The Best Social Media To Use To Grow Your Club For Free
Social media is full of ups and downs. On the one hand, it is a free and amazingly powerful tool to spread information and connect people. On the other hand, it is a breeding ground for misinformation and political echo chambers. Like it or not, social media is here to say, so the best thing we can do is work out how to make it work for us. Today, we will review the best social media platforms for your club, and I will keep the jokes about social media to a minimum.
This article will be helpful to you no matter where you are in your membership management journey. Whether you have no idea what a membership system is or if you’ve been a customer of ours or one of our competitors for years, this article will help you understand the best ways to grow your club for free with social media.
Growing your club or association to reach new audiences and expand your membership can take time and money. Social media is a great and free way to reach new audiences and grow your membership. No social media platform is the wrong choice. However, some will be much better suited to your club than others. So let’s look at the best social media platforms to use to grow your club membership organically.
In this article, we will discuss the following:
- Tik Tok
- Tips and Tricks To Social Media Advertising
When To Use Social Media For Your Club
We have already established that social media can be an incredibly useful marketing tool however, there are some things you need to bear in mind. Having a blank social page or one with incredibly old and out of date content is worse than not having one at all. It can make your club look inactive or poorly run. If you are going to use social media for your club only do what you know you can maintain. It is better to have one well run and constantly updated social media account then half a dozen empty and disused ones. We will talk about it in more detail below but aiming for two to three social posts a week is a really good goal. That’s more than you think, so I'd recommend committing to one social media platform and only starting new ones if you can maintain them.
Using Facebook To Promote Your Club
Facebook is arguably the most famous social media platform out there, and it is absolutely one your club should be on. Facebook’s significant advantage over other social media platforms is that it allows you to set up and run public and private groups. No matter what your club or association does, you absolutely need a Facebook page, and you should really consider making a group too.
Here are a few things you should really consider doing to make your club’s Facebook page as effective as possible:
- Make a separate Facebook account for your club
- The profile picture should be your club’s logo
- Include details about your club in the About section
- Fill in the contact details section, including an address and the best contact method
- Set up a public and/or private group
A Facebook page for your club will effectively act as a second landing page for those interested in your club. It may be their first impression of your club, so make sure it looks professional and well laid out. This will help you make the best possible first impression.
Using Facebook Groups For Your Club
Facebook allows you to set up groups on Facebook and decide whether they are open to the public or not. The main difference is how much control you have over who joins and what information people who aren’t in the group can see. With a public group, people not in the group will be able to see who is in the group and what is being posted; they will also be able to join without needing approval from the admin. In a private group, people not in the group cannot see who is in the group or what is being posted. They will need to be approved by an admin when they attempt to join. You can even set up a questionnaire for people to fill out when they ask to join the private group.
I would strongly recommend setting up a public group for your club and using it to show off some of the great stuff your club is doing. Allow people to see some of the content and activities your club offers, and make sure they know that if they join up officially, they will get access to all content and events. A public Facebook group can work almost as a free trial for those interested in joining your club. Plus, Facebook recommends public groups to people if those people have similar interests. This can be an effective and free way of advertising.
Private Facebook groups can serve as a makeshift club homepage if done correctly. A place where members of your club can view upcoming events, engage in content and chat with other members. However, a proper website or a fully-fledged membership management system will do a much better job of this than a private Facebook group.
Using Instagram To Promote Your Club
Instagram specialises in the sharing of high-quality images and videos. No matter what your club does, you should consider taking some good photos and posting them on Instagram. If you use Instagram correctly, it can be a great way to promote your club, especially if your club offers great photo opportunities. For example, here is an example of a great Instagram post by one of the clubs we work with here at Member Jungle, The Tesla Owners Club of Australia.
This is an amazing action shot of a car club enjoying the thrills of a track day. However, not every club has super photogenic or thrilling activities to share on social media. Take, for example, chess clubs. Personally, I’m not into chess at all and could not imagine a hobby I’d enjoy less. However, a quick Instagram search found the amazing Instagram of a chess club called Chess Most Tuesdays.
After five minutes on their Instagram, I genuinely want to join. I am not joking; their Instagram is so good it has me wishing I lived close enough to join. That’s kind of my point here. A well-run Instagram account with great photos and style can be an extremely effective and free marketing tool.
Best Images Of Your Club For Instagram
Instagram recommends using images in a resolution of 1080p. Any lower resolution and the system will automatically enlarge it, resulting in subpar image quality. Any larger than 1080p is sized down, which isn’t as bad for the end result, but I’d still recommend aiming for 1080p. The ideal image dimensions for Instagram are 1:1, meaning that your photo should be as tall as it is wide. Instagram does work with some other dimensions, like slightly more rectangular posts. Though these can often crop or display in a way that is not ideal. To find out more about Instagram’s recommended image size and dimensions, have a look at the Instagram help centre here. When used correctly, Instagram is a very powerful visual marketing tool that your club should be using today.
Using Twitter For Your Club
Twitter is a fairly specialised platform designed for short passages of writing and reposting articles. It can also be used for images and videos, but this is not the best use of that platform. Twitter isn’t necessarily the best fit for promoting your club, but it is something you should consider when you are evaluating what platforms to use.
A great use for Twitter is using it as a notification board of what your club is up to. This may be how to join, what public events you’re hosting, any charity things you are doing or pretty much anything else you want the general public to know about you. If you decide to do this, make sure you encourage your members to follow the club’s Twitter and like and repost interesting tweets from you. This can have the dual effect of keeping members engaged and up to date with what your club is doing and spreading the word about your club to potential members.
