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Ask an Expert In Print

Ask the Expert: Kristin McConnell on Social Media

Kristin McConnell

You have questions, we have answers. This month we spoke with Kristin McConnell, the marketing director of The Atlantic Club, about social media.

What are the main benefits of having a social media presence?

KM: Our businesses extend much further than within traditional brick and mortar. Social media allows us to reach our members and the community in a way that’s convenient for them — it’s non-intimidating. It’s little “drips” until someone takes the “plunge.” They take a class, download a free pass, purchase a membership, partake in a special event or enroll in a program. Social media allows you to speak to those who may be ready to take a step, those who are almost there but need that nudge, and those who are not in that mindset yet.

Regarding ROI, we measure our campaigns and pay close attention to our analytics. If we don’t see results in the numbers we change up the strategy, the text, the image or our targets, for example. Social media advertising is very cost-effective when you have someone professional handling it, and there is a budget, strategy and calendar in place.

Why did you decide to hire a full-time social media manager, and what are their main responsibilities?

KM: Social media is complex and it is a much wiser investment to hire a social media professional, rather than the person who we think is really good at social media and “posts a lot.” There is so much more to a strong social media strategy than just posting, and it really does take someone knowledgeable, someone who is “always on,” who can respond to difficult comments or situations in a way your executives would, and someone who stays current on social media news, regulations and best practices.

This role is absolutely a full-time position at our company with the number of businesses and programs they support as well as corporate initiatives. This role manages all aspects of social media pages, provides analytics and reporting and is responsible for creating and managing all paid digital ads on social media, Google and any other sites. Other responsibilities include taking video and still photography to be used on social media platforms, developing digital marketing strategies for campaigns and program launches, maintaining a budget and allocating funds effectively. This role also handles basic SEO, optimizes copy on our website, creates submission forms, and responds to comments and messages on all social media platforms and Yelp.

What tips can you share for how clubs can get the most out of their social media efforts?

KM: Really encourage your staff, especially trainers and Group X instructors, to post and tag your club on their own social media accounts and then track their efforts so you can leverage their content for your club account. Video posts — both quick, raw footage and edited clips — are a great way to get engagement. And paid social media ads are a lean and cost-effective asset to communicate your club’s efforts and just spread general brand awareness.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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