An important theme for LeagueApps in 2012 is helping sports organizations leverage social media. LeagueApps has recently launched some Facebook integration features. We also love to use Twitter and built our first twitter feature within LeagueApps during our Sportsvite team hackathon in NYC last week.
Much like Facebook, Twitter is a popular digital platform that can be effectively leveraged by local sports organizations. With over 100 Million active users, sports organizations are bound to find new and perspective league members through twitter. Twitter is a natural way to make announcements and have conversations with your members as well as attract new players. Twitter is also free to use and easy to setup and manage.
Here are some best practices and tips on how to use twitter for your sports organization. We recommend using a twitter client like Tweetdeck to manage and organize twitter accounts, conversations and searches. Be sure to also download a twitter app for your mobile device.
The most important and effective step is to tweet regularly. This signals that your organization is active and friendly on twitter and helps attract others to follow, read and interact with your tweets. Many sports organizations use twitter to quickly share information or tweet announcements about registration periods, weather conditions or league information. We also encourage leagues to share league highlights and tweet about specific teams, games or players. Peer recognition can be a powerful tool in rec sports. Tweet photos, blog posts or create quick informal polls/questions to your members.
Tip: Be sure to include links in your tweets so readers can easily get more information. Use bit.ly or another link shortener to track clicks.
Follow Your Members
Twitter provides a great opportunity to learn more about your members AND develop direct communications with them. Email address book contacts can be imported into Twitter through their import tool. Once you are following your members, you can monitor their tweets and tweet back or retweet anything that relates to your league. An added bonus of following your members is that they will often follow you back as well.
In fact, your organization should be following anyone that can affect your business including local media, competitors, vendors, employees and trade associations or local government.
Attract More Followers
Most popular twitter accounts grow organically. Regularly publishing interesting and entertaining tweets is the best way to grow. Following your members also leads to getting followed back. Be sure to promote your twitter account on your website (use twitter widgets), facebook page and at all league activities and events. Try rewarding players that follow you by welcoming or re-tweeing them directly. Give them props for sending “in-game” tweets (If and when appropriate). @ messages are a good way to reply since they are public and enable others to see you engaging with your members.
Use Twitter Search
Create and save Twitter searches for conversations or mentions that include your organizations name, brand, or other keyword terms. Follow or engage these people so that they are talking to you instead of about you. Enter the conversation in an appropriate manner (No spam!) by sharing instant coupons or specific individual responses.
Create A League Hashtag
Once you master the twitter basics and are engaging with your league members it’s time to create a league hashtag. Whenever your members tweet about your league they can include the specific hashtag. This allows your online community to all follow the same hashtag and promotes conversation between members in the league.
Additional Twitter Benefits
Twitter can also be a great tool for better customer service, attract and activate sponsorships or partnerships and generate press or media attention.
Shout out to some of our league partners that are already doing a great job with Twitter including @Kickball365, @gameonphilly, @socialboston, @portsports, @TheBigDsports. We’d like to hear how your organization uses Twitter. Please share what has worked effectively. We plan to do more in the future to integrate Twitter into the LeagueApps platform.