Clara Hester is 23-years-old, from Roscommon town, and is currently studying for a Masters Degree in journalism in DCU. She is also part of the voluntary Club Rossie marketing team alongside David Leydon and Colm Beirne. Social media plays a huge part when it comes to promoting the group’s work as was evident during last year’s Win a House in Dublin campaign.
Clara said proper use of the major social media platforms can also be extremely beneficial to local businesses.
“Club Rossie has a really big following on all four major platforms. We have Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook. We try to make it very community-based so we have a lot of interaction with people with feedback from games. It’s really immersive compared with the official Roscommon GAA platforms which tend to focus on information about games.
“We actively promote our business members as part of the business package. Members will get a promotional post and we will promote any offers you have on. When a team comes to Roscommon we’ll have tweets saying ‘check out this business if you want to eat’ for example. It’s good promotion and shows that we appreciate their support,” she said.
Content is king of course and Club Rossie’s social media coverage is constantly being tweaked in order to provide an immersive match-day experience for Roscommon supporters all over the world.
“In the past year we’ve tried to up the amount of content from matches but because it is a volunteer organisation you don’t get to every game.
“A lot of our followers are abroad and they write to us asking about attendance, what the atmosphere is like, and who’s playing and so on. There are three of us on the marketing committee (Clara, David Leydon and Colm Beirne) but this year we are hoping to add two more, Eugene Pettit from Clann na nGael and Aileen Dowd from Roscommon Gaels.
“Video is important because attention spans have declined and when people see a big load of text they just aren’t going to read it. It’s all about that immediate reaction too when players are coming off the pitch. It just adds a bit of personality and atmosphere to the coverage.
“That’s the thing about social media, it’s very instantaneous, and so you don’t have to wait to watch The Sunday Game any more!”
Clara was thrown in at the deep end last year when asked to interview players post-match. She made her debut following the National Football League Division Two win over Clare last year, interviewing Tadgh O’Rourke!
Off the field, more and more local businesses are using social media to get their message across and Clara said the Club Rossie business members receive great support in this regard.
“Social media is a relatively new thing and a lot of businesses are still trying to get their heads around it in a way. I think they can underestimate the power of it. When we have visiting teams coming to town it is a huge thing for businesses to be able to put their message out there and let people know they’re there.
“It’s an attraction for them to become a business member because they have that to fall back on. They might not have a social media manager or they may not know how to get that message out there in the right way in terms of tagging or timing of social media posts,” she said.
The use of social media presents its own challenges however, but Clara believes that it’s all about consistency.
“The challenge for us is to keep the message the same across all our platforms. There’s a danger the message can become muddled so our aim is create a real clean-cut output with everyone promoting the same thing.
“The team is super with Dave who is a head of business and Colm Beirne who was PRO for Roscommon GAA for a number of years. They really know their stuff and they’ve taken me under their wing,” she said.