“THAT GRASSROOTS RAMBLE” the show that brings you all the latest from the world of grassroots football including news, how-to guides, interviews, hints, tips and special features.
The show is brought to you by us here at MyClubPro, for those of you that aren’t familiar with us, we provide websites to football clubs all over the UK. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be giving you some tips and tricks on marketing your club online. In our first episode we cover social media marketing with our very own Charlotte Richardson who has volunteered and worked in the grassroots game for a number of years as a marketing professional.
Over the summer we delivered our club marketing workshop to a number of clubs at Kent FA and it was really well received but while promoting the event on online we had requests from people all over the country asking if we could deliver the content online. As such ‘That Grassroots Ramble’ was born and today we cover our first topic which is social media.
Marketing is an essential part of the modern grassroots game, although it’s often overlooked or perhaps many clubs might not have a volunteer dedicated to it, but actually marketing – and more specifically – social media offers some really useful tools.
Ok let’s pretend my club has no social media presence at all, where should I start?
There are so many different platforms but those that tend to be most commonly used in Football are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But that’s not to say you need to use all of them, better to do one or two really well than spread yourself too thin!
Right so now I’m on social media, but why should I be using these platforms?
Quite simply because this is where your key stakeholders are spending a lot of time. Your players, coaches, parents, supporters and potential new club members are spending on average 3 hours a day on their phones. We get our news, updates, order our shopping – so many routine tasks on our mobiles and as such club administration and promotion has swayed that way too as a means of communication.
The FA is following the trend by introducing apps for club volunteers so that more and more of those administrative tasks can be completed on a phone; Social media is like the missing piece of the jigsaw in promoting your club.
Ok so we know the people we want to speak to spend a lot of time social media, what are the key benefits to the club?
For starters the platforms are all free, so with no cost – other than time – they offer a fantastic way to promote your club and what it’s up too. Social media offers an almost instant way to communicate with those who have a vested interest in your team which in turn can help increase commercial value. Many people watching this will know, the strains of keeping a club ticking over financially, social media if used properly can serve a useful purpose in helping those balance sheets.
Now we know volunteers struggle with lots of jobs and little time, what tips would you give our viewers so that social media can become an active part of their club, without draining their time?
That’s a really good questions, as I think a lot of people across the country involved with their local team will say exactly that – it can be quite draining and to get through all the tasks required to stage a game of football in itself is a lot. There are some really useful scheduling tools that volunteers can use; Facebook has its own scheduling platform for posts and I would recommend clubs sign up for free accounts on Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. These offer a way of condensing your messaging so you can schedule what you need to – you don’t have to be ‘online’ all the time. It may be that each Sunday evening you dedicate 30 minutes to scheduling across all your channels; rather than spending five or 10 minutes each morning or afternoon.
Once you see the success and engagement from consistent use of social media, it will in turn, engage and enthuse you to do even more and it won’t be long until the growth shows on your pitch; whether that’s an increased number of players joining teams, an increase in revenue because the bacon sarnie offer your clubhouse serves on a Sunday morning is scheduled etc.
If you could give three tips around how to use social media what would they be?
- 1. Pick your channel. Every club should have a website. That is a staple, social media can be a bit more flexible. Don’t try to be a master on all if you don’t have the resources. Take an honest look at your club, speak to parents/players etc and find out which channel is most suitable for you; and do that really, really well. There’s nothing worse than starting an official club channel and then someone gets bored of it, runs out of time and that channel is defunct; it’s then damaging to your club’s brand.
- 2. Monitor your activity. Once you’re up and running and pleased with the various things you and your volunteers are doing on social media. Make the most of your free analytics to see how you’re doing. Each channel provides figures to how your content is performing. In the same way a coach assesses his team’s performance, you must assess your social media. How many impressions are you getting, how much engagement. It’s not hard to find this information, it’s part of having an account; so make the most of it.
- 3. Use imagery. Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images. It’s therefore a given, if you’re putting anything out on social media, you should be adding some imagery to it. Whether you’re using photos you’ve taken from your club, GIFS or maybe created some graphics on a website like Canva, these can really help boost your social media presence.
Scheduling Tool - Hootsuite - www.hootsuite.com
Scheduling Tool - Tweetdeck - www.tweetdeck.twitter.com
Image Creation - Canva - www.canva.com