Currently, my career is in marketing for a website design and development company. However, my dream would be to own my own gymnastics club and coach. With 10 years of gymnastics under my belt and 7 of those also spent coaching, gymnastics is my passion. In 2010, Injury forced me out of coaching and ‘into the real world’ of employment. Don’t get me wrong, I like my job (more so than most people that I know), but if there was a way for me to put my marketing skills to work for the gymnastics industry, man, that would be perfect.
Then it hit me. Provide information and strategy on digital and social media for Gymnastics schools. The goal, to enhance the training experience for gymnasts, resources for coaches, exposure of the sport, exposure for individual gyms to bring them more customers.
Social Media Use In Small Business
You may be asking what does social media use in small business have to do with gymnastics clubs. Well, most gymnastics clubs are small businesses (some are even family run), at least in New Hampshire. The fact is, small businesses are not taking full advantage of what social media could do to enhance their business, and in turn, gymnastic clubs could utilize it more, to grow their business.
According to Small Business Trends, in 2016, small businesses used social media in the following ways:
- 45% – Promote a specific product or service.
- 38% – Share sales and discounts
- 38% – To grow their amount of social following (like and fans)
- 34% – To solicit/respond to customer feedback
- 29% – To share videos highlighting products/services
- 20% – To share their blog
- 23% – To establish their personal expertise (become a thought leader)
Also, in 2016 small businesses used the following social platforms:
- 70% – Facebook
- 38% – Twitter
- 26% – YouTube, Vine and Vimeo
- 25% – Instagram
- 24% – Company blog
- 16% – Yelp
- 14% – Pinterest
- 7% – Live streaming apps
How To Use Social Media For Your Gymnastics Club
I realize that gymnasts are children. I am in no means advocating that gymnastics clubs pressure parents/gymnasts into using social platforms. The decision to allow children onto social media is that of the parent, and the parent alone. The following strategies are for children and teens who are allowed on social media or for their parents to share with their children as they see fit.
Gymnastics clubs can use social media for their business in the following ways:
- Building community
- A resource for gymnasts
- A resource for parents
1. The Gymnastics “Family” (community)
“My gym family”. Over the years I heard numerous gymnasts refer to their fellow gymnast, coaches and gym parents as a family. These communities are formed during the many hours spent at the gym. Rather the gymnast is on a competitive team or recreational they and their families have probably experienced this sense of community.
With the use of social media it is possible for the gymnastics club to extend these communities to extend outside the wall of the gym. The following ideas can be used to create community:
Use Hashtags: Create a hashtag for your gym. Encourage the taking of videos and photos at meets (flash off of course, so as you do not dangerously distract the gymnast). That people can post on Instagram or twitter.
Facebook Live: Use Facebook live to send a pep talk to your gymnasts before a meet.
Facebook Groups: Create a private group for members of your gym. Share motivational quote and stories, articles related to training, their experiences. Encourage gymnasts who go to regionals/nationals to share their experiences with other gymnasts from the gym on this page
LiveTweet: Create a hashtag for the meet you are attending and encourage parents to tweet about the meet while they are there, using the hashtag
2. Create a Training Resource for your Gymnasts
Being able to see how a drill is correctly done, can make a large difference in the training of a gymnast. Use social media as a way to share these videos with your students. These videos can be shared on a Pinterest board, YouTube account of Facebook group dedicated to training.
The videos that you make should be of drills that can be done independently of a coach, and that you have the permission of the gymnast in the videos parents.
3. A Resource for Parents
Parents of gymnasts need to be prepared to handle everything that comes along with gymnastics. From the physical discomfort of rips (think of a blister on your hand that rips open and sometimes even bleeds), sore muscles and even injuries to handling disappointment in scores, leveling up or pace of mastering a new skill.
Create a community on Facebook where parents can talk about these issues or struggles that their gymnasts may be facing. Also, share relevant articles on topics the parents are expressing interest in or concern about.
Social media offers another tool for recruiting aside from the traditional newspaper ad or online job posting. Additionally, it provides other ways to learn about your candidates aside from resumes. Check out these 5 ways you can use social media in your recruiting efforts:
- You can post job opening on LinkedIn.
- Social media platforms can be used to post your job opening
- You can encourage your employees to share your job postings on their social media accounts
- Communicate with potential candidates via social media
- Learn about the candidates before you interview them, by looking at their social profiles (if they are public).
These are just four suggestions on how social media can be used for gymnastics clubs. Each gym and gym family will be different. To get started check out these awesome gymnastics resources:
Have questions about how to utilize social media for your gymnastics club? Drop me a line and we can chat!