The Best Style For Your Club Twitter Account
A lot of brands and clubs use Twitter the way they use every other social media. Straightlaced, formal and polite. However, a lot of brands now use Twitter to show a cheeky side to their business. It’s fairly common for clubs and businesses that use Twitter to make jokes or post lighthearted, silly content. This approach is definitely not for everyone, but it is something to consider.
For example, the KFC Twitter account follows all the spice girls and six guys named Herb. So all KFC is interested in is 11 Herbs and Spices. Or Gritty, the inexplicable mascot of the Flyers NHL team, who recently posted this amongst normal posts about the Flyers.
The point is I don’t watch or follow ice hockey, but I follow Gritty. If you do decide to have a little fun on Twitter, make sure it’s natural and is in line with how you want the public and your members to see you. Twitter can work perfectly as a notification board without you ever engaging in the silly side of it. It is better to have a serious Twitter account than a funny account that doesn’t suit your club. Serious is better than cringy.
Using TikTok To Promote Your Club
TikTok may be the new kid on the block, but it is an extremely useful platform for promoting your club. It does have a younger demographic, with a quarter of active TikTok users being under 19. However, according to Social Shepard, over 50% of TikTok users are over the age of 30.
A surprising amount of clubs are already using TikTok to promote themselves, and it is something you should really consider doing. TikTok specialises in short videos with accompanying voice-over or music. Here is a great example from the Donegal Car Club of a club using TikTok to promote their club effectively.
TikTok does allow videos of up to ten minutes to be posted, but I’d recommend staying under a minute, as not a lot of viewers will stay past that mark. As mentioned, you can record your own voice-over on your TikTok videos, but I would recommend using “TikTok Sound” while starting out. This is the catch-all title used to refer to TikTok’s provided music and audio. The benefit of this is that the TikTok “Sounds” trend goes viral, and people can search to see what other videos use those sounds. If you use a song that is currently trending, there is a greater chance that your video will be seen by more people.
The point here is that by posting short videos of your club’s activities on TikTok with trending music and sounds attached, you can quickly reach a new, very large audience.
Using LinkedIn To Promote Your Association
LinkedIn has a more serious and professional tone by design; it is social media for professionals. Unlike other social media platforms, it is mostly used by businesses, clubs, associations and professionals and not a whole lot besides.
LinkedIn can be a great place to network with businesses and associations, expand your contacts in the industry and find workshops and webinars. Though some clubs do have LinkedIn, the truth is that this is really one for associations rather than clubs. For associations, LinkedIn is the promised land. It is a great place to post articles you’ve written, promote upcoming events and seminars you are running/participating in, and recruit new members. Here is an example of a great post by the Australian Hand Therapy Association.
They are using LinkedIn to promote a course that they are running that will garner a lot of interest from others in their field. By being on LinkedIn engaging with other associations and businesses that work in your field, you can get your association in front of a lot of people in the right field to join.
Linkedin is the best social media platform for posting full in-depth articles. Not only is it better set up for this compared to other platforms, but LinkedIn users are more likely to engage with longer and more serious content.
Unlike other social media platforms, being stylish and trendy isn’t very important here. The key to using LinkedIn to promote your association is making your LinkedIn page a source of knowledge. A place where professionals in your industry come when they are looking for information or how best to do something. Do this, and you will be really helping your association grow.
Tips and Tricks For Promoting Your Club On Social Media
We’ve covered the social media platforms. Now let’s talk about some things you can do for free to get the most out of your social media marketing.
We have only covered the basics of social media demographics here, I would strongly recommend doing further research into what social media platforms are best for your club. Look at the age demographic of your club and then work out which social media platform has the largest audience in your key demographic.
Also do not be turned off because the largest demographic on a particular platform isn’t the one you are after. There is often not a huge difference percentage wise between the age groups. For example, TikTok’s largest age demographic is 10 to 19 making up 25% of users. However, 40 to 49 make up 20.3% of users. That really isn’t a big difference.
Promoting your club on social media requires a clear understanding of your club’s style and voice. Some clubs might benefit from a funny and lighthearted tone, while others might require a more serious and factual approach. It’s essential to avoid being forced or out of place by staying true to your natural style. By doing so, your social media posts will be more effective and engaging.
To increase your club’s exposure on social media, it’s important to reach out to a wider audience beyond your existing followers. One way to achieve this is to post regularly and frequently. Over time, social media algorithms will start promoting your content to more people, leading to increased engagement with your posts. Remember that this process takes time, so be consistent and patient. Aim to post between two to three times per week. Do not start a social media account for your club if you don’t have the time to maintain it.
Take note of how other clubs use social media, regardless of whether they are similar to your club. Set aside an afternoon to research successful clubs in various industries worldwide and examine how they’re using social media. Find clubs with high engagement on their posts and observe their approach. What tone do they use? How frequently do they post? What hashtags do they use? Write down what they are doing and brainstorm ways to adapt them for your club.
Although they may seem cheesy, hashtags are crucial for a successful social media post. They act as labels, grouping together posts that use the same hashtags. For example, if you run a car club, include #carclubs in your post. The algorithm will recognise the type of content you’re sharing and display it to people with similar interests.
Engage With Others
A great way to grow your audience and connect with people who may be interested in your club is by engaging with others on social media. Find clubs, groups and individuals who post similar content to yours and follow them, like, comment on and share their posts. This will help get your club's name in front of people with similar interests. The more you do this the more likely it will be that you start building more of your own audience.
What Else Can You Do To Grow Your Club?
Those should be some good starting points for you to get out there and start promoting your club and grow your membership. Remember to be yourself and do your best to connect to others in your community.
If you want to know more ways to promote your club read 5 Free Marketing Tools To Promote Your Club In 2023.
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