One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Social Media Platforms Worth Your Time

For Gym Operators

One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Social Media Platforms Worth Your Time

With so many social media platforms, gym operators need to focus their attention on the options that will best serve their particular business needs. The following contains a brief rundown on several of the most popular social media channels and why an operator should choose one over the other.

The following is a summarization of an education session from the 2014 IHRSA Convention, produced with full permission from IHRSA. The full-length video is available for purchase at

About the speaker

Fred Hoffman is the Owner of Fitness Resources Consulting Services. He is also an author and the 2007 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year.

 Which Social Media Platforms Are Best

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 does not necessarily refer to a "new" version of the internet, but rather how software designers and end-users use the web.

The internet is ubiquitous and increasingly interactive, collaborative, and driven by social media dialogue. The web is no longer just information-driven but is also filled with user-generated content and virtual communities. Users are able to participate in, control, and guide their online visits. Most internet users consume information via mobile devices, making the internet an integral part of people's’ daily lives.

This is why using social media platforms is so important for business success. Social media is where conversations are taking place. Whether you like it or not, choose to engage in or ignore it, conversations are still taking place on social media, and they could be about you.

In embracing social media, you need to introduce your company and communicate who you are. Have conversations and engage with customers. Be sure to keep all interactions in line with your brand. Share valuable and interesting content with them and create a community of fans.

Strategies for Social Media

Always take the time to learn about the most common social media platforms and how they function. Start small and choose just one or two platforms to use. Look at other companies’ social media pages and draw inspiration from them. Once you are comfortable in the social media space, branch out to other platforms.

It's critical to have a plan in place to control how you communicate your brand’s message through social media. You can do it through posts, photos, videos, or blogs and other video formats. It's not uncommon to outsource or hire someone to manage social media marketing and recruitment offers.

Company Social Media Policies

Develop a social media engagement policy and guidelines containing what can or can't be said on your social media pages. Inform your employees if you decide to reserve the right to monitor their use of the company's social media pages, regardless of the location. Measure and track your social media activities to identify areas of success and areas that could use improvement.

Netiquette for Social Media Policies

Always identify yourself when writing content for your company’s social media pages. Keep the content relevant, current, and interesting. Keep your social media pages polite and free of obscenities and foul language. Be honest and make sure that what you’re posting is true.


Facebook has over a billion users and that number keeps growing. Facebook is a common social media platform for businesses due to its viral nature - sharing of posts, likes, etc. Companies can use Facebook to create a community, engage with their members, and show their culture to their users. It can also be a great way to hold contests and competitions. Facebook posts can be targeted and tracked to ensure that you attract the right customers. You can also use Facebook to recruit new employees, highlight employee achievements, and get feedback from clients and fans.

Facebook pages help businesses share their stories and connect with people. When used correctly, a company page can be a great marketing and branding tool. Pages are public, allow for customizable apps, and require administrators to control and run them.

Facebook groups provide a designated environment for people to communicate about their shared interests. They can be public or private.

Facebook insights give page administrators the ability to track and measure the reach of their posts and monitor their activity, which can help them understand if their posts are reaching their goals.


Twitter can be thought of as a mini blog. Each post is limited to 140 characters and can be retweeted or shared by your followers to reach an even larger audience. Twitter offers real-time searching in the form of hashtags.

You can use Twitter to monitor searches about your company to see what’s being said about you. You can post links to content on your website or blog. You can receive feedback and respond to your clients and prospective clients. You can also make members and employees your brand advocates by retweeting any time they praise your company.

You should tweet relevant messages concerning your company or related current events. Observe what others are tweeting about and search for like-minded people and companies to follow. You can also use Twitter for customer service purposes.


Pinterest is another social platform that you might want to explore for your company. It offers an online bulletin board where you can share, or “pin," images found on the internet. The mission of Pinterest is to "connect everyone in the world through things that they find interesting."

Pinterest can be a huge source of referral traffic. Users recommend posts and share with others, essentially marketing for you. Pinterest allows you to monitor your activity so you can determine what works with your audience and what doesn't.

Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are only three of the major social media networks, but they can each be a powerhouse for promoting your business and connecting with your chosen audience.