The closure of Collegelax.us didn’t keep the MCLA administration from making some key media moves recently. For the first time, officially sanctioned league Facebook and Twitter accounts have opened for use. You can follow The MCLA on Twitter @The_MCLA or “Like” them on Facebook at facebook.com/TheMCLA. (The Facebook page has been around since April, but they just now featured it)
Both pages are professional in appearance, which is huge for the perception of the league externally. The Twitter page has a clean and well groomed graphic that displays both the logo of the league, and also the two reigning national champions:
It isn’t fully clear on what the Twitter content will be for @The_MCLA, but it likely will revolve around the official news offered on the MCLA.us mother-site. Other obvious applications include announcing big upcoming games as well as releasing the scores upon conclusion of the games. With access to the statistical archives of the MCLA, it would also be nice to serve up some factual tidbits about players and teams that achieve or near milestones.
The Facebook page also has a similar professional appearance, built within the confines of the now-classic Facebook layout:
The splash page features the beautifully made picture of the reigning champs, but the success of the Facebook page (like the Twitter account) will of course come down to how it connects and interacts with the other 211 teams in the league. A nifty function of the Facebook page can be seen when viewing The Wall tab of The MCLA page, where it presents all news stories and posts tagged for association with the league page. For someone who wouldn’t take the time to view each site that has posted a news story, this can be a great use to bring many stories together in one place, like an RSS feed for Facebook users.
The league has also jumped in with two feet to get YOU to connect with its social media initiatives by featuring them prominently on the front page of the MCLA.us site:
Again, like most social media it is only valuable to connect with the source if it provides valuable information to the user. The downside of the MCLA.us news feature has been the lack of consistent news sources provided by the conferences and conference directors. The one upside in this situation is that the social media aspect allows the league to more casually disseminate information about types of stories it would like to feature. No doubt, turnover and distractions have kept many current conference directors from providing news to the MCLA to be featured (these guys have lives too). But with an outlet for the league to broadcast to the teams on a more regular basis, maybe more teams will start contacting their leagues and CD’s to provide stories about them.
Another step in the social media landscape that we would suggest? An official YouTube account that can showcase selected highlights in high definition, and potentially lead toward a weekly highlight reel of top plays from around the MCLA, or a team-of-the-week, or player-of-the-week content pieces. The sky is the limit for potential social media applications with stories from around the league.
We will try and find out if the league has dedicated social media personnel to manage the accounts, if so that would go a long way toward providing consistent and coherent communication. Either way, the move to adopt social media shows the league administration isn’t a bunch of fuddy-duds, and they want to connect with the current and past player-base, as well as the all important potential player-base: the high school crowd.