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10 tips for using Social media

Wednesday, 7 September 2011 - Posted by Danny Lamoureux

Matt Hames has created a list of 10 tips to get your club’s social media presence up and running. This powerful ‘awareness’ option is a valuable one and it should be leveraged to help build the business at the community level.  Good luck with it and we will watch for your presence in this ‘social’ world!!

10 Tips For Using Social Media
by Matt Hames

Wading into the fast-moving flow of social media can be daunting to a curling club manager with very little time on their hands. It can be daunting. Here’s a list of ten things to think about before entering social media.

1. Tell the story of your curling facility.
Because multimedia is so integral to social media, getting connected allows you to express the best parts of the game specific to your club. This might simply mean going to Google and searching for your facility. When you find results, see how people see your club. Are the best attributes coming to the forefront?

But more importantly, the tools listed here are meant to show off what you know. This isn’t about creating an online brochure that is a website. This is more about using images, video, words, and other social media tools to prove that a night out once a week is worth the time and expense. We all agree it is.

2. Harness your uniqueness.
Chances are your club is full of people who love the game and love to talk about the game. Video is pretty easy. Interview your players on a weekly basis and post them to YouTube (see: creating a YouTube channel). If your club has history, ask them about it. Ask them why they curl.

3. Put members’ content to work.
Want to draw more traffic to your content? Help spread the word by encouraging visitors to share their experiences. Most of your membership is on Facebook. As example, post a flyer telling them to post their scores on Facebook.

4. See what people are saying about you or your category.
A place to start is a simple Google Alert. Create them for you, your club, and your category. When Google finds something, it sends you an e-mail. On top of that, you can do some quick searches for mentions of your club on Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp. These can lead to a gold mine of information about your club.

5. Videotape the action.
We have high definition cameras on our phones. A portable HD camera runs between $100 and $200. You should videotape the first games of the year, and the last ones. At worst, this can be on a loop on the TV when rentals come in. Then they can see people like them playing an actual game.

6. Target your online advertising.
Facebook and LinkedIn allow businesses to run ads that attract specific groups of users based on what information they included in their profiles. As example, by running Facebook ads targeted at students at specific colleges, you could potentially attract new curlers. Join local online ethnic groups on LinkedIn, and suggest your club as a meeting place.

7. Let your best players work for you.
Think of social media as a giant word-of-mouth opportunity. Your goal is to give as many of your members the opportunity to give you good word-of-mouth. If you create a YouTube channel, ask people to subscribe. If you create a Facebook page, ask people to like it.

8. Encourage contributions.
Most of your members have a high definition camera on their phone or in their pocket. Encourage them to film the table after the game. Create a mini-promotion whereby the best videos each month get a $30 credit. Let the members vote.

9. Don’t over-promote.
While social network users have proven to be open to marketing — especially if it involves a discount — they’re not flocking to Facebook or Twitter to hear sales pitches. Most of your membership in social media will come from members. Instead of selling them, think about giving them the tools to sell curling to their friends.

10. Don’t focus just online.
None of this is meant to stop you from picking up the phone, or going to local events. Think about renters. If you could get them to a YouTube channel or a Facebook page, what would you tell them? Would it be better to let members tell them about the game?



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