How To Grow Your Dodgeball Club’s Social Media – A 3-Part Series

How To Grow Your Dodgeball Club’s Social Media – A 3-Part Series

Getting your social media right as a sports club is difficult. So we've put together this 3-part series to explore what you can do to grow your presence and grow your club!
It is without question that social media plays a pivotal role in the growth and visibility of the sport. For many, platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are a great way to communicate about your dodgeball club. And recently, we’ve seen a few pages surge in popularity, and certain videos/reels going viral! Take this reel from @dodgehighlights that gained 15.3m views on Instagram!
However, we wanted to know, can we all be this effective on social media? And how can it be done to help your club achieve their goals? Because ultimately, we all have the same goal of growing the sport.
In this 3-part series, we explore the current state of play of social media and dodgeball, explore current and future trends of social media, and share some handy tips and advice on how your club can be better on social. Oh, and it’s been tried and tested by dodgehighlights!

Current State of Play

The UK Dodgeball community typically view their social media as a notice board for key club info, with some of it only relevant to members. We believe this narrow mindset can be restrictive and limits what can be achieved. Instagram and Facebook should be a platform to advertise, recruit and grow your participation and build a community. If used effectively, it could lead to sustainable growth for your club, but also for the sport more generally.
In 2021-2022 season, we conducted some analysis on the Instagram posts of every super-league team (Men & Women). The results were somewhat interesting.

What is the most common type of post?

  • 83% of all posts are static text based.
  • Only 9.67% of posts show actual dodgeball in any form.
  • 1% of posts rely on the popularity of specific players to generate engagement
  • 77% of these posts lose relevance within a day of posting
  • Having only 1.66% of posts be of socials means that a large part of being in a dodgeball club is not being shown
Looking at this breakdown, an important question to ask is,
            “What are my club’s objectives on social media?”
For some, it may well be to act as a notice board. However, if you would like to recruit new players, increase female participation or launch a junior club, does your current strategy enable you to achieve these goals? With the above observations, we would probably say the answer is no. So, define your objectives – perhaps define 3 or 4 and be SMART with them.
Next question you should ask is:
“What are my dodgeball club's key selling points?”
Do you have a female-only session? Do you have a popular amateur section? Does your club have a bustling social side? Understand your USPs and underpin this in your strategy. Seek to mention this or make it a weekly theme in content you create.
This dataset also points to the significance of the audience. Typically, it seems that there are three main groups that are targeted. Club members, wider dodgeball community, and non-dodgeball community audiences. Currently, clubs tend to aim posts at their club members and the dodgeball community, and often exclude external audiences. If you take the image of Derby Phantoms Instagram on the right, where is the value for anyone not part of their club?
We would suggest it is increasingly important to target non-community members as well as existing. So ask yourselves:
            “Who is our target audience? Are their needs being met?”

What type of posts achieve the highest engagement?

The above shows the percentage of followers who liked a post vs its type for all of the posts mentioned previously. It shows several key insights:
  • Video based content accumulated the most interaction with average like percentage of 8.81%
  • Posts with photos proved particularly popular, with team and social pictures more popular
  • Text based posts had an average like percentage of 4.14%
  • Of the top 7 most liked categories, 6 are of player experiences
  • 35% of all social media posts gain on average a like percentage of under 5%
  • Meme posts had high interaction. However, there were very few meme posts, making them an outlier

Now this is by no means a definitive guide. For example, we wouldn’t suggest that you post team photos ALL the time. Create variety and think about the message you are conveying and the audience you are trying to target. For example, if you’re trying to encourage new amateur players into your club, you would perhaps consider a fun, inclusive ‘squad’ picture at one of your social sessions. Again, ask yourself the three questions above.

Dodgeball content is becoming more popular, but where?

By collecting data around a month apart, were able to gather information about the current growth of every dodgeball Instagram we could find. This data showed that only three clubs in the British Dodgeball system managed to average growth of a single follower a day.
On average pages post once a week or less which is not enough to generate consistent engagement. As a result, this may lead to followers losing interest with the page. By increasing the number of posts (provided they are of good quality), you can generate more followers, but also a higher level of engagement as followers feels a greater investment in your page.
From the table below, it can be seen that the fastest growing group of pages are those that are Dodgeball based ‘creators’. This group grew 723% more than the average of all dodgeball pages and had 430% of any other specific group's growth. From the high follower gain in these pages, we observed more desirable content than any of the other content that was shared by the other groups.
We must note, however, that the data can be somewhat skewed as it was collected over a period containing both the WDBF World championships and just after the EDF Euros. This timing has led to the performance of National teams and Organisations being inflated compared to their usual activity during the rest of the year. Along with this, British and British Uni teams were skewed by it being both the dodgeball off season and the university summer holiday respectively.
For further data as well as a breakdown of the wider community check out this google doc with our research results.
In summary, numerous dodgeball clubs have low levels of engagement on their social media. And we would suggest that a large part of this is their overall strategy. But how else can clubs change their ways to be more effective… let’s find out in part 2.
Remember, start with these questions:
“What are my club’s objectives on social media?”
“What are my dodgeball club's key selling points?”
“Who is our target audience? Are their needs being met?”