Video: The viral catch taking over social media
Check out this grab from Texas earlier this season.
There is not a doubt that in 2017 the most effective way to get your team additional exposure is through social media. Many programs are doing a tremendous job with their social media accounts, which is helping to build their brand, both in their own community and on the national level.
Yet some athletic programs still have absolutely zero social media presence. These tips can take your program from zero to in the thick of things.1. Make sure the right person is running your account
The last thing that your athletic program needs is to get into "hot water" with comments that come from "your account." It is key to make sure that the right person is representing your program. It's best not to allow a parent to have the controls to your social media accounts. Who knows what might happen if that parent becomes disgruntled? You might have a real public relations problem on your hand that could waste a whole lot of your time with just one irresponsible tweet, post, picture, etc. The person running your social media presence should be a trusted member of your staff: either a football coach or teacher or another staff member on campus.2. You must be active, daily
If you want to have serious social media presence, you must take it seriously. In order to create a social media presence that is worthwhile, you must be active on a daily basis. You don't have to tweet 30 times a day, but you should be active daily in order to grow your following. Without an "active" account, you will never grow your audience base.3. Content, content, content
The best way to gain a following via social media is to provide content to your followers and the "Twittersphere" or "Instasphere" that will engage them. People really like to see three things: people, action and results. This means pictures, play by play and what happened at the end of the day. Posting people, actions and results will create a following. Don't just post boring things! Be creative in selling your program to the world.
Create a social media team so that everything is not just on one person. Having a great photographer on this team is important. This person should actively seek to represent your program with pictures and fresh content every day. People love behind the scenes pictures. So give them that. Pictures of meetings, of what the uniforms will look like, ideas of helmets for next year, and more. This kind of content will engage your followers. 4. Engage the base
Engage your followers! Engage them with contests, free giveaways, one on one conversation and more. Tweeting out something like "The 13th person to come to coach Smith's classroom with this tweet gets 1 free ticket to the game Friday night." Or "There is a free hat hidden on campus today. Hint: The rock near the hill."
These types of contests will engage your followers. Have a player or a coach or another popular staff member "take over" your account for the day. This means that you give them the authority to run your account, give their perspective on things, post pictures, answer questions, state their opinions, etc. Just make sure to pick somebody who is trustworthy, and have a discussion with this person about their job for the day, and what you expect.
Using these four keys will help you to build and grow your social media presence online, which in turn will bring more value to your athletic program.Chris Fore is a veteran Head Football Coach and Athletic Director from Southern California. He consults coaches and programs nationwide through his business Eight Laces Consulting.