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The most important ingredient of any club is its members. With more choice than ever before in the way that people spend their leisure time, a club’s ability to recruit and retain members is critical to its long term viability. Clubs can’t rely on prospective members to simply arrive at their club anymore. Clubs need to use marketing techniques to attract new members and consistently communicate with them to ensure they are receiving the services they expect.
Whilst historically golf clubs have been traditionally private in nature, marketing has become far more necessary in recent times as the steady demand for membership has eroded. Golfers are now offered more choice in terms of golfing and other sport, recreation and leisure experiences.
Through the development of a marketing plan, a club can segment the market into different groups based on demographics and identify a target market of people they want to attract.
In addition, society has changed at a faster pace than ever before and people have become more focused on time and the use of their valuable leisure periods. With entertainment and un-structured sports gaining popularity at the expense of traditional participation in sports, clubs have had to adapt and become far more proactive in promoting to the next group of members.
Through the development of a marketing plan, a club can segment the market into different groups based on demographics and identify a target market of people they want to attract. An effective marketing campaign can then be created that speaks to the needs of the target group.
Although marketing can be perceived to be expensive with no guarantee of an immediate return in revenue, it is important in the modern day, just as in all business, that clubs set aside some money specifically for marketing.
Effective marketing and communication can attract new members and retain existing members at your club.
The more people who know about your club, the more opportunities that might come your club's way. Marketing and communication initiatives are also a good way to acknowledge and thank club volunteers, members, sponsors and other community partners.
Effective marketing and communication means both doing more with less, but also ensuring your messages are being seen and heard by the appropriate audiences. There are a number of ways to deliver these messages, including the club website, event presentations, meetings, noticeboards, newsletters, emails, SMS, media releases, local and community newspapers and radio, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other community forums.
The key is for communication to be regular, and not just interacting with your members. Engage with prospective members by ensuring your local community is aware of your club and its activities.
Another important consideration is for the club to meet the needs of all their customers (WHO = members, guests and visitors) by understanding WHAT people want to know about, and the WHEN and HOW they want to receive that information. This is particularly important when needing to deliver messages to customers about events, competitions, facilities or club announcements.
In 2016, Facebook reached 15 million Australian users, 14.5 million YouTube, 5 million Instagram & 2.8 million on Twitter. Social media is growing fast and there are more platforms arriving each year. Social Media needs to be a key part of a club’s communication and marketing strategy.
Golf Australia’s guide to social media presentation is available for download below and covers the following key areas:
Strategies for Golf Clubs: Facebook
Strategies for Golf Clubs: Twitter
How do we create a social media strategy?
How do we resource it?
For further assistance on how to get your club involved with social media, please contact Golf Australia.
For an excellent tutorial on how your club can utilise Facebook Business Manager for targeted advertising, see the link below compliments of Greg Oakford of Golf Victoria. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hryLf30XJOM
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