Boost brand awareness & online sports registration with these 7 platforms & tips!
Social media in its most primitive form actually began in the early 1970's with the emergence of listservs, newsgroups and chat rooms. Social media has evolved steadily since then to what is now known today as the "Golden Era" of social media. In the past decade, social media has gone from a novelty to an absolute necessity. Social media is an extension of your overall sports marketing plan, and it can’t be ignored. Utilize the following tips for boosting your online sports registration for events and training program to maximize your social media marketing efforts:
- Establish/Utilize a Facebook fan page: If you don't already have a Facebook fan page, create one. If you have one, but don't know how to best utilize it, be sure to use a team picture or logo as your page's cover photo. If your organization currently has a sports website, be sure to link to it. Your Facebook fan page can serve as your team page. Post relevant information like training, game schedules, video highlights and more to encourage traffic to the page.
Facebook will primarily be a tool to market to adults as most youth have migrated to Instagram and other social media apps, so keep in mind that your audience might be athletes’ parents. The NKYFL league Facebook page makes the "top 20" and is a great example of a successful utilization of Facebook. One of the things they do well is to include photos and stories that portray positive things to player's families. This is a key audience for you to focus on, as parents are usually the ones using online sports registration tools.
- Make the most of Twitter: Depending on the type of sports business you’re running, you could tweet in-game updates including scores, highlights or last minute changes to the schedule or share training videos and workout tips! There are now social media management tools like Hootsuite and TweetDeck that allow you to link Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts in one place. Utilize each network to help boost your audience on the others, ie: use Facebook and Instagram to encourage parents and fans to follow your business on Twitter. In addition, link to your online sports registration pages and blast out updates including your training packages, camps & clinics or 1-on-1 lesson opportunities.
- Utilize YouTube to create a channel for your business: Shareable video content is an incredible way to spread the word about your sports organization. YouTube is a great tool to post player highlight videos, and allow parents to upload videos as well.
- Incorporate interactive features into social media: Surveys, games or polls can be a fun way to keep your audience engaged. You can allow participants to vote for player of the game or week, create contests for things such as uniform/ camp gear design, special event T-shirts etc.
- Incorporate links to online photo galleries where you can post team photos and allow parents to upload their favorite shots.
- Pinterest: Pinterest is a relatively new social media tool that launched in 2010. Pinterest is growing rapidly. In fact, Pinterest was the fastest site to break the 10 million unique visitor mark. Pinterest is unique in the social media realm in that its major purpose is sharing and not creating original content. Each Pinterest profile includes a logo, website address, description and boards. Utilize hashtags and keywords that you incorporate into other social media to make your pins easy to find. Research has shown that descriptions should be kept short (no more than 200-250 words). Pinterest can be a very useful tool to your sports team if you regularly use a lot of photos and visual images to build increased traffic to your site.
- Instagram: Instagram has over 400 million active users per month and sees 80+ million photo uploads every single day garnering 3.5 billion likes. Once viewed only as a trendy teen app, it is now seen as a marketing giant. Instagram has remained in the top ten apps for the last couple of years and research has shown that mobile users spend 90% of their mobile time utilizing apps. You can now incorporate video up to 15 seconds in your Instagram post. Being in sports, we also love a little competition. Try one of these three sports Instagram contests on your page. Remember to include sports hashtags and keywords that are used in other forms of social media to grow your audience reach.
Social media can be your best tool for promoting your sports business while complementing your overall marketing plan to increase your online sports registration, while also keeping players and parents up to date, finding new clients, and sharing components that keep your players excited and engaged. Different social media platforms play unique roles in your overall marketing plan, but each should complement the other in order to maximize your marketing efforts. Whether you are looking to promote your league, a particular team, special event or your facility, social media is a must for branding your sports events.