It’s no surprise that social media has completely dictated how we interact with each other and how we operate on a daily basis, so much so that if you aren’t on Facebook, then you must live under a rock in an isolated forest with absolutely no cellphone reception. Whether you’re an active user who Instagram’s your breakfast every morning or you’re that person who posts an occasional blurry photo on Facebook after a fun night out, there are mixed opinions about its benefits and setbacks. On the downside, many would argue that it takes us away from the authentic human element of face-to-face interaction, therefore it’s detrimental to society.
The counterargument would say that we can make a greater impact because of its large reach and instant capabilities, and when used correctly, companies can shed positive light on their brands and consumers. Despite its occasional bad rep and people’s mixed opinions about it, you need social media–whether you like it or not. Because let’s face it, you probably checked Facebook not too long ago and are reading this on your phone as we speak, and your members are doing pretty much the same thing. Here are some ways both supporters and haters can use it and how it can help your gym.
INSPIRES, MOTIVATES AND INFORMS YOUR MEMBERS
For anything fitness-related, not only are these the three things you need to actively be doing on a daily basis as a gym owner, but they are also the three key ingredients to your online success. When it comes to fitness and working out, your members need to constantly feel inspired and motivated. If you put yourself in their shoes, motivation and inspiration come and go all of the time. Lucky for you, social media allows for immediate feedback.
Being informed comes into play because people who are especially new to working out need to know how to do certain exercises correctly, know what foods they should be eating to see results they want and how to operate a lot of the complex equipment that are in most gyms. A lot of the time, being misinformed or clueless often leads to insecurity, which leads to giving up, which impacts you as a gym owner because if your members aren’t informed, then they probably aren’t motivated either because they don’t know what they’re doing, and then it just becomes a snowball effect, resulting in lower retention for you. So, then what are some of the things you can do to ensure you’re inspiring, motivating and informing your members?
POST QUOTES OF THE DAY
A little goes a long way, and although it might sound silly, a short, quick post telling people, “you can do it!” might be just the thing someone needs to get moving, and once again, the beauty of it all is that it reaches your followers instantly. Quotes and inspirational sayings are like the bread and butter for the fitness industry. They’re simple, easy and can make a huge impact. How you go about presenting quotes is up to you and depends on the platform, but it’s usually a safe bet to display them in attractive, eye-catching ways. If you choose to go the visual route rather than just plain text, make sure every image is cohesive in some way and jives with your specific brand. Feel free to use any of ASF’s content for ideas or your own posts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
POST MEMES OF THE DAY
Before we go into why you should post this, let’s first define what a meme is. For those who don’t already know, it’s an element of culture that is passed from one user to the next, usually imitating a common thing or idea. It’s typically in the form of a humorous image or a short video that spreads quickly throughout the internet.
So why would you want to, let alone need to post content like this on your gym’s social media? Since motivation comes and goes all of the time, posting something funny and relatable might also be just the thing someone needs to get moving. When it comes to fitness, especially people who are going through weight-loss journeys and need the extra push, we as humans like being in harmony with others, knowing there’s more people out there experiencing similar struggles.
Whether its self-esteem issues, or simply being too tired to work out, we find comfort knowing that we’re not alone and that something is also difficult for someone else. Humor is typically an effective outlet for connecting and relating to others on very personal levels, and when you take a common fitness struggle that many people experience like trying to keep up with a healthy diet, suddenly weight-loss and exercise become more realistic, and fitness goals become more attainable since everyone is fighting a similar battle. Make your life easier by getting ideas, reposting and sharing ASF’s content: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
SHARE PROGRESS AND TRANSFORMATION PHOTOS
Transformation and progress photos are like gold medals for your members. They celebrate your members’ accomplishments, therefore, helping boost your club’s brand and retention. As humans, not only do we thrive on positive feedback, but the success of others inspires and motivates us. By seeing proof that goals are being achieved by real people, fitness journeys seem more realistic. Plus, your members get to be in the spotlight, which boosts their confidence and pushes them to keep going.
POST COMPANY UPDATES AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION
Regardless if your health club operates on a 24-hour basis, social media is your saving grace for keeping members up to speed on what’s happening with your gym. Your members need to know about weather updates that affect your hours of operation, specific holiday hours or if you have special offers going on with point of sale items, and social media is a wonderful tool that allows you to instantly inform them about these things.
BUILDS YOUR GYM’S CREDIBILITY
Social media is so engraved into today’s society that it has become a way of life. That’s why majority of companies out there have Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Whether or not they are active on the platforms every day is another question, but regardless, having some social presence helps users trust your brand and makes your business legitimate overall. We strongly recommend that you pay close attention to common fitness hashtags and the hashtags your members use in their social media posts.
A hashtag is a tool that can be used organically to target prospects. It ultimately helps your online traffic and builds your social following, which ups your credibility. People trust what other people like, so typically, the more followers and engagement your platforms receive, the more credible your company is to outsiders. Be mindful, however of posting too much. This can often make companies look spammy and steer people away, hurting your credibility. Try posting once every day or every other day on each platform. This way, you’re staying consistent, but you’re not flooding people’s feeds.
CREATES A SENSE OF COMMUNITY
We are all about community and that is why this is our favorite benefit of social media. Although the opposing side argues that we are so glued to our screens that it takes us away from authentic face-to-face interaction, we would say that it actually brings people together. As a gym owner, you can share not only progress/transformation photos as we mentioned before, but you can also share different images of your gym and your members using certain equipment and doing certain activities in it–especially pictures of fun group classes that embody community. This not only visually markets your gym to possible new members, but it makes your club feel inclusive overall.
Social media also helps you better understand your members. Majority of them are all on social media, hashtagging their gym selfies and Instagramming their healthy food. As a fitness club owner, we encourage you to engage with those members by liking, commenting on and reposting their content. It allows them to interact with your brand and makes them feel important, which is a win-win for everyone.
Above all, social media helps you understand your members more which is vital to healthy retention. If you’re following them and engaging with them on social media, you’re learning about who they are and what interests them, even outside of the gym. This will help you recognize details like if they’re on a weight-loss journey or training for a half marathon, so that you can more effectively market to them and offer more fitness-related things that match their interests and needs.
IN A NUTSHELL
Luckily, it doesn’t take much to generate content for social media. If you’re stuck and are not sure how to get photos and content, use something as simple as your smart phone to capture images of your members and your fitness club.