Top Facebook Tips For Youth Sports Organizations

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Your organization most likely has a Facebook page … but are you taking best advantage of it? Check out these best practices aimed at turning your page into an essential piece of your organization’s marketing and outreach efforts:

Make Your Posts Interesting – Add Pictures & Calls To Action

Statistics show that posts with photos are liked more, commented on more frequently, and shared more … so it should go without saying – use photos with your posts!

Also, tell people what you want them to do. If you want comments, ask fans to comment on your post! It seems simple, but not many do it.

Respond to Feedback

Your goal is to start and facilitate conversation. When someone leaves a comment, make sure you’re aware of that comment and can respond quickly. As an administrator, click EDIT PAGE, then MANAGE NOTIFICATIONS, and you can be emailed  when someone comments on a post.

Setup Properly

Make sure you have a username for your page. Also, upload a compelling cover photo and take full advantage of the dimensions. Remember, people are more relatable than logos and objects.

Promote on Other Channels

To make your presence known on Facebook, you have to promote your presence in other places. For example, with a little copy-and-pasting, you can post a widget of your most recent Facebook posts on your website!

Observe Others

Take time to see what others organizations are doing. First, check other sports in your area, then check opponents of yours in your region, then expand nationally. You’ll find some great examples of what works without having to reinvent the wheel.

Set Goals

How many fans do you want to have in 6 months? A year? How will you get there? Do you want to try to utilize Facebook Ads to grow your following (and your overall membership)? Discuss what would define success for your organization and how you plan to achieve it.

Use Metrics (Advanced)

EdgeRank Checker is a neat tool that can provide some great metrics for your benefit – when to post, how often to post, and which posts draw the most interaction. The service comes at a small cost, but the benefits can really provide great value.

We hope you’ve found these tips helpful. What else has worked well for you? Share with others!

Communication Traits of Youth Sports Organizations According to You!

In youth sports, is an organization’s online presence important?

With technology changing so quickly, it can be difficult to keep up with trends and best practices both socially and in business. Demosphere recently conducted a survey of youth sports organizations to find out exactly how they are using online tools to operate and communicate.

Online Registration

Based on the results, most organizations (89%) are utilizing online registration to allow members to register online rather than via mail or in person. Within those organizations, 87% of members take advantage of that flexibility.

Despite the high rates, how can we get 100% of organizations registering 100% of their members online? Perhaps some members are still getting accustomed to registering online, but as organizations continue to grow, online registration will continue to grow with them and hopefully allow them to scale faster.

Online Communications Tools

Although a small percentage of organizations still register offline, there are a couple of online areas where all of our respondents agree. All organizations have a website which shows that an online presence is necessary (and understood to be necessary) for youth sports organizations today. With an overwhelming amount of groups agreeing that a professional website is good for business, it is surprising to still see so many sites look homemade with outdated information.

In addition to having a website, all survey participants use email to communicate with their membership. Email continues to be the most effective way to reach people, but with the variety of online platforms available today, countless businesses and non-profit organizations find a comprehensive social media presence to be an important and useful tool.

Social Media Presence

Youth sports organizations seem to be a little reluctant to use social media. Having a presence on social media platforms may not seem important, but social media sites are a significant source of information for consumers in 2012.

For years, even large businesses have gotten involved in the social media space, so there’s obviously value there. It would seem natural for smaller, more nimble organizations to do the same. Although Facebook estimates 955 million active users as of June, 2012, only about 60% of surveyed organizations use Facebook to communicate. An organization that has a Facebook page and/or Twitter feed can communicate to current members as well as create awareness for potential new members.

Although information sent through email and social media seems instant, it only gets to the recipient whenever they decides to check his or her email, Facebook, or Twitter account. As a result, we were anticipating a higher percentage of groups using text messaging (SMS).

We anticipate utilization will rise in the future. Many businesses already use SMS to alert customers of promotions and some organizations have been utilizing SMS to notify members of field status changes. With many groups communicating every day, the obvious trend will be to communicate via SMS as many people keep their cell phones within reach at all hours.

Overall Observations

The Internet and other technologies available today offer an overwhelming amount of options for communications and operations. While it may seem daunting to communicate through so many different channels, it is important to reach people however possible in the areas they feel most comfortable.

Youth sports organizations are generally a year or two behind the curve when it comes to taking advantage popular forms of communication. Volunteers may think that communicating through different channels is time consuming, but it is actually quite easy to do and benefits the organization the long run. These groups should not be afraid to take cues from other businesses and individuals in terms of communication formats.

Detailed survey results regarding youth sports communications

Are there any new and exciting platforms you look forward to using with your organization?

What methods of communication have you personally found to be most effective?