To some martial arts school owners, social media marketing is the “next big thing.”
a temporary yet powerful fad that must be taken advantage of while it’s still in the forefront. To others, it’s a buzzword with no practical advantages and a steep, complicated learning curve.
Because it appeared quickly, social media has developed a reputation by some for being a passing marketing interest, and therefore an unprofitable one.
According to Social Media Examiner, 97% of marketers are currently participating in social media – but 85% of participants aren’t sure what social media tools are the best to use.
This demonstrates a huge potential for social media marketing to increase sales, but a lack of understanding on how to achieve those results. With the increase of the different types of social media and usage, most of us realize the “fad” is here to stay. Here’s a look at just some of the ways social media marketing can improve your martial arts school:
1) Increased School Recognition
Every opportunity you have to syndicate your content and increase your visibility is valuable. Your social media networks are just new channels for your school’s voice and content. This is important because it simultaneously makes you easier and more accessible for new students and makes you more familiar and recognizable for existing students. For example. A frequent Twitter user could hear about your school for the first time only after stumbling upon it in a newsfeed. Or, an otherwise non-typical student might become better acquainted with your school after seeing your presence on multiple networks.
2) Improved School Loyalty
According to a report published by Texas Tech University, brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers. The report concludes “Companies should take advantage of the tools social media gives them when it comes to connecting with their audience. A strategic and open social media plan could prove influential in morphing consumers into being brand loyal.” Another study published by Convince & Convert found that 53% of Americans who follow brands on their socials are more loyal to those brands.
3) More Opportunities to Convert
Every post you make on a social media platform is an opportunity for customers to convert. When you build a following, you’ll simultaneously have access to new students, recent students, and old students, and you’ll be able to interact with all of them. Every blog post, image, video, or comment you share is a chance for someone to react, and every reaction could lead to a site visit, and eventually a conversion.
Not every interaction with your school results in an enrollment, but every positive interaction increases the sheer number of opportunities you have on social media is significant.
4) Higher Conversion Rates
Social media marketing results in higher conversion rates in a few distinct ways. Perhaps the most significant is its humanization element: the fact that schools become more humanized by interacting on social media channels. Social media is a place where schools cant act like people do, and this important because people like doing business with other people — not with companies.
Additionally, studies have show that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing, and a higher number of social media followers tends to improve trust and credibility in your school, representing social proof. As such, simply building your audience on social media can improve conversion rates on your existing traffic.
5) Higher School Authority
Interacting with your students regularly is a show of good faith for other students. When people go to compliment or brag about a product or service, they turn to social media. As when they post your school name, new audience members will want to follow you for updates. The more people that are talking about your school on social media, the more valuable and authoritative your school will seem to new students. Not to mention, if you can interact with major influencers on Twitter or other social networks, your visible authority and reach will skyrocket.
6) Increased Inbound Traffic
Without social media, your inbound traffic is limited to people already familiar with your school and individuals searching for keywords you currently rank for. Every social media profile you add is another path leading back to your site, and every piece of content you syndicate on those profiles is another opportunity for a new visitor. The more quality content you syndicate on social media, the more inbound traffic you’ll generate, and more traffic means more leads and more enrollments.
7) Decreased Marketing Costs
According to Hubspot, 84% of marketers found as little as six hours of effort per week was enough to generate increased traffic. Six hours is not a significant investment for a channel as large as social media. If you can lend just one hour a day to developing your content and syndication strategy, you could start seeing the results of your efforts. Even paid advertising through Facebook and Twitter is relatively cheap (depending on your goals, of course.) Start small and you’ll never have to worry about going over budget – once you get a better feel for what to expect, you can increase your budget and increase your enrollments correspondingly.
8) Better SEO Rankings
SEO is the best way to capture relevant traffic from search engines, but the requirements for success are always changing. It’s no longer enough to regularly update your blog or website, ensure optimized title tags and meta descriptions, and distribute links pointing back to your site. Google and other search engines may be calculating their rankings using social media presence as a significant factor, because of the fact that strong schools almost always use social media. As such, being active on social media could act as a “brand signal” to search engines that your school is legitimate, credible, and trustworthy. That means, if you want to rank for a given set of keywords, having a strong social media presence could be almost mandatory.
9) Richer Student Experiences
Social media, at its core, is a communication channel like email or phone calls. Every student interaction you have on social media is an opportunity to publicly demonstrate your student service level and enrich your relationship with your students. For example, if a customer complains about your product on Twitter, you can immediately address the comment, apologize publicly, and take action to make it right. Or, if a student compliments you, you can thank them and recommend additional products. It’s a personal experience that lets students know you care about them.
10) Improved Student Insights
Social media also gives you an opportunity to gain valuable information about what your students are interested in and how they behave, via social listening. For example, you can monitor user comments to see what people think of your school directly. You can segment your content syndication lists based on topic and see which types of content generate the most interest – and then produce more of that type of content. You can measure conversions based on different promotions posted on various social media channels and eventually find a perfect combination to generate revenue.
These are the benefits of sustaining a long-term social media campaign, but if you’re still apprehensive about getting started, consider these points:
- Your competition is already involved. Your competitors are already involved on social media traffic and conversions are being poached. Don’t let your competitors reap all the benefits while you stand idly by. If, somehow, your competition is not involved on social media, there’s even more of a reason to get started – the field is open.
- The sooner you start, the sooner you reap the benefits. Social media is all about relationship building, and it tends to grow exponentially as your followers tell their friends, and their friends tell their friends, and so on. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be able to start growing that audience.
- Potential losses are insignificant. Realistically, you don’t have anything to lose by getting involved in social media. The amount of time and money it takes to create your profiles and start posting is usually minimal, compared to other marketing channels. Just six hours a week or a few hundred dollars is all it takes to establish your presence.