Successful Social Media is Intentional and Relational

September 18, 2014

By: Hope Osborn

An online Gallup Business Journal article showed a study conducted with 2,500 entrepreneurs to understand the actions and decisions that lead to venture creation and growth. After years of research and hundreds of interviews, Gallup has identified 10 specific aptitudes which were consistently observed in highly successful entrepreneurs. One talent is that of a relationship-builder who has the high social awareness and an ability to build relationships that are beneficial for the company’s survival and growth

Successful fitness clubs are successful in relationship with members and the community. Personal interaction has and always will be the best way to build relationship. But today’s culture and business market demands interaction via technology such as health club management software and social media platforms.  Club management software that interfaces with mobile app and website software that syncs member data for automatic follow-up and targeting email communications is one way for your club to connect with current and prospective members.

Effective social media links prospective and existing members to your website, mobile site, gym, and, most importantly, ‘you’ as a ‘relationship-builder’. However if you are absent, neglectful, dismissive, dated, careless, or unintentional with your gym’s social media site, your site and those potential relationships will fail.  This, in turn, will hurt your gym. Effective social media is mindful of the real person on the other side of the information highway so it makes sense to glean from digital and personal interaction experts alike.

Seven things to note when utilizing social media

Treat each channel differently – Search for the social media avenue that is best suited to your fitness business (including interface with your website and app), is user-friendly, and is client-preferred.

Be yourself – Relate to your members/clients/followers/PEOPLE. Get to know them on and offline.  What they are thinking about, worrying over or enjoying. Be humorous, crazy, and somber. Be transparent about issues and honest about mistakes.

Keep them on their toes – Keep your site fresh, live and interactive, putting up and taking down at the speed of business. Whatever is new in your gym should be new on your site. Post real-time with followers.

Ask a thoughtful question – Interesting interactions among you and your followers is memorable and creates positive club experience.

Listen – Listen and diplomatically respond to both compliment and complaint posts. Leave room amongst your postings to really listen to responses.

Focus on quality, not quantity – If you or your social media delegate doesn’t always have time to post quality, interactive and relational material, get quality back-up for when you can’t. Your goal is connection not counts.

Compliment them – Show appreciation for your members collectively and individually, with permission, on your site. Staff should be able to tell you about goals reached, elevated member activity, and other notables.

Be relational – Successful entrepreneurs build relationships to build a healthy business.

Works Cited

Badal, Sangeeta. “10 Talents That Drive Entrepreneurial Success.” Adapted from Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder by Gallup Press, Sept. 2014. Gallup Business Journal. Gallup, Inc., 6 May 2014. Web. 1 Sept. 2014

Temple, Brandi. “7 Tips for Social Commerce.” Inc. The Playbook. Mansueto Ventures, 23 May 2014. Web Video. 1 Sept. 2014.

Young Entrepreneur Council. “Making a Lasting Impression in Under 5 Minutes: 14 Ideas.” Inc. Networking. Mansueto Ventures, 27 Aug. 2014. Web. 1 Sept. 2014.