In the long history of club marketing, websites are a fairly new tool. Think about it, when did you realize that your club needed a website? 2005?...
Social media provides a platform for direct communication between your members, prospects, employees, and admirers. Most clubs use their average likes and follower count to measure social media success, but this narrow and outdated focus misses a huge business opportunity: social media can be a key driver of content distribution and brand visibility online – when done right.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are tailor-made to share your stories. While social media management often falls under the private club marketing umbrella, it's more about connection and storytelling. However, when you use social media for private club marketing, you need to use analytics to measure success – analytics provided by each platform and other tools, like HubSpot’s Social inbox.
There is a wide array of social networks available, so you may feel pressured to be on multiple channels. No matter where you focus your effort, it’s important to have a well-defined social media strategy and a commitment to consistency to get the most out of your efforts. Here, we’ll focus on the four that can be most relevant for clubs: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Facebook for Clubs
With 2.7 billion monthly active users, Facebook remains the most popular social network in the world. From a marketing perspective, Facebook serves as a powerful platform for building a community of advocates and increasing word-of-mouth marketing. In order to grow your Facebook fan base, you need to make your company page on Facebook as discoverable as possible. Here are a few things you can do to help make that happen:
Fill out your company information completely. In addition to your location, contact information, and hours of operation, be sure to include an overview of what your business offers as well as a link to your website.
Invite existing contacts to like your page. Reach out to your friends, family, and existing members and clients and ask them to “like” your page on Facebook. You may be surprised at how many people on your friends list – and your members' friends lists – are interested in following your club.
Integrate Facebook into your other online channels. Use Facebook’s social plug-ins (including the Like Box and Like Button) on your blogs and website pages to encourage people to engage with your page without having to find you on Facebook.
Add value by sharing content. If you’re in tune with your buyer personas – representations of your ideal customers – you'll have a good idea of what resonates with your audience. Even if you've found relevant content created by someone else, share your own content like blogs and member and staff stories more often than reposts. (See the next section for more information about personas.)
Use Facebook advertising to reach your target market. Facebook’s demographic targeting capabilities can help you reach people who are likely to be interested in your club. Use content-based ads that appeal to your personas and link back to your website, where you can capture their information to create a new lead.
Leverage Facebook Groups for engagement. Groups on Facebook are a great way to increase engagement with a specific group from your club. Consider creating a group just for members and share your photos, member events, and specials there.
Want to Learn More About Using Facebook Business for Clubs?
Download HubSpot’s free guide, How to Attract Customers with Facebook, which will help you master your organic and paid Facebook playbook to get more traffic, leads, and members.
Instagram for Clubs
With more than 1 billion active users (almost half them heavy users), Instagram is great for growing your club's brand awareness. Instagram allows you to promote your club and culture in a friendly, authentic way without directly selling. Here are some tips for creating an Instagram account for your club:
Build a complete Instagram account. Choose a recognizable username and profile pic consistent with your branding. Optimize your 150 character bio and be sure to include a link to your website. Switching to an Instagram Business Profile lets you link it to your club Facebook account so you can run ads and monitor user trends seamlessly across both platforms.
Invite existing contacts to follow you. Reach out to your friends, family, and existing members and clients and ask them to follow you.
Integrate Instagram into your other online efforts. Include an Instagram social share button on your website, especially for your most shareable photos.
Share original content. Share content that resonates with your ideal personas and uses hashtags that are meaningful to them. Be sure to interact with people who engage with your content. Like their comments, respond to their direct messages, and get friendly with the people interested in your club. (Learn more about social listening in the section below.)
Get more followers. Make sure your username is recognizable and searchable, and optimize your profile. Post content and encourage others to share it. Follow relevant accounts, popular hashtags, and interact with interesting content to get your account seen and followed.
Want to Learn More About Using Instagram for Clubs?
To learn more about how to create captivating visuals, grow your following, and drive engagement, visit HubSpot’s comprehensive Instagram Marketing guide.
Twitter for Clubs
Twitter is a social network on which people share messages with the world, 280 characters at a time. As of February 2021, there are 192 million active daily users on Twitter, including a majority 35 to 65-year-olds – i.e., the target audience of many private clubs.
Twitter is great for live sharing during major events or creating a niche following for things like golf tips, equipment recommendations, and other short-form content.
For the vast majority of clubs, there are well-established tactics to attract quality followers for your club’s Twitter account:
Create and optimize your Twitter profile. Let potential followers know who you are, and provide a reason you're worth following.
Tweet 24/7. Your greatest tactic for being found and growing your follower count is to tweet around the clock. Tweet content you create, retweet content created by others, and tweet that content more than once!
Make tweets visual. Take the time to create great visuals and add them to your tweets. It pays off in engagement, conversion, and click-through rates.
Want to Learn More About Growing Your Twitter Following?
