A couple of years ago, I wrote about why I would never be put in charge of the Community sign board. The real reason, frankly, was that there were not enough symbols in the letter box for all the cuss words I would want to use.
Flash-forward to a few years later, when my oldest son entered high school and I joined the Athletic Boosters. There was a volunteer opportunity to up our social media cred with a more robust Facebook page and a new Twitter account.
Easy peasy. I just post game results from the paper, shout outs to alumni, and event announcements, right?
Here’s what I’ve learned so far when it comes to being the volunteer social media manager.
Tip #1: Be careful about posting more than one image in your twitter feed
One of the Booster accounts for a county rival posted two photos on twitter that caused an awkward appearing ‘headline.’ The red oval is where the two photos ‘combined’ in the Twitter feed, resulting in overlaps of the actual headlines, and leading to the unfortunate looking “Urbana Girls Grab Oakdale Boys” ‘headline.’
Tip #2: Parents will never see the posts about their own kids, so get ready for the blow back
No matter how many times you mention a sport, there will be someone whose kid is on the team and didn’t see the post. My remedy for this? I go back to every instance of me posting about that sport and tag that parent in the comments. Enjoy your ridiculous uptick in Facebook notifications, friend.
Tip #3: Tag parents on Facebook posts
Actual Facebook messenger mail I received: “I see you tagged <name of parent> when you posted about <student athlete’s> name in the paper. You didn’t tag me when <my precious angel> was named in the paper. How can you remedy that?”
I thought of replying with: “Oh my word! I had no idea <your precious angel> was your child, since: a) the school has over 1,000 students, b) I don’t know every damn kid in the school, and 3) I don’t know your family or kid at all. Perhaps if you’d join the Boosters for the mere $25 a year membership fee, it would jog my memory when it comes to tagging your ass in every post for <my precious angel>.
Instead, I responded with: Thanks for letting me know. We’re always looking for new members and volunteers – hope to see you at a Boosters Meeting in the future!
Tip #4: Tag students on Twitter posts
They love to see themselves tagged and will “like” and “retweet”. A lot. So will their friends when they see it.
Just know that you will probably have to wade through a whole bunch of …
…nonsense twitter handles to find some of these athletes. Hey kids – do yourself a favor and set up a handle that reads more like someone trying to impress admissions officers at colleges, and less like you are trying to impress your potential Tinder dating pool. Except for you, Jacob Wetzel. I love your handle: @wetzhispants
Tip #5: If you are posting daily athletic contest schedules, be ready for Mother Nature to %*@! with you
I hate snow and rain, which has impacted every sport so far this year, multiple times this year. Even the indoor sports. When school is cancelled due to weather, so are all after school activities. Then they get rescheduled. Over and over. So, be ready if Mother Nature is having a bad day/week/month/season. You’ll get carpal tunnel keeping up with all the changes.
While it would be a life goal of mine to be the person in charge of either of these accounts (filled with humor and snark – and getting paid for it!) I am currently NOT in charge of an account like this:
I really only got snarky/funny twice. Once, when a cross-town rival taunted our football team at a game this past Fall. We had graduated amazing groups of senior football players in 2017 and 2018, including Jacob Wetzel – the 2016 County Defensive Player of the Year, member of the 2016 State Championship team, member of the 2017 Conference Champion team, and 2017 County Offensive Player of the Year, who is now at Old Dominion University. The student section from the other team brought a sign, and I snapped a photo and tweeted about it:
And the second time, when our girls soccer team was a State finalist, and a local business wished them well.
I know Wendy’s knows what’s up also, but there isn’t a Wendy’s in our community.
Tip #7: If a sports emoji is missing; get creative. Literally.
We are the blue and gold Lions. Every social media post for our accounts concludes with 💙🦁💛 and then the emoji for that sport.
For the first year, there was no softball emoji, so I used a blue diamond, for softball diamond: 💙🦁💛🔷. For lacrosse, I used the net: 💙🦁💛🥅 . I am totally geeked out that I can now use the actual emojis:
We have a swim/dive team and I made a request for a springboard/platform dive emoji from Unicode. Basically, Unicode told me I have to create an image to submit for consideration.
Since I’m not a graphic designer, here’s my submission, Unicode: 🖕 How’s that for creative?
Tip #8: This is a volunteer gig, but one that matters to your community.
It’s tough, sometimes, to take the flack, to listen to the complainers, to always be asked for more of our time and energy. However, I keep this in mind for all my volunteer work in the community: