It’s undeniable that club soccer plays a major role in the college recruiting process. From providing athletes with the chance to play against elite level competition, to traveling across the country for recruiting exposure through the top leagues and showcases, club soccer certainly plays a major role in the development of the player and furthering their soccer aspirations. But an area where clubs can do more is within the realm of social media. The question is, how?

Here are a few ways in which youth clubs can use their social media to better help their players with the college recruiting process.

Promote what the players do, on and off of the pitch: Many years ago, players could look forward to seeing their names highlighted in the local newspaper, save the clippings, and put them in their portfolio that they submit to colleges. While high schools still get some level of local media coverage, it’s extremely limited and more often than not, behind a paywall. Players are missing that space where they can showcase their exploits and use a bigger audience to showcase what they can do.

This is where clubs can play a huge role in showcasing all the amazing things that youth soccer players are doing. Particularly for players who are looking to be recruited to college, having their club’s support is a huge microphone to assist them in their college search.

Develop sources within your teams to tell their stories: Many clubs are probably reading this at this point and saying, “Yeah, I would love to share every result from my ECNL teams and who scored. But I can’t be at every game. How do I know who did what?” While it’s true that most clubs have front office staffs that are already stretched thin as it is, clubs can mitigate this by working with their vast network of coaches, team managers, to help get timely information about games, excellent video and photos to promote their players positive play. Players and parents are already pulling together clips for their players and generally speaking will be happy to share their kids highlights. Coaches and team managers can provide vital tidbits such as who scored the goals, which players had assists, and the names of defenders who made big plays to preserve the result. These little nuggets of information help better inform college coaches and also give the players a little bit more exposure.

Make sure to include the player’s name: Clubs often put out video highlights from the weekend’s action, but with little context as to what is happening or who it is that is completing the action. From an outsider’s perspective, which includes college recruiters, that makes it difficult to ascertain exactly what it is that’s happening on the field. As mentioned above, providing a basic level of information including the player’s name will help give the outside audience a broader understanding of what’s going on.

Cover not just the top teams and players, but all teams and players: One of the major misconceptions about how youth soccer social media works is that in order to promote one’s club that the best way to do is by just covering the top teams. The assumption is that league branding matters that much when breaking through the social media landscape. But this assumption is missing a major factor: parents don’t just have players on the top teams. Very often, the highest performing social media posts for clubs are from teams and players not playing in ECNL or MLS NEXT. That isn’t to say that those letters don’t carry value-they do. But limiting one’s social media posts to teams that are competing within the best leagues will limit one’s audience and ultimately hinder a club’s ability to recruit and grow their program.

As previously mentioned, there are a variety of ways that clubs can cover their teams and players without everything looking the same (in other words, you don’t need to do 14 posts about scores where the results weren’t great). Video highlights are a great way to show multiple teams exploits in unique and different. So too are players excelling at high school soccer.

Yes, high school soccer highlights are OK to post: This is a common question that comes up with club soccer- Can we promote players work for their high school. This questions stems from the high school soccer-club soccer debate. While it is understandable the trepidation, it is more than OK to post about a player’s high school soccer exploits. Simply because the player plays for their high school team doesn’t mean that they stopped playing for your club team. Typically, these players have played years for their club side and can thank a large amount of their development from playing club soccer. Simply promoting their work for their high school team should be treated no differently than if they were to make a national team or an All-Star Team.

Youth clubs can do a lot to help players through the college recruiting process. Using the strength of their social media pages is another way in which they can continue their already strong work.