As the fitness industry continues to produce a great variety of exercises and programmes, and increases the number of clubs in every market, getting connected with current and prospective members is more important than ever.
One of the best ways to (organically) create strong connections with members is through social media – which has become an increasingly easy and inexpensive way to advertise your gym and empower members. In other words, take advantage of it!
Your business should take full advantage of its social media platforms by using them to engage members on a regular/daily basis.
Encouraging social media posts from in the gym and about the gym can turn members into ambassadors. You can encourage members to post as much content as possible, and even reward them with freebies, for example, clothing.
These highly engaged members can provide a major boost to your gym’s culture through their social media activity. If someone feels strongly enough about your gym they are more likely to ‘go above and beyond’ to help strengthen the brand.
However, you have to be careful, as not all content will be beneficial. Inappropriate or irrelevant posts can be detrimental to your gym’s member engagement. It is important to monitor what is being posted from your social media accounts, as well as what posts that ‘tag’ your gym.
It is highly recommended that any owner/manager put in place a clear social media consent form that all members must fill out in order to use the gym for their platforms. For example, request that they ‘follow’ the gym, and do the same (follow them to monitor how they portray your gym). Any unsavoury/inappropriate content they post should be immediately removed.
The same type of precautions should apply to staff (e.g. employees and contractors), as many problems can arise from social media content that is inappropriate or violates a member’s privacy.
Prior to posting staff must understand the importance of:
- Gaining a member’s permission;
- Respecting their privacy; and
- Portraying the gym in a positive light.
That said, do not let the fear of negative social media content deter you from allowing people to express their feelings about your gym.
If your member love your gym enough to take the time to mention it, you should not only allow it, you should encourage it. This can:
- Build a stronger culture;
- Enhance brand awareness; and
- Be a very effective, free, method of marketing.
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