Twitter is a service that you can use to fire out quick updates or messages to your followers. This makes it a great tool for youth soccer tournaments and tournament directors because they can immediately announce game scores, special promotions or upcoming events on their smart phones, computers or via text messaging.
Here’s how to set up your Twitter soccer tournament account:
Facebook is becoming the de facto place to organize event information and share content within a circle of friends. While it will never rival the specialization of a soccer tournament website like TourneyCentral for registration, scheduling and scores, it makes sense that your soccer tournament is available on Facebook for your teams and their fans to find and connect up with you there if that is more convenient for them. It is an additional marketing channel you should not ignore.
However, you should always make sure the hub of your event is your tournament website. You publish content to your Facebook page in order to draw fans to your tournament site to support your sponsors, advertisers and centralize your communications to the teams to avoid confusion.
This post will walk you step-by-step through setting up a Facebook Fan Page to reach soccer coaches and teams to get them interested and keep them engaged in your youth soccer tournament.
Here’s how to set up your Facebook Fan Page:
Social media is a huge cloud of things like blogging, tweets, likes and status updates so it is easy to become overwhelmed and do nothing.
But you need to roll up your sleeves get in there. We’ll help you along the way with this “social media for soccer tournaments” series.*
Social media is becoming integrated into the online experience for most people, so if you have not learned to navigate these waters, you may be risking the reach of your tournament. Social media channels can help you reach coaches and teams where they live and help you keep them updated and interested in your event.
Do not assume Facebook and Twitter are for kids. The largest and fastest growing demographic for Facebook and Twitter is age 35-55. That means a player’s mom, dad or coach is more likely to “like” you on Facebook or “follow” you on Twitter. While most kids over 13 yrs old will have a Facebook account, they connect with their friends, not with brands. If they happen to take a cool photo at your tournament, they may or may not post it. But if they do post it, they will post on their profile, not your tournament page. It’s nothing personal; just how kids use Facebook. Their parents on the other hand, may be more likely to interact on your Facebook page.
Soccer tournament directors are aware of the ways that tournaments reward teams who place in their event. This is a story of one recent tournament where one small detail really damaged the reputation of an otherwise fine event.
A team of U13 boys played very well in a third-place game and beat a team they had lost to quite soundly the week before. The tournament was giving out water bottles as a third-place trophy.
It was not long after the presentation that one of the boys walked up to his coach and said, “Hey coach, look at this.” On the water bottle, the words, “BELIEVE, ACHEIVE,” appeared wrapped around the tournament logo.
Only the the word “ACHIEVE” is spelled incorrectly.
While the coach was proud that his players had paid attention to their spelling lessons in school, he was amazed and embarrassed for the tournament organizers. It was all anybody could talk about.
A few weeks later, the tournament sent t-shirts to the boys as a replacement.
Our Advice: Work with a trusted vendor. Somewhere along the line, a busy tournament volunteer rubber-stamped the artwork for the water bottle without taking a real look at it. Bad enough, but a true vendor partner would have questioned the artwork regardless of the approval signature. The mistake was more costly than just the price of the water bottle and the replacement t-shirts. It became the stamp of the tournament.
The vendor should have picked up the phone.
The vendor should have picked up the phone.
The photograph above was taken at the Hershey Soccer Club meeting on Tuesday, March 15, 2011.
This donation was a result of the 2010 Hershey Invitational Charity Soccer Tournament played on June 19-20, 2010. The tournament raised $16,000 for the Special Olympics Area M and also $16,000 for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camps. The Hershey Invitational is organized and run by Kicks 4 Kids Charity Soccer Tournaments. To date, Kicks 4 Kids has raised $177,618 for organizations that serve disadvantaged youth.
The 2011 Hershey Invitational will be played on the weekend of June 18-19, and will benefit the Special Olympics Area M and Ronald McDonald House of Hershey. The tournament is expected to host 230 teams from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia.
The Hershey Invitational website can be found here.