We all like to talk about football, whether it’s on the pitch, on the sidelines, in the car on the way home or over a celebratory pint in the clubhouse. Social media is another way for people to have a conversation about football. It can be daunting to kick-off your presence, but it can be an incredibly useful way for your club to communicate if it’s used in the right way
- The FA uses Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as a way to communicate with people involved in or followers of football. It helps get the message out to as wide an audience as possible. It is important for The FA to share its Best practice advice with clubs so you can use social media for your members’ benefit, while ensuring safeguards are put in place to protect young people.
- Social media is about connection and interaction. It can be a powerful way of sharing, meeting and is a friendly, less corporate way of communicating. It could be the perfect way for you to have a regular two-way conversation with adult players or parents outside of match day and training sessions.
It’s immediate. If you want to get a message out to players or parents about a match postponement or call for helpers for an event, you can instantly reach people without having to take the time to make calls.
It’s cheap! You don’t have to pay to use social media, you just need to put in some time to develop your presence and an internet connection. You can have a simple page on Facebook or develop a YouTube presence by uploading action clips from your club’s matches. Remember you must always adhere to The FA’s guidance on Photography and film where under-18s could be involved.
- It can be quite a lot of work to set-up, update and moderate the pages effectively so you need to ensure the club official responsible is willing to put in this time and effort.
- It’s accessible. Older players and parents will be using the social media websites, perhaps on a daily basis from their mobile phones as well as their home or work computers.
- It’s easily accessible for you and your officials to update too. If your club has a Facebook site or Twitter account, make sure that the passwords are recorded so that they can be passed on to the next manager, Chairman or club official who takes responsibility for updating these sites. Remember your social media sites belong to the club not the person who is in charge of the club at that time.
These usernames and passwords should be protected to ensure only the agreed club officials can update your social media pages. Officials should moderate sites and pages daily if possible to ensure nothing inappropriate is written by a third party.
You need to be aware of the pitfalls of using social media. Ensure you read through The FA’s Best practice guidelines to ensure your club members are safeguarded and The FA Rules and Regulations are not broken. Both individuals and grassroots clubs were charged last season for bringing the game into disrepute when offensive comments were posted on Twitter and/or their own websites.
In addition, you can find out more information from your County FA Welfare Officer if you have any additional questions concerning youth football.