Tag Archives: social media for soccer tournaments

Soccer tournament social media jobs training program

The core skills that every information-age worker needs today to compete in the modern ecomomy are; photography, videography, writing and social media.

Playing soccer on a team in a competitive league gives young people critical skills that will serve them well throughout their lives. A smart tournament can also give young adults an opportunity to hone critical job-market skills by opening up their social media accounts to them to “practice” skills they will need when they search for a job.

Because there are many different channels within social media, the opportunity to bring on many people to manage different channels is almost infinite. Of course, like any good team, you will need a coach to coordinate, monitor and guide your media team.

Social media has a ton of potential to add to your tournament brand but it is deceptively a lot of work. It is intense and fast-paced but you have the potential to give someone one heckuva resume reel!

If you do it right, your tournament can be a competitive social media jobs training program where the best media minds can not only learn new skills but give back a deep, rich online space for your tournament event.

Social Media for Soccer Tournaments

Building out your soccer tournament social media network

You have all the tools to participate fully in social media for your soccer tournament. Now, let’s put this all together and start building out your tournament social media network.

Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat accounts from all your coaches.
Follow all your coaches on the various channels and encourage them to follow back.

Comment on their postings. The more your coaches feel connected to your event, the more they will want to participate.

Draw boundaries. If you will not reply to game change requests, referee dissent, etc on the social media channels, let them know that, but give them the proper channel such as your contact page on your website. Don’t just leave them hanging.

Parent twitter and facebook accounts
Encourage the coaches to have their parents follow the tournament channels early, especially twitter and facebook if you will be sending scores out that way. Few things motivate parents to follow your tournament than knowing they will be receiving scores there. Be sure to place a disclaimer on any follow request that only 13+ should follow back.

Do not follow parents back. Your relationship is ultimately with the head coach. If you follow a parent back, they may take that as an invitation to engage with the tournament directly.

State associations
Follow your state association. Congratulate achievements as you see them.

Sponsors and Advertisers
Follow your current AND prospective sponsors and advertisers on all your channels. When they are having a promotion, comment (but don’t stalk them.) Pass along the promotion to your teams; it is a good reason to contact them and shows your sponsors you actively want them their placement with you to succeed.

Frequent their establishment as a customer and comment on your experience. Share this list with your coaches/team parents and encourage them to do the same. Be a good citizen and they will want to support your soccer tournament.

Prior to the tournament weekend
Make sure you send out and post your social media activity. If you will be doing a live Meerkat or Periscope show from the HQ roving golf cart, let teams know this. Ask that they follow you and watch out for the cart as you might capture them warming up, playing their game or generally having a fun time. Let them know you will be stopping often and conducting ad hoc “interviews.”

During the event
Yes, you will be busy but you can’t use that as an excuse to not engage in social media. If you have prepared properly, you will have a community team in place already whose only job is to engage with your teams on social media channels.

Make sure the social media team knows the boundaries you have set. It is not “just twitter” or “just facebook” anymore; anything said on your social media channels is done as an agent of the tournament.

Make sure the social media team has a robust data plan. Few things are a buzzkill like running out of data halfway through the first day.

Plan for an all-day meerkat or periscope live broadcast. Whatever happens on the fields, happens in your social media channel. You may also encourage local TV stations to tap into the stream and use appropriate footage to showcase your tournament.

Send up a steady stream of snaps to snapchat. Also, scores, advertiser updates, coupons, etc.
The trick to using social media during the live event is to select the tools you can support and pace yourself, but you should be in several channels. Don’t put all your effort into just Facebook. However, you do not want the social media team to become too ambitious and become overwhelmed the first day. The first day will also be the lightest, with a buildup as teams discover your activity. Prepare for a surge in @, replies, RTs, reposts and questions.

Display the #hashtag everywhere, on the golf carts, at the HQ, on the staff shirts, at the concession stands, on the field signs. Encourage parents and players (U13+ only, please) to post their photos with the hashtag.

Your social media team should be constantly searching for your hashtag and/or event and pulling in photos, tweets and posts, commenting and RTing, etc.
Here are some basic activities for your front page soccer tournament news.

After the event
If you have done a good job during the event, you will see some residual traffic over the next few days as your posts and team/player/parent posts are shared. Keep engaging! You may well be tired, but push through and stay as real-time as possible.

Dormant time.
There is no dormant time. Soccer tournament marketing is a 365/24/7 endeavor. Re-read this page and start all over again for next year as soon as you can.

A common theme throughout using social media is be a good citizen. Follow back, engage lightly and appropriately, don’t sell, interact. Be human. Never get comfortable with your follower count on one platform… what’s hot this year may be nonexistent next year. You want a healthy cross-over audience on each channel. Be prepared to switch focus as a new social media channel emerges (don’t worry about staying current… just follow TourneyCentral for the latest social media trends.)

Follow TourneyCentral on our channels below. Chances are, if we are doing something cool, you’ll want to get in early.


Using Instagram for soccer tournaments

A picture is worth a thousand words. That statement is at the core of what Instagram is. Instagram is one of the quickest ways to share a photo or moment across multiple social media platforms.

It’s easy too. For the most part you take a picture, add a caption, then share.

this guide will step your through using Instagram for soccer tournaments. Currently Instagram can only be setup through your mobile device, which is ok because you use your photo to upload photos into your profile.

Step one: Download Instagram to your phone from either iTunes or Android store

Step two:InsagramSignUp Here is where you have a choice. You have the option of signing up with your tournament’s Facebook page, or with email. (I suggest using a tournament gmail.com that you have set up instead of clicking the sign up with Facebook button. It is easier to know where your gmail is reaching out to and how things are connected instead of using a secondary social media tool to connect to a third-party app.)

