If you look at high profile teams, both professional and amateur, you notice that they work hard at cultivating fans. They develop multiple channels of communication with their fans and then fill those channels with quality content- videos, interviews, updates, personal interest stories and promotions.
And they do this for good reason. They understand the value of building this community of supporters because they are the reason that the team is able to exist. Running a team, whether professional or amateur, requires money. Even the smallest youth or non-profit requires some type of resources. Without someone buying into your vision, you cannot get those resources, financial or otherwise. So, for this reason, the four C’s of social media marketing and fundraising are relevant to sports organizations of all shapes and sizes.
They are: Create, Connect, Community, Collect
Create: Create quality content that your fans like. Not sure what that means? Visit sites of pro teams and high-profile amateur teams and see what they are doing. Video interviews, articles, and insider information. This is what fans crave.
Connect: Now you have to not only have that content on your own website, but you have to deliver it to your fans. People are busy and now more than ever you have to take your content to them. Where are they? Well, 600 million people are on Facebook so that’s a start! Additionally, just about everyone has an email address these days, so you should be in their email inbox. Throw in Twitter and Youtube and you’re off to the races!
Community: Make those that follow you feel that they are part of something special. Give them insider information. Just as importantly, host events that bring them together in a social setting. Tailgates, golf outings, socials, etc. Not only is this human conection important to building your fan base but also anyone that comes anywhere near that community wants to be a part of it.
Collect: When you do the steps above, this step is easy. Now that you have a growing and engaged fan base, you can count on them for support. They buy tickets. They buy concessions & merchandise. They volunteer. They support fundraisers by donating or buying “stuff”. And, often overlooked by smaller organizations, they represent a demographic that advertisers want to reach so you have potential for landing sponsorships.
Remember the four C’s of program development and you will build a foundation to take you to new levels of success!
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