Social media provides a platform for direct communication between your members, prospects, employees, and admirers. Often, clubs use likes and followers to measure social media success. But this narrow and outdated focus misses the business opportunity of social media: it can be a key driver of content distribution and brand visibility online.
These social media platforms are tailor-made to share your stories. While the management of social media often falls under the umbrella of marketing, it's more about connection and storytelling.
However, when you use social media for private club marketing, you need to use the analytics that platforms provide and other tools, like HubSpot’s Social inbox, to measure the success of your social media efforts.
There is a wide array of social networks available, so you may feel pressured to be on multiple channels, but it’s important to have a well-defined social media strategy 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.
1. Facebook for Business
With more than 2 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. 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.
Integrate Facebook into your other online channels. Use Facebook’s social plug-ins (including the Like Box and Like Button) to encourage people to engage with your Facebook page without having to go to Facebook.com.
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. Share original and curated content. (See the next section for more information about personas.)
Use Facebook advertising to reach your target market. Use Facebook’s demographic targeting capabilities to 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.
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 for members and share your photos, member events and specials there.
Want to Learn More About Using Facebook for Business?
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
Instagram, the mobile photo-sharing network, is one of the most popular social media sites — with more than 1 billion active users. Instagram is great for growing brand awareness. Almost a third of adults in the U.S. are Instagram users and 70% of Instagram users have spent time looking up a brand on the platform. 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. Switch to Business Profile and link to your club Facebook account.
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.
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.
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.
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 280-character messages, and users can “follow” or subscribe to each other’s updates. While Twitter's user numbers are on the decline, there is still a very large active audience and many content creators have moved away from the platform, so it's a great opportunity to get in front of new people.
Some clubs, like those that host major events, are already household names and may have amassed a substantial following on Twitter.
This platform 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 growing your followers is to tweet around the clock. Tweet content you create, tweet 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 Business
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 relationships.
Just like with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, make your club easy to find on LinkedIn. Your goal is to maximize your visibility in search, establish your club as a leader by sharing news and content on your company page, and attract prospective members.
While LinkedIn might feel like it's not relevant for clubs, many of your members spend time on this channel, so it can be a great place to stay on their radar. Think about sharing content that aligns more with your member's jobs. 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 to achieving this 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 on your status. Target your organic updates to a specific audience by specifying 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. For membership or service offerings with unique messaging and audience segments, consider creating a dedicated LinkedIn Showcase Page.
Use LinkedIn Groups. Consider creating your own group and join other relevant groups as a way to participate in a discussion and demonstrate leadership.
Consider LinkedIn Advertising. Sponsored Updates are a form of LinkedIn Advertising that is really a great way to promote your valuable content to a very precise target audience based on clearly defined and up-to-date demographic information.
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.
Here are some great tools you can use to monitor your club and industry mentions in social media:
Google Alerts – Set up multiple Google Alerts for your club, brand, services, leaders, industry terms, etc. The alerts will get delivered directly to your email inbox at the frequency you indicate (e.g., daily or as they happen). 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 set up and monitor a live stream, so you won’t miss out on what’s being said about your club, your industry, and your services.
Social Inbox – In addition to providing the social monitoring functionality of a traditional social media management tool, HubSpot’s Social Inbox also connects to your contacts database, color-codes your members, clients and leads, and helps you prioritize your engagement, 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 when you post videos, information, and photos that don't link out to any page outside of that social media channel.
It makes sense when you think about it: social platforms make more money if they serve you more ads. 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.
It comes down to balance. Include native content to increase your page engagement rates but add some links to your site to focus more on lead conversion.
So, what can we, as marketers, do to make sure we get seen?
Utilize the Groups functionality. Groups are more interactive and allow for discussion and conversation. Because Groups are focused less on the “push” mentality of social, 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. Hey, at the end of the day, if you want more eyeballs to see your content, you might have to pay for it. Think about ways to maximize the reach of your best content by promoting it through the ads platforms. Just make sure that you are paying for visits to your site, not engagement on the platform.
Social media can feel like a big undertaking, but it is important to understand how the different channels can benefit your marketing strategy at large. Then, pick the key channels and tactics that best serve your club's needs. 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.