When it comes to Twitter and blogs, it takes time to master the art of tweeting and blogging and there are best practices for both. In the world of high school athletics, tweeting is definitely more popular than blogging. As you can see in the picture below, it is much easier to access high school department Twitter pages than it is to find high school athletic blog accounts with a simple google search.
Twitter is a better way to market the sports industry, especially because of the shortness and efficiency of tweeting, so that is why it is more widely used by high school athletic departments. When looking into high school department Twitter accounts versus blogs, there were far more Twitter accounts to be found and viewed.
However, blogging is still an essential part of high school athletics. Dan Rickershauser, writer of “10 Best Practices for Corporate Blogging”, goes into detail about some of the best practices used when blogging.
The most important advice that I received from this article in regards to blogging is first to grab a readers attention, but keep their attention by breaking up your text, using pictures and videos, writing about what you know so it sounds logical, and referring to other blogs and articles within your post (2016).
Rickershauser also mentions that one of the most important parts of gaining and keeping followers is to respond to any replies to your blog posts because it creates interaction and communication with people.
Although I could not find very many blogs relating to high school athletics, the blogs I did find utilized a lot of the blogging best practices. The blogs intertwined both pictures and videos into the post, while making sure to separate text to make it an easier read.
A lot of the blogs involved high school students being recruited for college, the impact of playing only one sport in high school, and sports injury. These blogs had catchy titles for the most part, some seemed a bit long, and all included a picture with the title of the article to draw readers in. The articles I found were more just individual blog posts related to high school athletics and not entire blogs, which is shown in the picture below.
Then comes the more popular Twitter accounts. There are many helpful hints in regards to the best practices for tweeting. Mark Shaefer, author of The Tao of Twitter, states that “the best, simplest advice I can provide is to tweet about what interests you” (Schaefer, 2014, p. 59). When it comes to high school athletic department accounts, the person running the account should be someone who is passionate about high school athletics. The more passion, the more excitement, and the more people will want to follow and get involved.
Shaefer also says that “the second most important advice I can provide is to get in the habit of sharing” (Schaefer, 2014, p. 59). A good way to share posts involving high school athletics is to share the content of individual sport accounts at the same school.
Best practices of Twitter also mention to tweet regularly (around three times a day), while using videos and pictures to create excitement and engagement within the account. In my opinion, high school athletic departments can easily switch up the content going on the page.
What I mean by that is they can switch sports, posts pictures and videos, but also give followers important information about each sport including game schedule, scores, statistics, and more.
When running a high school sports Twitter account, the tweets need to be kept short and sweet in order to keep students and fans engaged. While being easy to read, tweets should also contain hashtags and sometimes quick links to refer to as well (Bennet, 2014). Hashtags and links offer more information and quality to tweets in the simplest way.
In order to offer communication and interaction with fans, high school athletic department Twitter pages must be sure to respond to tweets in a timely manner. When responding, this could involve public @ replies to users or direct messages (DM), depending on how the follower reaches out to you. People may have questions about upcoming games, directions, ect. and it is important to get back to them ASAP.
In my opinion it is much easier to run a Twitter account over a blog when it relates to high school athletics because it is easier to display important information, while also remaining engaging to students and fans alike. Tweets are kept short and sweet, which is an easier way to keep the attention of fans and readers, especially students. When trying to get out important information such as schedules, scores, and statistics, I feel as though a short tweet is easier than an entire blog post.
Also, at the high school level, Twitter is more popular than blogs. Students will be far more excited to see their name, team photo, or game video on the high school’s sport Twitter page, than they would in a blog. I think high school athletic departments have done a great job adapting to the world of Twitter and keeping their tweets light and engaging for athletes and their fans.
Bennet, S. (2014). 23 (rather marvellous) Twitter best practices. Social Times. Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/twitter-best-practices-2014/500990
Home Team Marketing. (2015). 5 ways your high school athletic department should be using Twitter. HTM School Solutions. Retrieved from http://schools.hometeammarketing.com/2015/11/23/5-ways-your-high-school-athletic-department-should-be-using-twitter/
Rickershauser, D. (2016). 10 best practices for corporate blogging. Campaigner CRM. Retrieved from http://www.campaignercrm.com/en/community/blog/crm/post/10-best-practices-for-corporate-blogging/
Schaefer, M. (2014). The Tao of Twitter. McGraw-Hill Education. United States of America.