Understanding Audience Needs and Maximising Social Media Presence
When working with social media, it’s important to consider the reason you’re using it. Whether your page exists as a notice board for your facility, an interactive community for your customers, or a space for you to promote sales messages, having a solid reason for the use of social media can help you understand the type of content you need to produce, as well as figuring out which platform is best suited for your business.
There are several factors involved when it comes to determining the reason you use social media as a part of your brand. When looking into these factors, it’s important to consider the ways that your audience is engaging with your content. We’re going to look at the different reasons someone might follow your page, and what sort of content will resonate with each audience.
I want information and updates on the business
A significant number of your audience on social media will be following your pages to stay informed of news and updates from your business. Some examples of updates that this audience might be looking for include new activities at your centre, development updates, and opening times.
If most of your audience is made up of those looking for updates on your business, having regular content is important to maintain their engagement. Content such as a weekly update post or a link to a newsletter can be helpful.
I’m researching before making a buying decision
This type of consumer presents a very real sales opportunity for your business. Whether they are new or existing customers, they provide an opportunity for you to showcase your products and facilities, as well as your brand’s personality. Sales messages can work with this type of audience, but it’s important to remember that sales messages should be posted with a degree of caution; too many can push potential customers away. Some places to start with sales content are product advertisements, showcasing your facilities, and promotions of discounts or offers.
A good way to avoid the over-use of sales messages is using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, which allows your organic posts to focus on customer retention and service communications. This can help to reduce the number of sales posts on your page – keeping important sales messages current and on the screens of relevant audiences and leaving space for other content. PPC does can also be a very effective tool in awareness campaigns, as well as for use in driving sales.
I’m a current customer and want to show support to the business
Current customers that want to show support for your business are an invaluable part of your social media presence. Not only can they help to boost engagement on your channels, but they offer an opportunity to spread awareness of your business at next to no cost. For this audience, awareness campaigns can be very beneficial. ‘Like and share’ competitions are a great way of spreading awareness, and those that want to show support are likely to get involved.
Polls can be another great way of engaging with this audience. They offer both a way for your customers to get interactive with your page and can also provide valuable feedback about your products and services. For example, you might ask ‘What’s a fitness class you’d love to see added to our timetable?’.
Now that you’ve got your audience members nailed down, what else can you do to suit their needs and keep them engaged?
Keeping content balanced for your audience
It’s important to keep a good balance across your social media content. Ensuring that you have a good mixture of content will keep your social media presence fresh and interesting, and by looking at the behaviour of your audience you can determine which types of content are worth the most attention. For example, if customers are interacting more with posts about updates in what’s happening in the local community, this sort of content should be used regularly. If polls are getting no attention, other methods of engaging content might be worth considering.
Types of content and different social media platforms
Once you have a good understanding of the types of audience your following is made up of and the type of content you want to post, you will be able to maximise your social media presence by using different social media platforms. It’s important to remember that each social media platform serves a different and unique purpose; we’ll look at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, and consider how each platform is appropriate for different types of content.
Facebook is used for social networking, connecting with others, sharing information, and forming communities. It has more of a communal feel that other social media platforms and can be a great choice of platform for content focused around updates on your business, as well as awareness content.
Instagram is used for sharing image and video content, as well as some ‘disappearing content’ such as polls and stories, which are erased from the platform after a certain period – usually 24 hours. It is a good choice for sharing updates on your business if the content isn’t too text heavy. It can also be a great platform for showcasing your facilities through high quality images to give an impressive introduction.
Twitter is used to communicate through short text-based messages, with the option to include images, videos, and links. This isn’t the platform for wordy or complicated content; it’s best suited for content that can be condensed into short text accompanied by images. Once again, it can be a good platform for sharing updates on your business, but it can also be a great choice for sales messages.
Whilst not often considered a social media channel, YouTube allows for comments, likes, dislikes, and subscribers – sound familiar? You can build a community on YouTube, using video to bring your brand and services to life. Posting product updates, opening times, meet the team, and sales messages can all be done through video.
