In today's society social media is everywhere. Ask everyone you know, there's a good chance every one of them is involved with social media in one way or another. Whether they're on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or one of the many other social media options, it’s likely a daily (if not more often) habit.
That kind of reach is unprecedented! So finding a way to use social media at your facility is a must to optimize your efficiency.
Social Media and Your Aquatics Operation
Did you know that Facebook has around 1.79 billion active monthly users? That’s almost 1/4 of the world’s population! Chances are you’re one of those billion plus people, and so are your employees and users.
We use social media to get our life updates, check in on our friends, but more and more we’re using it for other things as well.
Many organizations and companies are using social media in a variety of different ways. While social media is excellent for your home life, it can also be an excellent tool in your aquatics operation. So how can you tap into this powerful way to reach and be reached by your customers?
From long term strategies, to use in daily operations, here are seven ways to use social media to drive more interactions at your swimming pools.
Do you have special pricing for fathers on Father’s Day? What about 4th of July? Or maybe you have a weekly special such as two dollar Tuesdays? These are just some examples of common pricing specials that could be effectively advertised using social media.
Pricing and daily specials are a great way to generate interest in your facilities from patrons. They can also be an excellent way to improve usage during slow times. By using a pricing special to draw customers into using the facility, you are increasing your facilities visibility, and it’s likely those who visited before will visit again. Maybe for different times or offerings, or maybe during that same slower time.
So while it is clear that offering pricing specials can be an effective way to generate revenue and grow your customer base, what’s not as clear is how to notify patrons of these specials. You can post signs at your facility or advertise it in your organizations brochure (if you have one). But those largely only reach your current clientele. While it is useful to inform current patrons of these specials, part of the aim is attracting new users. This is where social media can play an important factor.
By using social media to advertise these pricing specials, especially when used alongside the other methods mentioned, you can increase patronage and overall visibility of your facility. By crafting a post on your organization's Facebook page you can draw current and potential customers attention to your facility. And with the price reduction for the given time, first time users will be more interested in giving it a try.
While the first wave the people you reach on social media is often people who already utilize your facilities, if you get those people to interact with your post (by liking, or sharing it) you will quickly expand the number of first time users, who may be inclined to try out your facilities.
How you craft your post and what you put in it can be as important as the special itself. You’ll want to be sure to include the important details such as price changes and applicable dates and times of the special. With social media, generating interest is about getting circulated. Make sure your posts include some of the following to help increase the visibility of your post:
- A suggestion to tag someone: “Know someone who would use this? Tag them!”
- Advertise the features of that time: “Visit and speed down the slide, or jump off the high dive!”
- Draw them into following your organization if they don’t already: “Follow/Like us for more specials and information!”
- Offer them further information on your organization with a link to your website: “Check out other great offerings at our website!”
With these factors you should be able to use social media at your pool in order to inform patrons of specials and attract new users.
2. Special Events
Do you put on community pool parties at your different facilities? Or do you have special events for holidays? If you don’t you should consider them, and consider advertising for them through your social media presence.
Special events are a great way to be involved with the community and give back to them even more than you already do. Here’s a Facebook event for a community pool party.
While these events may generate revenue for you, their more important purpose is in generating interest and appreciation of your facilities and the benefits you provide for your community.
When creating social media events and using social media posts to create exposure for your events the benefits are two-fold. You generate interest in the events and your facilities, which gets circulated by those who attend. But you also drive people to your social media page itself, which can help you get all the benefits we mentioned in this article.
3. Closures, Cancellations and Delays
Depending on where your facilities are located, you could have various reasons to close your facility. Whether it’s a snow closure in winter or a lightning closure in the height of summer you can use social media to inform people about closures or delays.
Many people check their social media more often than they check their email. As social media usage continues to be more and more frequent and commonly used, it becomes even more effective as a tool. You can quickly reach as many patrons with a single post as you can with an email blast. If used in tandem with other methods to notify patrons of facility closures, class/event cancellations, or delays in opening facilities, you can provide quick up-to-date information for your patrons.
4. Staff Recruitment
In today’s job market, it can be difficult to find quality lifeguards. Many organizations all over are struggling to get enough lifeguards to run day-to-day operations. Social media is an effective tool that can provide excellent visibility to your job openings and help you find new lifeguards.
By advertising open positions on social media you’re reaching not only potential candidates, but also people who may know of, and refer other potential candidates. When used with these other Strategies to Effectively Recruit Lifeguards you can fill your positions quickly and get back to the many other responsibilities you have.
5. Social Media Exclusive Deals
Social media is clearly a powerful tool, and when utilized properly, can generate interest and revenue for your organization, so how do you make your social media presence known? How do you get people to utilize your social media presence?
Aside from the deals, specials, and events you already run at your facility, there are other ways you can generate interest in your organization, its offerings, and your social media presence in general.
One way is to offer social media exclusive deals, where people who follow your social media accounts get exclusive offers occasionally. As an example your audience might see the following:
“Facebook exclusive deal! Be one of the first 30 people to stop by our facility and show this Facebook post to receive 20 punches for the price of 10!”
By offering a limited time, exclusive deal through your social media you are encouraging users to check your social media pages more often and keep them involved and informed of the events, specials, and general happenings of your organization.
Also, by designing the post to stay up after the special has been completed, and updating it, you can encourage other users to follow you on social media. For example: “Were you number 31 or higher today? Don’t miss out on future deals! Be one of the first next time by following our page!”
If you can generate interest and a following on your social media accounts, your social media reach can expand exponentially with every person you have that participates with your presence in some way.
6. Fill Classes
Depending on the size of your organization and the variety of offerings you provide, you can utilize social media to aid in generating interest in a class or program offering.
Whether it’s a drop in, or registration based class, you can reach potential clients that aren’t aware of the offering by sharing it on social media.
Also, by notifying users of the social media posts, they have an easy method to encourage their friends and family to utilize your facilities and offerings as well.
7. Employee Community
Aside from the public side of things, many organizations have utilized social media for their staff. While there are, of course, special considerations when utilizing social media in a work place capacity, it can be worth it for the benefits. Some positive results of:
- Staff can create their own sense of community.
- Supervisors have another method to reach staff for important reminders and notes.
- When used alongside DigiQuatics, staff have another easily accessible way to advertise their sub requests.
- Staff can have their own support network for work related issues.
There are many ways that social media in aquatics can provide benefits for your organization. Whether its on the staff or patron side of operations, it’s clear there are benefits that you can easily tap into!
Have you used social media to generate interest in your facilities? Or in other capacities? Tell us below!