This is the first of a multi-part series that outlines some tips for using social media. This first part is for clubs or provinces who don’t have any social media accounts yet and need to distinguish between the different platforms and communicate with new audiences. Part two is for clubs and provinces who already have social media accounts and need to target existing members.

Are you thinking about joining social media to expand the marketing efforts of your club or province? Creating your first account can be daunting, and you may have quite a few questions. This post will give you the guidance you need and leave you feeling more confident about joining social media.

Step 1 – Identify your target audience

Ultimately, your goal when creating a presence for your club on social media is to grow your membership and attract new participants. The demographic of your members at your club is the easiest way to tell who your target audience will be on social media. Of course, your membership could vary quite a bit from youth players to those celebrating their 50 year anniversary. 

Step 2 – Identify your platforms

If your club doesn’t have any social media accounts yet, you may be wondering which platforms are worthwhile to use. The three most widely used platforms are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Of these, Facebook has the most users and is used more times a day on average than Instagram or Twitter. If you’re starting with one platform, or only have the capacity to maintain one form of social media, it should be Facebook. Here’s a breakdown of usage per age group on the three platforms:

13-17 year olds51% use it72% use it32% use it
18-29 year olds79% use it67% use it38% use it
30-49 year olds79% use it47% use it26% use it
50-64 year olds68% use it23% use it17% use it
65+46% use it8% use it7% use it

As you can see, Facebook is used primarily by those aged 18-64 and less frequently by teenagers and adults over 65 years old. Instagram is the most widely used platform by teenagers aged 13-17 therefore if one of your primary goals is to target youth for your bowls programs, you may want to consider being active on Instagram as well. Even though Facebook is less popular among the 13-17 year old and 65+ age groups, don’t make the mistake of thinking not many people within these demographics use the site. 51% and 46% are still a significant number of users.

Twitter is used less often than Facebook and Instagram in all five demographics. One of the main reasons businesses use Twitter is to interact one-on-one with other users and create relationships, while also having another customer service channel for individuals to reach out. Smaller organizations (like bowls clubs) are more community and individual focused than larger organizations and can take advantage of Twitter’s ability to foster connections and one-on-one dialogue. However, Twitter is more of a supplementary platform that can grow your marketing efforts if used in combination with Facebook and/or Instagram.

Step 3 – Use the platforms to market to your audience

The point of this first blog post is not to overwhelm you with specific techniques and marketing know-how if you haven’t actually signed up for an account yet. The point of this post is to give you the facts on who is using which platform, and why you would consider using each platform. If this information has made you think about who your audience is and motivated you to create an account, our tutorials on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will show you how to create an account and use the platform.

More details on the content required to communicate with specific audiences can be found in part two, but for now making a Facebook account is a good way to get your foot in the door. If youth members are a major portion of your membership, then having an Instagram presence should be considered as well. But if you’re targeting senior members, parents of youth members, or even young adults, Facebook is where you can connect and communicate with these demographics most effectively. On to part two!

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