Having a solid understanding of the reason you want to use your social media combined with a knowledge of the audience that you’re dealing with is a working formula to maximise the potential of your social media presence. We can help you understand the needs of your audience and can show you how you can use different social media platforms to help your business’s online presence reach its full potential.
Get in touch today to arrange a social media audit or to discuss our social media management services.
Social Media Champions
Quick question: who leads your social media strategy? You may be lucky enough to have a dedicated social media team, but many leisure operators do not. Your marketing manager may take the lead and direct individuals to post content, but some may not even have a marketing manager. Regardless of your team structure, creating a group of social media champions is essential in delivering a truly engaging social experience for your customers. The champions role may vary, from creating and posting content to monitoring and reporting on activity, but here are some tips for creating this dynamic team.
Enthusiasm for social media engagement
Recruit the right people into this role. It goes without saying that some people just are not cut out for it – and they’ll probably happily admit it themselves. Look for team members who are active on their own social channels. Does anyone have their own YouTube channel? Has someone got a decent following on TikTok? This can often be younger members of staff, but we’re creating a team, so aim for a combination of life experiences, commercial focus, engaging personalities, and social media experience.
Aligned to company brand values
Your social channels are at the forefront of communication with your local community, even more so through lockdowns and periods of closure. Your branding, values, aims, and objectives should steer the content and dictate the social media channels use. Don’t simply replicate your website’s content and styling. Social media is meant to be social by definition, so encourage conversations, be humorous, ask questions, and drive engagement.
Plan Content in Advance
Inevitably there are times when content needs to be reactive, but 80% of your content should be mapped out the month before. This allows the whole team to get involved and contribute to the plan. If junior members of the team are creating and posting content, then planning ahead means that proposed content can be drafted and screened by an editor before posting.
Define the Goals
Your core values will help answer this question, but what are your objectives for having social media channels? What does a successful social channel look like for your brand? There is plenty of data to analyse in Facebook’s insights, but choosing 4 or 5 key metrics to monitor each month will help keep everyone focussed on the goals. Here are our 4 suggestions for insights you should be monitoring:
Post Reach – how large is the audience that you’re engaging with
Post Engagement – how engaging is your content
Message Response Time – how responsive are you to inbound messages
Review Score – what are your customer saying about you and your brand
Time and Resources
A big barrier to operators having successful social media channels is a lack of dedicated time given to the task. We started this article by accepting that not everyone has a dedicated social media team, but choosing the right social media champions often results in these characters voluntarily giving up their time to contribute to the process. However, giving your social media champion a few hours each month to create content, schedule content, and report on activity is an investment worth making.
Other resources need to be made available to your champions:
Posting Platform – if you operate more than 3 social media channels then it’s worthwhile investing in a platform like Hootsuite or eClincher
Video and image library – posts with video get over 10x more engagement than simple text posts, so allow your social media champions access to libraries of your own stock of footage and images
Technology – champions will need access to the appropriate devices so they can post on your channels, e.g. Instagram is designed to be a mobile-only channel, so your team will ideally need to be posting from a mobile device and not a PC or laptop.
Building a team of social media champions will provide larger organisations with the confidence to create bespoke channels per local facility. Every business should have a company channel, but consider whether the public will affiliate themselves with that profile. Take a moment to consider if you and your friends follow your local leisure centre or club – would you follow a brand as well? We advocate setting up channels linked to a local centre or club. This means that content can focus on the local community while still sharing stories and updates from the company-wide activity.
If you decide to create a social media champion, then agree what that role entails and what is possible in the allocated time given to them. One key area to consider is how, and if, they are responsible for responding to incoming messages. Handling inbound enquiries should be a task shared amongst the team with access to your channels and who have had some training. These staff could also be classed as social media champions, expanding your team of people focussed on your social activity.
Who do you listen to most when it comes to purchasing a new product or service? The brand or the happy customer? It has become so simple for customers to share their experiences on multiple online platforms and there is a wealth of information out there for us to see when it comes to buying that new TV, car, latest gadget or joining a local gym. Did you know that 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business?
