Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools available to gym and fitness club owners today. It’s a highly effective way to attract new members and engage your existing customers, since 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend the company to friends and family.
But even for experts, social media is a challenging tactic to master. With so many messages being sent each day, how do you stand out against your competition?
Fortunately, there are some proven principles you can apply to see better results from your social efforts. Read on to check out our tips for using social media to elevate your gym marketing efforts and get your brand noticed.
Know Your Audience
When you think about getting your message out through social media, the first thought is often to get your posts in front of as many people as possible. However, this is actually not the best approach when it comes to fitness club marketing.
By trying to please everyone with your messaging, you often end up with a generic marketing campaign that doesn’t resonate with anyone. People who want to join a new gym are looking for specific, targeted messages that appeal to their needs. In other words, no one has ever joined a fitness club because of how generic it seemed.
To break this habit, decide what your niche is and what your brand personality looks like. Are you aiming to get the after-work crowd? Or are you looking for serious fitness enthusiasts? Start by focusing on prospects who are the absolute best fit for your gym and create content that matches their interests.
Not only does this help you successfully sign up more members, but it also prevents wasted marketing expense since you won’t be generating clicks from people who aren’t a good fit in the first place.
As with any other gym marketing materials you share, the most important rule is to be genuine. Customers are inundated with so much marketing these days that they’ve become incredibly savvy and can spot pandering from a mile away.
Don’t try to force an identity that you think people want; instead, play up your brand values and showcase how those run deep in your club. For example, trying to repurpose memes or other cultural trends can backfire unless you have a full understanding of their meaning and context — and you know that your members would enjoy them.
Instead, emphasize and expand on traits that your audience has enjoyed. If your budget allows, use social media to generate engagement through giveaways or contests, or offer new joiner discounts.
Even though paid advertisements can work, the fact remains that they’re still ads. Consumers have learned to ignore them, so unless your marketing is spot on, it won’t be very effective.
On the other hand, some of the best marketing comes from word-of-mouth recommendations from friends, family, teammates, and other people with whom your prospects already have trusting relationships. In fact, 75% of people don’t believe ads, but 90% trust suggestions from family and friends.
Pump up your organic social media marketing by leveraging your members’ and employees’ personal accounts to transform them into your own army of brand advocates. After all, some of your members could be influencers with huge followings.
Encourage them to share information about your club by incentivizing or gamifying the process with contests or discounts for the top sharers. You can even use your gym TVs as community boards where members can post club-related photos and videos and get excited about seeing their selfies on screen.