10 Ways Operators Can Build Community in the Gym

For Gym Operators

10 Ways Operators Can Build Community in the Gym

Building a stronger community within your gym has the potential to make your fitness facility stand out from the sea of competitors.

In addition to drawing in new members, a better sense of gym community can encourage membership retention and increased activity within your gym. Implementing some of the 10 strategies below can help foster a positive community among your members.

1. Establish a Presence on Social Media

Establishing your gym's presence on social media networks is a good way to build an online community with your members (personal trainers can take advantage too). Once you've created your profiles, display reminders throughout the gym so that your members know how to follow you. Then use your profiles to regularly share important information with your followers, such as schedule changes and member success stories.

2. Hold Giveaways and Contests

Regularly hosting giveaways or contests at your gym is a good way to inspire a competitive community spirit among your members. For example, you might give a free month to the member who logs the most minutes on the AMT for a specific month. Moreover, you can encourage people to strike up friendships by giving special rewards to people who participate as pairs or in small workout groups.

3. Sell Merchandise

Selling and giving away merchandise with your gym's logo is a great way to build a relationship with members who are proud to belong to your gym and advertise your gym to prospective members. T-shirts are always an excellent choice, but you can also offer pens, water bottles, backpacks, hats, etc.

4. Photo Wall

Although Facebook is a great place to share photos of your members' hard work, you can also use a physical wall in your gym to make a photo wall. A few pictures and some insightful captions can help tell the story of your most motivated (and inspiring) members. Update the wall regularly; struggling members may push themselves harder to earn a spot.

5. Hold More Classes

Classes are a great way to help bring your members together and encourage friendships. Adding a few classes at new times can go a long way in building community for your members who may feel isolated.

6. Encourage Feedback

Providing your members a reliable way to give you feedback can make them feel that their opinions truly matter and that members are being heard. You can encourage feedback through your social media profiles, or through feedback forms at the gym's front desk.

7. Offer Discounts for Friends and Family

You can quickly build up your gym's community by encouraging your members to bring in their own friends and family members through special discounts. For example, offering a reduced rate for spouses will encourage more families to join your gym.

8. Get Employees on Board

Asking your employees to be polite and kind to each and every member is a good way to build a positive atmosphere in your gym. Train your employees to always smile at each patron and to be as understanding as possible when helping with customer problems.

9. Free Gifts

As mentioned above, offering your merchandise for sale is a good way to make some extra money, but you can also give away these items for free to add some excitement for your members. Consider using giveaways to reward customers who meet certain goals, such as recruiting five new members over the course of a year.

10. Offer Daycare Options

If your gym offers childcare services, you'll help customers who are parents feel welcome in your gym. If possible, offer more than a simple child monitoring service; your gym can host fun classes for children to get them interested in sports, fitness and healthy eating.