Are your gym social media strategies actually helping you generate membership leads? Are you using them to retain loyal members and build awareness of your brand? Or are they just sucking up your valuable time but not really contributing to your business goals?
Social media can be an invaluable tool for your fitness business. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram can make a real difference to your bottom line. So, if yours aren’t generating the results you’d like, then we’ve got some practical strategies to help…
In this article – we share 10 gym social media ideas for lead generation and member retention, to help boost your club’s profitability.
Here’s a quick overview of the gym social media ideas that work best…
- Promote your audience (not your brand)
- Use lead magnets
- Run competitions
- Drive referrals
- Pay to play
- Celebrate member achievements
- Encourage interaction
- Support their journey
- Provide exclusive content
- Invite feedback (and then act on it)
Now let’s dive into these ideas in more detail…
Gym Social Media Vs Other Channels
If you run a gym, health club, or boutique fitness studio, then client attraction and retention will be high priorities. There are hundreds of ways to do this, from referral campaigns to advertising. But social media is a particularly effective channel that has two huge advantages over ‘traditional’ marketing…
It’s cost-efficient and easy to measure.
You can set up a professional page on any of the social sites for free. And if you choose to invest in social advertising too, then it’s substantially cheaper than traditional print (not to mention much more targeted).
When it comes to measuring the impact of marketing campaigns, the traditional methods can be tricky. Do fitness businesses really know how many membership leads came from their last newspaper advert? Or flyer campaign? It is possible to track, but it’s not easy and not usually accurate.
But social media sites provide built-in ‘insights’ or reporting data, showing results from all your activities in easy-to-understand charts. This makes it super-simple to identify what worked well, and what didn’t, so you know what to repeat in the future.
Attracting New Gym Members Through Social Media
In order to attract members via social media, you need to make a conscious effort to be seen by NEW people, not just your existing circles or followers. Posting regularly is a good way to start, but it’s not enough. How will you get in front of new people if you’re only talking to the ones who already know you?
Facebook is the largest social platform, yet the organic reach of posts is between 2% – 6.5%.
This is pretty depressing. For every 100 people who follow you, between 2 and 6 will actually see what you post. Sigh.
So if you really want to attract NEW members, you need to invest in advertising or get people to share your content. Every time someone shares your post, it’ll appear in their friends’ newsfeeds, multiplying the number of people who see it. The average Facebook user has 338 friends, so that’s an extra 7-22 people who’ll be exposed every time it’s shared.
Attracting new members and clients isn’t about getting likes. It’s about providing valuable content, getting that content shared, capturing new contact details, and then following up.
Provide valuable content
Get that content shared
Capture new contact details
Here are some highly-effective gym social media ideas that’ll help your club attract new members and boost monthly revenue…
#1 – Promote Your Audience (Not Your Brand)
People love to share social media posts that make them look good. So help them look good! Promote their stories, successes, and achievements – anything that makes them look smart, successful, funny, or helpful.
Posts about people achieving personal bests, winning challenges, or overcoming obstacles, all work really well. Your followers will be much more likely to share this type of content, especially if they know the person being referred to.
The key to this approach is to always include a ‘call to action’ that links back to your business.
So end your post with a phrase like ‘join the challenge’ or ‘get involved here’, plus a link back to your own website.
#2 – Use Lead Magnets
Lead magnets are a great way to capture email addresses and grow your client list. You just need to create something of value, that people will hand over their email address for. Here are a few ideas to get you started…
- Video courses
- Meal plans
- Cheat sheets
- Workout guides
- Email courses
- Shopping lists
- Recipe cards
If you make your lead magnet valuable enough, then people will naturally share it. You can also pay extra to ‘boost’ it with a Facebook ad or promote it as sponsored content on other social sites.
#3 – Run Competitions
Running a social media contest can be a powerful way to generate leads (as well as increase brand awareness).
If you select something that’s generically appealing (like an iPad or Amazon vouchers) then you might attract a lot of entrants, but they won’t necessarily be interested in your products or services.
So think about what your ideal client or member would be interested in… a yoga weekend? A month of free training? Customised Nike trainers? Then collect email addresses from all the contest entrants, so that you can follow up with them afterward.
#4 – Drive Referrals
Referrals tap into the holy grail of marketing… word of mouth. There’s nothing people trust more than a recommendation from a friend. So if you can get people sharing your digital marketing content, you’re A) increasing your exposure to a wider circle of clients, and B) improving your credibility too.
The simplest step is often overlooked… we neglect to ask. This is easily solved by adding a call to action at the end of posts such as ‘share with someone who’ll appreciate this’ or ‘share with friends who might like to try this’.
The next level is to incentivise referrals. On social media, this means making your audience look helpful, as well as giving them something in return. You could create online vouchers for your followers to share with friends and family, such as…
- Swim & Sauna Day For 2
- Group PT Session
- PT Starter Class Pass
- Buy One Get One Free On Smoothies
#5 – Pay To Play
If you’re using Facebook, you can choose to boost posts, such as the ideas we’ve listed above. This will increase the number of people who see or interact with them in their news feeds.
