Best Practices with Social Media
Across the United States there are many swim teams who are active on social media… there are also many who are not.
The Internet and mobile devices offer a variety of ways for teams to communicate… the choices can get overwhelming. When should we use email versus Facebook versus Twitter, Instagram… and should we be using them all?
Good communication across an organization is one of the most essential components in being a successful. However in today’s digital world with so many forms of communication and different age groups responding to different mediums – it can be hard to manage.
At Fitter and Faster, we work with a network of coaches who have harnessed the benefits of social media and communicate at a high level with their team’s stakeholders. We asked several of these coaches to share their best practices for using social media for marketing and communication.
Instant Updates and Communication
Jeff Lebeau, Bloomington Swim Club
“Communication to your club is really important and social media is one more way that I can try to reach my team when something comes up good or bad. I will use our Facebook page especially in the summer time when storms come up and practice may get canceled at the last minute. Social media can be the quickest way to let everyone know about practice. I can also let everyone know how well our swimmers did at a meet by posting it on social media.”
—Follow Bloomington Swim Club on Facebook @BloomingtonSwimClub
Tim Mulvihill, South Shore Strypers
“We use a variety of communication mediums to help organize the team but social media has become most critical. For example, if an email is distributed via our Team Unify website, variations of the message are also posted to Facebook and Twitter immediately. The integrated nature of our strategy gives us great support to manage our multiple facilities as well as adapt to our membership needs. As an example, given the busy schedules of working parents, we have recorded important team meetings, upload to our YouTube channel and distributed for viewing via the other social media mediums. Perhaps the most interesting development of our communication strategy is that social media has given extended family members and friends the opportunity to become more involved in the team by following our achievements through the various social media tools we use.”
—Follow South Shore Strypers on Facebook @SSYStrypersSwimTeam and Twitter: @SSYStrypers
Reach More People
Jeff Ely, Sachem Swim Club
“Social media has become an integral part of how our club communicates with our swimmers and families, and is an invaluable tool for marketing to new members. Our Facebook page is very popular with our parents and has become a primary source of information for them. Our Twitter account is hugely popular with our swimmers, not only for club information, but also for peer interaction and photo sharing. We have so many great ways to communicate these days, and social media allows us instant access to our membership while also giving us multiple avenues to sell our club to our next generation of swimmers.”
—Follow Sachem Swim Club on Facebook @SachemSwimClub and Twitter: @SachemSwimClub
Share Your Team’s Culture
Julie Pugh and Bernard Vranken, Worthington Swim Club
“Worthington Swim Club uses social media to promote and support team spirit and personal pride. As a competitive swim club the team seeks excellence as a team and as individuals. Coach Bernard Vrancken says, “I view social media as another important way to communicate team philosophy, events, personal bests and coaching tips.”
—Follow Worthington Swim Club on Facebook @WorthingtonSwimClub
Jeff Lebeau, Bloomington Swim Club
“Our Facebook page is a great way for our BSC alumni to keep up with what is going on with the club especially if they don’t live in town any more. Our Facebook page is also a good tool for our club to get more exposure to the community and people can see what a great time our kids are having and want to join in the fun.”
Keep Multiple Groups Connected
Jeanie Timon, Erie Masters Swimming
“Our Masters Swim program consists of several swim groups at different locations, different dates, and different times. The question was how to get the information out to the participants of these different groups so they can cross participate in the groups that fit their schedule best. The answer for us became Facebook. It did not require start-up money like a web page and almost no maintenance. We established a group page that requires people to ask to be invited into the group. The group page allows anyone to post a practice time, create an invitation to an event, add files of workouts or articles and post photos. Swimmers are able to check status of programs from their phones for cancellations or program changes. We found it is easy enough for people from 18 to 82!”
—Follow Erie Masters Swimming on Facebook @ErieMastersSwimming