Stepping up your social media game
If you take only one lesson from the changed business environment, make it a lesson about communication. We no longer live in a world where business is only done in person. It’s time to step up your messaging game, and the easiest way to do that is through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok or other social media.
Money often follows passion. Give [potential] customers information that interests them, and they will respond. Customer relationships are built on interaction, which is the name of the game on social media.
While building blocks of successful posts are images and links, usually the hardest part of writing is the writing. Don’t add to your stress trying to hit winners from uncomfortable positions on the court: make it easy to post winning content. Tennis-related attention-grabbers to share can be found with a search for “today in tennis history” or “tennis birthdays” and can serve as a lead-in to a tennis tip or short video if you’re a teaching pro, or a note (or link to specs) about a new item or service if you’re a retailer.
While you should always have an eye out for your bottom line, make the majority of the information you offer not specific to your business. Few people want to be sold, but all want to be empowered to buy. Also, stay on brand. Opinions about politics or television shows or vacation hotspots or restaurant reviews should be left for a different account.
Just like a key to success in person is being a local resource for your tennis community, a key to social media is creating and responding to interaction with followers. Experiment until you figure out when a post is likely to receive the most responses from your targets. Post no more than once a day at first, or even once every few days until you sense your audience wants to hear from you more often. Follow tennis influencers and other businesses in your actual geographic area; give “shout outs” to local heroes; and share the best from your own online tennis interest groups.
While you used to have to wait for a player to walk in the door to connect, today, with everyone carrying a smartphone around all the time, you have the chance to win a sale anytime, anywhere. It’s an opportunity. Don’t abuse it, but make sure to use it.
Freelance writer and editor Kent Oswald is a Contributing Editor for Racquet Sports Industry magazine.