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How Social Video Can Elevate Your Sports Organization

Here at LeagueApps, we work with the most enterprising organizers across youth and local sports. Tapping into that expertise is the reason why we launched our webinar series, LeagueApps Live. This week, we sat down with The Lacrosse Network’s (TLN) Tyler Steinhardt to discuss social media.

As a broadcast and media production company, TLN is in a unique position to lead by example when it comes to social media in youth sports. Their social channels boast an impressive following, from 148,000 YouTube subscribers to their 259,000 Instagram followers. For those just starting out in social media, it’s interesting to note that despite posting 75 times a day across their channels, their entire social operation is manned by just three employees. It doesn’t take an army or a massive budget to engage with the youth audience. But don’t take it from us, Tyler Steinhardt made sure to provide our audience with five useful tips when building a social media strategy from the ground up.

To hear a recording of the webinar, click here.

Step 1: Find Your Audience

If you’re targeting parents and coaches, Twitter and Facebook are the way to go. If you’re hoping to connect with the athletes, Instagram and Snapchat have become hubs. Once you’ve identified one or two channels, make sure you give them your undivided attention. You’ll never get the buy-in you want from your audience if your mindset is a mile wide and an inch deep. Keep in mind that millennials look at their phones 150 times per day, with 80% of that directed to social apps.

Step 2: Communication and Consistency

The trap that people fall into, when it comes to social media, is that you don’t need a schedule. Appointment viewing isn’t just for live sporting events on television. Communicating a consistent schedule can create excitement and anticipation around your brand. Throwback Thursdays or Motivation Mondays go a long way in building a relationship with your audience. Two posts a day is a great jumping off point.

Step 3: Start Organically

Producing professional grade video requires costly investments. But you don’t need fancy equipment to drive engagement. The youth audience, both parents and players, appreciate raw footage from a cell phone. It has an authentic feel if done well, and can add a natural embedded element to the content. Tapping into your customer base to share user-generated content is a great way to build up a library of content. This UGC can range from “gameday prep” to equipment reviews or even player submitted trick shots. These are all cost-efficient ways to get started.

Best trick shots we’ve seen all week 😆 [IG/laxroyale] pic.twitter.com/xt3s5palXK

— TLN (@LacrosseNetwork) July 11, 2018

Keep in mind that millennials look at their phones 150 times per day, with 80% of that directed to social apps.Tyler Steinhardt

Step 4: Short Video Content

It may seem obvious, but attention spans are incredibly short on mobile. For Twitter and Instagram, set a 45-second max! The name of the game is snackable content! With Facebook you can push the envelop a little further, venturing out to a three-minute max. That’s because about half of Facebook users still consume the platform on their desktop. For a bit of perspective, 99% of Instagram use is mobile. Below is a great example of repurposing content by channel. The Twitter video is 26 seconds, but it links to the long-form YouTube video.

The international faceoff rules are a bit funky 🤔

Watch: https://t.co/F2ovBwb8Frpic.twitter.com/N8F201AdPa

— TLN (@LacrosseNetwork) July 18, 2018

Step 5: Understand Why People Share

People share for three distinct reasons: emotion, utility, and social currency. Does that content evoke an emotion? Does it make people happy, sad, excited? Does it inspire them? Is it something useful? Like how to shoot, how to tape your stick, how to dry out your gear after a rainy tournament, how to eat, how to properly hydrate. And the final piece is social currency. Social currency refers to the pull or influence that a consumer has among his or her peers, so by sharing useful, dynamic, and impactful media both sides of the relationship are enriched in some way.

For more from Tyler and TLN, listen to our full half-hour webinar.

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