What is it?
Social media is a term used to describe programs and devices that allow users to interact with each other in online communities. It is an indispensable tool for local clubs that is primarily used for club communications.
More and more clubs are using Social media tools preferring them to email as the communication method of choice. Why, because it is a free form of communication, it is easily accessible and it is immediate – club members can link social media to their smartphones and receive instant messages – all of which makes this form of communication very effective.
Social media is not just a communications tool, it can be used for marketing tool and for the super keen clubs, as a retail tool as well.
Types of social media
Social media technologies take on many different forms including magazines, Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, microblogging, wikis, social networks, podcasts, photographs or pictures, video, rating and social bookmarking. There are six different categories of social media: collaborative projects (for example, Wikipedia), blogs and microblogs (for example, Twitter), content communities (for example, YouTube), social networking sites (for example, Facebook), virtual game worlds (e.g., World of Warcraft), and virtual social worlds (e.g. Second Life). Technologies include: blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, crowdsourcing and voice over IP, to name a few. Many of these services can be integrated via social network aggregation platforms. Social media network websites include sites like Facebook, Twitter, Bebo and MySpace.
Social Media can be confusing especially given the choice, but for most local clubs Facebook, Twitter and Youtube will cover all their needs.
What can it be used for?
Clubs can use social media to communicate with their members and market their services as well as sell goods. The key to the success of social media is to get all club members joined or subscribed to the social media platform. Tools like facebook can:
- Inform club members of upcoming events
- Inform club members to fixture or training changes
- Inform club members of news
- Share photos and videos of team triumphs
- Sell merchandise or tickets to events
- Sell sponsorship space (naming rights to the club’s facebook page)
- Sell merchandise