Nearly everywhere you look, businesses around the world advertise their Facebook presence. Since launching an official Facebook Fan page in 2009, USA Wrestling has seen tremendous growth in the amount of readership and interaction from one of its numerous social media platforms.
On Tuesday, USA Wrestling's fan page went over 100,000, making it the third National Governing Body to do so. Currently, USA Wrestling is behind only U.S. Soccer and USA Hockey in total Facebook fans.
"It's a great day for USA Wrestling" said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender. "Having 100,000 followers is an indication that the wrestling community really supports our social media initiatives and looks at that page as a way to communicate effectively within wrestling."
The 100,000th Facebook fan for USA Wrestling was A.J. Cooper, an eighth grade wrestler from Kansas and an athlete member of USA Wrestling.
USA Wrestling has been using the Facebook page as a means to provide information out to the wrestling community, along with providing access to the digital edition of the USA Wrestler Magazine and live event webcasts.
Wrestling fans can get information, news and releases about all levels of wrestling instantaneously, further engaging the fanbase nationwide.
"I'm extremely pleased and to be quite honest, surprised at the growth we've seen from the Facebook platform" said USA Wrestling Coordinator of Grassroots and Social Media Jason Bryant. "In just under 16 months, we've grown from 6,500 fans to over 100,000. It shows the wrestling community wants content and they want to know the news when it happens."
In addition to posting event press releases, USA Wrestling informs fans of upcoming events, future USA Wrestling webcasts as well as news from around the country on the youth, high school and college levels.
"The toughest thing about keeping a fanbase engaged has been dealing with sometimes unannounced changes to the Facebook design" said Bryant. "We've been able to adapt with the times and while we're not pushing things away from TheMat.com, we've been able to push people towards it, and our other channels, like YouTube and Twitter. It really enables us to give the fans the information they seek."
While USA Wrestling has social media platforms with LinkedIn, Twitter and its own USA Wrestling Nation, the Facebook presence has raised traffic to videos and websites.
"Networking the wrestling community online is one of the four core business objectives of USA Wrestling" said Bender. "It is important for the organization to provide the platform for people to communicate. A networked wrestling community is a stronger wrestling community."
In addition to the current format, USA Wrestling will be adding user-submitted photos via the USA Wrestler Photo of the Month into the photo feed at the top of the Facebook page.
"We're working on constantly bringing more things for the fan and increase the exposure of wrestling on all levels through our media initiatives, which includes a heavy emphasis on Facebook" said Bryant.