Tennis Industry magazine


Social Media: Shared Benefits

Reaching members and players with Facebook and other social platforms is a necessity for your business.

By John Torsiello

Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram or any other social-media channel, your tennis facility is at a disadvantage if you aren’t actively involved in these forms of modern communication.

“Clubs are 100 percent missing the boat if they aren’t heavily using social media on a daily basis,” says Eric Hechtman, head professional and tennis director at the Royal Palm Tennis Club in Miami. “Every business must adapt to new technologies and times.”

Royal Palm uses several forms of social media to communicate with all age groups. “Facebook is better for adults 30 and older,” notes Hechtman. “Instagram works great for teenagers to people in their 20s.”

It will take a little time out of your day to promote events on social media, but if you do it the right way, it is well worth the effort. Spending as little as 15 minutes a day can be effective in getting out your message.

Although Royal Palm Tennis Club doesn’t specifically target potential new members with social media, the residual effects on business have been noticeable. “As people see what our club is doing, it has brought in new memberships due to the activity on social media,” says Hechtman.

Matt Watson, membership and special events director at the TBarM Racquet Club in Dallas, uses social media extensively to communicate with his members.

“So many individuals rely on social media to access information on the go,” says Watson. “Emails are mostly lost or deleted, so targeting the membership with ‘push’ notifications and easily accessible information on our app and Facebook pages is key to promoting our club and its events. Pictures on Instagram also play a vital part in showing activity at our club to attract new members. We use Snapchat as well with our junior programs.”

Multi-Channel Marketing

“Going where the eyeballs are is paramount,” says Mel Carson, founder and principal strategist for Delightful Communications. “The explosion in social media over the past five years, accelerated by the smart phone becoming more ubiquitous and feature-rich, has made it a must for any integrated marketing effort.

“Your target audience expects to be informed across a number of different channels that might include your website, email newsletters and social media. Distributing your messages across various channels means there is a greater chance of people seeing and engaging with you.”

Carson believes that putting “unique content” on social media will increase engagement of current members, and increase the chances of their friends on Facebook, Twitter and other sharing platforms of also seeing that content.

“Fear of missing out is a huge driver of engagement on social media,” Carson says. “If friends of friends are exposed to videos, blog posts and images from your club, it will certainly increase awareness — and hopefully consideration to sign up.

“Imagery makes the world go ‘round,” adds Carson. “As the adage says, a picture is worth a thousand words, so photos, videos and graphics always work well on social media.”

Unique Content

In the past, tennis clubs have spent their marketing dollars on traditional forms of media, such as newspapers or perhaps sponsorships with local businesses. But, according to social media strategy consultant Neal Schaffer, “more and more eyeballs are on social media and the internet, so it makes sense to use those to promote events and increase attendance.”

If you are going to use Facebook to communicate with your members, give people reasons to visit by putting up “unique content and information they will be interested in,” says Schaffer. By digging deeper into paid social media marketing, a club can target specific age groups in its immediate area to maximize marketing dollars. But you have to know your target audience.

“If you are trying to reach teenagers, then Snapchat or Instagram are ideal,” says Schaffer. “If you are trying to reach parents or decision-makers, then Facebook might be the way to go.”

Visuals work great, whether photos showcasing events at your club or even a tennis lesson being taught. Tennis is an extremely visual sport, so take advantage of this to make your social media exciting and interesting.

“Start slowly and plan your content. You need to flesh out a content calendar of what you will post and when,” says Carson, who advises developing a social strategy. “The worst thing you can do is over-commit what and how often you are going to share. Be purposeful and dedicate time to it and social media will pay dividends.”



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