Some see it as a blessing, a relatively inexpensive way of promoting your club to thousands of potential customers. For others, social media is a curse, a necessary evil that causes headaches and frustration.
The Social Media Management Certification at EXPO 2022 sought to take the “evil” out of the equation by going over basic yet effective strategies for managing your own social media.
Social media expert Sammy Shayne, founder and CEO of Fame Talent Agency, discussed specific strategies to help club owners/operators gain control of their digital marketing, and was joined by ED Publications’ Publisher Dave Manack, who taught a course related to social media at the University of Tampa.
“Really what this seminar comes down to is we’re trying to help you guys manage your social media in a way that doesn’t require you to hire full-time staff to do it,” said ED Publications Publisher Dave Manack, who chaired the seminar. “What our guest speaker is here to tell you is you don’t need a dedicated team of specialists. You could have one person working three hours a week and do a sufficient job.”
Shayne has worked in a variety of different industries over the years of marketing, sales, resources. She’s been in the entertainment and social networking industry for more than eight years and has worked with some of the biggest names in the business.
For the seminar, Shayne went over five points so that “no matter what stage you’re at, you can have an understanding of your social media.” The five points were: analytics, automation, engagement, activeness, and content.
“Analytics quite simply means analyzing data to find trends. This is information that’s provided already in all of your social media that you have now, and key to helping you decide how you want to use social media to your advantage in the future.”
In the seminar, Shayne covered analytics for three of the major social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, though she pointed out how analytics can apply to all different kinds of networks.
“You definitely want to consider, if you use Instagram, doing a lot of Reels right now specifically — they are king right now on Instagram,” she said. Reels also allow you to embed a link (such as to your club) for users. Keep in mind, you want to make sure that whatever you’re directing traffic to from Instagram is not going to have nude material on that page. If you wouldn’t put it on Instagram, don’t link to it.” – Sammy Shayne
For Facebook analytics, you would want to go to your feed, click on “Pages,” and then once on your page, you’ll click on “Insights.”
“Your overview page is going to give you just a basic overall snapshot of what’s been happening on your Facebook page,” said Shayne. “It’s going to show you how many actions have taken place on your page, how many views you’ve gotten, how many likes you’ve gotten all together, your total reach (the total amount of people your posts have reached), and then your total engagements, which is the total amount of people that have actually done something (watch a video, like a comment, shared a post, engaged with the post messages, and total video views).”
Shayne notes this information can be critical when it comes to trying to decide what types of posts you should be concentrating on in the future. “This is something that I definitely recommend looking at,” she said.
Facebook Insights essentially lets you know when your fans are online to allow you to tailor your social media activity accordingly to receive the most views and customer engagement.
Instagram also utilizes “Insights” for its analytics, but the difference is that in order to view Instagram Insights, you must have a business or creator account, which can easily be done from the settings page.
Instagram Insights will present the same general information, including the number of accounts you’ve reached versus how many have engaged and the total number of new followers.
Shayne said one thing that Instagram is driving forward is Reels — akin to Tik Tok videos. “You definitely want to consider, if you use Instagram, doing a lot of Reels right now specifically — they are king right now on Instagram,” she said. Reels also allow you to embed a link (such as to your club) for users.
“Keep in mind, you want to make sure that whatever you’re directing traffic to from Instagram is not going to have nude material on that page. If you wouldn’t put it on Instagram, don’t link to it.”
“You can literally sit down once a week on a slower day and do all of your social media for that week in an hour, hour and a half — it’s done. It makes it a lot easier.” – Sammy Shayne, referencing HootSuite
For Twitter, you’ll go to analytics.twitter.com. “Twitter gives you an awesome amount of information,” Shayne said. It typically presents the information in a 28-day time range and will show you changes from the previous period. Twitter also provides more data on potential customer demographics.
“Twitter gives you every single piece of information you would ever want to know about the people that are following you and engaging your tweet,” Shayne added. “So this is a great place to start if you’ve never looked at your analytics.”
As was brought up at the beginning of the seminar, it’s not necessary to hire someone to monitor your social media (with the exception of sprawling club chains). A crucial aid to this is an automation platform, which will let you manage multiple accounts and spread uniform content throughout your social media accounts.
Popular automation platforms include Hootsuite, Sprout Social, SocialPilot, Buffer and CoSchedule. For the purpose of brevity, Shayne demonstrated Hootsuite.
“I can take a quick glance and say, this is all of my streams, everything’s happening on my social media right now,” she said. “It’s nice to sort of visual way to see your whole month, or your week, or whatever it is that you’re committing.”
Automation tools also allow you to construct your posts automatically, as well as which platforms you wish to share the content on.
“You can literally sit down once a week on a slower day and do all of your social media for that week in an hour, hour and a half — it’s done,” Shayne said. “It makes it a lot easier.”
Automation tools can also present analytics in a more digestible form. Also, the cost for automation tools can pale in comparison to the wage you’d pay someone to upkeep your social media accounts.
Manack recommended owners/operators Google their clubs and see how current their social media activity is. For example, if your Facebook page hasn’t had a new post in years, customers may assume the club has closed.
Naturally, your entertainers are one of the things you flaunt about your club. But if your dancers are reluctant — or opposed — to promote themselves on your social media platforms, Shayne recommended hiring a model instead.
She mentioned the site extralunchmoney.com where “you can actually post a bid and say, I want a photo set, I want a 15-second video, whatever it is that you want.”
“It’s a great way to promote your club if you’re not able to pull from your own resources,” added Shayne. “Just please do make sure you’re very specific in the contract that you signed with this model. Let them know everything that you plan to use it for, even if you don’t plan to use it for that, but you just might in the future, throw it all in there to protect yourself.”
Also, getting your own entertainers or entering into an agreement with a model is a much safer route than using stock photography or model pics pulled off the internet, which can open you up to litigation.
Quoting First Amendment lawyer and frequent EXPO guest Luke Lirot, Manack said Lirot has experienced more lawsuits against clubs for stock photo infringements than even dancer class-action lawsuits. Manack also recommended combing (and removing) your social media accounts for possible prior pics that may violate the “Lanham Act.”
Social media can be a headache, but as the EXPO’s social media marketing seminar stressed, when properly managed, it can only serve to enhance your club’s status. And, it doesn’t even take an army of social media whizzes to do it.