How to Grow Your Health Club Membership With Social Media

August 24, 2011

If there were a proven way to increase online membership sign-ups for your health club, wouldn’t you incorporate that into your recruitment campaigns? Take note – social media is that newest tool providing valuable results.

The question for health clubs everywhere isn’t “should you use social media?” but “why haven’t you started?”

Before you start, be sure you have the best health club membership software to handle the influx of new members. Then, check these 5 steps to succeed in the online world:

1. Start A Conversation. The best way to engage audiences is to begin a conversation. First, you’ve got to create a presence where your target market hangs out. Try:

  • Establishing a Facebook page for your business – Invite followers, post pertinent articles, and offer special rewards for “likes”.
  • Starting a Twitter account that keeps followers updated on the newest activities at your club.
  • Creating a regular blog and inviting readers to comment. Your discussions will show you’re interested in being a credible source of information and encouragement.

2. Create Relevant Content. To get your health club brand in front of more eyes, create content with keywords that rank high for fitness related searches, geo matched to city and/or metro where you have your clubs. Your health club is a goldmine of information that can be the basis for press release campaigns.

Begin a regular series of workout tips that offer new routines, nutritional updates or spotlight the latest trends.

3. Use Video. The top Fortune 100 companies release an average of 7 videos per month (InsideView). Videos are effective tools in getting your message across to audiences who (according to a 2010 comScore data mine study) spend approximately 32 hours per month on line.

YouTube is another social media channel you can leverage to introduce your club to potential numbers with video. Create a YouTube presence to:

  • Introduce your club via virtual tours.
  • Provide specific instruction for anything from yoga to running to strength training.
  • Introduce your staff and highlight their areas of expertise.

Don’t forget to videotape special events at your club. They can be great video pieces that offer a glimpse into your club’s unique personality.

4. Incorporate FourSquare. Encourage members to update their location when they enter your club via FourSquare. When they do so, all their friends on FourSquare can see where they are, at your health club. Some people share their FourSquare check-in info on their Facebook and Twitter accounts as well, further extending your reach.

This location-based social media site rewards members with awards and badges when they check-in somewhere. When users check-in to your location regularly via their mobile devices, you can offer special rewards and offers.

5. Establish A Social Media Culture. Encourage your employees to use social media to share their great experiences working with members. After you create a set of guidelines for what employees can and should discuss, they’ll be able to increase your reach and spread word of your club’s unique offerings throughout the social media communities.

Don’t forget to explore niche websites that specialize in health and fitness topics. There are numerous places that you can establish a presence beyond the pages of Facebook.

Once you begin to think about the digital marketplace as your next arena for future members, incorporating social media into your marketing plans will take your efforts in a whole new direction. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to hit recruitment goals when you leverage social media to get the word out.

At the same time, be sure to bring your current members up-to-speed on how they can be part of your online community – the more engaged your members are, the less likely they are to switch health clubs.