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# Parks & Recreation

19 Tips to Promote Your Parks and Recreation Activities Using Social Media

Tips for using Facebook, X, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and LinkedIn to promote your recreation activities.

Authored by Civic Plus Logo


July 1, 2022
10 min

Social media is a relevant, inexpensive way to promote your recreation activities in your community. The right tools and processes overall add little time to your existing promotional processes and workflows, and it can be a powerful way to engage your community.

With 5.04 billion social media users worldwide, it’s a good bet your residents use these platforms to engage in your community. Following, are 19 proven best practices for promoting your community’s recreation events using social media.

Civic Tip: As you read our tips, know that you don’t have to be active on all the social media accounts referenced. Leverage the platforms you have in place today, or add one more that may fit your community if you have time to manage it properly. However, if your community is not using social media today, we recommend starting with a Facebook account. It’s the best way to reach the most residents. Later, you can add a second account, such as X.

General Tips

  1. Promote everything on social media. Every time you open a new class, course, or league for registration, promote it via all your social media channels. Include a link for the public to register online directly using your recreation management software.
  1. Announce last calls. The day before registration ends for classes and leagues, send a series of “Last Call” posts and messages to create a sense of urgency. Include a link to register online.
  1. Always include photos in your posts. Photos are more likely to gain the attention of residents scrolling through news feeds.
  2. Use high-quality local photos and imagery. Stock photography is a great alternative. But, when possible, obtain release forms so you can use engaging photos of real people in your community to promote activities.
  1. Use video whenever possible. Just as photos are more engaging than text-only posts, videos are more engaging than photos. Again, you may need release forms, but including a video of last year’s Little League baseball team celebrating its win as you promote this year’s registration will certainly help you get interest and sign-ups. Civic Tip: no on-site videographer? Many people today consider themselves amateur photographers and videographers. Instead of hiring a professional, ask community members (via social) to come out and shoot footage of important events. In return, you’ll give them photo or video credit and tag their social media account, which can help them grow their social engagement, and you’ll get free access to quality videos.
  2. Share recorded videos of critical events. Record parts of sporting events or classes. Use the footage to make posts that encourage registrations the following year. Who wouldn’t want to sign their daughter up for soccer camp after seeing a video of girls her age feeling confident and forming friendships?
  1. Promote Events on your website. Share news articles or blog posts about your programs on your website and social media channels. This is especially important for Facebook, and X. Remember to include photos or videos.
  1. Promote your people. If you haven’t already, create brief bios for your community instructors and promote them individually via social media. Encourage your instructors to share the posts with their followers as well. Remember to @ tag your instructors and encourage them to share posts about their classes across their social networks as well.
  1. Encourage the public to post testimonials. After your residents register for community activities with your recreation management software, encourage them to share their plans on social media. Good recreation management software will let people directly make a social media post. In this case, residents can use it to encourage their friends and family to view the course details and sign up themselves.
  1. Invest in scheduling software.To help you manage your social media campaign, invest in a resident communication tool that will allow you to schedule social media posts and other communications in advance via multiple platforms and channels. Start your week by spending 30 minutes scheduling your posts in advance and then adding to them as needed.

Facebook Tips

  1. Use Facebook Events. For individual community classes and one-time events, make a Facebook event page. It will promote the event and let people RSVP. RSVPing to your event will create a status update in their news feed and show their friends and followers they are attending. This also creates a source of social sharing and free advertising.
  1. Consider paid Facebook advertising. Use paid social to promote your recreation activities that are financially profitable such as, community events, classes, or courses. For example, a few weeks before you open your community’s softball league for registration, run a Facebook ad campaign to promote it. Facebook allows you to target specific demographics, set a maximum budget, and campaign duration.
  1. Live stream events.  Use Facebook Live to stream live footage of key community events, such as the final five minutes of the junior basketball league play-offs or a glass-blowing demonstration from one of your art classes. Facebook Live offers an easy platform to talk to residents using live broadcasts. It will likely get them thinking about signing up for future opportunities.
  2. Use Facebook Polls Request resident feedback using Facebook polls. Use an easy-to-manage Facebook poll to ask the public what types of classes and events they’d like to see offered in their community in the future.

X Tips

  1. Promote In-the-Now Reminders. X is a medium best used for hyper-time-relevant news and information. Use it for last-call reminders, opening-day announcements, and sign-up deadline notifications. When sharing news and promotions about your community events on X, add relevant hashtags to help members in the community who are not already following you find your stories. For example, if you’re promoting registration for your new archery class, add a hashtag for your community name. Also, consider adding hashtags like #archery and #archerylessons. Add ones for your community, like #CommunityNameEvents

Snapchat Tips

  1. Reach Gen Z. Snapchat is an ideal social platform for creative social influencers in our younger generations. It lets you capture your audience’s attention with photos, videos, drawings, and clever captions. Use Snapchat’s tools and filters to be creative and spread the word about seasonal classes, local events, and open sports leagues.

Instagram Tips

  1. Keep it visual. Use Instagram to upload photos and videos taken at recreation events in your community. Similarly to X, use hashtags and add location identification tags for your community facilities. Promote residents attending events by tagging your community profile to increase shares and followers. Use the Stories feature for in-the-now updates about each day’s top events. For example, use it to recap your youth soccer championship game, from the first video clip of players running out on the field, to each goal during the game, to the final handshakes and winning team celebration.

Pinterest Tips

  1. Create Boards for critical events and teams. Create a Pinterest Board for each of your primary community recreation events, leagues, and classes, and cultivate photos to promote community programs.

LinkedIn Tips

  1. Reach potential instructors. Like Facebook, LinkedIn offers targeted advertising opportunities. Targeted advertising can help you find instructors, coaches, referees, and other professionals. Also, you can target professionals in your community based on their interests, ages, or hobbies without spending significant money on ads. For example, specifically target active adults between 18 and 65 with ads for your adult community soccer league

In summary, no matter how many platforms you use, following these best practices will amplify the reach of your recreation promotions and increase resident participation.

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Authored by Civic Plus Logo


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