the 2012 NSCAA Convention sessions: successful soccer websites and social media best practices

For the last two years, my favorite part of the NSCAA Convention has been the opportunity to give a session to those in attendance. Speaking at the Convention was an item on my bucket list (which has conveniently disappeared and I need to update) since I attended my first Convention in 2009.

In 2012, I had the opportunity to conduct two sessions on Friday, which combined with the NSCAA Blogger Brunch and New Media Mixer presented by Demosphere and the WPS Draft made for a fairly hectic but rewarding day. But then again, what day at the NSCAA Convention isn’t hectic and rewarding??!?

five secrets to successful soccer websites

It’s no secret that my partner in crime for most digital/social media presentations is Amanda Vandervort, (@vandeyo1). Amanda is one of the smartest people I know in the sports social media/digital space. Amanda and is also a close friend, challenging my ideas and questions me helping me to think about problems and solutions in a completely new light.

Now that Amanda is Social Media Strategist for MLS (how cool is that by the way?) I was only able to steal her away for one of two sessions this year, Five Secrets to Successful Soccer Websites.

The idea for Five Secrets to Successful Soccer Websites came about thanks to our work on the new NSCAA.com. The website project a labor of love for Amanda and I which began in August 2010 and launched in November 2011. Notice how I didn’t say ended as this project will never end!

During the months we researched the new site, we gathered together what makes successful websites tick and combined the research into five secrets (aka takeaways) to share with the audience.

Successful websites are…

1) part of a larger business plan.
2) built with the user in mind
3) embracing content
4) sharable and social
5) analyzed and Adjusted

Of course there is more to the picture and the five above are not cut and dry. When I present give presentations I always leave listeners with actionable items to use as soon as they leave the room. (I know Amanda feels the same way)

Click here to download the .pdf presentation, Five Secrets to Successful Soccer Websites (.pdf)

social media best practices for clubs

The second session of the day was “Social Media Best Practices for Clubs”  This session gave me  trouble during the planning stages because explaining best practices of social media means those in attendance have a basic background knowledge in social media. In this case, I was clueless as to the prior social media knowledge the attendees would have.

To start the presentation, I quickly went over the Five Steps for Success in Social Media slides I’ve used during prior talks to ensure everyone in the room was on the same page (or at least had an opportunity to be). After that, I dove into five, what I would call promises or best practices, to keep in mind when going forward with social media. During the discussion we decided these five items apply to customer service and general good business practice as well.

1) Deliver
2) Blow you away
3) Never leave you hanging
4) Make a difference
5) Tell you what we know

The takeaway with the five above points was to make sure the focus with social media was outward facing and not inward. When a company (soccer club, coach, college program) makes the commitment to use social media, they make a commitment to those who are on the other end waiting for information or interaction.

I enjoyed the discussion points and questions at the end of the talk about privacy laws how they relate to minors and how to grow a social media presence with that in mind. I’ll draw up a post later on to cover that issue.

Click here to download slides from Social Media Best Practices for Clubs (.pdf)

As is the norm, I’m posting the .pdf’s of the slides to share with those who want to see them. The problem is the slides I use both in solo presentations and with Amanda are very image heavy and light on text. I’ve tried to incorporate notes into the .pdf’s so you can see the thought process behind each slide.

A huge thank you to all of those who tweeted and provided insightful feedback on the presentations. If you are interested in learning more about my speaking gigs, head over to the speaking page on my website. If you want to be blown away by some serious expertise, head over to Amanda’s site, Soccer Science, and get in touch with her.

click an image to download the .pdf presentation

Ryan Knapp

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