While we know that consistency is a key of social media success, we also know that is not the only important aspect of maintaining a solid presence. Using social media has become an art and a science — and City of Brenham Blue Bell Aquatic Center seems to be mastering both.
In fine-tuning its social media approach, the team learned something crucial: “The people on our Facebook are not necessarily going to be the same ones watching our Tik Toks,” says Kelsey Toy, assistant aquatic superintendent at Blue Bell Aquatic Center.
For example, Facebook and Instagram tend to attract users ages 25 to 34, while TikTok appeals to a much younger age group — users ages 10 to 19.
Knowing this, the staff at Blue Bell Aquatic Center in Brenham, Texas, deploys a different strategy for each platform, based on its predominant audience and messaging the team would like to convey to each target group.
Blue Bell Aquatic Center engages through three platforms: Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. The staff chose these after talking to people at the facility about which platforms they use and where they would go to get information about aquatics programs and events.
On Facebook, the team seeks to let followers know what’s to come. The audience trends older — adults with families and seniors. They want to know what’s going on at the Center, so Blue Bell highlights upcoming activities such as exercise classes, swim lessons, and camps.
Instagram posts show what’s going on right now, appealing to this platform’s younger audience (mid-30s and under). “Over the summer, we would post our guard of the week,” Toy says. “It was a good way to introduce our staff to the outside world, to say something good about them.”
Blue Bell began posting to TikTok about two and a half years ago, mostly because of its popularity with the lifeguards, who are even younger and form that key demographic. The staff wanted to do dances and skits, so Toy and her team saw this as a good way to engage them. The primary objectives: Recruit more lifeguards and boost staff morale.
“We decided it would not only be a good incentive for our staff ... to enjoy their jobs, but also to put their stamp on things,” Toy says.
While the young staff conceptualizes, films and executes the videos, they must get approval from management before posting.
One of the highest-performing TikTok posts, a short diving skit, garnered more than 630,000 views and 43,000 likes.
The team defines success on all social media platforms by how well the center can reach its community. The metrics for success are there: Blue Bell Aquatic Center reached an all-time high for facility usage in 21 years of operation, Toy says.
Social posts have boosted registration for camps, swim lessons and exercise classes. Registration happens primarily online now and books well in advance. Exercise classes grew from five to 10 participants to 15 to 25 participants with additional weekly slots.