Do you follow a pro-golfer on Twitter? Or how about your favorite basketball team on Instagram? From football to hockey, sports are definitely present on social media. This includes news, opinions, updates and personal posts from players, and many teams have shown both their good and their bad through their comments and posts on social media channels.

However, social media isn’t just for the big guys. If you work with, are responsible for or know of a local youth sports league, they can be just as successful on social venues like Facebook and Twitter.

What are the benefits? One, it gets the word out. If you need fundraising done fast or to get more bodies in seats at your next game, social media is one way to make things happen. Two, it’s an inexpensive form of marketing. It’s likely you don’t have much of a budget to work with, so forget printing out expensive fliers or running TV ads. If you’ve got a social media page, you have all the advertising you could ever ask for – and it’s free.

A third benefit of social media is that it’s relatively easy to use. Not so sure? Follow this advice and you’ll be a social media pro in no time.

First, start simple – get Facebook.

Many soccer moms and football dads are on Facebook, and that’s really the audience you want to target. Facebook is still the most used social network, and this is especially true for the child-rearing age crowd. Making a Facebook fan pages comes with many benefits, including:

●      Keeping team parents informed.

●      Giving parents and fans alike an easy way to contact you.

●      Fans have an all-in-one page for communication and updates.

●      Team members with Facebook can also be personally up-to-date with their own activities and schedule.

Facebook is also a great way to easily share highlights, news articles and other material you could be putting on a website – but Facebook is free and easier to use!

Twitter is your second route.

If you want updates that come in real time, Twitter is your best bet. Facebook news feeds can get muddled, but Twitter will give followers updating and real time info. Instead of Facebook, use Twitter as your broadcasting platform. Facebook is great for in-advance reminders, but Twitter is what you use if you’ve got a game in 15 minutes and need to get the word out fast.

Use social media as a sponsorship platform.

While the main point of social media for youth sports is to keep people informed, another great way you can benefit from a social media platform is through sponsorship opportunities. Local businesses will love it when you retweet them because they’re you’re sponsor, and sharing sponsor support messages on Facebook also sends a message to other businesses who may want to get in on the action.

In general, social media is also a platform of spreading gratitude. If you have volunteers that help you, send them a thank you shout out on your social media pages. Why? This not only shows how thankful you are for the help, it also may encourage others to pitch in as well.