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MatsuShinshii
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 337
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bulltahr wrote:
OK, Full disclusure: I am a tech savvy 50+ person. I don't consider myself a Facebook fan, but I am pragmatic about Facebook and what it does.

If you look at a club facebook page, or a full website as being your on-line, 24/7 Bulletin board. This is what it is basically, if you produce a club newsletter then think of a club website as being a digital version, plus a whole lot more besides. And you can always control who see's it's contents and who can comment etc. Facebook pages seem to be getting more popular than full websites, likely for several reasons, free as opposed to the cost of proprietary websites, easy to update and more user friendly as most of the younger gen are very facebook "literate" , a message regarding tonight's class for example will quickly get around the student network, rather than having to make 30 phone calls to each individual. PMs can be sent direct to most people's smart phones etc. Calendars, booking schedules etc, there are many powerful tools available for facebook users.
Facebook is a great social media tool for any organization or business. When they first came out, I think I read somewhere that TVs were considered by many to be just a passing fad....................


Your in good company as I am also 50+.

I appreciate the explanation and advice. You have very valid points and is definitely something to consider. I will definitely pass this on to our board.
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tallgeese
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 6604
Location: McHenry County, IL
Styles: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Gokei Ryu Kempo Jutsu, MMA, Shootfighting, boxing, kickboxing, JKD, Pekiti Tersia Kali

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's invaluable, and you're going to need to get active on multiple social media platforms as well. Luckily, it's relatively easy today to set up a professional website and pretty affordable as well. Several sites exist to help you do just that.

Get it all rolling together with your social media. It will pay dividends.
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reddragonkaratecrewe
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 18 Feb 2017
Posts: 6
Location: Crewe, UK
Styles: shotokan

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TBH, I always recommend both to my clients (I'm IT by trade as well as first aid trainer etc).

We've setup our new facebook page ( http://www.facebook.com/reddragonkaratecheshire ) to handle easy contacting, easily available video access etc, but then link it to more in-depth writeups and explanations etc on our website ( http://www.reddragonkarate.co.uk). The website also takes in feeds from twitter etc. It helps us promote ourselves quickly, helps people get in depth information in an easy to navigate site and a site adds a little more professionalism to your club rather than just having facebook.

Just my opinion though
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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 26120
Location: Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want people to learn about your school, you should have a website. It's really that simple.

If the above statement is true, I don't know if there are any good arguments against it. There are arguments of "I don't want to" or "I don't like it" or "we've been alright so far," but those aren't really arguments against having one. They're arguments against change, against understanding how other people find information and against making an effort or time.

Framing it as a "need" allows people to feel defensive and/or dismiss it. Well, no, of course I don't need it, my martial arts style is legitimate, and we have a long tradition - word will spread! Or I'm already spending $X on X, so why do one more thing?

Who Uses the Internet?

It doesn't matter who you cater to, what age they are, where they are from, what their income level is, however you might segment potential customers, when people want to learn about you, a substantial portion of any demographic is going to Google and entering your name. They'll visit your dojo, shake your hand, go back home and Google you. It's not even just this generation.

Pew Research conducted a study on how online U.S. adults use social media, in the spring of 2016. This is what percentage used Facebook a little under 1 year ago:

All adults: 79%

Sex
Men: 75%
Women: 83%

Age
18-29: 88%
30-49: 84%
50-64: 72%
65+: 62%

Education
High school degree or less: 77%
Some college: 82%
College+: 79%

Salary
Less than $30k/year: 84%
$30k-$49,999: 80%
$50k-$74,999: 75%
$75k+: 77%

Area of Residence
Urban: 81%
Suburban: 77%
Rural: 81%

Also, since these are percentages of U.S. adults online, it is worth noting that, as of last fall, 87% of U.S. adults are online. And adoption is going up, not down. 48% of U.S. adults weren't online in 2000. In 16 years, it's down to 13%.

Small Steps

At the minimum, I'd suggest having a website and a Facebook page, even if they are bare bones. You should also claim and customize your Google My Business listing and your Yelp profile.

There are a lot of things you can do, but don't worry about anything else. Don't worry about Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or anything else you may have heard of. Not yet. Again, these are small steps, which will make the time commitment minimal.

Google My Business

Just to briefly explain what this is and why it matters, take a look at this Google search for the name of tallgeese/Alex's school: https://www.google.com/search?q=Alpha+BJJ&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

See the section with the logo, phone number, etc.? That's what Google My Business controls. Add your hours, address, nice photos, a link to your website, etc. It'll take you a couple of hours. It's the first thing people see! Which is why it is important.

(Also, when you view this search, you can also take a note to see how Alex has done good work. When you search Alpha BJJ, the first link is his website. The second link is his Facebook. The third is Yelp, followed by a local media story about the school opening, then his YouTube. It's all him! People who are deciding whether or not to visit his school go here, they search and they find it fast. It's a good impression.)

Yelp and Online Reviews

A word on Yelp: You will hear small business owners complain about it. You might even hear stories of business owners who "fought back" and really let those Yelp reviewers have it. Ignore and resist these stories with all of your strength. Simple truth: Yelp, and similar sites, exist. The only question is: Will you use them to help or hurt you?

