Growing a following, connecting with the right groups, and delivering on objectives can be daunting tasks at first for any sports organization taking the dive into social media. Online tips and tools can be tempting and sometimes are helpful, but as an organization takes its first real steps into social media, these tools are often underutilized, used incorrectly, or just plain ineffective at building a targeted following from ground zero.
Here’s a better way to build a foundation in social media:
Mining existing offline relationships that start within and extend beyond the walls of your office can provide a meaningful and engaged initial following. Here’s some quick math and three easy steps:
1) Sports organization ABC has 10 employees, that support a team of 15 athletes, with a 4 person coaching staff and 6 member Board of Directors for a total of 35 individuals. Hold a meeting and ask, direct, encourage these individuals to ‘like’ your fan page; get their buy in and you’re off to the races.
2) The average Facebook user has 130 friends, athletes that we all love often have many more (Facebook Statistics). Ask members of your organization to use the ‘suggest to friends’ feature on your Facebook page to invite all their friends with a personalized message. (the link is located just under your pages profile picture, as you can see here)
3) 35 members x 130 friends/member = 4550 personalized invitations to ‘like’ your Facebook page. If only 20% of those invites end up liking your page that’s still; .2 x 4550 = 910 friends or likes.
With an initial following of 910 the viral nature of social media can take over and start to have the level of impact that you got involved with social media for in the first place. Now you can focus your attention on providing content that people engage with and enjoy and the growth of your following will start to take care of itself.
Offline development of your social media following can take other forms as well. Any print, media, or other touch points that your organization produces can be branded with a “Like our Facebook page” logo. Sponsors, existing partners, friends, family, anyone and everyone you know or speak to can be asked to support the organization with a Facebook like, your athletes can do the same at events and presentations.
If you make Social Media an offline prerogative for your organization the successful launch of your social media presence will be seeded for strong growth into the future.
Once you have got your base established, you can start to look online for ways to grow and activate your following to deliver on desired organizational objectives. Consider using some of these free/cheap tools for identifying what’s resonating and what’s missing the mark with your new social media following: awe.sm, bit.ly, klout.com, offerpop.com, sproutsocial.com.
You can also give us a call to help you pull it all together, institute a social media approach in your organization, and launch some cool activations that bring your social presence to life, we love this stuff!