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Published on July 20th, 2011 | by Brawling Barista

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Master Your League’s Social Media, Like A Boss

By: Brawling Barista

With millions of users worldwide, Twitter and Facebook have become 2 of the most visited sites on the internet. Your league should be capitalizing on this world-wide addiction through at least 1 social media page, if not more. The more ways your fans have to reach out to you, and the more ways you have to reach out to your fans, the more personalized their experience is with your league. Your social media site may also be the first interaction a potential fan or sponsor has with your league, so it’s important to do it right.

In this article, we’re going to focus on Facebook, and at a later date, I’ll discuss how to handle your league’s Twitter account. For purposes of speed, I’m going to assume that you already have a league Facebook page. But if you don’t, here are some instructions on how to start one from scratch.

Part 1, Setting up your Facebook Page, like a boss

• First things first…. Who are you?

-Don’t make assumptions that people know what you’re doing or who you are. If your league does not have your city’s name in the title, include it in the description so other leagues, sponsors, future friends and fans can understand you better. Your description should tell them what you’re up to. Here’s a simple and reasonable description;
“We’re the South Pole Rollergirls of McMurdo, Antarctica! We’re Antarctica’s only sports team, and intend to keep it that way! We’re skater owned and operated, and work to foster the sport of Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby across our frozen tundra and beyond.”

• Start looking at your league like a brand or product.

-Have a logo that is easy to read, specific and unique. This is your calling card for your league, and one of the most important aspects of your league’s marketing. Resist the temptation to use fonts that “look cool.” They are probably illegible. Stay away from logos that could be potentially offensive or logos with too much stuff going on (“eee! I can’t wait to wear this shirt! It has to have a volcano, and a pony and a rainbow and a moon and be covered in gold glitter!!!”).

When in doubt look at what larger, top-ranked leagues are doing with their logos. Only a few colors, legible font, unique, simple and not overly “sexy.” Think to yourself, “Would I feel comfortable showing this logo on a business card to a major national brand in the hopes of a sponsorship?” It’s ok to think bigger than your league is right now, and you should be! Especially in order to avoid costly changes in the future. The sport is growing with us, so treat it like a real sport starting with the logo.

-Here are some examples of derby league logos, and some examples from the WNBA.

• Every league’s got one, the Busy Betty.

-Is there someone on your league who is really well spoken? A charming lass with a degree in English or Marketing? Someone who already works in Media? Someone constantly sharing derby-related links? Someone who uses Facebook SO much, you’ve already hidden their newsfeed in secret? That’s your Social Media Coordinator (page admin).

• A Social Media Coordinator should be someone who can be honed and molded to be the voice of your league, a really important factor of your marketing. They’re speaking to your fans, your potential sponsors, and more. This person should be reliable, smart, and charming. They should have their fingers on the pulse of roller derby happenings outside of your league, regionally and nationally, and also should have regular contact with your league’s events and promotions, and be an active part of that committee already. Even during lulls in league activity, she should be posting derby- or community-specific posts to continue to garner visits to your league’s page. They should also be someone who uses the internet daily, and if possible, has a smart phone, and an excellent data plan.

• What are you selling?

-Part of the beauty of Facebook is that there is so much that fans can do on your page. They can like your posts, comment on your pictures, share your events, write on your wall after an amazing bout, and really feel like they’re a part of something great in their community. The downside to this is that since you’re not regulating what is being posted, all kinds of crazy stuff can get posted there, from Granny’s yard sale to spam and junk. Your settings can help regulate that for you. I recommend keeping your page pure, and keeping it so that your fans see your posts first.

• Go to Edit page, and then click on ”Manage Permissions.” The Default landing should be your wall or your info, and your “Wall Tab Shows” should be “Only Posts By Page” You can play around with your settings, but at the end of the day, even though we love the community, your job here is to advertise your league, not some dude’s band playing down the street at a local club.

• When local businesses post on your page, use that connection to rework it into a sponsorship opportunity.

• You should allow users to post whatever they want on the wall as long as it’s not offensive. Your fans won’t see those first, and you’ll need to click “ View Recent” on the top of your wall to view your comments. Make it a priority to respond to everyone who posts on your wall. These are your fans, reach out to them!

• Keep it classy!

-You want to sell tickets right? You want to have a litany of bloodthirsty fans all wearing your shirts and screaming your names? Well… people need to like you first, and that starts with an ounce of preparation and a big heaping dose of professionalism. It doesn’t take much to turn someone off, so stay away from challenging or potentially polarizing topics.

-No bad grammar, misspellings or slang. Your page can be fun and charming, but has to appeal to a wide audience. Your whole city is your target market, so you have to keep it appealing to everyone.

-Keep it light, keep it friendly, keep it first-date getting-to-know-you smiles and laughs at their bad jokes. People want to associate with success and fun, so sell it, and be happy about it! Post pictures of your teammates doing their thing at practice, give a shout out in your status update to a young adoring fan, post your wins and losses, and above all- be succinct. Just a brief sentence of what’s going on in your league is enough, so you can save the novel for your blog.

Part II –“Capturing Your Audience, Not Holding Them Hostage” coming soon!

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