Download HubSpot’s Kit, How to Get More Twitter Followers, and learn about the tactics you should be focusing on in order to quickly grow your Twitter following.
LinkedIn for Clubs
LinkedIn is a popular social network for professionals. Use it to engage with both prospective members and clients as well as prospective employees. This platform is ideal for sharing knowledge and building professional relationships.
Just like with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you need to make your club easy to find on LinkedIn. Your goals are to maximize your visibility in search, establish your club as a knowledge leader by sharing news and content, and attract prospective members by connecting with their needs and interests.
What makes LinkedIn worthwhile for clubs is that many of your prospective members (including high earners and executives) spend time on LinkedIn, so it can be a great place to stay on their radar. Think about sharing content that aligns more with your member's careers and business goals than their day-to-day lifestyles. Here are a few ideas:
How to work remotely at your club
Using your golf membership to grow your business
10 types of meetings you should host at a country club
The four cornerstones of a solid LinkedIn presence for your club are your Company Page, Showcase Pages, LinkedIn Groups, and LinkedIn Advertising.
Optimize your club description on your Company Page. Use a compelling, high-quality logo and banner image. Complete all fields in your Company Specialties and use keywords. Write a concise and powerful brand description that includes the right keywords.
Update your page regularly with a variety of content. Include your blogs, images, and videos. Be sure to reply to comments from other users. Target your organic updates to a specific audience by choosing a target audience within LinkedIn.
Promote your page to staff and members. Encourage them to share and comment on the page and the content on it.
Use Showcase Pages to highlight different aspects of your club. Showcase Pages are subsets of your Company Page that let you detail membership or service offerings with unique messaging and audience segments. Visitors can find and follow them right from your Company Page if they're interested in a particular aspect of your club.
Use LinkedIn Groups. Join relevant LinkedIn groups with lots of members (both other clubs and prospective members) as a way to participate in relevant discussions and demonstrate leadership in your space.
Consider LinkedIn Advertising. Sponsored Updates and LinkedIn Ads can help you promote your content to a very precise target audience based on specific demographics like career level, industry, and professional interests.
Want to Learn More About Getting Started with LinkedIn?
Download HubSpot’s free guide, How to Create the Perfect LinkedIn Company Page.
The Art of Social Listening
An important part of leveraging social media for your club is to understand what conversations are happening online and recognizing when you should respond. It's called social listening, and it's where you can have some of the most meaningful interactions with your audience through social media.
Here are some great tools you can use to monitor your club and industry mentions in social media:
Google Alerts – Set up Google Alerts for your club, brand, services, leaders, industry terms, etc. The alerts will get delivered directly to your email inbox, and they are a great way to track mentions of your club and relevant keywords on the web.
Social Media Management Tools – Tools like HubSpot’s Social Monitoring, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social allow you to watch multiple social media feeds at once, so you won’t miss out on what’s being said about your club, your industry, and your services.
Social Inbox – In addition to social monitoring, HubSpot’s Social Inbox also connects your social media followers list to your contacts database. Here, you can color-code and prioritize your members, clients, and leads so you can focus your time on the conversations that are most important to your club.
Making the Switch to Native Content
It's natural as a marketer to always want to link content on your social media channel back to your website. However, it’s no secret that social media algorithms favor native content on their sites.
Native content is any post that doesn't take users away from that social channel. Native content can be videos, photos, and prompts for engagement. Of course, the concept of native content is driven by advertising revenue (for example: the longer a user is on Facebook, the more likely they are to click a Facebook ad), but it's a useful tool for page owners, too.
When you click on a post that leads you to another site, the chances that you’ll come back and keep scrolling right away are low. The point of native content is to give the user content that leaves an impression but doesn't remove them from your overall social presence. The longer a user is on your page, the more likely they are to like, share, and invite friends.
It comes down to balance. Include native content to increase your page engagement rates, but add some links to your site to focus on lead conversion.
So what can you do as a club to be seen on social?
Utilize social media groups wisely. No matter what platform you're on, groups are interactive and allow for more relationship-building. Because groups are focused more on creating conversations and less on letting Pages push their content, they haven't been penalized the same way pages have in the algorithm.
Create and post native content for your target social media channel. Drive most of your traffic and leads from LinkedIn? It might be time to think about how you can publish more native content that keeps people on the LinkedIn platform.
Consider boosts and promotions. At the end of the day, if all you want is for more eyeballs on your content, paying for ad space can fast-track it. Think about ways to maximize the reach of your best content by promoting it through the ads platforms. (Just make sure you're paying for visits to your site, not engagement on the platform itself.)
Social media can feel like a big undertaking for private clubs, but it's also a land of opportunity. Understand how each platform can benefit your marketing strategy at large, then pick the tactics that best serve your club's needs and deliver on them regularly and consistently. Without a dedicated social media manager, it's unlikely you'll be able to accomplish all of these tactics, so focus on the ones you think will drive the best results.
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