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Published on August 15th, 2011 | by Brawling Barista

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Four Tips to Stellar Social Media Success

Editor’s Note: This article is Part 2 in a series. Read Part 1, Master Your League’s Social Media Like A Boss.

There are always road blocks that could prevent you from getting ahead. In social media the biggest road blocks are creating an online presence that is welcomed and wanted by your fans. How do you get fans in the know? Interested? Involved? Excited? These tips will help you create an environment that is conducive to successful events and operations, and create a framework for what you should be doing online. Remember–you can say whatever you want on your personal social media pages, but when you’re representing your league, the rules should be more stringent.

Create Content that Addresses Current Needs

First, look to your mission statement again. Your league should already have one, but what does it say? Is your main goal to focus on a lifetime of sports activity? Is it to advance the sport of Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby? You should use your goal as a jumping off point for your social media efforts.

Secondly, what’s going on? Your league has to stay active in order to have things to promote. Even during the off season/slow season, or a time where the majority of your bouts are away, you still need to keep your fans interested and involved in your team. This is a great time to get out there in the community, host a fundraiser, or piggyback onto another large event that you can promote.

Use the Tools at Hand to Improve Your Social Media

Record and track your data. Facebook Insights, Google Analytics and similar data managers for social media and web sites will track your data for you, but you have to know what to do with the data once that’s done. A common problem with many derby sites is the total influx of support and interest from the derby community at large. But that doesn’t exactly translate to ticket or merch sales. Finding a way to communicate with your local audience, or the people who could be spending money on tickets, merch and otherwise should be your main goal.

What are your local demographics? Take a look at your city, what is the median age? What is the median income? (You can find these things on Wikipedia.) What is the ratio of male to female? Now look at your Facebook insights page. There is a ton of great information that you can utilize to work smarter, not harder to get more fans interested in your league. In this section, we’ll focus primarily on demographics, interactions. When you get some time, play around with the Insights page, it will give you a lot of valuable information.

Go to “View Insights” from your Facebook page’s admin section (on the right hand side of the wall). On your insights page, there should be 2 windows, “Page Overview” and “Interactions”. Think of the page overview as a barometer of how you’re doing, and your interactions as your real time relationship with your fans. Both should be monitored at least quarterly, but if possible monthly. As you scroll over the graphs, you’ll notice that there should be peaks and valleys depending on your activity.

Mouse over a particularly large peak in your interactions page, now go back to that date. What happened on that day? Did you host a bout? Did you release the names of your new leaguemates that just passed fresh meat? Note that your success and activity is also part of your fans’ interest. People want to interact with success and excitement, so even when you lose a bout, be positive about it, and talk about a rematch. No one wants to be friends with Debbie Downer.

Now click on “See Details” at the top of the first graph. This will show you lots of data, but where we want to focus right now is the Demographics chart. Demographics are important because not only do they help you understand how to better market to your demographics, but they can also be used when courting a new sponsor, applying for grants and learning new market segments.

But there’s a caveat. Since the derby community is so inclusive, and so involved, those demographics can be skewed in a direction that may not always be completely true. Many derby people from other cities and countries can like your page, and somewhat inflate the data.

Take a look at your “Cities” Segment in demographics. Your city, and your surrounding cities are the people in your area who like you league. It may be small in comparison with your total number of likes. Those are the people you want to market to, and those are the tickets you’re trying to sell. Depending on the age and size of your league, you’ll see tons of other cities (usually with another derby league) and countries that are interested in your league, or roller derby in general.

How do you get more likes? Take a look at 2 great examples of viral marketing, the Cincinnati Rollergirls, and The Montreal Rollergirls. Go ahead, look them up on Youtube. Both teams have eager social media outlets, full of viral videos and loads of fan interaction. How do they do it? They just had an idea, and went for it. It happened to be charming, funny, cute, or awesome–and word spread. This is a great way to garner larger exposure for your league, and interest from your community, and the derby community in general.

That’s cool and all, but how do you get more “local likes”? Aren’t we trying to sell tickets?
That will take a combo platter of ingenuity, drive and integrity. For more local interaction, you need to hit the streets, and put flyers in the hands of locals as often as possible. Post posters in activity centers, gyms, malls, and anywhere your target market may be. Attend and work charity events, concerts, street parades, and other community events either as a team, as a league, even just wearing your league’s shirt to a concert is a step in the right direction. Remember from Part 1, your logo is your brand, so wear it proudly, and often. You’d be surprised how many people will ask you what it’s all about.

Now that you know what market you’re trying to interest, find activities on a local events calendar to attend that may be similar to your target market. Create a social calendar of all the fun things happening around your area, and get some girls to go flyer people at them. You have to get the word out, and no one is going to do it for you.

