The UAE is one of the most connected societies in the world with over 92% smart phone penetration and with over 88% of the surveyed population revealing that most of their purchase decisions are heavily influenced by social media. How can you afford to ignore such a powerful medium which will help you connect with your community, give your business a human face and personality, build long term brand loyalty and generate valuable business leads ? Most people who are fitness conscious are tech savvy and heavily into social media and it is their primary source for news and views. I give below some tips to use Social Media Marketing for your Fitness Centre :
- Post Valuable , interesting Content – which means no hard selling !! People get turned off by direct sales pitches. Instead, post interesting, valuable content on Nutrition, share your fitness secrets, tips to lose weight healthily, information on gym equipment and how to use them and a host of other topics.
- Start an “Performer of the Month” Club – Pick out one of your students performing exceptionally well every month and nominate him as “Performer of the Month” . Highlight them on your Facebook, Instagram and other Social Media pages. It can be guaranteed that the person highlighted is going to share this with all his friends, thus giving you valuable new leads and introducing your gym to a larger audience, all at no extra cost !!
- Member Testimonials – Social Media is the new “word of mouth on steroids “, and hence positive reviews and testimonials can be very helpful in promoting your gym (according to a Nielsen survey, over 70% of customers trust online reviews from people they don’t know !!). Displaying testimonials on your social media accounts creates trust because they are seen as an honest representation of your services and quality. Identify members who have shown appreciation or have made significant progress since joining your gym. – have they decreased their BMI, were they able to complete their half marathon since joining your gym ? Personalise these testimonials with photos and quotes and encourage your members to write reviews on your Facebook page.
- Instagram – A great visual platform ideal for gyms and fitness centres ! You can showcase your equipment, your staff, run competitions such as “best biceps (!!!), and a host of interesting content to boost engagement and interaction. Fitness tips, instructional videos, diet tips, interviews with your trainer , interviews with your members – all have potential to provide interesting and inspirational content. Create a Hashtag for your gym members with your gym name and watch the awareness build !!!
- Post Pictures of work outs and Athletes – This is one of the easiest ways to increase your gym’s visibility and awareness on Social Media. Posting pictures of people that attend your gym will certainly increase the likes and shares
- Have a Referral Incentive Program – You can do a Likes contest, a Shares contest and offer a weeks or months membership free to whichever member does the best job of promoting your gym on their Facebook feeds.
- Contests : Hold a monthly contest – invite members to send their selfies for the best Abs, Best Biceps, Best Triceps etc. Hold a Poll and highlight the winners !! Watch the excitement building up !
- Quizzes : Run a fitness quiz regularly. People like to test their knowledge and answer questions. A great tool to build interaction.
- Pinterest : Pinterest is a great tool to collate interesting content and once you have enough interesting content on your Pinterest page, you will eventually gain a good fan following.
- Your Human Face and Personality : This is a very important aspect which cannot be overemphasized. Your gym has to have a personality which has to come through your Social Media presence. Humanize your gym – introduce your staff, interview them , give tit bits about their life, their aspirations. You will be surprised to note that people actually find this very interesting and your business gets a human and caring face. Highlight an employee of the month !!
- Facebook Advertising : A very powerful tool , especially relevant for the neighborhood gym ! With FB’s powerful segmentation tools, you can narrow down your target market by income, demographics, nationality, sex and location. Your offers and promotions relevant for this target market can be directed at them
Thus, an integrated Social Media presence can go a long way in establishing your brand , increase your brand awareness, credibility and in turn, grow your business steadily and for the long term