RYA has developed a Guide to using Social Media

With 123 million Facebook users worldwide and an estimated 100 million videos updated on YouTube every day, social media is undoubtedly a fantastic method for sailing clubs and centres to communicate with club members, instructors and potential customers.
 

With 123 million Facebook users worldwide and an estimated 100 million videos updated on YouTube every day, social media is undoubtedly a fantastic method for sailing clubs and centres to communicate with club members, instructors and potential customers.

If you�re new to social media it can seem a very big and dauntingworld, so the RYA has teamed up with Sport England to answer some of themost frequently asked questions.

1. How can sailing clubs and class associations benefit from using social media?

Socialmedia is a great way to reach out and communicate to all types ofpeople. More and more people are choosing social media as theirday-to-day means of communicating with their friends, discussing theirhobbies, sharing photographs and commenting about current affairs.Sailing clubs and class associations can benefit from social media bydriving awareness of sailing, interacting with their customers andincreasing participation by sharing interesting content with consumers.

2. Are Facebook and Twitter just for young people?

No,far from it. More than a third of Facebook users in the UK are over theage of 35 and this is also their fastest growing demographic. Only 13%of their users fall into the under 18 bracket, so the majority of theirusers globally are adults. Twitter is mainly used by older adults, withonly around 10% of users aged 12-17.

3. How much time will it take up?

Notmuch at all. You need to be clear from the outset about what you wantto use social media for and what your content strategy is so that youcan manage this activity accordingly and factor it intoyour day-to-day workload. You can use social media effectively without it becoming too labour intensive.

4. How do I get started?

Anyone can set up a profile/accounton Facebook, Twitter or YouTube by simply logging onto their websitesand following the simple steps that are outlined. There are various tipson the sites about functionality, communication tools and plenty ofinformation on the internet.

5. How do I know if it is working?

Thisstarts with being clear from the outset about what your objectives are.Getting people to visit your page is important initially and this canbe increased through advertising but it shouldn�t just be about gettingloads of fans. You need to communicate to the right audience in anappropriate tone with relevant information, so that you are engagingthem. It is important to communicate relevant content and at the righttime. You will know if you are being successful when people postcomments back as it shows they�re interested in what you�re promoting.It is difficult to measure how effective social media is at convertingpeople to participate in sport, but it�s definitely an important channelto use to support and enhance other marketing and promotional activitythat you are carrying out.

6. How can I protect my privacy?

Thereis a full range of privacy settings that you can use on Facebook andother social media platforms. For example, you can choose whether youallow people to post on your page or simply comment on your posts. Thisreduces the risks of what may appear on your page from members of thepublic. There is also a filter on Facebook that automatically takes outbad language if it is posted. It is important to create a strong socialmedia community around your club but the risks need to be recognised andmanaged in the appropriate way. Overall, it is down to the user to usetheir best judgement.

Want more information?

Click hereto download a copy of the Guide to using Social Media.