finding queries such as, “what changes would you like to see at tryouts this season?” to open-ended questions like, “how is your Monday going?”
- Re-posts/Shares: When posting content, you don’t only want to post about your youth sports club. Inform your followers with related content, and they will enjoy following your page. The rule of thumb is typically 80 percent content that’s posted to help followers, and 20 percent about your club. This 80 percent can be sharing articles or videos you found interesting or sharing posts by followers or influencers.
- Monitor and Respond: When people post or comment on your page, they expect a response – quickly. Assign someone at your club tasked with reading all comments and responding as necessary. This person should also monitor the comments and remove anything inappropriate.
Are you interested in learning more about marketing your club?
To use your social media pages to promote your club, you need followers. The more followers you have, the greater your viewership. This can help you secure sponsors and will get your club brand in front of more potential players.
One way to increase your followers is to work with influencers. Influencers are social media users who have connections to your target audience. These can be leaders in the industry, bloggers, or popular personalities – anyone who has the ability to reach a lot of people with their social media posts. If you can get influencers to share your content, then your brand is being seen by all of their followers.
You can reach out to key influencers in your community, league, or sport to see if they’d be willing to follow your page and share your content.