FTC Tip #9: Social Media
There are many different social media directions that teams can devote time to. Always remember to have parent and mentor permission before creating an online presence on Social Media sites and follow FIRST’s Social Media Guidelines and practice general Internet safety. Make sure to connect with other FIRST teams. Connecting with Local teams is fun and it gives you something in common when seeing teams at tournaments and outreach events. Connecting with other teams also helps you see what they are doing for both the game and for outreach.
Social Media Guidelines and Recommendations
Living in the technology era means the quickest way to connect with people is often via the internet and social media. Sharing information about your team or program, promoting your events or outreach projects, and helping to spread the word about FIRST and FIRST Tech Challenge can all be done online.
However, being successful at using the internet and social media to achieve your goals isn’t as easy as most people think. We have put together some information to help you be successful
Creating an Online Presence
First, why do you want to create an online presence? Is it to share information? Is it to spread the word about FIRST in your community? Is it to thank your sponsors? Is it to connect with other FIRST teams and alumni? Is it to teach about robotics? You need to identify your purpose so that you can decide the best route to take.
For example, if it is just to share information, a website is often an easy tool with which to do that. However, if you are making regular updates to the information you are sharing, then perhaps Facebook or Twitter is a better strategy. We talk about the various options below.
Second, who are you trying to communicate with? The general public? The volunteers in your state? Students at your school and in your community? Parents and sponsors? Again, this will impact the choice you make: we recommend that you find out which platform your target audience is using the most and start there.
Third, bigger isn’t always better. Don’t try doing too much at once or you might end up making more work for yourself and will have a harder time being successful. How much time and resources can you devote to this project? Is it something you can do every week? Every day? A couple times a year? Most social media outreach works best if there is a regular presence.
Lastly, what is the personality you want to create with your presence? Is it professional? Is it silly? You need to identify the tone that you want to set so that you can be consistent and people will know what to expect.
For more guidelines & recommendations, see FIRST’s Social Media Guidelines