A key objective for many sports clubs and organisations is staying connected with their members, volunteers and coaches. There are a number of social media channels available that provide excellent platforms to support this.
Before you start
There are a few important considerations to think about, even if your organisation has been using social media for some time!
- Make sure you are informed when it comes to social media safety, so you can look after the welfare of your club members at all times.
- Talk to your club’s committee, volunteers and coaches about how they might be able to contribute to your social channels at this time. Encourage them to be open and realistic so you can identify who is best placed to help!
- Don’t be shy – ask for help! If there are people at your club who aren’t usually involved with the committee but are comfortable with social media, ask them if they’d be happy to contribute.
- Be mindful that social media doesn’t work for everyone. Talk to your membership about how engaged they are with social media and work out which platforms might be best. Also, if you know you will be sharing important information via your social channels, make sure you have a plan for getting this information to members who don’t have access to social media.
Twitter is an online platform allowing you to share text posts of up to 280 characters, along with images and video clips. For information on what to think about when setting up a Twitter account, click here. Twitter’s step-by-step guidance on creating your account can be found here.
There are lots of things you can use your organisation’s Twitter page for – it’s a great way to share information with your members and provide new ways for them to engage with you.
- Share any announcements from your club – for example, can you relay any information from virtual meetings the clubs committee is holding?
- Retweet or share any engaging content / information from your sport, the local area or other topics of interest.
- Share images and existing video footage from your club’s archives. You could encourage members to send in their own pictures to add to the club’s Twitter.
Facebook is one of the most popular social media channels and offers lots of different functions that can be helpful for sports clubs and organisations. Check out the guidance from Club Matters on setting up a Facebook page here. You can also access Facebook’s advice on creating a page here.
Facebook has different functions that are useful for sports clubs. You can post text, images and videos to your main page to help keep people up to date with the club and what’s going on. You can also use Facebook to encourage people to stay active – like with Twitter, why not get coaches to film themselves demonstrating a couple of small workouts people can do at home to help them keep active.
Another helpful function of Facebook is that you can set up closed groups. You can create a group for your whole club or individual teams, and anything that is shared within the group is kept private so won’t be seen by anybody else. This is a great way to share information, but it can also help members keep up the sense of community they get from being part of your club. You can also have group chats where people can keep in touch at any time of the day. For more information on setting up a closed group, check out Facebook’s guidance here.Facebook lets you share live videos, which people can interact with and leave comments on in real time! There are lots of things you could do to engage members through live videos – why not set up a Q+A session where people can ask a coach about sessions, use it to stream workouts to your audience or make live announcements
Instagram is a social media platform that lets you share photos and videos with your followers. It is mostly image based, but you can add captions and tag other people or organisations in your posts. For information on setting up an Instagram page, click here.
Instagram is primarily focused on the images and video footage you can share. You can also get your members, volunteers and coaches to share pictures and messages so the whole club can see! Instagram also lets you post ‘Stories’ to your profile, which are short clips that followers can view for up to 24 hours.Why not organise an Instagram takeover? If you have a club member or volunteer who is happy to share a ‘day in their life’, you can authorise access to the Instagram account and let them post images, videos and stories of what they get up to throughout the day. They can share any home workouts, post clips of them answering questions or suggest challenges for fellow members to try at home.
Having a YouTube channel means your club or organisation can create and share videos. These are often public and accessible to all, so make sure anybody you include in your content has given their consent. YouTube’s advice on setting up your own channel can be accessed here.
One of the key ways you can use YouTube to engage with your club is to share videos of workouts or drills that people can do. You’re not limited to this, however. You could ask committee members to film themselves making announcements or sharing relevant club information, or get members to send in questions for a Q+A clip.
Many smartphones are now capable of producing good quality videos, so you don’t need specialist equipment to get started. Instead, consider the below points to help produce some great clips for your audience.
- Have you talked to your coaches, volunteers and members about what they might be able to contribute to your YouTube channel? Find out if they’re willing and able to film themselves and discuss what kind of clip they could make.
- Make sure someone is nominated to edit and upload videos to YouTube. This doesn’t need to be the same person that is producing the clip – they can share the file with someone else to post online. No prior experience in video editing or uploading is required, as YouTube has lots of information to help here.
- Before anything is uploaded and made public, make sure you have consent from anyone that is featured in the clip. If anyone under the age of 18 is included, make sure you have their parent or guardian’s consent.
- Encourage contributors to do some research into similar videos available, to get an idea of how they have been structured and filmed. Your contributors may also want to develop a plan for the video and a script or list of key topics to cover.