Fall sports are in full swing on hundreds of campus’ across the country and if you are like me you have seen thousands of posts on various social media platforms since the seasons kicked off in late August. With that comes a lot of reactionary posting and what I like to call “in-the-moment” posting, more or less posting current events that are happening on the field in front of you at that time. But what many people forget is that even these types of post can be detrimental to your social media presence if not done appropriately.
Below I will list a couple strategies to try and help you focus your social media posting across all platforms and, since it is the month of October I will try and connect them to common mistakes made in your favorite horror and Halloween movies over the years. You’d be amazed at how many connections can be made.
- Always Have a Plan
I feel like this should go without saying, but let’s take a look at every horror movie ever produced. Step 1: The bad guy comes; Step 2: All heck breaks loose; Step 3: The characters come up with a plan; Step 4: They use that plan to defeat the bad guy. I’m sorry should I have said spoiler alert before that? But as simple and concise as that is, it’s the generic plot to every single one of them. But let’s not focus on the whole picture; let’s focus on step numbers 3 and 4.
Step 3 is that they make a plan, doesn’t matter how simple, complicated or unrealistic the plan is, there is a plan developed. Whether that plan is executed to a “T” doesn’t even matter as long there is a plan involved because the magic of Hollywood always makes it work out in the end.
So how does this connect? It’s simple, have a plan. Know what you want to post and how often you want to do it. This includes pregame, in-game, postgame as well as during the week. Do you need to post after every goal in a soccer game? What happens when there are no scores, do you just go silent into the night? A post every 15 minutes? 20 minutes? Maybe describing each drive in football instead of every play? Whatever the decision is have a plan and implement it so you too can defeat the monster.
- Monitor Your Channels
Alright lets picture Friday the 13th, a classic film featuring Jason Voorhees as the mask-wearing machete-wielding bad guy that roams the grounds of Camp Crystal Lake. It’s the middle of the night and you see him breaking the lake’s calm surface, first with the tip of his machete and then the rest of his body. So what’s your natural reaction? If you said turn and run, then you’d be correct. The problem with that solution is that you lose track of him as soon as you take your eyes off of him. But what if I offered you a different solution that increased your chances of survival?
Monitoring your Social Media channels (your hashtags, your sports accounts, your mentions, etc.) is the same as trying to keep tabs on Jason as he lurks through the forest looking for unsuspecting campers. It’s important to know where you stand at any given moment. Keeping track of your social media channels is the exact same, you always want to know where you stand. While a quick glance away probably won’t do you in (shutting your phone off after work/at night), it’s important to go back and make sure that nothing popped up since you last checked.
- Don’t Fall Asleep….
The famed Elm Street is the site of our next horror flick as teenagers up and down the road find themselves face to face with a sweater wearing knife-gloved Freddy Krueger after closing their eyes. At first you think it’s all just a bad dream, until you realize it’s a Nightmare…….on Elm Street. Pardon my pun, but this piece of advice is simply about keeping your accounts active. There is nothing worse than having an untapped audience of 4-5K people out there waiting for news on your athletic programs and them getting nothing.
It’s like Krueger when the children who lived on Elm Street decided to stay up to keep away from him. Did we, as the audience, see him during that time? Did we even remember he existed? That’s not the way you want you want your social media to end up. Keeping it updated and fresh, even during the slow summer months, will help keep your programs fresh on your fans minds throughout the year.
I certainly hope that some of these points may help you think about your social media a little differently. While it may not be new advice to you, perhaps hearing it in a different way will help kick-start the ideas in your head to help you increase your social media presence. So make sure you plug your nightlight in tonight and, if you happened to see any red balloons sticking up out of the sewer any time soon, I strongly suggest taking an alternate route home.