The Social Olympics: Is your Club medal-worthy?
As the Olympic Games in London unfolded, the world’s top athletes took to social media to share their experiences. We saw some wonderful stories develop and fun moments from inside the Olympic Village. We also witnessed one Greek and one Swiss athlete leave the games for inappropriate tweets. British diver, Tom Daley, US Women’s Soccer Goalie, Hope Solo, and even America’s sweetheart, Aly Raisman, landed in the news because of their online activity. These elite athletes taught us that not even Olympians are sure how to use social media beneficially.
The games served as a good reminder that the lack of new media training does not apply only to athletes. It’s an issue for many businesses, too. Private Clubs struggle with the issue even more.
Most every club has an executive team that is comprised of the GM, Membership/Marketing, F&B, Catering/Private Events, Member Relations, and the Executive Chef. All of these departments are essential to a successful team and performance. And each team member has a unique voice which can serve the Club well in communicating with members and prospective members online. But, just like in synchronized swimming, if one team member’s moves and timing is off, points are deducted and the gold medal will remain out of reach.
Social networks are simply communication tools that should be integrated into marketing and communication strategies. It’s essential that your Club integrate social media into your communication plan and decide what role department managers and staff will have. Establishing guidelines for the team to use as a resource is smart planning.
Determine the content each department will contribute. Make a content plan. This is critical so that everyone understands what and when they should post their news. Private clubs, social by nature, don’t need to have separate accounts for each department – personally signing Facebook posts or initialing tweets is acceptable, and actually makes your content look like a team effort. Make social media part of your weekly meetings where you discuss what your communication objectives are and how each member will participate. This will enhance your content plan so that everyone understands the strategy.
In Private Clubs, the responsibility for social media falls on the team. This is not an individual sport like archery or track & field. The Chef sharing food pictures and recipes is just as significant as the Catering Director thanking Mr. & Mrs. Smith for hosting their wedding at the Club. The members appreciate the team as a whole, as well as the individuals who fuel the dynamics. And that’s why the authentic voice needs to shine through. If the receptionist has been assigned as the lead on posting everything to social networks, then every post will sound like it comes from the receptionist. Private Clubs are in such a unique and wonderful position to share the ongoing story of the club and the value of membership. Each department has a special story to tell which enriches the Club’s brand message.
From top to bottom, all staff members should understand your brand identity and message, and take part in helping to achieve gold in the Social Olympics.
Everyone, despite their position or level of experience, can learn to communicate well and to serve as better brand ambassadors. Loyalty starts within your club. One rogue employee, like Hope Solo, can torpedo your brand.
It’s time to train your staff, your managers, and leaders to be good communicators and to serve your club and members well.
Comments are closed