I’ll admit it straight away, I am a massive fan of the closed Facebook group as a communication stream inside your studio.
But don’t worry – If you aren’t, you’re certainly not alone.
It sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, am I right?
But what if I told you that having a closed Facebook group is the first big way you can use social media to drive down the bajillion ways in which people communicate with you?
At this very moment, you’re either thinking one of two things:
1/ You immediately think of all those problem parents and students who will post negative things about the studio on it and want to cause trouble, or
2/ You can see the immediate value of implementing this to really build your studios community offline which in turn will increase loads of things including retention, referrals, happiness and your reputation.
So if you’re in camp #1, just humor me for now and pretend that you’re open to the idea (and just quietly, you absolutely should be) so we can talk about the super-cool content you can post in your group to increase engagement and retention.
1. New teachers – You might have a new teacher starting at the studio. Make sure you make a party out of it and post cool photos or videos of the teacher along with the great things they’ve been doing in their career.
2. Costumes – Maybe you’ve been sketching some cool new costumes for a performance group. Take a photo of a sketch and see if they can guess what dance and age group the costume is for.
3. Notices – You may need to get something out there quite quickly that relates to a class that day or the next. This is a great platform to put short and sharp messages. Don’t worry that not everything you post will be for everyone – they won’t mind at all. In fact they will love knowing what’s going on and appreciate your transparency. Just start the post with Attention Level 2 Jazz, for example.
4. Say congratulations – You might have had some students perform really well at a competition or festival, and you want to say a big congratulations. Post up a photo and say how proud you are.
5. Events – Maybe you have a crazy hair day at the studio or watching week is coming up. You can post a reminder and promote these events easily on the group.
6. Ask questions – Now this one can scare a few people, but people love giving their opinions. I’m not talking about asking something like, ‘Do you think we should increase our classes by $1?’ I’m talking about… ‘Attention Open Commercial Jazz – I’m loving these two songs at the
moment. Which one would you love to dance to this week?’. Get your students and clients engaged and invested by involving them in a way that only takes a few minutes of your time but does hours’ worth of work in building community.
When it comes to how often you’re contributing to the group, don’t spend more than 2 x 10 minute sessions each day in there either posting new content or responding to questions.
The #1 benefit of a closed Facebook group is to keep communications where your parents are spending their time. You can even post a pdf of your studio handbook, important notes and newsletter inside the group for easy reference, and tag members in documents as they join.
When it comes to that huge concern of your studio parents ‘taking over’ in the group, or negativity slipping in then you simply need to prepare in advace. Your studio handbook should contain your closed Facebook group policy (our DSOA done-for-you handbooks have this already laid out) so you can easily squash any misbehaviour long before it happens.
For more information about your studio’s communication, administration, building a community and more, check out the Dance Studio Owners Association.
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