How Can I Make Social Media Work For My High School Athletic Program?
As a high school Athletic Director, social media is likely one of your many daily responsibilities. Although it is sometimes difficult, creating and posting content consistently to your athletic feed(s) is a must. But, you may be wondering...
"How can I do this in a way that works for me?"
Unlike colleges, you don't have a team of designers creating content and/or SIDs dedicated to individual teams. It is likely a one-man or one-woman show.
However, this doesn't mean social media is a lost cause for your athletic program! In fact, with a bit of organization and the use of some modern-day technology, you too can have a top of the line social media presence. And, importantly, it won't take up too much of your time and energy in the process!
Below, I'll walk through a few helpful tips - each intended to help you share high quality content to share to your school's feeds in a way that works for you!
Tip #1: Have coaches report scores to you
Set the expectation that scores need to be reported by coaches in a timely manner (how they are reported is up to you). That way, you are armed with the relevant and timely data to share with your stakeholders. Reporting scores takes coaches a few seconds, but the impact can be massive! Students, parents, and the media all want to know game results. But, no one cares about the score of a game two days later. Timeliness here is critical.
Tip #2: Crowdsource athletic photos
Not all schools have the benefit of an athletic photographer. And even if you do, there is still a lot of valuable content you are likely missing out on, simply because you don't know it exists.
Create one central location where coaches, parents, and others can upload athletic photos. You could do this through popular cloud storage solutions like Google Drive or DropBox, or, if you are a Gipper user, via Your Gallery.
This allows you to have a bank of images to pull from throughout the year. You can then easily incorporate these photos when creating your own branded sports graphics. Plus, you won't have to spend hours scouring the web or pestering colleagues for viable photos.
Tip #3: Set a structure of how you're going to post and when
By setting a structure, there will be no mystery behind when you will be posting. You can then even take advantage of social media scheduling tools like HootSuite to save time. You can schedule out content like "Game Day" or "Athlete of the Week" posts (as you likely have this information already available to you) so that you don't have to worry about them throughout the week.
For content that is needed to be shared in real-time (like score updates), having a few templates ready to go can be a huge time-saver. You'll already have your designs created, so all you need to do is change the basic score information, and you can share branded sports graphics in a matter of seconds. This is made incredibly simple with Gipper.
Tip #4: Mobile, mobile, mobile!
As an AD, you are always on the move - whether it's in a meeting, working with students, or at a game. Creating and posting content right from your cell phone will allow you to stay on top of social media - even when you are out of the office.
Consider this example: you're court-side at a varsity basketball game and you want to report the halftime score to Twitter with a branded score graphic.
However, you can't run to your office to get on your computer and put together a design. You also don't want to spend ten minutes with your head down looking at your phone as you create content via your mobile device
How can you avoid all of this?
Use Gipper to help you create and share high quality content quickly and easily right from your phone.
Even better, save your own score update templates ahead of time (see Tip #3). That way, you are not having to design on the sideline. This will reduce your screen-time and maximize your time with your student-athletes, coaches, and teams.
You can check out exactly how this works on Gipper in the video below:
Thanks so much for reading, I hope this was helpful!
Jack Zamore is the Chief Marketing Officer at Gipper. Gipper is a platform that helps high school athletic departments create professional sports graphics for social media - in seconds, on any device, and without needing any design experience.
Learn more @ gogipper.com/athletics