Summertime is Parks and Recreation Season

Logo-Love-My-Park-July-Park-Rec-MonthThe Summer Solstice is a week away. What does that typically mean? Warm weather, beaches, parks, no school, family time, summer camps, vacations. But it has a whole different meaning here on our niche community blog: the recreation world. Parks and recreation agencies are in full swing during the busy season, and North America is celebrating the job they do. June is Parks and Recreation Month in Canada and July is Parks and Recreation Month in the US.  Continue reading

4 Free Tracking Tools to Measure Marketing Success

Most people think online marketing is all about the glitz and the glamour. Creating viral videos, schmoozing clients at cocktail parties, creating advertising campaigns and… Facebook! Reality check; reports are one of the most important components of any marketer’s job. Without detailed data, measuring the success of any marketing campaign is guess work. For all you know, your latest campaign could have been a hit but analytics will show otherwise. Get yourself out of the dark, monitor the statistics’ of your future marketing campaigns and arm yourself with powerful information using these free, easy-to-use analytical tools:  Continue reading

6 Simple Steps to Using Facebook Promoted Posts

MegaphoneThe average Facebook Business Page post will only reach  16% of its audience. If you have 100 likes on your Facebook page, your posts will appear on the home feeds of approximately 16 people who have liked your page. This has a lot to do with the timing of content and Facebook’s Edgerank system. Facebook allows you to reach a higher percentage of your likes and people who have not yet liked your page with the Promoted Posts Feature. This is a low-cost, high-value tool for those of you looking to draw attention to an announcement, promotion, event etc.

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17 Marketing Campaigns to Boost Parks & Rec Participation

A few weeks ago, we got together with a group of parks and recreation professionals in the Chicago area. We met at Wood Dale Park District to talk about ways to increase participation in programs they offer and ended the luncheon with group discussions. Here are some ideas presented that you could add to your marketing mix:  Continue reading

P&R Marketing Idea: Facebook Cover Photo Contest

Facebook-cover-contest-thumbThe key to social media success is engagement. But creating engagement sounds a lot easier than it really is. At ACTIVE World 2013, Henry and I had the opportunity to sit at a round-table discussion with a great group of our clients to discuss different marketing strategies that have or have not been working for organizations. Social media engagement, or maybe the lack thereof, was a hot topic.

So we had an idea. Here is a fun way to use your cover photos to create engagement on your Facebook page and encourage community participation:

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Bit.ly – What It Is and How to Use It

bitlyAs tech companies grow and new ones pop up, new verbs continue to be introduced to our evolving vocabularies. New verbs that started off as company names and won’t be found in Webster’s Dictionary. “Google” it comes to mind first. Want to know the name of a song you’re listening to? “Shazam” it. Want to video chat with your family back home? “Skype” them. But here’s an example you may not be so familiar with; has anyone ever asked you to Bitly a link?

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How to Improve Your Posts With Facebook Insights

The starting point for all marketing is your audience. Who are they? What are they like? What are they interested in? How do they buy?

If you do a good job of targeting your emails – announcing upcoming yoga classes to past yoga class attendees – you need to do the same with your Facebook posts. And today, we’ll talk about how you can better understand who your Facebook fans are and what they like. Here are three parts of Facebook Insights to check out in order to understand who is participating and what they want:  Continue reading

How Apple and Starbucks Can Improve Your Customer Experience

Tim SandersA few weeks ago, hundreds of customers came down to San Diego for ACTIVE World, our customer conference. One of the keynote speakers, Tim Sanders, is the CEO of Net Minds and founder of research firm, Deeper Media Incorporated. Tim is also the author of four books and works to improve the intersection between technology and people.

Tim talked about creating an experience around your product or service and used two stories:

1. Less stuff, fewer steps – Steve Jobs  Continue reading

Why You Need Benefit-Based Marketing (Guest Post)

This is a guest post by Greg Bruggeman. He is a recreation professional and blogs at Professional Recreation. Check out his blog or follow him on Twitter.
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Have you ever had to buy an item foreign to you? Not something huge like a car or house but something inconsequential and of little cost, like a cleaning solution. As you sit in the aisle weighing the pros and cons of two similarly priced items, something catches your eye: Scrubbing Bubbles! You think to yourself “How could I have been so stupid! All these years, I’ve been doing the scrubbing when these bubbles can scrub for me!” I had to get this product! While I was walking out of the store with my Scrubbing Bubbles, I realized I had become the victim of great benefit-based marketing.  Continue reading

4 Ways To Engage Your YMCA Members (Outside Its 4 Walls)

If you’re reading this, you are probably involved with YMCAs in some capacity. And since you’re in the industry and we’re a software company, we won’t be talking about how you can better engage your members on a human level or in person. You’ve got that down.

But we do know technology, so this blog post will cover some ways you can interact with your members through newer media and tools. Here are 4 ways to improve member engagement when they aren’t at your facilities: Continue reading