Help: As you have satisfied customers, encourage them to review you on Yelp, Facebook and/or Google (wherever they want) in a no pressure way. "I am so glad that you enjoyed class! No pressure, and I totally understand if you are too busy, but if you'd be willing to share your experience on Yelp or Facebook, it would mean so much to us." And leave it there.

When negative reviews are posted, reply with the understanding that you are not just responding to that one person, who may or may not be reasonable, you are responding to EVERY PERSON who will ever read that review, and how they see you treat that unruly customer is how they think you will treat them. If you are nasty to that customer, they think you will be nasty to them.

Hurt: Ignore these sites, tell yourself they don't matter. Complain about them to current and potential customers. Argue with negative reviews and really "put them in your place." All of these are bad moves that while temporarily satisfying, undermine your integrity and the trust people have in you, over the long term.

Cost

Time is your main investment. Setting up Facebook. Yelp and Google My Business is a matter of hours total, not days. Monitoring them, answering questions and posting the odd update or photo is something you can do a few days a week, taking up probably 30 minutes to 2 hours of your time each week.

Creating the website can be a matter of hours, too. Updating it as needed. Start simple. Your location, nice photos, your philosophy, a list of what you offer, bios of your instructors, etc. That's all stuff you only need to update as needed, not regularly.

Monetarily, the cost isn't prohibitive. Facebook, Yelp and Google My Business are all free. If you do the website yourself, you should register a domain name and pay for hosting. You are likely looking at $4 to $16 a month. Worst case scenario, you can use something like Wix, Squarespace or WordPress.com to make a website and it'll look decent. You can drag and drop elements around, and they make it pretty easy for you.

If you feel totally out of your element, you can just ask an instructor or friend, who is more comfortable with it, to help you. But you can probably do it if you want to.

A lot of great points have been made on this thread, so I'm just adding to those. Lupin1, Kusotare, ashworth, bushido_man96, JR 137 and Bulltahr all made posts that resonated with me.

Hope this helps.

Patrick
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MatsuShinshii
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 337
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patrick,

You make it hard to stay in the non-tek world my friend. Those are compelling arguments for having a website. I did not have a clue how easy it was nor did I know about the sites you mentioned.

I have no idea if they will go for the website or not since I no longer sit on the board but I am seriously considering this for my self and my dojo, if for no other reason it would be an easier way than phone, email to get information out to my students and the schools I oversee.

Great info! Thank you for taking the time to post, I really appreciate it and you definitely taught me something.
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LLLEARNER
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 10 Feb 2016
Posts: 303
Location: Central Maine

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Well, I do have a Facebook page, but it's a personal one, and I've never used my FB page for any of my dojo's. The SKKA/Hombu, doesn't have a FB page other, for the same reason(s) that it doesn't have a website. It's just not that important...at all!!





WHAT??!! You are not totally old-fashioned? Just kidding. It did shock me though.
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"Those who know don't talk. Those who talk don't know." ~ Lao-tzu, Tao Te Ching

"Walk a single path, becoming neither cocky with victory nor broken with defeat, without forgetting caution when all is quiet or becoming frightened when danger threatens." ~ Jigaro Kano
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LLLEARNER
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 10 Feb 2016
Posts: 303
Location: Central Maine

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bulltahr wrote:
OK, Full disclusure: I am a tech savvy 50+ person. I don't consider myself a Facebook fan, but I am pragmatic about Facebook and what it does.

If you look at a club facebook page, or a full website as being your on-line, 24/7 Bulletin board. This is what it is basically, if you produce a club newsletter then think of a club website as being a digital version, plus a whole lot more besides. And you can always control who see's it's contents and who can comment etc. Facebook pages seem to be getting more popular than full websites, likely for several reasons, free as opposed to the cost of proprietary websites, easy to update and more user friendly as most of the younger gen are very facebook "literate" , a message regarding tonight's class for example will quickly get around the student network, rather than having to make 30 phone calls to each individual. PMs can be sent direct to most people's smart phones etc. Calendars, booking schedules etc, there are many powerful tools available for facebook users.
Facebook is a great social media tool for any organization or business. When they first came out, I think I read somewhere that TVs were considered by many to be just a passing fad....................


Facebook is often more convenient for mobile users as well. I know most of the time I am not sitting at a full workstation.
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"Those who know don't talk. Those who talk don't know." ~ Lao-tzu, Tao Te Ching

"Walk a single path, becoming neither cocky with victory nor broken with defeat, without forgetting caution when all is quiet or becoming frightened when danger threatens." ~ Jigaro Kano
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 12235
Location: Houston, TX and/or Van Nuys, CA
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While Patrick's post is solid across the board, and quite important, as well, I still do not want, nor do I need a website because I just don't...it's not that important. My dojo's have averaged a Student Body of just over 300 students WITHOUT ever having a website.

The internet is for some, but not for all!! I've done quite well for myself for not ever having a website, twitter, FB, or whatever else is out there.

Old school STILL works for me!!



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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 26120
Location: Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My pleasure, MatsuiShinshii. Sorry for the delay in getting back here. I'm glad it was helpful. Thank you for the kind words.

Thanks,

Patrick
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