If your athletic department or school is growing to the place where you have more than a dozen or so social media accounts under your umbrella, it might be time to put together a website social media directory to help fans navigate your social media stable. There are some pros and cons to social media directories, but if done well, they will help you on a number of fronts.
- Getting all your department accounts rounded up and put in a data base will help you keep track of your brand. Part of your directory process should be getting admin logins and passwords for all those accounts so that in the event of an emergency a community manager can login to the account. Admins should also be required to sign off on your social media policy and understand how social media accounts should be used in a crisis or emergency.
- Social media directories can be a portal of easy access for fans rather than forcing them to hunt around for a particular account. Ease of access is a critical factor to diminish bounces and increase time spent on pages. I recommend customizing the URL so it is easily searched. Some of the pages I indexed have long and clunky, number-ridden URLs.
- Social media directories may give your lesser known social media accounts and personal brands more exposure. The rule that tells us that shoppers are more likely to purchase more if you show them like items on a shopping cart page applies here. If someone is looking for your head football coach’s Twitter feed, they may be more likely to follow the AD or the basketball coach while they’re there.
- You can show as little or as much as you’d like. The University of Washington has student-athletes in their social media directory. California State-Monterey Bay publishes social media accounts of local media as well (see below). Also, the Missouri Valley Conference directory shows feeds from each school including coaches. Smaller schools can create a scaled version of a directory—see the Pacific University directory below.
One size doesn’t fit all and you can create one that fits your department culture. Below are some examples of social media directories you can copy. You can click on the name of the school to see the full page. Some of the directories were too big for a full screen shot.
The University of Washington – student-athletes that have been approved to use social media on behalf of the athletic department are listed under their sport.