The social media toolkit for sport communicators is intended to help B.C. sport organizations, clubs and other sport-related organizations navigate the confusing and rapidly evolving word of social media.
Maximize your social media efforts in 30 minutes or less
When viaSport polled sports organizations from across the province about their communications practices, two messages because abundantly clear:
1. Sports organizations wanted to increase their use of social media.
2. Unfortunately, they lack the time and human resources to do so.
- 62% of you said that you don’t have a dedicated communications staff member and rely on someone to handle your communications as part of a much larger portfolio,
- 15% said that your communications efforts are managed by a volunteer
- 88% of sports organizations said that human resources was a major barrier, and
- 85% said that time was a major barrier preventing you from reaching your social media potential.
The good news is, however, that social media doesn’t have to eat up your busy schedule.
In Module #11, you will find these 11 tips:
You can have a major impact online in less than the time it takes to scarf down a sandwich at your desk. Here are 11 strategies to boost your social media presence in 30 minutes or less. By trying one a week, you can take advantage of all that social media has to offer without working overtime.
Time: 25 Minutes
Reach into your photo archives and find four historical sport photos for Throwback Thursday posts. Use schedulers like Hootsuite’s or Facebook’s scheduling tool* to schedule one on your social media accounts for the next four Thursdays. Make sure to use a hashtag like #TBT #ThrowbackThursday or #TBThursday on Twitter so that your tweet gets maximum exposure. In less than 30 minutes, you’ve created a month’s worth of content showcasing how your sport has evolved.
*Click on the status update box on your page, then click on the icon that looks like a clock to schedule the post.
Time: 20 Minutes
Do a Google search for motivational sport quotes or find some on Pinterest. Using the method listed in Tip #1, schedule them for the next four Mondays to create an entire month of Motivational Monday content. Make sure to use the hashtag #MotivationalMonday for maximum exposure.
Time: 30 Minutes
An image macro is a photograph with text captioned overtop. People commonly think of LOLcats or memes when they think of image macros, but the term has broadened in recent years to encompass most types of captioned photos, such as motivational posters, Advice Animals, and those photos of sunsets paired with motivational quotes that dominate Pinterest. In the sports community, image macros can be used to advertise upcoming events, promote the benefits of sport, share a motivational message or celebrate a victory or achievement.
In the past, you had to have a program like Photoshop to create an image macro. These days, however, no special software or training is required. Simply use an image macro generator like Roflbot (http://wigflip.com/roflbot/), Pinstamatic (http://pinstamatic.com/) or PinWords (http://www.pinwords.com/) to make your idea come to life and create highly shareable content.
Time: 15-30 Minutes
Posting articles is an easy way to start discussions and fill gaps in your social media schedule. To have this content delivered directly to your inbox, set up a Google Alert (http://www.google.ca/alerts) for your sport, your organization’s name, any leagues you run, and the names of any high-performance athletes, coaches or alumni associated with your organization. When your Google Alert gets a relevant hit, post the article to your social media accounts. Make sure to frame it in a way that will pique your readers’ interest. (I.e. “The New York Times argues that kids are specializing too early in sport. What do you think?”)
Time: 15-30 Minutes
Driving more traffic to your social media accounts and increasing your followers is a slow process, but you can give it a boost by spreading the word through your other channels. Every week, try one small way to promote your social media accounts. Maybe you add your social media links to your e- newsletter or newsletter one week (15 minutes), write a brief article promoting your social media accounts on your website the next (30 minutes), add social media links to your homepage the next week (5 – 30 minutes depending on your website), and add them to your registration forms the next time you send them out (10 minutes). When accrued over the months, these small efforts will have a big payoff.
Time: 20-30 Minutes
Many sport communicators are not used to adding social media to their workflow and so treat it as separate from their other daily tasks. They get swamped with other projects, forget about their social media accounts, then post a bunch of content to make up for lost time. Not only is this way inefficient, but it can also alienate your followers.
To add social media to your workflow, get in the habit of considering whether your daily tasks might be good fodder for your social media efforts. Those photos of a program you took for a grant application would make a great Facebook album. The registration info for your new league could be tweeted. That schedule for your upcoming tournament could be turned into a Facebook event. Every day, you create great social media content. You just have to remember to post it.
Time: 30 Minutes
The more accounts you follow, the more Twitter seems like an endless, overwhelming stream of links, hashtags and abbreviations. Save time (and sanity) by using Twitter lists to filter out the noise. Lists allow you to group the tweets from similar Twitter accounts into a single stream. Instead of wading through a few hours of tweets, you can simply check your lists for relevant content. You could create a list of other sports organizations, member clubs, sports journalists, high-performance athletes, or even just accounts that tweet useful info about your sport. You can even follow other people’s lists.
Facebook also has a list function, though it is not as commonly used. To learn how to make lists of pages on Facebook, click here: https://www.facebook.com/help/interest-lists
Time: 10 minutes
In Module 5: Facebook 101 for sports communicators, we’ve talked about how following similar organizations on Facebook allows you access shareable content. Unfortunately, however, Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm means that you often don’t see every post from every page you like. To be sure that you’re receiving all of a relevant Facebook page’s content, click on the box at the top of the page titled “Liked,” then click on “Get notifications.” You’ll get a Facebook notification every time the page posts something.
Time: 10-20 Minutes
Adding visuals to your social media strategy pays huge dividends. Social media content that contains an image is liked twice as often as text-based posts and people process visuals 60,000 times faster than text1. Find a home for all those photos lurking on your server or in a filing cabinet by creating Facebook albums. It only takes about 10 minutes to pop some photos from a recent event into a Facebook album, and a few minutes more to tag people in the photos to increase the viewership of your album. Remember: photos don’t have to be current. Many sports organizations report that their most popular photos are from events that took place 10 or 15 years ago, since the people in the photos are able to reminisce on the good times they shared.
Time: 20 Minutes
Promoting your upcoming tournament, league or other event via social media can result in more tickets sold, more fans in the seats and more webcast views. There are many ways to promote events on social media – we’ll have a module on this in the future – but the quickest and simplest way is to create a Facebook event. Why? Because Facebook events allow potential attendees to see that their friends are going, ask questions about the event, and share your event with their own followers. To get the most out of your Facebook event, make sure to use a compelling photo, post a link to the schedule, create a succinct description, insert a website link and invite your followers.
Time: 20 Minutes
Analytics can be complicated, but they don’t have to be. Checking just a few metrics every month allows you to refine your efforts, ensuring that you’re not wasting time creating content that doesn’t interest your followers.
To check basic analytics in under 20 minutes:
- Go to Facebook Insights by visiting your page, then clicking ‘Check Out Page Insights.’
- Click on ‘Likes.’ Notice when you got more likes and when you were unliked. What happened on these days?
- Click on ‘Visits’ and scroll down to ‘Page and Tab visits.’ What caused spikes in your traffic?
- Scroll down to ‘External Referrers.’ How did people find your page?
- Click on ‘Posts’ and note the ‘Reach’ and ‘Engagement’ columns. What types of content were popular? Which were less popular?
- Go to your website’s analytics and find the referring traffic metric (i.e. how people got to your site). In Google Analytics, this is located under ‘Acquisition.’ What social media sites sent the greatest number of people to your website? Which posts were responsible for the most referrals?
To learn more, check out our Social Media Toolkit, found here.
Click this button to download the toolkit as a PDF: