Social media has changed the way teams communicate with their fans, promote their games, and highlight their players. Pro and college teams have learned to harness the power of platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat to promote themselves. The rewards for these teams so far have been more than worth the time spent on improving their social media presences but most high school sports programs haven’t yet grasped the potential of social media, even when they may need it the most. Successful and engaging social media strategies have been vital to pro and college teams developing and maintaining relationships with their fans, and when your fans are engaged, they’re more likely to show up to your games, participate in your promotions, and care about your team.
As a Scorebook Live user, you’re already on the right track to improving the ways in which your reach your fanbase, but it shouldn’t stop there. Here are some tips on how you, the high school coach, can improve your team’s social media presence.
Step One: Understand the Basics
While Twitter and Facebook are the two most popular platforms for sharing and consuming content, it’s important to understand the differences between the two. Twitter and Facebook are distinguished by very different audiences, vocabularies, and purposes.
Know Your Audience
Before planning your social media strategy, you first need to understand who you’re talking to on these platforms. Let’s start with Twitter. Along with Snapchat and Instagram, Twitter is where you will have the most success reaching students, players, and prospects. On this platform, young people are actively engaging with news, sports, and each other. Facebook is great for communicating with parents, boosters, and faculty. While most students do have a Facebook account, it’s probably going to be the older crowd that will be engaging with your content the most.
Understand the Vocabulary and Style
Twitter and Facebook couldn’t be more different when it comes to vocabulary and style. You also need to format your content differently depending on what it is you’re posting. On Twitter, it’s best to keep your posts short and to the point. Don’t make them too busy with multiple hashtags or @’s, and always try to include an image or a GIF if you can. Also remember that, in general, you should keep a lighter, more casual tone on Twitter. On Facebook, you have a little more leeway in terms of the length of your posts, but it’s still important to keep it under a sentence or two. While your tone should still be light on Facebook, you can afford to go into more detail and use a more formal voice. Whatever you would use in an email newsletter is generally ok here.
Understand the Purpose
While most of your student body is also on Facebook, Twitter may actually be more effective at communicating with them directly. Twitter is a great way to give quick updates, share links, and communicate directly with your followers. Your goal here is retweets and likes-good indicators that people are actually engaged with the stuff you’re posting. Facebook is also great for communicating with your fans, especially the older ones. You can publish newsletters, game reminders and results, and important releases there, and it’s a great place to post photo albums, video highlights, and more. Think of Facebook as your team’s other website.
Step Two: Check Out What the Pros Do
While high school teams obviously have many limitations that professional teams don’t, there’s still a lot to emulate. Here are some great examples of pro sports teams that excel at consistently offering engaging, informative, and sometimes, funny, content.
Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks)
The Atlanta Hawks are the best NBA team on social media, hands down. Their combination of informative, relevant, and hilarious content puts them above the rest when it comes to delivering content that fans want. They use their Twitter account to announce promotions, live-Tweet game updates, and sometimes, to just crack jokes.
Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers)
The Portland Trail Blazers combine witty, personable, and informative content to make their followers feel like they’re part of the team. By embracing their city and interacting with fans on a personal level, they’ve excelled at using Twitter to not only increase interest in their games, but create a real sense of community around their team.
Los Angeles Kings (@LAKings)
The LA Kings are, puns aside, the kings of Twitter in the sports world. The 2013 Stanley Cup champs single-handedly redefined the way teams can use social media to communicate. They brilliantly use their online personality to not only engage their fans and trash-talk rival teams, but convert other people, even non-hokey fans, into Kings fans.
Step Three: How Scorebook Live Can Help
We spent a lot of time talking about what pro sports teams do on Twitter, and a lot of the reason they’re able to have such a presence on social media is that they have the resources to do so. The high school coach, for obvious reasons, doesn’t enjoy that luxury, and Twitter or Facebook is usually the last thing on their minds. Scorebook Live can actually do a lot of the legwork for you on social media, and can ease the burden on the coach of managing and publishing content on social. To connect your Twitter account to Scorebook Live, just go into the setting on your iPad, scroll down to Twitter, and enter your username and password. Here’s what Scorebook Live can do to help your teams’ social media:
With Scorebook Live, you can publish game updates at any point in the game right from the scoring screen. We auto-generate an awesome graphic that displays the score of the game, leading scorers, and the game info your fans need. Easily add your own comment or use Scorebook Live’s default text, press Tweet, and you’re done! We recommend posting an update at least during halftime and after the game.
Scorebook Live Game Day – Coming Soon
Soon, Scorebook Live will be able to do even more to boost your social media presence. With Game Day, Scorebook Live will automatically generate infographics before and after each one of your games, that will deliver information to your fans like never before.