The importance of relationships and belonging is directly connected to one’s personal well-being and mental health. And for us, IHRSA research shows that relationships equal retention.
The communities to which we belong play an important role in creating and maintaining happy, personal relationships. Each of these groups require leaders and members who are willing to contribute and support them.
When creating a marketing plan, we consider three relationships within our club and strategize how those relationships can be nurtured in subtle, yet effective ways: employee-to-member, member-to-member and employee-to-employee.
Open the gates of communication — make sure your members know they too can share their positive, personal experiences with you. It’s OK to take a turn from your marketing plan and scheduled posts for a real and candid piece. Recently, a member contacted us to share a story and thank an anonymous member — requesting we share the experience on our social channels.
“To the kind woman at the pool yesterday — THANK YOU. My daughter celebrated her birthday yesterday at the NAC. Things started to go badly an hour in. She began crying loudly and screaming. Mind you, she’s 13, so people were staring. I was starting to tear up, trying so hard not to cry. As I was packing up to leave, a woman at the pool — instead of just staring — came up to me and asked if my daughter was OK. I gave my typical response that she’s autistic and explained the issue. She gave me a few hugs and told me that I was doing a great job, that I was patient with my daughter and that she is lucky to have me as her mom. Those kind words made a difficult situation a little easier. I will never forget your kind words and compassion. Hopefully I’ll see you at the pool again to personally thank you.”
This organic social post saw a 180 percent increase in engagement over a post consistent with its type. And as we know, our highly engaged members are our loyal members.
Taylor Antolino is the marketing director of Newtown Athletic Club.