Here are five tips to improve your developmental football team’s Facebook page, which should result in an improvement with recruiting, which quality coaches and management should then translate to more success on the field.
At the end of the day, teams can still go about their business and do whatever they want. However, if you want your team’s hometown community and the general public to take your team seriously, then this is a big deal. It doesn’t matter how cool your uniforms are or how much talent is on your team if you don’t present yourself the right way to the public.
1. What message are you sending?
Pretend you’ve never heard of your developmental team and then surf through your team’s Facebook page. What is your first impression?
Are the players in your photos wearing 18 different colors to practice or even five different colors in a game? Are there practice photos without even a full 11 versus 11 team session because less than 22 people showed up for practice? Are there multiple photos displaying poor football technique?
This is a big deal. This sends the message of a lack of structure and a lack of organization. Do not post these pictures to the public that are going to send a negative message about your team. You’re better off having no photos at all, then having photos that are proof of a lack of structure or poor organization.
Invest in some team t-shirts online for about $3-5 each or, better yet, invest in practice jerseys for $6-10 each. Looking organized is a major step towards becoming organized. Sponsors and most athletes with a legitimate higher-level background are only going to want to be part of something that is organized.
Immediately remove any photos that can send a negative message to the public about your team. If you can’t yet afford team t-shirts or practice jerseys, then do not post any photos.
2. Is your communication professional?
Grammar, spelling and punctuation go a long ways. Spend some time looking at the Facebook accounts of professional and college football teams and see how they do it, then adjust accordingly.
A Facebook status that says “We r a new team looking 4 sponsor, ne1 interested in being apart of sometin special call Bob.” Good luck with that. I’m sure Under Armor and Academy Sports will be fighting with each other to become your main sponsor.
DO NOT TYPE IN ALL CAPS. This looks like you’re yelling and it is not how professionals communicate.
Be professional and thorough in your communication. If you’re not sure how to spell a word, use Google, it is a phenomenal resource.
3. Know what your Team Page is.
Your team page represents every member in your organization and every organization that has sponsored you or has allowed you to use their facilities. It is also a reflection of the entire league you’re in.
Your Page serves the purpose of being a professional voice from your team to the community and nothing else. Your Page should be used to reach the outside community (meaning those not currently part of your team), so the content on your Page should be focused on doing that.
Your Page should include information – directed to the public – about tryouts, games, community events, player highlights, league standings, game photos, signing of new players, game recaps and things like that.
4. Know what your Team Page isn’t.
You should not use a business Facebook page as a means to communicate with your players, or to organize practices and team meetings. Tryouts are different. Make a cool flier and promote your team’s tryouts on your Facebook page because that is a message you’re trying to send to everyone, not just to your team. Practice and meeting information is a message just to your team and it needs to be packaged accordingly.
Use the “Private/Closed Group” feature on Facebook, or use one of many mass-texting apps out there to quickly communicate with your entire roster. The general public and all 150 to 7,500 people in your online community does not need to hear, “Players, we are practicing at 6:00 at Green Hills Park,” or better yet “PLAYERS NEED TO COME TO PRACTICE OR THERE WILL BE NO GAME SATURDAY.” You are publicly throwing your entire organization and yourself under the bus when you do this as the general public laughs at you.
Also, your Team Page should not be an avenue for you to promote your other personal interests. Maybe you’re a huge Denver Broncos fan, and that’s great – Go Broncos! – but you don’t need to flood your team page with Denver Broncos stuff. You also don’t need to share inappropriate videos or videos you may find funny to your team’s audience. When you do that, you’re saying, “Everyone that is part of this organization in one way or another supports this message.” Then, anyone in the public that does not support what you’re sharing is going to choose not to support your team.
Remember, your Team’s Facebook page is your Team as a whole speaking to the public, not to each other.
5. Stay active.
Some developmental teams haven’t updated their Facebook page in three years. Your Facebook page can be a great tool to grow your team and your community if you use it correctly. At the very least, post when and where your game is, what the outcome is and a few photos from each game. However, we’d recommend bringing a graphic artist on board to create cool posters, fliers and other promotional tools to really maximize your efforts on social media.