Why Gym Operators Should Be Utilizing Social Media

For Gym Operators

Why Gym Operators Should Be Utilizing Social Media

Social media has revolutionized our society, and businesses have not avoided its grasp.

Most people get their news and updates through social media platforms, making social media an invaluable and influential tool that you can use to market and promote your club.

The following is a summarization of an education session from the 2015 IHRSA Convention, produced with full permission from IHRSA. The full-length video is available for purchase at ihrsastore.com.

About the Speaker

Trina Gray is a successful fitness entrepreneur and the owner of two lucrative health clubs in Alpena, Michigan; one being a comprehensive fitness and wellness facility, and the other focused on group-training programs. She is the creator of an online fitness coaching team called “Team Beachbody,” which helps people across the United States get fit. As a speaker, she has appeared at two sold-out leadership events and has shared the stage with successful entrepreneurs, such as the CEO of Success Magazine, Darren Hardy, and best-selling author, Brian Tracy.

4 Reasons Health Club Operators Should Use Social Media

There are many ways you can use social media marketing to promote your club and connect with relevant audiences. Specifically, social media can:

Help You Develop Your Brand

Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, make it possible to reach and market to thousands of people within seconds. It can also greatly affect the success of your business if used correctly. People tend to place more weight on recommendations and thoughts that come from their peers rather than advertisements. Having an online social media presence can generate interest and get people talking about your club. For example, a dedicated Facebook group can help foster a sense of community and allow prospective members to have a feel for your business without having to commit.

Social media can be used to increase traffic to your website through referral links, aid in lead generation, portray your club in a light that makes people want to engage with you, and offer members or prospects additional ways to connect. Set achievable goals for your social media pages and create an ongoing publishing calendar, which includes content your readers find helpful, insightful, and valuable.

Provide a Platform to Engage Your Community

To harness the power of social media marketing, create an active online culture and community of people who engage with your facility regularly. Valued content builds relationships and creates a solid following on social media platforms.

Do not present yourself as a business trying to sell a product; instead, meaningfully engage with your followers by posting interesting content for your market. Then interact with their responses on your site. Create an online community where members and prospective members can find support, information, and helpful content. While it is reasonable to want to advertise your business, do not bombard your readership with offers and sales. Your page should feel like a magazine filled with quality articles, pictures, and posts. For example, try sharing nutrition guides and healthy tips with an occasional relevant offer or promotion.

Design social media pages to resemble the layout and style of your website. The two platforms should contain elements that tie them together so members or prospective members can easily associate them. Your social media pages should include bright and engaging pictures, products that fit within your brand, and other material relevant to your club and its offerings.

Promote Your Programming

Social media can cultivate interest in your programs. Start with short programs or camps that have a strong online presence. Then you can turn your programs into events and employ social media to engage with members or prospects who demonstrate an interest.

This kind of social engagement has the effect of improving member retention by fostering accountability within the community. The online aspect of a program will keep members motivated and interested outside of the actual workouts.

Online support for programs spreads through word of mouth. Members share posts about the programs, and sometimes share their experiences and pictures on their own pages. This results in free advertising that reaches numerous people within a very short amount of time. Social exposure can often generate increased interest in your business, which naturally leads to more members and more revenue.

Connect With Your Team

In addition to marketing your business and engaging with your client base, social media platforms can be used to connect with your team.

Use your page to periodically recognize exceptional staff members, or just engage with them in a meaningful way. A private staff group can be used to offer constructive feedback to the group as a whole, without having to single any one person out. Your group can also serve as a place to encourage and cultivate personal development within your staff. They can interact meaningfully with their peers by sharing ideas or feedback. Employing social media can create a sense of belonging within your team, which can help motivate and inspire your staff.

Some social media sites also offer the option of promoting or "boosting" your posts. However, when you create a page full of engaging, educational and interesting content for your members, you’ll create an enhanced outreach without having to pay a cent. If you are constantly publishing offers for sales, you will be tuned out. Provide your readers with content that makes them want to interact with your brand and share it. Social media can support your core business strategy and, if you use it properly, it will help you generate more revenue.