5 Essential Steps to Creating a Social Media Strategy

By Melissa Wickes
January 18, 2022
3 min

There’s no doubt a solid social media strategy is an essential part of your youth sports organization today. If you use it right, it’s free marketing and is an easy way to get your organization out there. Pro Skills Basketball’s, a youth sports powerhouse with fifteen locations in the US, Director of Marketing Jennifer Winters implemented a wide-ranging marketing and social media plan that would position Pro Skills for further scaling. Here, Jennifer shares 5 steps to creating a social media strategy that your youth sports organization can use to grow.

Understand the purpose of each social media platform.

Facebook is king for Pro Skills for one simple reason: “The parents are on Facebook and the parents are the ones paying,” says Jennifer.   

Instead of wasting time trying to achieve organic growth on Facebook when thinking about the steps to creating a social media strategy, Pro Skills understands that the social network is primarily paid platform, budgeting for regular Facebook advertising in hopes of reaching new audiences. (They currently have 4,800 likes on the Pro Skills Charlotte page alone.)

Parents may permeate Facebook, but Pro Skills is also quite active where kids reside (Instagram and Snapchat), and the company has a solid Twitter presence with over 6,800 followers. Brendan Winters, co-founder of ProSkills, says Twitter is the worst platform from an immediate business perspective since it is more about conversation and less about direct sign-ups. However, because coaches, players, and parents are highly active on Twitter, it remains a crucial outlet for Pro Skills.

Don’t neglect your newsletter.

Intertwined in their marketing strategy has been personalizing the Pro Skills newsletter for an already dedicated customer base, a task made more challenging as the company has gone global. The solution? Breaking out lists by location, where regional directors curate consistent content that contains a healthy mix of national stories, social media, and local announcements.

“People expect personalization and we’re following suit so we can keep our click through rates higher, serving the content the list will care about,” Jennifer says.  

Track everything.

Not only does tracking allow you to know your customer acquisition cost, but it helps you shape your brand’s social media content strategy.

“As long as you a have the right tools you can see pretty immediately what is and isn’t working,” Jennifer says. “You should set goals and if the tools tell you something isn’t working you can optimize by making adjustments or killing something off completely.”

When creating a social media strategy, Pro Skills chose LeagueApps as its software in large part due to its extensive ability to customize tracking.

Balance building your social community with actual business.

How often should you be posting “community building” content, like images, videos, or blog posts—as opposed to directly asking your followers to click on a link and purchase something? “[You] want people engaged on [your] platforms,” says Jennifer. “[You] want [your] content to be the backbone and explain how [you] do things, what [you] believe, what [you] love to do, and then sprinkle in with all the opportunities you have to be a part of this.”

Be authentic.

Pro Skills’ biggest social successes thus far have been articles that express views on how teams and leagues should be run. They often see social media consumers gravitate toward this content since it aligns with the brand’s expertise.

Another way Pro Skills connects with its customers is through Instagram Stories, because they can be imperfect.

“A lot of companies put a lot of effort into the look of their stories , but I like it the other way around,” Brendan says.  “I’ll tell our director, if you’re running a practice, snap a few stories, take a few videos. Don’t need it to be highly produced. We’re a youth organization, we’re not the NBA.”

Steps to Creating a Social Media Strategy

Looking for more tips for creating a social media strategy for your youth sports organization? LeagueApps’ NextUp network is filled with experienced and knowledgable youth sports organizers with tips on all kinds of important topics—including social media. Join our NextUp Slack Channel and keep an eye out for our upcoming NextUp events to stay connected with the best thought leaders in youth sports in the country.