Consumers have many choices when it comes to finding a fitness routine that works for them. The possibilities are endless – from full-service gyms to at-home fitness apps to studios dedicated to yoga, cycling, crossfit and more. And each time a new fitness center opens or app is developed, it can pose a challenge to your fitness franchise.
How can your fitness franchise stand out from the competition and attract new members? One effective strategy is expanding your social media presence. We’ve pulled together several ways you can make the most of social media to grow your fitness franchise.
Your members are likely constantly connected to their mobile devices and might even be scrolling through social media while they’re at your fitness center. For example, they might check into your gym on Facebook or tweet about their experience – whether it’s positive or negative. In fact, IHRSA found that while happy fitness clients tell four to five others about a positive experience, dissatisfied customers tend to tell nine to 12 others about a negative experience. This means you want to create the best experience possible or risk members sharing a poor experience across their social media networks. And if you do receive negative feedback, make sure you respond in a timely manner and use the feedback as an opportunity to improve the customer experience across your fitness franchise.
When your members post positive feedback on social media, you can share it across social media channels or on your company website so even more members – and prospective members – can learn about the positive experience. The more people who see great reviews across social media, the more likely you’ll attract new members to join.
Beyond creating an open environment for member feedback, consider offering social media contests or encouraging members to post about your fitness center. You can ask your Facebook community questions such as, “What’s your favorite time of day to work out?” or “What’s do you like most about your fitness routine?” Or use a specific hashtag on Instagram, encouraging members to post a “gym selfie” post-workout or using their favorite equipment. As an incentive for interacting with your brand, consider offering members a discounted month, free personal training session or free spa service.
Increased, positive engagement across social media channels can help you create a sense of community among members and reach new prospective members who see mention of your fitness center in friends’ social posts.
Promote Job Openings
When your fitness franchise has a job opening, make sure to to promote it across social media – including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Social media enables you to reach potential applicants who are already engaged with your business. On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, many of your followers are likely fitness enthusiasts who enjoy the customer experience so much, they might want to work for your fitness franchise. Or perhaps they know friends or family members to recommend for open roles.
You should also post any job openings on LinkedIn. Not only will members who follow your company see job openings, but those with skills or titles related to your job description will see your posting through the “Jobs You May Be Interested In” feature. And you can reach even more candidates through LinkedIn Sponsored Jobs.
Social media can go a long way toward attracting new members at your fitness center. But your people are your main source of competitive advantage when it comes to attracting and retaining new members. For tips on how to hire your best team, download our eBook, “Staffing Up For Success: The Four Things to Do When Hiring for Your Franchise Location.”