If you don’t yet have a social media presence for your gym, you really should start now. Your business might have a passionate and active membership out there on Facebook or Twitter, just waiting to engage through social media as a community. Of course, that’s the holy grail of social media in business; you want to use social to drive your business. Realistically, you’re probably going to have to work at it a bit but once it picks up momentum it’ll be much easier than doing promotion all by yourself.
Your gym has a community of members and employees. People are brought together by the service and space you provide. It’s easy enough to extend that with the use of an established social media network even if it’s just a page on Facebook or Google Plus. There are more specific apps and networks that you can use also, which I have written about in the past.
The one thing that’ll confirm that you have a successful presence is when you start to accumulate advocates within your community. These are members and customers who are happy and passionate about your brand. They will tell the community their experience and give advice.
One Percent Will Do Ninety Nine Percent of The Work
The most valuable resource in your community is going to be the members who speak out about their passion for your gyms. These advocates can be the most influential members. It’s important to recognize the potential role that they can play in helping to market your gym and supporting your community.
The value of advocates accumulates in several ways. First, when they review or recommend your gym they do so from the heart. The rest of the community will also give more weight to their opinions and treat them as authentic. That is because the community intuitively understands that they are the most genuine voice for your brand. You should encourage this because that kind of passion can’t be faked.
Advocates can help potential members make the decision to join your gym instead of your competitors. It is precisely that sort of enthusiasm and authenticity that can make the difference in the effectiveness of your marketing and promotions.
Allow The Community to Lead The Conversation and Let The Advocates Emerge
What you are going to have to be, most of all, in a social media community, is a welcoming host. You have to be ready to sit back and let the conversation find its own course. That doesn’t mean passively watching complaints, they should be dealt with promptly. Just make sure that you handle them discretely away from the limelight.
I don’t recommend trying to fake advocates, people will see right through that. It will totally undermine any true advocates that you have, once they turn against you it’s over. When companies attempt to achieve a sort of artificial advocacy by employing social media influencers, essentially professional advocates, that can backfire. Studies have shown that influencers carry much less weight than true advocates and are discounted by the communities of the brands that employ them.
Once you have a small community developing around your social media presence make sure to engage with it and tie it to your other marketing activities. A small fraction of your community will be the most involved. When they engage and promote your brand they do it with the passion of true believers, in an authentic way.
Don’t be afraid of setting up a Facebook Page (or similar), promoting it, and posting announcements and photographs regularly. It may take a while but if you start now it will begin to grow a following of readers and a few advocates who join in the conversation. As long as you can keep them happy and feeling valued, your advocates can be the greatest resource in your entire marketing strategy and campaign.