Lessons: Following Through on Facebook
Posted 7th of March, 2018

How-to launch and build a community-based business with Facebook and nil budget.

It’s almost a year since North Somerset Tennis Academy launched their tennis programme to the local community. We take a look at how the programme has been able to have such longevity on such a low budget.

North Somerset Tennis Academy is a local tennis programme based from Clevedon public tennis courts. The programme is now delivered as after-school and lunchtime tennis sessions within schools throughout North Somerset. The programme goes into the heart of the local community bringing families and children together.

The NSTA founder came to Soello to help market a business which hadn't yet began. There were a few points they put to us that made us get up and do something:-

1. The programme must be accessible to everyone. Allowing the programme to showcase grass roots tennis.

2. No membership fees to join NSTA.

3. The programme will be based from the local public tennis courts. The tennis courts must continue to be free to use.

4. The programme should attract funding from various organisations to help improve the tennis courts and in turn help develop the players abilities.

So, we decided to help. Our main aim was to minimise the amount of maintenance for NSTA (allowing more time on court). We created a colourful brand identity to attract the whole community, including children.

We launched NSTA with a Facebook page. We invited friends of NSTA members. We asked friends and family to share the page and our most recent posts. We then updated the Facebook community with daily news just as you would with friends and family. We successfully created a (fairly) small yet engaged community through Facebook.

It’s been almost a year since they started out and we are amazed with the progress and longevity NSTA has made on such a low budget. With over 150 children in their programme, the cause is going to the community and our overall health and wellbeing. NSTA have now secured funding from Sport England and Clevedon Town Council to resurface the courts - this has made a huge difference and increases the longevity of the programme. They are now looking at further funding to add floodlights to the courts.

In addition to this work we created professional imagery and a short video to promote NSTA on Facebook. The video content showcased the essence of the programme with all ages and different abilities involved. This allowed NSTA to reach a wider audience.

We’re extremely pleased to have been involved with such a great business that’s driven by community and the desire to help others. If you’re interested in getting involved do visit their Website or Facebook page.

1. Ask a creative friend to help with your branding.

2. Invest in a fairly decent camera or iPhone.

3. Set aside 15 minutes per day to update your community - take them through your journey, step by step.

4. Be personable but remember your spelling and grammar.

5. Remember you have friends! Ask your friends, family or acquaintances if they'd be happy to donate (if it benefits them).

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