In addition to running a small business, consulting to large and small organisations I also play golf on weekends. I like to keep up with industry news and trends, particularly as golf is part of the “club” culture and for any club their lifeline is totally dependent on retaining and attracting new members. It is with this basic concept that I also read with great interest an article published by the magazine Inside Golf.
Clubs are a business and they need to reach out to their member community consistently and persistently to ensure what they stand for is what the members need. Traditional methods of an elected Board, using occasional newsletters or updates, which are then fed out to members as a fate acompli have no engagement philosophy. In fact I think it’s fair to say that broad participative dialogue is not even on the agenda.
Today, more so than at any time presents a golden opportunity for clubs to realign their thinking and attitude to transparency and collaboration. Most clubs and absolutely golf clubs are struggling to remain financially viable and keep members entertained. The knowledge of “a few” is always going to be less effective than the knowledge of “the many” and the use of social media provides an excellent medium for establishing a new collaborative environment.
Some questions you may need to ask include:
- What do you know about the attendance habits of your members? For example who is not using the clubs facilities or only using them intermittently.
- Do you target those members whose attendance is less than the average? You may be in danger of losing these members through not knowing why their attendance is casual at best.
- Do you ask for member input on ways to increase club income?
- Do you engage your members before something becomes a critical issue?
- Have you thought of crowdsourcing the membership for ideas on a range of issues?
2013 is the year of Digital Business and all clubs need to get on board and explore ways they can deploy the use of social media to better engage with their members. Digital provides unparalleled opportunity to work closely with the most important aspect of a club – People, This means using mediums such as social networking sites that are free to use, ie., Facebook, Twitter and some of the more visual sites such as Youtube, Instagram, Slideshare, Pinterest, etc as well as internally controlled social communities, managed through the use of social business software such as Yammer, Jive, Confluence, SocialText, etc.
If your club is lacking in either its use of these tools or knowledge of them SocialEffect can help. Being a member of a club I hope that effective use of social methods can extend and even expand upon the quality of experience all club members seek.
Please feel free to let me know where your club is at.