Use of Social Media at The Westmoor Club Increases Value of Membership and Encourages Member Friendships

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Surprisingly, The Westmoor Club is less than a decade old, yet, it is considered the premier destination on the Island of Nantucket. Located in an area where most country clubs are considered ‘historic’, The Westmoor Club is different, yes for its age, but also for their member relations tactics. While most clubs rely on mailings, e-mail blasts, website updates and public announcements, The Westmoor Team did something innovative and embraced the power, flexibility and popularity of social media. It all started five years ago, when General Manager J.Brent Tartamella, CCM, CCE, incorporated social media into the club’s communication platform.  Offering the 480 person membership- the majority of whom are seasonal- this variety in communication has allowed members to not only remain in the ‘loop’ with the club when they are on or off island but with fellow members. These social media offerings help members do anything from update their online directory posting, sign up for an event and even find a partner for tennis or croquet! 

“[From a relationship standpoint], having such a strong social media presence has greatly helped members connect with each other,” explains Tartamella. .” In the beginning, the club adopted Back 9 Links, a Boston-based firm known for their strong reservation suite and member-to member communication tools. (Back 9 Links has since merged with ClubSoft North America.) With this platform, The Westmoor Club created a social platform within its website, allowing members to perform an array of tasks, everything from posting status updates ,  creating personal profiles to registering for events. . With Back 9 Links, club members can view the club calendar – where they can see when lessons, activities and events are scheduled, thus helping to manage his or her personal calendar . Giving members the ability to overlap their personal calendar with the club calendar is especially helpful when arranging summer schedules. 

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The Westmoor Club’s members are kept in the cyber-loop during the season with a weekly bullet point e-mail.   In the off-season, members are sent a monthly e-mail newsletter from department heads.  . In addition, members can exchange information on a variety of social media sites.   Members communicate through privatized groups and pages using Facebook; Twitter; LinkedIn, Yelp, a restaurant and event review site; and Foursquare, a location-based social networking app for mobile phones. 

Even more cutting edge, is how The Westmoor Club incorporates social media into the hiring of employees.  . “We ask applicants to produce a two- to five-minute video to send to us,” explains Tartamella, “to see if they’re a good fit for the club. We want fun, energetic people who will engage with members.” 

Tartamella and his staff are thrilled to see that members are connecting with each other and the club using social media. When The Westmoor Club first launched its social media program, management was not sure how popular it would be. “At first we saw a handful of people use the site, then more and more started using it, beginning with the 20-somethings followed by the 30-somethings, and then there was a wave of interest among all member demographics,” noted Tartamella. “Social media has extended relationships and the value of the club to its members, and that is what we strive to do. That is the [ultimate] reward.” (See The Westmoor Club’s Strategic Communications Plan on pages 63 through 72 in the Appendix of Social Media and the Private Club.) 

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This article is from the Social Media and the Private Club white paper published by Premier Club Services. All CMAA members can access this white paper for free as a PDF file by visiting the PCS Resources for CMAA Members page and logging in with their CMAA credentials in the log-in area to the left.