Alternatively, you can create adverts with a specific offer, that links to an email capture form. The key here is to establish a follow-up process for the leads you collect.
One option is to set up an email auto-responder, that sends a series of emails to nurture your prospects. Alternatively, you can follow up directly by phone or email, ideally within 24 hours of them submitting their details.
So, there you have five gym social media strategies for attracting new members… Implementing these marketing ideas will ensure that your social media actually generates clients (and doesn’t just suck up your time).
By providing valuable content, that encourages sharing and collects contact details, you’ll have loads of new leads in no time! But the last and most important step is to ensure you have a follow-up process in place.
Now let’s look at how you can use your gym’s social media for retaining existing members…
Using Your Gym’s Social Media For Retention
The service you provide inside your facility undoubtedly impacts retention. But there are so many other elements outside of the gym that can influence loyalty.
Creating email newsletters and organising events are marketing favourites. But have you thought about using gym social media posts to improve retention?
Social media can be a great tool for building client relationships and embedding your services into their everyday life. Most people check social media every single day, so it gives you the chance to grab their attention on a regular basis.
Many gyms know social media is a great way to attract new clients, but miss a trick when it comes to loyalty. It costs 5x more to attract a new customer, than sell to an existing one, so it’s well worth spending time on.
Here are 5 gym social media marketing strategies to build loyalty and increase retention…
#6 – Celebrate Member Achievements
As a general rule, self-promotional content should be limited to a maximum of 20%. This means the remaining 80% should be educational, entertaining, and interesting.
A great way to make your content less self-promotional is to switch the spotlight onto your members. Promote their stories, successes, and achievements – anything that makes them look good! Posts that highlight people achieving personal bests, winning challenges, or overcoming obstacles all work really well.
This type of content gets great engagement, lots of positive comments, and helps develop a supportive community. It also demonstrates the results that you help people achieve, and encourages others to stick with it over the long term. Success breeds success, so showcase your member achievements as much as possible.
QUICK TIP ⇒ Tag the person being featured so that their circles see it too.
#7 – Encourage Interaction
Although it’s super-simple, this is a surprisingly common mistake. Sometimes we can be so focused on promoting our own content, that we forget the ‘social’ aspect of gym social media. But interaction is the key to building an engaged community, and this is a key ingredient to keeping members loyal.
To encourage a two-way conversation, post open questions that require more than YES/NO answers. You can ask followers about their weekend plans, favourite healthy snack, or how they motivate themselves to workout consistently. Then reply to every single comment with a tailored response, so that you continue the conversation even further.
This is a great way to crowd source content for your blog too. By collating people’s answers you can quickly create ‘top tips’ posts and ‘how to’ articles that address members’ needs. It also gives you an insight into what people are struggling with, so you can tailor your offering to help them.
QUICK TIP ⇒ End your posts with a call to action that encourages interaction, such as ‘double tap if you agree’.
#8 – Support Their Journey
You can also use your gym social media posts to help members achieve their goals. You might only get to see them for a couple of hours in your facility – that’s not much time to cover all the aspects of a healthy lifestyle. But social platforms give you more channels to provide additional education and support.
So make educational content a key component of your gym social media strategy. Creating posts on correct exercise technique, nutritional tips, or answering FAQs can all help your members achieve their goals faster. And if they feel supported and see results, then they’re far less likely to cancel their membership.
QUICK TIP ⇒ Think about what your members struggle with most, and then create content around that topic.
#9 – Provide Exclusive Content
Another way to encourage loyalty is to make your followers feel part of something exclusive. Give them special access or behind the scenes sneak peeks that aren’t available to the general public. Offer tangible benefits or perks to being part of your tribe.
Some gyms create private Facebook groups that are accessible to members only. You can run Q&A sessions, exclusive monthly challenges, or member-only competitions and giveaways.
QUICK TIP ⇒ Ensure your gym social media provides additional value and supports your members so they see it as a membership benefit.
#10 – Invite Feedback & Then Act On It
Quick polls and surveys are a great way to invite feedback and encourage more two-way interaction. The key to making this approach effective is to share results afterward – keep people in the loop about how you took action on their feedback.
By demonstrating that you value your members’ opinions, you make them feel more connected to your business and invested in your brand.
Ask followers for their opinion and start a conversation. You could discuss fitness-related topics like their training preferences, ask for business feedback, or get them to vote for your next blog topic.
QUICK TIP ⇒ Always respond to comments promptly, and announce the results of any polls. When followers see that you’re actively engaging, it’ll encourage them to share their opinions too.
Want More Gym Social Media Tips?
So there are 10 simple strategies to boost lead gen and retention via gym social media.
Promoting your audience and encouraging interaction helps to develop a two-way relationship with members. Supporting their journey and providing exclusive content helps you deliver additional value whilst helping people achieve their goals. Inviting feedback and then acting on it shows that you care about member opinions and helps them feel invested in your brand.
Ready-Made Social Content
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