Step three: Enter a user name and password. I would suggest using the same handle as your Twitter account to keep a sense of continuity throughout your social media presence. (If you chose sign up with Facebook account, this is where you will enter you Facebook user name and password.) When you press next, it will ask for your full name and mobile number, both of which are optional. These might make sense for a single person wanting all of their friends to find them according to their phone number, but it really doesn’t make sense for a tournament.

Step four:instagram02 Editing your profile. This is a standard short profile. I suggest using the same content from your Twitter profile for Instagram. Once you have finished your profile, you are almost ready for some awesome Instagramming.

Last step: Here is where Instagram becomes important. It can post to your Twitter and Facebook automatically. In your Settings > Share Settings you will find the ability to link to Facebook and Twitter. Just click on each and it directs you to a page that will ask you to connect the two services. Click ok and every time you take an image, you will be able to click on which services you would like to share the image with. The image also saves to your mobile device.

Instagram is really that simple. There are a few key things to remember about sharing photos on Instagram:
Always use a caption to describe what is happening. You aren’t there to be “artsy”, you are there to build content and experience about your tournament.

Hashtags are important. They are the easiest way for people searching topics to find your photos. #soccer #soccertournament and #yourtournamentname are always good hashtags. If you are featuring your sponsor, you may want to use #sponsorname as well. Try to limit the number of #hashtags to two.

You can have more than one person in the organization signed into to your account at a time, but remember the internet moves very quickly. Always know that you can trust the people connected to your social media accounts. Make sure they verify the accounts they are connected to before sharing content.

What to photograph
Moments. Any moment can make a great photograph. A coach thinking about the next play. A player eating pizza at your registration. A volunteer helping a coach. A referee assignor assigning games. Your scheduler updating scores.

When choosing what the photograph, try to capture the spirit of your event. Showing people having fun doing the most mundane things can give your event a sense of whimsy. Or, if your event is more competitive, show the struggle of putting together the perfect schedule, the perfect event.

Don’t forget your sponsors. If you have sponsors at the field, make sure you take lots of photos with their logo shown in the background. Encourage your guest or host teams to photograph themselves at the sponsors place of business. It may be a small gesture, but your eagerness to capture them in your official “record” of photos could mean the difference between a “yes” or a “no” for a sponsorship next year.

Be creative and have fun with photos. But also have a policy and release for kids, especially those under 13. Know the laws and err on the side of caution*.

*This is not legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel.

Vine logo

Using Vine for your soccer tournament

Editor’s note: Vine was killed off by Twitter in 2016. You may want to use Instagram Stories or Snapchat for short video clips instead. We updated The Game Through Glass for Instagram Stories.

Video is hot. Short video bursts are even hotter.

The new attention span for online video is anywhere from :06-:15 seconds thanks to Vine and Instagram. We’ll cover Instagram in the next article, but for now we’ll focus on Vine.

To use Vine, you will need a smartphone or a tablet with a camera and a twitter account. It is app-based so it resides mostly on your phone or tablet. You shoot, edit and post videos with your phone.

First, the technical stuff:
Step one: Sign up for a twitter account if you don’t already have one. It will make thing a lot easier. You should be using twitter anyway.

Step two: Go to the app store on your phone, (iPhone or Android) search for the Vine app and download it.

Step Three: Log into the Vine app with your twitter account.

vine opening screenWhen you first open the Vine app, it will ask you to log in using Twitter. Select your twitter account and you’ll open up to the main screen. The key icon you are looking for in the camera in the upper right corner. Press on this.

The app will then open to the shooting screen. You can toggle the front and back-facing cameras with the icon in the lower left, but until you get the hang of it, it’s best to just choose one or the other.

To shoot a video, just hold down on the screen. When you lift your finger, the camera will stop, then start again when you touch the screen. It is a bit tricky at first, but you’ll find as you get better at it, you can do all sorts of really cool stop-motion effects.

You can save clips for later, re-order them, etc. as you get better and want to push the app to its limits. the only thing that you can’t control right now is the sound, but Vine might fix that is a later release.

vine03Once you are satisfied with your video, press on the forward arrow, fill out the caption, toggle to Twitter and post. (You can also post to Facebook, but since Facebook is not entirely secure on phones, we just re-post manually from our Twitter feed. The choice is yours.)

What to shoot with video
By far, the hardest part about using video for your soccer tournament is deciding what to shoot or what story to tell. You may think that :06 seconds is not a lot of time, but if you don’t plan your story, it can be an eternity to fill up. As an experiment, shoot a Vine just of you, staring silently into the front camera.

Kinda a long video, isn’t it?

Some ideas:

  • A welcome message to the teams. Why your tournament? Say it in :06seconds. Once posted, you can embed the video into your about page or front page news.
  • Sponsors. Take your phone into your sponsors and invite them to invite the teams to their place during the tournament. You can post that video into the DEALS page.
  • Show some behind-the-scenes. Teams love to see how things come together.
  • Promote your people. Show your scheduler working on the game schedule, the referee assignor prepping equipment, the nets being raised on the fields.

Once you start getting the ideas flowing, there will be no end to the number of stories you can tell, all at :06 seconds at a time.

Next up: Instagram

Behind the scenes. Content for social media

Jim Long @newmediajim

That is my social media buddy Jim Long in the photo above. As a cameraman for NBC news in Washington DC who covers the White House, he has got to have one of the coolest jobs in the world. He also goes on press junkets all over the world covering the First Lady, Hillary Clinton and others.

And he is very active on social media.

One of the things I love about Jim is all the “behind the scenes” photos he shares on Twitter and Google+. One of his recent photo galleries can be found here. Almost every morning, he “greets” me by posting a photo of the sunrise over the White House or a Foursquare check-in at his favorite coffee place or just a quip about life in general. It almost always makes me smile and makes me feel like I am standing right there with him.
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