Do Club Websites have a place in the social media era? Club admins answer
We recently held a webinar for clubs to come along and ask questions about what Member Jungle is and how it can help your club. One of the most interesting questions asked that night was, “Why do we need a website at all in the social media age?” Two of the speakers that night, who are club admins themselves, did a fantastic job answering that question.
So, today, I will share exactly what they said, as there is nothing more useful than information straight from the horse’s mouth. Then, I’ll go into a bit of detail about some of the points they made.
Why Your Club Needs A Website, Not Just Social Media
What The Admins Had To Say
Mark Tipping, Founding Vice President of Tesla Owners Club Australia, had this to say about why clubs still need websites in the social media age.
“I personally don’t think you can replace a website with social media, because websites have search functionality so you can find what you need to. Most social media is structured in just a line of conversations. So when a new post goes up it pushes all the previous ones down, so people end up having to search through it all to find the information you need. On a website you’ve got a structure you’ve thought about, where you can guide visitors to the information they’re looking for, and then you can hook them. That’s not something you can do with social media. Plus websites rank better on google.”
Greg Cunningham, Technology Officer of Street Machine Association of South Australia, had this to say on why clubs still need websites in the social media age.
“There’s a lot of people out there who will not use technology or are afraid of it. So, at least you can push them to the website. We push as many members as we can to the app, we have 4,500 members on the app. which is great because it’s extremely transparent and it stores their username and password. But some people will not use the app and some don’t have a phone with data on it. So the website is our landing point and it gives people an option if they don’t want to use the app.”
Both Mark and Greg made some excellent points there. Now, let’s break down and explain some of the things they said.
Club Websites Structure
As Mark pointed out, the structure of a website is clearer and easier to navigate than a social media page. This is because you have more control over your website layout and posting permissions. Additionally, a website can offer a search feature and a navigation bar, making it easy to find specific information. Visitors can quickly search for what they need, such as joining a club or upcoming events. This level of structure is an advantage that websites have over social media pages.
Social media pages are usually arranged from the most recent post to the least recent, with no search feature or navigation bar. Finding the information you need on a social media page can be challenging, especially if unrelated posts push down important updates.
We can see these differences clearly if we look at the images below of the Tesla Owners Club of Australia’s Facebook page and their Member Jungle website.
On their website, all their information is organised and laid out very well; a visitor to the site can see exactly where they need to go to get whatever information they are after. Their Facebook, on the other hand, while being neat and well-run, is limited by Facebook’s layout. As a result, it will take a lot longer for visitors to find the information they are after.
Club Websites Rank Better On Google Than Social Media Pages
You probably already know this, but for clarity, “Ranking on Google” refers to the order in which Google lists results when searching for something. The better your ranking is, the higher up the list of results you will be. So, for example, if you run a bowling club in Melbourne, and someone googles “bowling club melbourne”, your Google ranking will determine how high up on the list of results you are.
Being high on that list is extremely important, as you can see from the below graph based on data from Search Engine Journal.
Your Google ranking is massively important to how many people click on your website. With the website in 10th position only getting 2.5% of total clicks, and with so few people ever going past the first page of Google, pages two and beyond are basically covered in cobwebs at this point.
This is a long-winded and maybe too in-depth way of saying your club’s Google ranking is incredibly important to new people finding you, and websites rank much better than social media pages. If your club only has social media, you are very unlikely to have a good Google ranking. As a result, it will be hard for potential new members to find you and hard for your club to grow.
Greg Cunningham also had this to add to Google rankings. “You guys (Member Jungle) are fully optimised for Search Engine Optimisation as well, so that makes life a lot easier.”
Helping The Technophobic Club Members
As Greg Cunningham pointed out, there will always be club members who will flat-out refuse to use technology. They won’t use the Member Jungle app, and they certainly won’t use social media, but with a little persuasion, they will use a website. Websites have been around much longer than apps and social media. As a result, no matter how technophobic someone is, they will be willing to use a website if they have to. As Greg said, they try to get everyone they can onto the app, but their website is their fallback when people either can’t or refuse to use it..
If your club only has social media, you will risk losing members who can’t or won’t use it. In this case, having a website is going to be key to getting and keeping more technophobic members.
Club Website vs Club Social Media
At the end of the day, your club needs a website. It will make it easier for people to find your club and easier for them to find particular information about your club, and it caters to a wider audience than just social media. Maybe one day, social media will replace websites, but that day is not today.
However, you should absolutely not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Social media might be a poor replacement for a website, but it still has its uses. It can be an incredibly powerful free marketing tool, and it is great for growing your club when used with a website.
How To Get The Most Out Of Your Club’s Website and Social Media
The best plan going forward is to use both a website and social media in the running of your club.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your website, why not read Five Steps to Build an Effective Homepage.
If you want to get the most out of your social media, try The Best Social Media To Use To Grow Your Club For Free.
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