4 Ways Your FIRST Team Can Do Social Media Better
Social media has always been, at least in my perspective, one of those difficult areas to master: especially in FIRST Robotics. There are so many different platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram) with what seems to be many rules of what you can and can't do; to some, social media is an objective process. But in reality, the best social media pages are the ones who don't necessarily follow the "best practices." They do out of the box things.
Your FIRST Robotics social media pages might not look too appealing right now. And if you're the social media guy or girl on your team, your job is to make your team look appealing and cool. You want to stand out from all the other teams and be portrayed a certain way.
So how do you, as the social media person, make your team stand out and grow your social media platforms? How do you do social media better? There are a couple of things we suggest:
1. Brand Consistency
The very, VERY, first thing your team NEEDS to do, if you want your social page to grow, is to have brand consistency.
With this being said, let me tell you what a brand is first. There is confusion on what a brand is and how it should be utilized on your FIRST team. I can't explain to you all what a brand is now, so a short answer is this: your team's brand is its reputation. Your team conveys a certain feeling to other teams and the public through social media, and that effects your reputation.
Brand consistency is simply saying that your teams needs to consistently convey the same message, whatever that might be, to your audiences. This means that your social media accounts should be similar across all platforms. From Facebook, to Twitter, Instagram to Snapchat.
One part of brand consistency is making sure your social media pages have the same look. This means having the same logo, cover photo and team name.
One team that does this well is FIRST Robotics Team 3847, Spectrum. Most of all their social media channels look the same. This makes it easy for others to find them and follow what they publish.
2. Do Something Thumb Stoping
There are many teams who do the same-old same-old when it comes to posting on social media. Don't post boring material that doesn't make any sense. Post things that catch people's eyes. Do something different, outside of the box. Create a post that makes people stop scrolling.
FIRST Robotics Team 2619, The Charge, made me stop in my tracks as I scrolled down my social media feed. They created this awesome post with emojis that counted down the days till kick off. It caught my attention and many others.
Be creative like these guys. Sometimes you don't have to say a whole lot for people to notice.
3. Use Facebook Messages to Create Engaging Photo/Text Posts
This is a new one. Facebook's Messenger app allows you to create these Snapchat-like text and icon images.
Simply go to the Messenger app, click the circle down at the bottom, and swipe to the right. You can then write something, add icons and use a paint brush to draw. This can create engaging content that is different then what is normally on a social media feed. I have found that it really catches people's attention because it is different.
You can create this image, crop it and share it on all your social media platforms.
4. Document What You Are Doing
Some teams have a hard time finding things to post on their social media channels. And while it is hard to find things to post about, I want to share with you a new concept.
One way of utilizing social media is to document what your team is doing instead of just posting random crap and sharing things. Post high quality photos and videos of what your team is up to. Take short little videos of your team building the robot, working on a video, or goofing off. Document the progress of any activities that you think over teams will actually want to see.
An example of this is from Reset Robotics. Below is an eye capturing picture that documents their work as they build the field.
Overall, social media is a beast of its own. But I am confident that your team can do well by utilizing it.