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Having a social media presence is essential for the growth of your club or membership organisation. 

It’s the easiest and most cost-effective way to reach potential members, engage with your community and advertise your facilities if you have them. And with the right strategy in place, you could achieve impressive growth without spending any money.

In this article, we take a look at how to create engaging social media content, and how you can make the most of the available tools and features.

Which social media platforms should I use?

There are lots of different social media platforms out there. Which one(s) you chose to build a presence on will depend on your audience, and what you want to achieve from your social media marketing. To help you decide, we’ve outlined the two most popular platforms:

Facebook: great for engaging with your members and building communities

  • Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world, with over two billion active users
  • Choose from private groups or fan pages. Private groups work well for safeguarding members or customers, while fan pages help you build awareness and gain interest from potential members. Take a look at LoveAdmin’s community groups here
  • Post a variety of updates such as photos, graphics, videos, links, carousels, polls, and slideshows. Content can be scheduled, making it easier to manage. You can also link to Instagram and post to both platforms at once
  • Broadcast live matches or classes, competitions, and tournaments so that no one misses out if they can’t make it
  • Use Facebook stories to reach users straight away as your content appears at the top of their news feeds

Instagram: great for reaching new members and attracting a young audience

  • Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform and is popular with the 25-34 age group
  • The focus is on posting visual content – photos, graphics, and short videos
  • Use up to 30 relevant hashtags per post to reach more users. For example, if you’re a sports club, you might want to tag posts with hashtags like #sportsclub #youthsports #training #competition #football #hockey #tennis #athletics and so on
  • Like Facebook, you can broadcast live matches or classes, competitions, and tournaments
  • Use Instagram stories to tag other accounts, ask questions via polls, and use stickers and emojis. These encourage interaction and add some fun to stories

Other social media platforms you could consider:

  • Twitter: Great for talking about trending topics and news. You can post tweets with up to 280 characters and add images, videos, emojis or linked content
  • YouTube: Great for reaching a very large audience with video-based content. ‘How-to’ videos perform particularly well
  • TikTok: Great for reaching a very young demographic (18-24). TikTok is a fairly new social media platform based on short-form videos and viral content

Whatever platform(s) you choose, make sure you have the resources to maintain and manage them. Social media accounts that have little or old content on them can have a negative effect on how your organisation is perceived.

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Getting started: What should I post?

With so many options available, you may find it challenging to decide what to post on your social media accounts.

Although it’s a good idea to plan your social media posts in advance if you can, spontaneous posts often perform very well as well – so don’t overthink it. Take a quick photo with your phone, add a short caption and post it in seconds.

Not sure if it’s post-worthy? Use Instagram or Facebook stories to post images or videos that disappear off your feed in 24hrs.

LoveSwimming Community Ambassador Clive Marquis says: “With Instagram, we have found that posting what we do in the pool, such as sets or swimmers doing fast swimming, really helps drive interest.”

Here are some content ideas to try: 

  • Posts about promotions / offers, free trials, open days etc
  • Links to your website and interesting news articles relevant to your sector
  • Photos and videos from training sessions (make sure you have permission from athletes and parents)
  • Weekly training highlights
  • Special mentions for athletes who are doing well
  • Staff introductions and updates
  • Talk about national days, sporting events, or trends
  • Event updates including results and wins
  • Training arrangements and cancellations
  • User-generated content – encourage members to tag your organisation in their posts. You could then ask permission to share the content on your own account

As you collate content, make sure it’s in the right format for your chosen social channels – see this useful guide on image sizes by Sprout Social.

Not much happening? Here are some ideas to fill your social media when it’s a little quieter:

Quizzes and polls

To keep everyone alert, test their knowledge with quizzes on your Instagram story. Similarly, you can use the poll feature on Facebook and Twitter to ask questions. These polls are a quick way to get feedback or ask your members what they want to see more of on your channel.

Q&As

Dedicate an hour every week around a specific topic that your members can send you questions about. You can let people submit questions on your Instagram story.

Twitter chats are also a good way to get a conversation going. These are conversations that take place on Twitter at a designated date and time. Give your Twitter chat a unique hashtag and include it in your tweets – this allows anyone on Twitter to follow along and even take part.

#ThrowbackThursday

Take part in the popular hashtag #ThrowbackThursday that circulates on social media every Thursday. Post past successes, a funny memory or a historic ‘did you know fact’.

Curated content

Keep your channels fresh by posting age-appropriate content from other sources a few times a week. Aim for a mix of YouTube videos, motivational facts, and blogs.

Social media takeover

Get in touch with a local influencer to see if they’d be interested in a social media takeover. This will involve them taking over your Twitter feed and/or Instagram story so your members can see what a day in their life is like.

Partner with other organisations

Getting your coaches and staff onto other organisations’ podcasts and YouTube videos is also a great way to promote their knowledge and your club. And this is what will attract athletes to programs. Athletes love to see and hear what coaches and teams are doing to see if they would like to train there or not.

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Track your social media growth

When you’re posting content regularly, it’s important to keep an eye on your social media performance.

Performance metrics you can track include:

  • Number of new followers a week/month
  • Interaction/comments with your posts or stories
  • Re-posts/shares -a key metric as it multiplies your reach!
  • Reach/impressions (how many people see your content)

Social media platforms have their own analytics dashboards where you can track performance. You could also create your own bespoke report in a spreadsheet or slide presentation.

Social media is a wonderful tool to help your club grow and engage with members. Follow these steps to manage your social media accounts successfully:

Do…

  • Use social media to keep your members up-to-date
  • Share live videos of competitions or tournaments
  • Post images and videos of your club to advertise your facilities
  • Have fun with emojis, stickers and GIFs
  • Use hashtags to make your content easy to find
  • Keep an eye on performance and identify which posts perform particularly well
  • Ask your members for feedback with polls
  • Let your personality shine through in your content, especially if you are the business owner

Don’t…

  • Flood your social media accounts with too much content – people don’t like spam
  • Leave long gaps between busy periods – post consistently
  • Post images or videos of your members without their consent
  • Allow negative comments to go unnoticed. Make sure harmful comments are responded to and – if needed – removed
  • Overthink what to post too much. You’ll learn as you go along
  • Post content that isn’t relevant to your audience or doesn’t match your brand. For example, be cautious about posting anything political as this could alienate your members
  • Ignore your insights – social media platforms offer free metrics that help you understand your performance

For more advice and tips for creating content for your club, take a look at our guide, The Importance of Creating Content

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