Facebook Activities that Drive Interaction
Not too long ago, a couple of years perhaps, Facebook was still not part of the marketing mix for each and every club in America. By now, I would venture to say that it is part of the mix for 99 percent of clubs. We all know that it is great for communicating with our members and feeds the retention machine by making them feel connected to the club and one another. This blog will not be about why you should use Facebook, but rather I want to share with you five fun and funky ways we encourage interaction on our Facebook page.
But first, a little background on our page development. We began our page in May of 2009 and it grew organically over the first year to about 900 fans by May of 2011. I would call that moderate growth. We did this with about a 50/50 mix of promotional information and “content.” I call content anything that is not directly promotional. Experts recommend a mix that leans more heavily on the content side. I do agree with this, and over time we have tried to increase our content to well over 50 percent and closer to 70 percent.
In May of 2011 we made a real commitment to social media, hired a new staffer to handle it and grew to 1,800 fans in the span of one more year by May of 2012. From May of 2012 until today we have grown to over 2,500 fans on Facebook. I believe that our commitment to the fun and funky attitude that we have developed over the past six months towards our Facebook has been a determining factor in our growth.
Here are five fun and funky Facebook activities that you can implement now to grow your page:
1) Cover picture: To keep your page fresh, change your cover picture every two weeks or every month. Alternate your cover picture between pictures that your members submit and pictures that you want to feature. Set it up by asking your members to submit a cool picture of something that relates to the club. You select the pictures you like and put them in the cover spot on your page with the member’s name embedded in the picture to give them credit. You can announce it in a posting on the page and in your newsletter as well. I have included a picture of the NAC with a rainbow over it that a member submitted that actually gave us the idea.
2) Travel pictures: Give all of your members a magnet with your club logo on it. Car magnets work well for this. Ask them to submit a picture, via e-mail or Facebook, which is taken of them at a very cool or unique location anywhere in the country or the world while they are holding the magnet next to them. Post it randomly or as often as you like, acknowledging the member and their enthusiasm. We are also forming these pictures into an album that can be viewed easily on an ongoing basis without sifting through the posts.
3) Post tips spread out over several days: This strategy works very well to keep people coming back each day to see the tip. If you post all tips at once, they will read them once, but spreading tips out makes members curious, and assures they will return the next day. We have great success with this and look for interesting articles online to give us resources. One website that has proven helpful is www.everydayhealth.com. Here is a fun example of an article: “Odd Things That Make You Fat.” We posted each of the 10 tips on a different day, with the picture provided from the website, to create interest and ask our fans to like the posting if this was their issue. The response was stellar, generating 15–30 responses every day. Here is the link to the article in case you want to start with this one .
4) Funny and Freaky Fitness Pictures: At least once a week we post a funny or unusual picture that relates to fitness. We got this idea when we came across a picture of a baby doing one arm push-ups. It was so incredibly cute that we couldn’t resist posting it. We look for them ourselves and we have members sending them to us now.
5) Favorite breakfast: We posted a cool article on choosing a good breakfast to start off your day. The article encouraged people to think outside of the “breakfast box” and know that they could eat any food for breakfast; it didn’t have to be “breakfast food.” As a part of this posting we asked people to post their favorite breakfast and we chose one to feature on our menu in our café. We also gave the creator of the “winning breakfast” a prize and featured her picture in our newsletter along with a picture of the breakfast. Sales have been going very well.
Linda Mitchell is the director of marketing, public relations and charitable giving for Newtown Athletic Club in Newtown, Penn. She can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.