Long gone are the days when we just go to our nearest shop and buy what we need – research is key, and online reviews often come top of the list in that research. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of customer reviews and here are a few reasons why they can be so great for your business…
Trust in a brand is of utmost importance when it comes to purchasing from a new company so how does a new customer know they can trust you? You can tell them how great you are until you’re blue in the face, but if your happy customers tell everyone how great you are then that means so much more! In fact, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they do a personal recommendation and 77% of consumers say that a positive review makes them trust a business more.
2. SOCIAL PROOF
There is no doubt that a business with a lot of positive or 5* reviews will get more sales than a business with less or no reviews. If you see that lots of people think that buying from a particular business is a good idea then you are far more likely to go along with the crowd and buy from them too.
Without going into the depths of SEO (we’ll leave that for another day) regular positive reviews are looked on favourably by search engines and will help your business appear higher in rankings. Not only does this help people see your business they are more likely to click because they will see that your website is a leader in your area and therefore more trustworthy. More reviews will also help with keyword content, another thing that will help your SEO and improve your online visibility.
4. INCREASED SALES
We can’t 100% promise that you will suddenly start hitting all your targets if you get some good online reviews, however, studies have shown that improving your star rating and getting more online reviews can have a positive effect on your bottom line. In fact, customers are likely to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews.
5. BETTER CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT
Having lots of online reviews is one thing but what you do with them is another entirely. They are, in fact, a great opportunity for you, as businesses, to get great interaction with your happiest and most loyal customers…the ones that are so important to you and your biggest raving fans! You can comment on and thank people for great reviews, you can even treat them to a freebie from time to time. Let other people see that there is a lot to be gained from saying nice things about you! Similarly, for those that might not be so happy, it gives you a great opportunity to deal with a poor review and a negative experience that a customer may have had. To show people that you care about your customers and take note and act on their concerns.
6. SPREAD THE LOVE
Increasing positive reviews on your own websites or Facebook pages is important but spreading that love and getting people talking about your business far and wide is what you need. Big review sites such as Trip Advisor and Yelp are hugely influential in expanding your company’s online reach and getting more people finding out about the great things you are doing. Make sure your customers are aware that they can leave reviews about you in multiple places.
7. REVIEWS BREED REVIEWS
It appears that when a business has some reviews already, people are more encouraged to leave their own reviews. Almost like a crowd mentality people feel confident to leave positive feedback when others have left similar comments before them.
TA6 have a wealth of experience in interpreting and acting on the data created from our clients’ digital marketing campaigns, and we’d love to share our knowledge with you. To find out more about our PPC advertising services or for a free audit of your marketing activity please fill in your details below.
Error: Contact form not found.
Among the many positives of the insurgence of digital marketing is, without a doubt, the invaluable data that it provides us with. We all know that data is invaluable – why else would people be so fiercely protective over it? – but do you know why? How can we use the data left in the wake of people’s virtual actions to enhance both our digital advertising activities and the success of our businesses? We’d like to share with you 5 crucial pieces of data used by marketers to analyse the performance of digital adverts.
1. Click-through rate / CTR
Arguably the most important piece of data of them all, this little number represents the percentage of people who clicked on the advert having seen it. When you know how to use it, the CTR can tell you how well your advert is being received, whether it’s aimed at the right audience, and how tantalising your call-to-action is.
Whilst it is, of course, important for people to see your advert, a high amount of people having seen it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s been successful. If your overall objective is for people to sign up for a free day pass to your gym, the number of impressions that your advert has received is almost irrelevant. Of most importance is the number of clicks and the click-through rate.Read More
In this short article I’ll be introducing the concept of advertising on social media channels using a pay-per-click (PPC) strategy. I find the majority of advertising in leisure revolves around fitness memberships with some marketing also directed towards swimming lessons, courses and a few other activities. I’ll be using memberships as an example to show how you can start to use PPC advertising for your facilities.
Traditional, or offline, marketing focuses on leaflet distribution, newspaper adverts, outreach events, posters, roadside banners, radio advertising, etc. Many leisure operators find it difficult to track the effectiveness of these advertising channels but continue to invest in them year after year. What’s your go-to channel of choice? What has always given you guaranteed returns for your investment? Tricky to answer isn’t it? Because we often rely on a inefficient tracking methods and anecdotal evidence from years of experience.
