Sports Authority Of India (SAI) Joins Facebook

A discussion on Sports Authority Of India (SAI) joining Facebook and a review of the Facebook page

SAI

I was pleased to see this article on the Times of India site, relating to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) joining Facebook. It is good to see a reclusive authority like SAI opening up to social media. Manjushree Roy who is the Assistant Director, Media Division and International Cell for SAI has started the Facebook page with the intention to create a community of sportspersons where they can share their thoughts with each other and visit photo galleries and watch videos by the sports body. This got me excited to explore further.

The Facebook page ‘Sports Authority of India Head Office‘ is a brand new one and already has 28 fans. The cover page seems to be similar to the header on their website. It needs to be tweaked to reflect the new Facebook cover photo size. As I browsed through the timeline, I came across many interesting updates about the activities at SAI. In addition to this, I was happy to see pictures of athletes and some of their quotes.

Although the page could do better with a change in design and content, it also shows a lot of promise in terms of fulfilling its objective of building a community of sportspersons. The one thing that stood out for me was the response from the page admin to a fan.

SAI_FB
SAI is open to feedback

I also learnt about the Sports Ministry’s ‘Come and Play scheme’ through this jingle posted on the timeline.

Is there room for improvement?

Indeed there is just as in any task of life! From a visitor’s viewpoint, the page is dull and majorly lacks information about what it stands for and why you should join the community – the two vital reasons that are a must for a Facebook page.  I would really be happy if SAI could work on these points:

Design & Appeal:

  • The cover page needs a revamp. You cannot put your website banner here. However, do go through this important list of Facebook guidelines before you start designing. Also this link will help you in designing the Facebook brand page.
  • Update the ‘About’ page. Studies have shown that a visitor is likely to check the ‘about’ page before she jumps on to other areas. Hence, it becomes the first thing to update after you open an account. Tell your visitors what the community is all about. However, it is good to see information about the page admin.
  • Use the ‘Timeline’ feature. Facebook provides an excellent story telling feature through timelines and organisations not implementing it lose out. SAI can weave a beautiful brand story by adding about its rich history and the major milestones that transformed it, using the ‘milestone’ feature while posting.

Content:

  • ‘Let your images do the talking’ does not work here. You need to add a description with the images. Just adding photographs of Saina Nehwal and others isn’t enough. You could type in a little description of the image and ask your fans what they thought about it. Also, you could add links that can give more information to the fan about the particular post.
  • Keep your posts short. Fans do not visit your Facebook page to read. They want to know what you are upto, all in a glance.If you need to post something really long, like a speech for example, put it in a Facebook  Note.
  • Add images to your posts. Inspirational quotes are good but along with a supporting picture they could become great. As per research on Facebook fan engagement, the posts with images bring in the most engagement, followed by images accompanied by quotes.
These could be the early days for SAI and I’m certain that with these changes, the page would grow and achieve its target with time. Nevertheless, SAI’s intention to open up on Facebook is commendable. What do you think?