Social Media

4 Social Media Apps Your Gym Should Be Paying Attention To

The social media marketing revolution continues to shape-shift as new platforms and apps mature. In the world of fitness marketing, that means a fast-paced race to recruit new members and keep the ones you have.

Ask anyone staring at their phone right now what they’re looking at, and chances are they’ll say they’re on 1 of the many social media apps. The social media marketing revolution continues to shape-shift the internet as new platforms and apps mature. In the world of fitness marketing, that means a fast-paced race to recruit new members and keep the ones you have. All this can be done using some forward-thinking tactics that are dependent on the social media platform, its user demographic, and your target audiences. Here are the top four social media apps, why they are relevant to fitness membership acquisition, and how you can use them in your gym today:

Instagram:

Stats about instagram: Instagram’s photo sharing platform is one of the best ways gyms and fitness professionals can engage younger members. According to Statista, Instagram is expected to reach more than 170 million active monthly users in the United States by 2022. Worldwide, Instagram has more than 1 billion active monthly users (compared with Facebook’s 2.8 billion).

Your Strategy: Because more than half of Instagram users are between the ages of 18 and 29 years, having an Instagram profile for your gym is one of the most visual ways to engage teens and millennials with your brand. Regular photo and video postings, such as sharing member testimonials or uploading a video of a well-attended group exercise class, will improve engagement with your younger members and prospects. Especially remember to use Instagram stories as well, with over 500 million daily story views on instagram this is a great way for you to get important information across quickly to your audience. (P.S. If you have over 10k followers on instagram you'll have access to the swipe up feature which is HUGE for quickly getting leads to your website to signup or checkout your new product) Add club alerts to communicate with members when facilities or machines are unavailable, and post inspirational fitness quotes members can share for motivation. Social media is all about staying omni-present... there's hundreds of gyms out there competing for the same clients, the real question is, who will come out on top?

Your Best Bet: Instagram has video capabilities your gym should be using whenever possible. Cross-post to YouTube and Facebook for the greatest exposure, and share a 1-minute tour of your facility (or an exciting new feature) with your followers whenever you have the chance. Quick fitness or diet tips also make great videos that people can engage with, also do before and after photos and member testimonials. People love to see what's possible and the results your gym has brought people. Remember to use popular hashtags such as #health, #wellness, #fitness or time-based hashtags (#4thofJuly, #weekend, #summer) if you have a special promotion at a certain time of year, to reach and engage your target audience. Create a contest in your gym to incentivize your employees to post content everyday, this is a great way to really get your team thinking of new ideas for content!

Facebook:

Stats About Facebook: Despite photo-heavy young upstarts like Instagram and Snapchat, Facebook is still king of the social media realm in the United States and still is most used by people aged 13-31. With more than 71% of the online population using Facebook you'd be silly not to tap into that incredible resource. Social media should be a part of every fitness club’s marketing strategy. This is also a highly effective way to reach millennials and Gen-Z.  According to IHRSA’s Global Report, gym memberships grew to 174 million members globally. What’s more is that over half of new gym members are under 30 and 80% of new gym members are Gen-Z or Millennials.

Your Strategy: Because millennials & Gen-Z exercise the majority of American purchasing power, it stands to reason that Facebook is just coming into its own in terms of brand marketing value. Keep your Facebook page current, respond quickly to interactions, schedule daily posts and engaging with your audience is an incredible way to keep there interacting with your business! Posting daily is best achieved by developing a month-long content calendar and scheduling all posts once a week using a tool such as Sprout Social, Hoot-suite, Buffer, or MeetEdgar. Content should strike a balance between engagement content (member highlights, staff features, group exercise additions, nutrition tips, or healthy recipes) and acquisition content (special offers, complimentary guest passes, etc.).

Your Best Bet: Facebook offers strong paid and organic marketing options. Recruit new members with paid video ads, which gives you the ability to dynamically retargeting these people depending on the length they watched the video, you're basically creating a "email list" of video views as you can no retarget these people and direct them to a dedicated landing page on your website to measure which ads perform the best. Boost specific posts that seem to be performing well (make sure you always do this inside ads manager, never use the "boost post" option on your facebook page as it greatly reduces the options you have for targeting) and more people in your target audience will see them over a period you determine based on your budget. Retain current members by promoting community engagement, gym equipment thats down, plus weather alerts, when appropriate.

Snapchat:

Stats About Snapchat: Another social hub for millennials, Snapchat is a photo sharing platform with fun, interesting filters and instantaneous sharing. More than 40% of ALL 18 to 34 year olds in the United States use Snapchat or see Snaps every day, and a growing number of users are age 25 years and older which means it crucial for your gym to be active on the platform

Your Strategy: Depending on what the user specifies, Snaps can disappear after 1 to 10 seconds or stay in a story for up to 24 hours. Stories garner lots of replies, and with an audience of 160 million users per day viewing 10 billion videos, your gym needs a Snapchat presence. App developers keep coming up with new ways to enhance the platform, and a new advertising feature will insert ads into stories. Use the link option to allow followers to swipe and visit your web page and create custom geofilters for your gym, creative picture frames that only appear in a snap when a user is at your gym. This is HUGE as it allows your members to post to their own account with this filter opening you up to ALL of their audiences. Geofilters don’t need to include your logo but could incorporate your logo colours and should be fitness-themed. Consider something like a border of free weights with a caption that reads, “Getting stronger.” If you are able to use your logo we do HIGHLY recommend doing so.

