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Four Cornerstones of Digital Strategy: Improve participation and grow your sport nationally - Part 3

View all · 27 Jun 2018 · revolutioniseSPORT

This article is the third in a series of four articles exploring the Four Cornerstones of Digital Strategy. You can read the previous article here.


"We use technology, but to be honest with you, it's pretty rubbish."

This is the message repeated loud and clear by peak sporting bodies nationwide when asked about their use and understanding of digital technology in sport. Our analysis of over 150 governing bodies in Australia indicates that Australian sport is in the midst of change - a paradigm shift where governing bodies are no longer content with a technology solution that is "good enough". Sports are coming to grips with the fact that they must have a cohesive strategy to unify the direction of their digital assets.

Digital strategy is more than just 'having a Facebook'; it's about knowing how and when to use your digital assets, and being able to draw meaningful and measurable analytics to grow your sport in line with your strategic plan.

Here, we explain how sports can gain the understanding and practical tools to implement the four cornerstones of successful digital strategy:

1. Collecting meaningful data from your members

2. Analysing and drawing insights from membership data

3. Maximising the reach and impact of social media

4. Building a strong, integrated and professional website

Cornerstone #3: Social Media Presence

Social media is the future of connecting with your membership. Photos from a junior grand final can be on Facebook within seconds of the game finishing - well before a club can publish the content themselves. Fans can engage with live scoring of games in real time. And the next generation of members can be reached in a matter of seconds.

79% of Australians use social media

59% access it every day or most days

The most popular is Facebook (94%) but Instagram has seen the biggest growth

The typical Facebook user spends 10 hours per week on the platform

-- 2017 Sensis Social Media Report

Despite this, discussions with peak bodies reveal how few organisations employ a social media strategy. Policy is reactive rather than proactive. Social media management is often distanced through outsourcing to external bodies. Channels are updated infrequently, without focus or drive on how to lead their sport by example.

To establish a strong social media strategy, peak bodies should consider the following measures:

  • Have an “Acceptable Use of Social Media” policy - provide clear guidance about what content is and is not acceptable, and what content will (or won’t) be published from clubs and other sources.
  • Have a dedicated social media role - an individual who is responsible for the creation of engaging and meaningful content that will add value to the sport.
  • Ensure consistent branding and communicate a cohesive message across all social media platforms.
  • Consider using a social media management suite such as HootSuite to manage all networks from one interface.
  • Consider ‘scheduling’ posts (some platforms such as Facebook allow this), to release content over a given week - rather than having to come up with content every morning.
  • ‘Follow’ or ‘Like’ local clubs and your state/national body, and “share” engaging content from those sources with your followers.
  • Use social media as a means to drive traffic to your website - for example, when sharing a news story from your website on social media, simply share the article title and link instead of reposting the article in its entirety.
  • Include social media links alongside your organisation contact details, wherever they appear - website footers, email signatures, letterheads, print material.

Finally, keep in mind that each form of social media has its own quirks, which you should identify and leverage to your advantage.

Stay tuned in the coming days for our fourth and final article, Cornerstone #4: Website Integration, to learn more about building a professional, relevant and engaging online presence for your organisation.


Nic Watkins is the Chief Operating Officer at revolutioniseSPORT, the emerging market leader in online sports management in Australia. The platform services a range of grassroots clubs and peak sporting bodies, and currently supports over 125 governing bodies in Australia. To find out more, visit


Originally published on LinkedIn.