Social Media: How to Launch Your Social Business
Being on Facebook, Twitter and other sites can be the boom your business is looking for.
By Richard Dedor
We all know that for many players, tennis is a social experience, as well as an athletic one. That’s where social media comes in. Yes, as a tennis provider, you still need to have a website. But being on Facebook, Twitter and other sites can be the boom your business needs to take a leap forward. But how do you get started?
Define Your Goals
Being on any social network takes a commitment, but it doesn’t have to become a hassle. What are your goals? Some of the goals of being on a social network for a business can be brand recognition, experience expansion, product launches and sales. Of course there are many others, but those are the main reasons.
No matter your motivation, you have to know the reasons and goals as that will dictate where you spend the most time.
Once you decide which social platforms are best for your goals, then it is just a matter of doing it and not quitting. Before launching any community publicly, make it look 100 percent complete and active. That means all your images should be quality and representative of your brand.
Don’t launch a newsletter as just text and full of misspellings. Now is the time to build the templates so that it is easy moving forward. If you are using Facebook, make sure you have a great cover photo and profile image. Also, include your phone number and hours of operation if applicable. You would be amazed how many businesses forget that and don’t realize the business they are losing.
Just like players test different strokes and strings, the same goes for social media. If you’re not seeing the results you want, make some changes. Every audience is different in relation to what types of content they want socially and you must meet them there.
Do not be afraid to change it up. On Facebook, try pictures. And try videos. And try text updates. Try different times of the day and days of the week. The key thing is to use moderation. Each time you push out a message, no matter if it is Facebook, Twitter or some other platform, you are, in effect, interrupting someone.
That said, own it. Be who you are. That’s the ultimate beauty and simplicity of social media for people and businesses. If you are authentic, you can and will be successful.
Which Social Network is Right for You?
- Facebook: You don’t have to be on Facebook. But if your target audience is 13- to 35-year-olds, you need to be. Once you know that, set your goals and get creative. The more creative, the better on the penultimate social network.
- Twitter: People still think Twitter asks, “What are you doing?” That is simply not the truth. Twitter is much more about sharing great content and engaging around that content. Head to Twitter.com and search “Tennis.”
- Google+: Even a year after its launch, Google+ is slow to grow. But if you have a website, a physical location or a store, you should at least be on Google+ and engaging in related conversations. Why? It helps with search.
- Instagram: Tennis, and sport in general, is visual. Use Instagram to take photos of your events, your space and the community. It can start slowly, but it’s a fun way to stay in front of your customers.
- Pinterest: If you goal is primarily to sell, begin to use Pinterest. Be sure to pin things from your online store, but provide a creative context. You can’t just say, “Buy me!” And be sure to spread the love to others, too!
Richard Dedor, a former Tennis Service Representative for the USTA Missouri Valley Section, is a social media consultant, speaker and personal coach. His work has appeared in Sports ‘n Spokes Magazine, The Community Manager and SocialFresh. You can find him online at RichardDedor.com and on Twitter @RichardDedor. He has written one book, “Anything is Possible.”
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