Your Best Bet: Encourage members to share Snaps and stories of their workouts, and get trainers on board and commenting on the posts to build community. Those same tours and quick video tips your trainers produce for Instagram and YouTube can be leveraged on Snapchat. You could even create a contest for your members where you offer a FREE personal training session or FREE month to the person who's most consistent posting throughout the month. This a great way to incentivize your audience into helping you promote your brand.

Youtube:

Stats About Youtube: 72% of people used YouTube to exercise or keep fit in 2020. There was a 515% increase in videos with “home workout” in the title in March alone. And people looked to develop some pretty specific fitness skills:

  • There was a 195% increase in daily videos on how to do a handstand
  • Dance workout videos saw 180 million views from mid-March to mid-May

With that being said this clearly means its crucial that your gym has a presence on youtube... just imagine a video that you post goes viral!

Your Strategy: Tell people how your gym is different from other ones that you directly compete with, and why your gym will provide a healthy and fit environment to support them accomplish their goals. Everyone, today, wants to know why a service is better than another, so sharing your secret is important for you to stand out in todays very noisy social world

Don’t hesitate to involve people of all age groups and physical abilities in your videos. Use of props and music that will attract people who will then spread the word if they find the video interesting. You can even use video series as a marketing tool. It gives a continuous flow and helps in brand recall and keeping people engaged. Conduct surveys – let your customers speak and share their view point. You can even schedule an interview with a local expert that people respect. Using experts such as nutritionists and personal trainers will add credentials to the video and will make an impact.

One way to have an endless supply of video ideas is to answer every day gym questions that is specific to your facility. Whenever a customer or member comes to you or a staff member with a question, have them write down their question and post the question with the answer later on your gym’s YouTube Channel. Questions can be as simple as "Does your gym provide free towel service?" to more in depth ones like "What are good exercises and machines to use to develop core strength?" The more videos with unique and good quality content, the better ~ even if they are short.

Your Best Bet: The content of the video plays an important role in attracting people’s attention. The most important thing for a gym brand is to make videos and post it on their website as well as on YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook & instagram. YouTube especially is a widely used site for videos and it no longer restricts the length of videos. There is a constant stream of traffic on YouTube as compared to your website alone and like we cited above there was a 515% increase in "home workout" searches JUST in March alone.

Make sure the videos are short and don’t take too much time to buffer and play. Even people who have weak internet connectivity should be able to view the video. Be honest and let the passion you have for your business come out in your personality. You can post funny videos, share some incidents, or show some success stories. But you must be aware that every update and video posted will have an everlasting effect, whether it is positive or negative. Thus, use your greatest judgment when considering the video’s content as it should respect the sentiments of your existing and projected membership base

Although all four digital marketing platforms are important, here are the three primary areas for you to focus on:

  1. Stay in front of your audience. Digital marketing requires frequent adjustments to paid and organic campaigns. Put the right message on the right platform (at the right time of day) to reach your intended audience. Test which ads and content garner the greatest reach, response, and engagement. (SPLIT TESTING IS KEY) Frequent posting and replying to comments quickly are key to building relationships on social media.
  2. Demand action. A strong call to action is imperative. For paid Facebook carousel ads, static digital advertising, and videos, use active verbs that empower the user such as “learn more” (versus “sign up,” which indicates a commitment your target member may not be ready to make). Strong calls to action will increase the number of leads your efforts will generate.
  3. Create consistently positive experiences across all digital media. Ensure your website content, images, schedules, etc. are all up to date before you funnel sales traffic to your site. Ask others for objective feedback on your site and continually optimize so it’s as engaging as your social media content.

Whether your gym is a small operation handling marketing in-house or you’ve hired a team to handle your digital efforts, it’s essential to have a plan of attack before you start posting. A consistent online presence is key to a successful digital campaign. Remember to set goals that are trackable, set a budget that’s realistic, and create a content calendar to help you stay efficient and organized. Most importantly, evaluate how your current mix is helping you to meet membership goals at least monthly, and adjust as needed.

If you'd like to speak to someone at GymScale about helping you with your marketing efforts please click the contact us button and someone will get back to you in 12-24 hours!

Watch Our Demo Video

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Latest Articles

View All

With 330 million monthly active users and 350,000 tweets sent per minute, you need to produce engaging, eye-catching & memorable content. So where do you start as a busy gym owner or fitness professional?

March 12, 2021

Gyms face many challenges when trying to attract new members. One of the biggest hurdles is that when someone wants to try a new gym, she tends to run a Google search and then call the first gym or two on the list.

March 14, 2021

There are hundreds of ways that you can market your gym, especially in the digitally connected world we live in now. When it comes to fitness marketing, there is a lot of fun and engaging content ideas you could run.

March 14, 2021