Social Media for Grassroots Football Clubs
Social media plays a huge role in the day-to-day life of many supporters out there, and over the years it has become the go-to place to follow along with sporting events such as football. I mean, if you want the scores before any of the big TV broadcasters, Twitter is the place to be!
The use of radio or TV to follow along or watch games has changed as online media has evolved, and in some cases for local clubs going online hasn’t been an option.
It has been said that there is a generation coming through with less of an interest in Football and more of an interest in online activities, whatever they may be. And with the pandemic restricting clubs to no physical audience at all, making more of an effort online seems like the logical next promotion.
With the many social media or digital platforms available to you, there’s no reason grassroots clubs can’t reach giant audiences and feel the effects of that throughout the system.
Keeping your fans, players and future players up to date with the inner workings of the club or Kent FA initiatives, and supporting the community will help foster a strong online community and strengthen the communication between club, fans and players.
As the Kent FA Media Partner for 2021, we’ll be sharing through the year some ways you can use the digital channels available to you to support your club or grassroots initiatives.
Facebook is one of the most used social medias out there, with a huge population active on its platform.
For Football clubs and leagues you want to build up a loyal fan base of fans who will regularly engage with and share your content, helping you reach more and more people but also to help build a community.
Use your Facebook page to post:
- Updates about upcoming events outside of the football calendar
- Game days and players. Use it to document the build up to the game or events using features like stories.
- Ask fans questions, to prompt comments and conversation; Should Messi sign? As a realistic example.
- Match day squad activity and updates
- Partnerships and collaboration outreach
- Training photos/videos/Tik-Tok style challenges
Aim to post daily to let people know what's on and to encourage conversation by prompting people to comment.
Use Facebook groups to share information about your club and your games in the local areas, using either the clubs Facebook page to post, or brand ambassadors and players from your club to post these updates.
It’s been found that on game days, a higher number of fans will turn to Twitter than they will Facebook for updates and results.
The fast-paced nature of Twitter means you can run a live commentary on the games themselves through Tweets or live video-streaming.
Share goals scored, memorable moments and general updates on team performances, tagging in other clubs or sponsors to boost your reach.
If using Twitter live during a game:
- Create a library of text that can be used repeatedly, including player names
- Consider Twitter Live (Periscope) as an option
- Provide updates every couple of minutes (if audience dictates)
- Create a library of goal scorer graphics and GIFs so you’re always prepared
Use Twitter as a supporter communication tool. Build up a community on Twitter and encourage the use of a hashtag relevant to your club to try and collate Tweets related to your activities.
Instagram is a visual platform, whether that’s video or pictures! This is where you can get really creative for your club.
Use Instagram Reels or IGTV to post longer-form video content that showcases your club, your players and games.
Use your wall to keep people updated of your fixtures, your line-ups for games and even when someone from your club scores!
Use Instagram Stories to use location tags and hashtags to get in front of your audience, share live coverage of your games with visual assistance (unlike Twitter where text is best), and keep your audience updated on activities the clubs engage in.
Aim to post daily to help stay on top of the platform's algorithm!
On each of these platforms you should look to post a mixture of content, but aim for an individual focus where you will prioritise attention. For example, for a grassroots football club we might recommend:
Facebook - to build a community of support
Twitter - to share live commentary of games
Instagram - to keep fans updated on activity
Where you have sponsors, look to get them involved in your social media presence and help them shout about you too. Don’t forget to tag in the people you mention, such as businesses, other clubs and sponsors though. The more reach, the better!
And try to encourage “user generated content”, asking your fans, followers, teams and staff to post pictures and videos themselves, tagging in your social media accounts.
Overall, it’s important that you and your club have fun on social media and engage your audience with content and a presence they won’t forget.
However, do make sure to follow FA regulations on social media use!
For more advice on social media best practice and use, check out Sleeping Giant Media.
And if you want to explore boosting your social media with paid advertising, check out the packages from The Spark Agency.