Social Media: There was, is and will never be a silver bullet


by @DavidAPortney

Our Facebook page is blowing up.  How much you ask?  Well, it took about four years to get the first 10,000 likes then another three months to get the next 14,600.  Keep in mind, we’ve done all of this without spending a single dollar on any social media advertising.  I’ll repeat that.  We’ve never spent a dime on direct social media advertising, and that’s something I’m very proud of.

So what’s been the secret my executive director wants to know, like I’ve kept some trick in my back pocket this entire time who’s just deciding right now to unleash the silver bullet.  What I tell her and my colleagues is that once a social media account develops a reputation as being one of the best in that industry (in this case volleyball), it’s only a matter of time until everyone feels they’re missing out if they don’t follow us.  We’ve continued to have steady growth then finally…everything clicked.

Thanks to a well-timed campaign with our partner Under Armour, the fall volleyball season entering the climax of their seasons and our annual convention just a month out, our social media accounts have become the go-to place for the latest in anything volleyball and coaching education related.  It’s also about taking that next step beyond your followers to create mass appeal and rope in new people.  For example, after that controversial call in Game 3 of the Red Sox-Cardinals World Series, I found an interesting connect to the world of volleyball:  “Should a call not often made on the court, be enforced to end one of the most critical matches you’ll play all year?  We had an excellent conversation about that topic bringing in perspectives of players, coaches, fans and even referees…all happening on our Facebook page.

The point being, even though there is no “silver bullet” to gaining 10,000 followers in a couple of months, it is important to THINK BIG and THINK BROAD.  Yes, we’re a volleyball coaches association, but I never post something ONLY relevant to volleyball coaches.  I want everyone in on the conversations we have.

I also don’t plan too much in advance.  We have set dates for certain sponsors, polls, players of the week and other things like that, but that adds up to just about half of the week’s posts.  The other half depends on how the week and day goes.  Who knows what’ll happen that day you might want to share only to be hamstrung by a pre-scheduled post.

Dave’s tip of the day:  Don’t pre-schedule your social media life.

So to wrap it up, there was, is and will never be a silver bullet to having great social media accounts with large amounts of followers and interactions.  If you’re keeping things fun, interesting, and timely then you’re on your way!

(image courtesy of


About dportmedia

Thanks for checking out my page! The purpose of this blog is to touch on the interaction between media and society. I don’t profess to have all of the answers, but hopefully we can have meaningful and cordial discourse on the topics most relevant to all of us. Follow me on Twitter @DavidAPortney
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