On those flyers, you might want to include a “QR” or Quick Response code. This is a little bar code box you can add to your promotions so your fans can have easy, direct access to information, your social media pages, or contests you might be running. Using a QR Reader (you can usually download one as an app for a smartphone), your fans can easily scan the bar code, and then have your information stored just by snapping a picture with their phones. There are tons of QR code generators online for free. Remember–the idea is to make it easy for your fans to access you.

Make Time for Social Networking

-Social Media Robots
Even if you’re managing your web page, your Facebook, Twitter, etc. by yourself, there are many sites that can help you do your job more efficiently. Hootsuite, a free app, allows you to schedule tweets and page updates, and can take over for you when you’re on vacation, when you’re busy, or when you just can’t forget to post something important. Since derby is so DIY, we all wear many hats. On bout day, for instance, you may not have time, or might forget to update your fans the day or the hours before a bout begins. That’s a big no-no! Let a program like Hootsuite take over some of that workload, and your fans will still benefit from your interaction with them. Many of these social media helpers also have blogs that show you how to best use them. Take advantage of this advice, and find ways to apply this information to your league or your fans.

Hootsuite or other social media helpers are not a replacement for your real-time interaction with your fans. You will still need to post on the regular, and especially during peak social media times (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night), and you’ll need to respond to fans’ questions, comments and posts.

-Direct linking your accounts
You can directly link your Facebook account to your Twitter account, which automatically posts everything you post on Facebook on Twitter. Why would you do this? It cuts your work in half, for one, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on my iphone trying to get Facebook to load, and failing miserably. Twitter is just a lot less information, and it loads really quickly most of the time, so when a fan can’t access Facebook the day of the bout, at least the information will be posted on Twitter so they can get to the bout in time for the National Anthem.

-Adding admins
You should treat the social media division like any other committee on your league. Have multiple admins who can update for you, and who you can share the control and workload with.

-Annoying Parrot vs Broken Record
Above all else, always post your upcoming events on your events tab on FB. Even if you don’t have the final details of that bout 5 months away, post what you know, like the time, date and place. What if a local media outlet wanted to do an interest piece on your league for a special they’re doing a couple months from now? They go to your page, and…. Nothing is posted. Yeah–I know, your schedule is posted on your webpage (right?) so that’s enough, they’ll find it, right?

Wrong! Being good at social media is about sounding like a broken record at times–but you can change the tune slightly to keep people interested. People want the information fed to them, they don’t want to go searching for it. They want to be reminded (but not excessively), they want to get involved, and they want to make it a fun social thing that they do with their friends so they have something interesting to talk about over the coffee pot tomorrow morning at work. Don’t make your fans work too hard.

If your market segment is a bit older, they also may not be as social media savvy as you are. Place the info on your page frequently, but always change up how it sounds, so they don’t get bored with you. Find a lot of ways to link back to your pertinent information. Here’s an example of 4 different messages selling the same thing (remember to keep it short and sweet).

Join us at 6pm Saturday for a bout of epic proportions when the South Pole Rollergirls take on Santa’s Slayers from the North Pole. (Facebook event link)

Saturday at the South Pole v North Pole bout, we’re hosting the Frozen Tundra Fire Spinners at half time! Get your tickets at Ice Hut so you won’t be left in the cold! (Facebook event link)

This Saturday we’ve got the hottest ticket in town when our South Pole Rollergirls take on Santa’s Slayers of the North Pole Rollergirls. Don’t miss out! (Facebook event link)

Make plans to see LIVE women’s flat track roller derby this Saturday! Invite your friends and come dressed in our Ice blue team colors! (Facebook event link)

So in short–don’t be an annoying parrot.

Turn Followers into Fans into Ticket Sales

-Host a contest for your fans
Design our next bout poster! Take a pic of yourself wearing our shirt in a crazy place! Tell us your favorite skater and why! Show us your craziest injury! Vote for your favorite picture! Caption this picture!

Post the results on your Facebook page. People love contests, especially when they have pictures! Make sure to offer tickets or merch as a prize. Try using a QR code contest, coupon, survey, or ticket link.

-Start getting involved in the community
Remember up top when we talked about getting involved? No seriously–get involved. Helping other people makes your network larger, and it’s a great way to help your community understand who you are and what you do. These people will tell their friends about you, come to your bouts and sometimes even help you promote your event.

-Get involved with Sponsors
Does your sponsor have an event coming up? A dance party? A charity fundraiser? Help them with these events to create better working relationships, and a better value for your sponsor. Again–you can also cross promote your league with whatever is going on.

-Start tagging sponsors, events and other organizations you work with
On Facebook and on Twitter when you use the “@” symbol, you can “tag” a sponsor, friend, league, company, etc., in your post. What this does on Facebook is post to their wall as well. On Twitter, this lets that company know that you’re talking about them.

Try that stuff out, and keep reading. Next in the series: The Dos and Don’ts of Social Media.

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