Written By: Bobby Guntoro
Here at UNCW, we use three main platforms of social media, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We have found that a lot of club coaches are active on Twitter, they keep up with what we are doing and use that as a way to learn about our program. Facebook is really good for keeping up with alumni, we post there to keep them engaged, up to date, and included in what we are doing. Instagram is mainly geared towards our recruits, we show them where we are located, who we are as a staff, and what our day to day environment looks like. All three platforms are critical for the success of our program.
These platforms offer different levels of engagement, we are able to showcase UNCW in different ways to a variety of target audiences. Knowing who you are reaching and understanding the markets on every platform you use helps you make a plan to succeed. Twitter tends to be the lowest on the engagement side of things for us. We might not get the most interaction there but it’s still important for us to post because people are following our program and we want to give them content to follow, even if it’s just a quick update. Facebook is somewhere in the middle. We gear a lot of our content towards alumni and internationals here. It’s important to keep in mind that parents of recruits are probably active on Facebook as well. We keep facebook posts regular and make sure to post at times when our audience is most engaging. Instagram slides in at number one for top engagement for us. We are very active here and direct our content to the recruiting class we are focusing on at the present time. We want to give them regular content to connect with us on and make sure we are keeping their attention on our program.
Team culture tends to be a hot topic in athletics right now. I truly believe what recruits see has a stronger influence than what you say. It’s important for us to share the day to day activities so they can get a feel for our program here at UNCW. I want them to know who our staff is so they can see what their personalities are on deck. Our current team getting after it in practice, excelling, and enjoying the time on deck matters too. Those are their future teammates. We have a bridge program here at UNCW that directly connects our alumni to our current graduating class and gives our seniors a welcoming group to be a part of. All of these collective pieces are a reflection of our program and how we work together. I want to share that with recruits, our alumni, and everyone following us.
We use Social Media to build our brand identity. Consistency is really important for me, I’m a really big planner. I have every practice that I’ve written over the last seven years, just tell me the date. How you want to be seen is critical, pick three or four things you want people to know about your plan and stay focused on those things. Don’t go all over the place with your content. For us, we want people to know what UNCW is and where we are located. Right now, we want to showcase Wilmington as a whole, the academic side, the athletic side, and then introduce the swimming side. For example, we want everyone to know we are in a Southern charm beach town. We will then move into what our athletes are accomplishing by showing results, showing what we are doing and what we are producing.
When it comes to recruiting, social media really helps spread the word about our program. If you have a good product and people don’t know you have a good product, it will take you longer to sell the product. Using social media helps you to introduce your product in the beginning, it is seeing things, watching things, and is more beneficial in recruiting. You know something before you start engagement. Using social media effectively really gives you that edge that sets you apart from others.
An important piece in social media is representing your sponsors well. When you enter into a sponsorship, your responsibility is to be their marketer. Arena is our sponsor and we are very proud to represent them. Arena helps us a lot, I work with them and give back in great representation from our program. I mention them on social media, I tag them, I thank them, I post their logo, and I give back. I’m very particular about representing Arena and Adidas. Good branding is a reflection of a commitment, it’s another way of teaching athletes to follow through. It starts with the coaches, you push content on social media, it’s your responsibility to push content that represents your sponsor in entirety.
The frequency that you post content matters too. We post different amounts on each of our platforms. Facebook we don’t post as regularly, we shoot for a few days a week, we watch analytics and post accordingly. Instagram we spend time learning from which post receives the most clicks, most likes, most engagement, we do one to two posts per day. For our stories we aim to post somewhere between three to six posts per day. We want to consistently post and engage with our followers but we also don’t want to post too much or too little. You have to find that sweet spot of engagement for your social media and continue with it each day.
My biggest recommendation for teams using social media is to have a plan on what you are trying to market, every team has different goals. If you're a club team and want to grow a swim lessons program to increase your feeder program, is that more on a Facebook Level or Instagram Level? You need to do market study on that first. If you’re a club that has the edge with your elite club level swimmers, you want to showcase that. You can't recruit from other clubs but you can market yourself. As a college coach, you need to make sure that club coaches like what you are running. They need to feel comfortable so that you become a good recommendation. Twitter is big for that, club coaches are on twitter. What are you trying to show recruits? Utilize Instagram for that. Facebook is big for us with our alumni. Need funding? No engagement without showing where the money is going, once they feel they are a part of that, they will support you. With sponsorships, you have a plan you can show them and they are more likely to buy into your program. The more people that follow UNCW, the more people are going to talk about UNCW, and that builds our reputation, our brand, our program. Social media is important for program growth, engagement, branding, and success. Make sure you’re taking advantage of it in all the right ways for your program!
Bobby Guntoro, who was named head coach on July 23, 2020, returns to his alma mater following eight seasons on the staff at NC State, including the last three as the Wolfpack’s Associate Head Coach. He arrived in Raleigh as a graduate assistant and after two seasons, was elevated to assistant coach.“We’re excited to have Bobby return to UNCW,” said Bass. “He was a great ambassador for our program and university when he was a student-athlete and he’s helped NC State’s programs to great heights during his time there.” Guntoro becomes just the third head coach in the program’s 42-year history and the first UNCW graduate to take the reins. At NC State, Guntoro served on both the women’s and men’s coaching staffs and helped both teams record ACC championships and NCAA top-10 finishes. He worked primarily with the sprint and middle distance groups daily and was instrumental in recruiting. Guntoro helped produce a pair NCAA champion relays at the 2018 NCAA Championships and both relay units set NCAA records. The 800 Free Relay clocked a time of 6:05.31, while the 400 Free Relay posted a record time of 2:44.75. Individually, Andreas Vazaios was the NCAA champion in the 200 Butterfly at the 2018 and 2019 NCAA Championships. The Wolfpack men have finished in the top-10 at the NCAA Championships every season since 2015 and have claimed the last six ACC titles. On the women’s side, Guntoro helped the program to the 2017 ACC title, its first championship since 1980. NCSU added another crown in 2019 and finished seventh at the NCAA Championships for the second time in three season. At the 2020 ACC Championships, the women’s 200 Free Relay set an ACC record with a time of 1:26.15. Guntoro is a graduate of UNCW and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting in 2011. He set the program record in the 100 Butterfly and swam on several record-breaking relays. UNCW won four Colonial Athletic Association championships during his career and added a fifth consecutive title in 2012 when Guntoro served as a volunteer assistant on the coaching staff. Guntoro has extensive experience on the international front. A native of Jakarta, Indonesia, he represented the country on the international level from 2003-11. Guntoro earned a Master of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration on Sport and Youth Development at NC State in 2015.