by Jayson Schmidt, Preseason
Time is finite.
Like the clock ticking down in a game, the moments we once had evaporate into thin air. The clock strikes zero. And we still have to post on social media.
Often social media gets our coaching leftovers. It’s simple to push the task to another day or the responsibilities to another person.
“Social media will always be there. And we’ll come up with something to post on a less-chaotic day.”
Unfortunately, every day will present its own challenges and you’ll be keen to kick the can once again. Every day without content takes away from your brand. Every day without content is one where your competition has a chance to share their story. That’s the branding equivalent of giving up back-to-back three pointers.
Last week, we talked about three simple tips to control your brand. This week, we’ll do the same thing, but for social media. Here are three strategies to build your brand on social media that any coach can do.
1. Simple stats.
In the spirit of simplicity, open each app and write down the number of followers. That’s it.
Why is this important? If you don’t know how you’re doing, you won’t care when it changes.
Here’s some advanced guidance–––
Instagram: You can see greater analytics over the past 90 days if you’re using a professional account. Your account should absolutely be a professional account to take advantage of those analytics.
Twitter: Go to analytics.twitter.com to see a recent summary, in addition to month-by-month data.
Facebook: You can find “Insights” on the left-side menu bar on your Facebook Page. You can also get there by going to facebook.com/YOURUSERNAME/insights/
Others: TikTok (Creator Tools, then Analytics); Pinterest (analytics.pinterest.com); YouTube (youtube.com/analytics).
2. Simple strategy.
It doesn’t have to be crazy, it doesn’t have to be wild, but it does have to be effective.
Your effectiveness depends on your understanding of what you want to say and who needs to hear it. As a general rule, Instagram should be your top priority and your Facebook page is a good sidecar (especially due to Instagram’s push-through sharing). Most parents are on Facebook as their primary social network so you’ll get two audiences for the price of one.
If you struggle to produce content out-of-season, pick one additional platform to focus on. It’s better to be active on two or three than sporadic on all of them. Maybe your team’s perfect for TikTok. Maybe Twitter’s the right move. It’s your call.
Next, find two days per week to schedule social media posts. There are scheduling apps (like Planoly) or an old-fashioned paper calendar, but whatever you choose, find a rhythm and execute.
When you’re sharing regularly, followers and recruits know what to expect and come to count on your program. Anything beyond that—like funny moments with your team—can be shared to add even more value.
Likewise, you’ll have a ton of content in-season. Imagine how much more impactful it can be when you gain momentum in the offseason.
3. Simple assists.
A lack of time often comes with a lack of plan or interest. If you’ve figured out the plan and still are struggling to produce wins on social media, take your plan to others. Even a lack of desire should never limit your reach on social media.
An easy solution to content creation is to give your players control (just ask your department first). Your team’s reflection of your brand is the most authentic representation you can possibly ask for.
Additionally, staff in your sports information department or on your creative team are ready to help. Most are willing to share files or even create content for you, especially if you give them advance notice or ideas.
At Preseason, our social media solutions include strategy, execution, and content creation. If you feel like social isn’t your top priority – and I don’t blame you – Preseason enhances what you are already doing.
This article is the second in a series on athletics branding written by Jayson Schmidt, a former NCAA Division II head coach and managing partner of Preseason, a creative agency that helps colleges win.
Struggling with your brand or just simply want an edge on the competition? Preseason can elevate your story and deliver it to recruits, fans, and donors. Click here for a list of our services.