When it comes to online marketing for your class or studio, Facebook can be an incredibly important platform. Like an online presence in general, Facebook has become so normative that having a presence on it won’t make you look better than your local competitors as not having an active one will set you apart from them in a negative way. And trust us: you don’t want that to happen.
Facebook Is Where Your Clients Are
Who are you mainly trying to target with your online marketing? Primarily, it’s parents of children and teens, right? You probably already have ideas about local events and locations where you might want to put out flyers or set up a display. Probably not your local Active Aging event or Social Security office. Facebook obviously has a much more broad appeal than your target audience, but it’s extremely likely that those in the 18-29 or 30-49 age brackets will be on Facebook. How likely? Try 86%. You can’t afford not to be there, too.
Facebook Is Like a Megaphone
Whether or not you represent a cheer studio, we’re pretty sure you wouldn’t mind having a megaphone when it comes to getting the word out about your school or studio. After all, you want to be able to share your expertise and influence the largest number of children possible, right? Well, you can’t if they don’t know about you. Like any small business, you probably rely heavily on word-of-mouth recommendations from one parent or student to another. Facebook allows you to amplify the effect of that kind of thing. The more Facebook Likes, Shares, Check-Ins, Comments, and Tags your studio has, the more visible it will become to those in your community. All for free. But that’s not the only way it can help you get the word out.
Facebook Offers Recommendations
How many times have you seen someone post a shout out that starts with “Looking for Recommendations”? If someone is looking for an organization like yours, it’s far more likely that the person requesting the suggestion will follow up on it if they can tag your studio’s Facebook page. If it’s not an easy one-click deal, the person will be far more likely to look into your competitor that has an active Facebook page. That’s just how it goes.
In addition to such official requests for recommendations, less extroverted people can do a search for, let’s say, a “gymnastics studio” and then select the city and state and posts by their Facebook friends. Referred to as a “graph search,” this less overt method of searching out local favorites will return results with the most active Facebook pages.
If all this seems a little overwhelming — or like you’re a helpless victim in the sea of social media — stay tuned for Part 2 in this series, when we’ll discuss how you can increase the effectiveness of the megaphone that is Facebook, reaching more potential parents and the students you’d love to coach or teach!