Social media is a great way to advertise your martial arts school for a fraction of the cost of traditional forms of marketing. Return on investment is one of the most important things to look at, when deciding whether a marketing campaign is really worth it. With all of the social networks, you can effectively market your brand without paying the kind of money you need for print, radio and television. Here, we lay out what you need to think about:
Use the Right Platforms in the Right Way"Where will you connect with your community?" (Photo by Rodrigo Della Fávera)
The most popular platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Tumblr. While there are other ones, depending on your location, budget and manpower, you may not be able to choose all of these. Each social network has its own demographic and its own intricacies. There are many breakdowns of the social networks that you can research. One of note is the one by Business Insider, where they have notes, as well as a report full of charts to analyze and use.
Tailor Your Efforts Towards Your Location
Different areas of the continent have different social network cultures. In some parts of the United States, Facebook is incredibly unpopular, while MySpace reigns supreme. In other parts of the country, Instagram may be exceeding Facebook's usage whereas, in other parts, Twitter and Facebook may be the best combination. Do research to see if you can find demographic numbers on each network in your area and, if you can't find any, ask your students which networks they frequent: that will be a good indication of the networks you should focus on.
Choose a Realistic Budget and People to Manage Your Accounts
While social networks are free, it can take up a lot of time to use them effectively. Hiring someone to do your social media can be great idea, as long as your budget can support it. With a competent, well-matched social media team, your return on investment will be great. You can also have someone on your staff do it but you'll also be paying their hourly rate. They may not have the expertise or know-how to successfully manage your social media so choose carefully. Going back to how many platforms you want to be on, it really depends how much time and/or money you’re willing to invest.
Use Target Demographics
Keep in mind who your target is. Are you trying to attract younger students, older students or the people in between? Older demographics tend to be solely on Facebook, while younger students tend to be on multiple platforms. However, as we mentioned before, it heavily depends on your location's social network culture. Ask around and refine as you go: that will be the key to success.