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MANAGEMENT SERIES


SOCIAL MEDIA DOS AND DON’TS


• Be clear of the message and values you’re trying to convey.


DO


• Have a clear goal of how you’re trying to communicate – for


• Be prepared to think on your feet, but make sure you also think


example, one-way message or two-way dialogue – and treat all your customers with respect.


• Be clear on how you intend to use social media to strengthen


properly before committing your message online.


• Ensure all staff are involved, but have ‘social media champions’


• Make sure you have clear social media protocols that everyone


• Keep the dialogue alive and healthy – lapses in social media


• Bounce ideas off your followers – don’t be afraid to ask them what


send out the wrong messages to your followers.


• Try out novel ways to illustrate your point of view using images,


• Integrate your social media campaign into your other


photos and video.


communication channels, such as your website.


• Hard sell or bombard your followers with junk messages.


DON’T


• Be boring – but do keep your message sincere. Avoid use of bad


• Use internal buzzwords or non- obvious abbreviations.


• Be afraid to tackle detractors, since these could be your


• Ignore followers or fail to meet a commitment you’ve made.


competitors in disguise.


• Dismiss social media as just a passing fad.


language, discriminatory language, rudeness or cheap jokes.


• Forget to check your competitors’ social media streams for ideas.


they think, even though you may not always like the answer.


your knowledge about customer likes and dislikes.


who can spearhead your efforts and bring new ideas to the table.


understands and adheres to – social media suicide is terminal!


Clubs must recruit and train members of staff who embody the company ethos


“CUSTOMERS AND PROSPECTS AREN’T THE ONLY KEY AUDIENCES FOR MARKETING – STAFF ARE EQUALLY IMPORTANT”


they require it – a telephone number, website, social media source or a venue.


Importance of staff But customers and prospects aren’t the only key audiences for marketing communications. If health club managers are serious about delivering great customer service, they must realise that staff are equally important: every single member of staff has to understand and buy into the core values of the company, with a common culture and belief system established in the workplace based on kindness, trust, mutual support and a desire to create great customer experiences. Without this, all marketing messages simply become insincere words repeated from staff member to staff member. Sadly, however, gym staff as an


audience are all too often neglected in a marketing strategy, which must begin with recruiting the right people to represent the brand in the fi rst place. In reality, management fails to recruit the right people, often fails to train the right people, and when they do train them, they often fail to source the best type of training for them and almost certainly fail to measure the actual effectiveness of this training. If we want staff to communicate our


marketing message with customers, the process must start with senior executives of the company. People have to be recruited who embody the


74 Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital


company ethos; they have to be trained; and every single member of staff has to understand and be able to communicate the message that management has set out for the company.


Leading from the front Having great leadership is therefore key to creating world-class marketing and marketing communications. These need to be strategically planned into a campaign where every element supports the same consistent message, and where all staff have bought into the vision. Keeping your message and your values


consistent is hard, but managers must understand that – if they fail to do this – customers will lose faith in the brand and spend elsewhere. ●


Julian Leybourne, FCIM FCIMSPA (Chartered), is CEO of ICON TRAINING. He has a masters degree in strategic marketing and over 40 years’ experience in the management of sport and physical activity across the voluntary, public and private sectors. He is a former chair of the Wales Board of Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity, is engaged with CIM as a chartered marketer, and is a judge on the Wales Marketing Awards. He advises CIMSPA on education strategies in the UK as a member of the board of trustees. Email julian.leybourne@icon-training.com Twitter @julianleybourne


May 2014 © Cybertrek 2014


PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM/CANDYBOXIMAGES


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