So what if there were ways to monitor the effectiveness of your advertising AND guarantee returns? As you’re reading an article on digital advertising you can probably guess where this is going!
Digital advertising opportunities exist on many channels including Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter to name a few. We’ll focus on Facebook for now and I’m sure you can read about Google advertising in another of my articles in the future.
Facebook has been around since 2004, generates over $40billion of revenue each year and has 30,000 employees worldwide. It offers advertising through its Facebook Ads platform and as it also owns Instagram you can schedule adverts on that channel too.
Facebook Ads are shown to a user in a variety of ways, the most common being the mobile newsfeed, i.e. when you’re on Facebook on your phone and you’re scrolling through the newsfeed you will see ‘sponsored’ posts appearing.
One of the huge benefits of digital advertising is the targeting options available to marketeers when placing their adverts. Facebook allows you to target users based on location, gender, age, interests and a few other demographic traits. For example, if you want to promote a new class membership you might want to target 25-50yr old females living within 5km of a centre who have “gym, fitness, dance and exercise” interests. Your adverts would then only be displayed to this group of individuals when they’re on Facebook, regardless of whether they follow your page or not.
The next benefit of Facebook Ads is that most advertisers will probably use a pay-per-click strategy. This is exactly what it says on the tin – you only pay Facebook when someone clicks on your advert. So if you’re advert to female class users gets zero interactions, you won’t pay Facebook a penny and yet your advert will have been seen by lots of potential customers. However, don’t go celebrating the free advertising yet as there must be a reason why nobody clicked on your advert – wrong image, no specific call-to-action, poor offer, wrong audience?
The quality of your advert is obviously important when planning a digital campaign, but the real effectiveness of your advertising is probably based more on the outcome from where people are directed. I should say at this point that there is an alternative to PPC which is CPM (cost-per-thousand) and is based on displaying your adverts to an audience and charging you for every 1,000 impressions. This is useful for awareness advertising when you have no obvious destination to send people to. However, if you do have a landing page to send ‘clicks’ to then make sure it is mobile-friendly (over 85% of advert traffic tends to be on mobile devices), provides information on the subject that caused the user to click, captures data if appropriate and uses video and images to be attractive yet informative.
So how much does a ‘click’ cost then? In our experience a typical click is around 30p. But this can fluctuate from a few pence to over £1 depending on a range of factors. The size of your target audience, the quality of your advert, your budget and the length of the campaign can all have an effect on your spend. However, when setting up an advert Facebook does give an indication of how many clicks you are likely to receive based on your targeting criteria. And you are always in control of your budget so you can set a daily limit of say £5 so once your advert has received enough clicks to spend your £5 then the adverts won’t be displayed any more.
Alongside setting a daily limit you can also limit the length of time your campaign runs for. So you can setup an advert that runs for a week with a daily limit of £5 per day. At the end of the week you should have gained approximately 115 clicks to your website of choice (£5 x 7 days / 30p average cost-per-click). If the campaign is working well then at any time you can extend the duration or daily spend, or alternatively if you are not getting the results then you can pause or stop the campaign.
Through years of experience and regular contact with our Facebook account manager we have developed an expertise within TA6 that is hard to match in the leisure industry. Our adverts have been seen by almost 20% of the UK adult population and we have created over 1500 Facebook campaigns to date.
To find out more about our PPC advertising services or for a free audit of your marketing activity please complete your details below.
- July 2023
- June 2023
- February 2023
- November 2022
- October 2022
- September 2022
- August 2022
- July 2022
- June 2022
- May 2022
- March 2022
- February 2022
- November 2021
- September 2021
- July 2021
- June 2021
- May 2021
- March 2021
- February 2021
- January 2021
- December 2020
- November 2020
- August 2020
- July 2020
- May 2020
- April 2020
- March 2020
- October 2019
- September 2019
- January 2019
- December 2018
- June 2018