Social Media for Tennis Clubs – Get a HUGE Following
Many tennis club owners struggle to capitalize on the value of social networking to engage new prospects and grow their bottom line. Social media for tennis clubs is often a once a month effort that pushes club information rather than targeted member interest. Social media has become such a pervasive part of our lives, having a professional social presence now feels like a mandatory part of good business strategy. However, just having an account is no longer enough. Competition is high and data and technology separate amateurs from experts. All-too-often enough – tennis club employees get stuck in the “busy work” of working their social network, which can suck endless amounts of time with little return.
Are you putting valuable effort and energy into your social channels, but aren’t seeing a quantifiable result for your business goals? Then it’s time to sharpen up your social targeting skills. You absolutely can identify and initiate opportunities over social media.
Digital research is a pre-requisite before you take any action. Marketing on social media for business is a whole lot different than posting pictures of what you ate for lunch to your friends and family. The founder of Tennis Club Marketing, Michael Volkin, literally wrote the book on social media lead generation. Here he outlines several tips to help you get that snowball of leads started. WARNING: This is time-consuming but it works! Social media takes a proper amount of planning as it does execution.
5 ways to better target tennis players via social media
- Channel Strategy
The first step is to be selective about where to put your efforts and why. Unless social media management is going to be your (or someone you hire’s) full-time job, it simply isn’t possible to be present and active everywhere. There are two main considerations for choosing which channels you focus on. The obvious first criterion is to select a channel where tennis players are active. In this case, Facebook and Instagram are the front-runners. But secondly, you should also keep an eye on breakout opportunities that align with your business objectives. For example, if the demographic of your tennis club are older players, or more business oriented players, you may want to make LinkedIn a priority.
Target Takeaway: Before you give a social channel your full effort, have a strategy, actionable goals and a solid understanding of why you want to be there in the first place.
- Profile Optimization
Your social basecamp should always be outfitted with the gear it needs to stand its ground in the wilds of social communities. This means that your profile should speak the right language, have the right look and have the ability to be found by the right people. Above all, Social media for tennis clubs should be about consistency across your profiles so that they speak to your brand and your mission accurately. Do this by:
- Assessing whether or not your social handles are the right ones to identify your brand. com lets you quickly search profile names across multiple channels if you want to secure consistent branding.
- Maintain a spreadsheet of profile addresses, information, images and when this was all last updated. A form like this social media audit template from Hootsuite can keep this easily organized. Perform regular checks to make sure everything is up-to-date.
- Select and feature keywords showcasing your industry, niche and specialties that you know your target audience use and search. Include an appropriate amount of #hashtags and site links in your profile descriptions to help you rank higher both in the channel’s internal search and via Google (as social sites sometimes rank higher in search results than your tennis club website).
- Have a clear call-to-action on each social profile – just one. Make it easy for interested prospects to get a hold of you, or to learn more about your club. Perhaps offer an interesting content download or video that speaks directly to potential customers who find you on social.
Target Takeaway: Treat your social profiles with as much respect as you do to anyone who calls your tennis club. Welcome visitors in as personalized a way as possible. Every digital impression counts.
- Influencer Targeting
Now it’s time to start smart outbound efforts for targeting tennis players. Social influencers are individuals with above-average audiences, engagement and value in the social sphere. They receive plenty of social shares and see a very effective return on their effort. Needless to say, locating and engaging social influencers in the tennis world can give you valuable exposure. Klout and Kred are two social influencer tools that rank people according to their social power. These services also provide content, tools and targeting options to help you find, reach and interact with influencers. The goal is to leverage their influence to give your visibility a boost when they reciprocate your outreach. There are a lot of ways to engage influencers. There are also handy tools that manage outreach to these influencers like Buzzstream and Pitchbox.
Target Takeaway: Learn who the influencers are in your city and in your tennis community and build a digital relationship. Social media for tennis clubs is not difficult compared to other industries, there are plenty of passionate tennis players out there!
- Follower Targeting
Social media influence is about growing an audience – but it’s not about growing for numbers alone. Growing the right audience is key for getting engagement with your posts, finding those important advocates and getting that share of voice among your competitors that you need for brand recognition. However, there’s no need to gain followers the old-fashioned, one-at-a-time way. Amplify your efforts with targeting automation using a service like Crowdfire. Social media engagement technology gives you a targeted way to find followers. You can search and add followers by relevant hashtag, or you can even copy followers of a competing club (more on that in a later blog post) who might find you relevant and interesting. After finding and adding followers, monitor them with the same app to keep active connections and drop inactive accounts that make your profiles appear less engaged.
Target Takeaway: Your audience is a living, breathing part of your strategy. If you commit to adding even just 25 targeted followers a week, you’ll see your audience grow significantly – and meaningfully – in return.
- Social listening
Finally, you’ll want to have a solid grasp on the overall social conversation that’s happening around your tennis club. This is where social listening comes in, and it is made easy with social media management programs like Hootsuite or Buffer. Set up feeds and/or dashboards that monitor platforms for keywords, hashtags or mentions of brands (including yours!) and schedule a few minutes each day to review the findings. The goal is to capitalize on opportunities to engage with subjects and trends that matter to tennis players in a timely way. You want to be a part of the conversation, instead of just responding to it – and you definitely want to know what talk is happening about you and your brand out there!
Target Takeaway: Endeavor to be at the center of the social conversations that matter most to your core audience, and use social tools to make it easy and effective.
Social Media for Tennis Clubs- A Solid Strategy…
…you just need to know who you’re looking to connect with on social media and why. Social media is not a fast track to converting strangers into members, but it does connect you with a local audience in a way that no other available technology can. Find your influencers and like-minded users and engage them in relevant conversations while representing your brand in a relatable and attractive light. After all, it’s still fundamentally networking – there are just more random videos of cats.