Facebook is a free online networking website that allows users to create profiles, connect with others, and share content.
There are three major types of Facebook accounts:
- Personal profiles – only to be set up by individuals
- Pages – are “for businesses, brands and organisations to share their stories and connect with people”
- Groups – “provide a space for people to communicate about shared interests”
Generally, clubs will set up as ‘pages’ as it’s the most suitable for content sharing and has the most relevant privacy settings. Groups can also be helpful to communicate with volunteers or different teams depending on your club needs.
The Facebook Help webpage provides instructions on how to set up your club as a page on Facebook.
Why use Facebook?
With over 1 billion people world-wide, Facebook is a strong tool for communication.
Facebook can help:
- Create depth within relationships and create a strong sense of belonging with the club;
- Increase the size of the club’s audience;
- Support the delivery of club objectives and;
- Engage future participants.
People will typically visit your page for club details and to keep up to date with club information. It’s important that all information is current, and your page includes the contact numbers and/or emails, location of the club, website link, photos and club offerings.
Facebook also encourages your audience to spread the word about your club. A simple comment or share by a club member could mean their friends can see information about your club and suddenly, your information went from being viewed by 100 club members to now an extra 300 friends of one club member.
Now that you have successfully set up your club with a Facebook Page, its time to consider who your audience is as this will help create engaging content. You need to consider and speak to all your different audience types and keep them all in mind when creating content.
Inner Sanctum: Those that are closest to your club –
Rookies: Those that do not have a connection with your club but are considering your club –
- Potential new members/volunteers
- People looking to join a club
Super Fans: Those that have a connection with your club and are interested in the happenings at your club –
- Families of players
- Fans of the club
- Surrounding businesses
Stakeholders: Those that have an interest in your club as your club has an impact on their business -
- Your local league and competition
- Pathway clubs
Each audience will be coming to your page for different reason and at different times. Brainstorm their needs and characteristic – this will help you set a relevant plan and ensure your content is engaging the correct groups and the correct time of season.
The 10 Commandments of Facebook
Facebook can be great for reaching a wider audience and building a strong connection but its important you do it right to get the best outcomes. The Facebook help page have lots of great ideas on how create a more engaging page.
1. Create a plan!
This will help you post regular and relevant content to ensure your audience is engaged. *Link Communication Plan page*
2. Be consistent
Facebook has an algorithm that controls the ordering and presentation of posts, so users see what is most relevant to them. If you post infrequently, Facebook will punish your page by showing your post lower on your followers’ news feed.
3. Create an asset library
This sounds scarier than what it is! All it means if create a file of good quality photos and videos to use on your digital media platforms. Invest in hiring a photographer to take various photos of your club and its members – the investment is worth it.
If you don’t have the money for a professional photographer, reach out to your club members to see if anyone is a hobbyist photographer or if anyone has a good camera and can take a few photos. Another option is to approach your local high school, Tafe or university to see if any students are willing to build their portfolio for minimal costs.
Another idea is holding a ‘Photo of the Week’ competition. Members can post/share their pictures which doubles as asset collection and audience interaction. It’s a win-win option!
4. No photo, no post!
Now that you have an asset library, this should be easy to follow. An image or video must accompany every single post as this makes your post much more engaging. If you can’t find a specific photo, a generic footy photo will do the trick. Images must be good – aesthetics are extremely important on social media
- Bright, colourful e.g. no dead grass, no dark clouds, where possible
- Consider the background e.g. no carparks, no toilet blocks, no bins
- Landscape format when possible (formats better to social platforms/websites)
- Not zoomed in and blurry - get in close, fill the frame
- No clip art or googled cartoon images
- No logos as photos – action shots will get you much further
5. Centralise your content
Don’t create different pages for different teams. Clubs may have many teams, but they are all playing for the same club. By dividing your pages via teams, you are dividing your audience and diluting your club image. Its important to include women’s, men’s, juniors and seniors together where applicable.
6. Interact with your community
Facebook LOVES it when you interact #Zuckerbergiswatching
Remember Facebook has an algorithm that controls the ordering and presentation of posts, so users see what is most relevant to them. The more engaged your audience, the more connected they are, the more likely your posts will appear higher on their newsfeed and the more reach you are likely to achieve.
Make sure you reply to positive comments on your posts – this increases engagement. Be playful and informative with your audience.
IMPORTANT: Do not engage with negative/troll behaviour – this is not a good look for your club. Consider who else is watching your page/club members contribute to negative behaviour online.
- Think: Do I want sponsors to see the club/its members interactive negatively?
- Think: Do I want parents of the next generation seeing this?
- Think: Do you want this to be the example younger members of your club look up to?
- Think: Is this the culture we want at this club?
Other fun ways to interact with your audience can include “Caption this photo” posts, polls on humorous matters like “Who wore it better?” from presentation nights or “socks up or socks down?”.
7. 80/20 Rule
Remember, not everyone visiting you page is there to buy a membership. Make sure you are posting 80% news and information and 20% marketing material e.g. register now posts. Also, get creative with your posts – you don’t just have to post about your club events and game day results. Think about using popular social media content and adapting it to your club – e.g. photoshopping club merch or player faces on the Grammys Best Dressed photos.
8. Invest in simple graphics
Similar to creating a bank of photos, invest in creating the following graphics to assist over the year:
- Quarterly score updates
- Goal scorers
- Professional flyers to promote club events e.g. Ladies Days, Come and Try events, etc.
This will make your posts much more engaging and lessen the about people have to read in the post description.
9. Utilise your club website
No one (or at least not many) like to read long winded posts. Keep posts short and simple and try to include a call to action. For those posts that ‘need’ a lot of information, consider creating a website article and including the link in your post with a “read more here” call to action. This is more engaging post and you are directing traffic to your website where they might find more articles or information that they may have missed.
10. Get everyone on board
Social media is a great way to showcase the club’s ‘personality’. The more people you can get involved, the better. Ways to do this can be:
- Sharing member/follower content
- Getting players involved e.g. 24hr player take-over social media day
- Use member photos and/or videos
- Get young, tech savvy players to create content
When to post on social media?
Unfortunately, there is no magic posting schedule, or one size fits all method. The best way to work out when to post your content is to experiment remembering different posts may have different engagement levels depending on your target audience.
Its important to think about your target audience and what their social media habits are. For example, if you are targeting adult players, posting at lunch time during the week may be better than at 7am in the morning. If your target audience are parents, 3pm-8pm maybe a bad time to post as they are doing school pickup, cooking dinner and getting the kids ready for bed. Alternatively, if your audience are people that want live score updates, post during game days.
Boosted/Paid Facebook Posts
Boosted posts are ads you create from posts on your Facebook Page. Boosting a post may help you get more people to react, share and comment on it. You may also reach new people who are likely interested in your Page, but don't currently follow you.
You can choose who you want to engage with the boosted post and set your budget to your needs. It’s a great way to advertise registrations or special events at your club.
Boosting a post is easy - the Facebook help page provides step by step instructions.