How Social Media Influencers Can Give Your YMCA a Boost

Social Influencers taking selfie at a YMCA

You’ve probably heard the term “social media influencers” thrown around in reference to marketing, but what does it mean? And how can these sought-after individuals help you increase membership and fill programs?

For starters, a social media influencer is a person with a broad or otherwise advantageous reach on social media. They often have a great deal of followers on one or more platforms. Even in the case of smaller groups, however, savvy individuals with audiences who trust their recommendations can be influencers, too. When these folks are on board with your programs and spread the word about membership, they can provide a valuable promotion.

A few social influencers you may already know include:

  • The well-connected neighborhood mom
  • The popular teen blogger in your after-school program
  • The fitness instructor who documents everything on Instagram

Consider the fact that four out of five parents will recommend a program their child enjoyed, and 90% of customers read online reviews before deciding what program to use. Word of mouth advertising is more effective than almost any other type, so enlist the help of these influencers to capture the attention of potential new members.

Free Download: Market to Your YMCA’s #1 Member–Mobile, Millennial Mom

High-Quality Communication

It all starts with good communication, which means posting quality content and posting it often. This gives influencers a reason to follow you and share your social posts with their own networks.

What are some examples of great content?

  • Facebook Live is a great place to showcase your facilities and programs. Use it to highlight classes, events or sports competitions.
  • Create “shareable” moments within your programs. When a team wins a tournament, or a fitness class reaches a milestone, it’s an opportunity to celebrate–and share.
  • Twitter polls are an easy way to interact with your audience. Ask questions such as, “Which programs would you like us to add next year?”

Safety & Best Practices

As part of your efforts, it’s a great idea to host a Social Media Day to teach members about basic online safety and using social media responsibly. In the case of youth programs, invite parents to attend or provide materials that kids can share at home.

Also, always make sure you get parental approval to post and share photos or videos of children under 18. Don’t assume parents will be OK with it as a line item in your membership contract–provide a separate form that each parent must sign. Then, alert them via text or email if you are planning to post a picture or video of their child.

Easy Social Sharing

ACTIVE Net® has social sharing features that make it easy for you to keep members informed. It’s also easy for them to spread the word to their networks. In fact, the integrated social media feature allows members to share the moment they enroll or register for a new program.

To make sure your social media networks are ever-present and easy to find, post links on all your websites and include information on your collateral. With social media influencers on your side, you’ll have a free source of word-of-mouth marketing that’s more effective than most advertising campaigns.

Click here to learn more about marketing to your YMCA’s #1 Member: Mobile, Millennial Mom.