Over an eight-week period beginning in March, 20,000 Snap Fitness members across 827 locations lost a total of 57,395 pounds during Snap’s “Lose Weight, Feel Great” challenge. Surpassing last year’s challenge by almost 15,000 pounds, members participated in regular weigh-ins and were given tips and free online meal planning from Chad Ruf, the director of personal training for Snap.
Marketing on Facebook, social media played a large role in the challenge’s success, said Ruf. During the challenge, Ruf hosted two Facebook interviews that received positive feedback from members. During the interviews, members could ask Ruf questions about nutrition and training. “The live Facebook chats were really successful,” he said. “The social media aspect of it was so big.”
The evolution of the Internet and social media has influenced the way clubs reach out to members, and allowed Snap to connect with its members on a more personal level. Each Snap location’s website lists a personal bio of each individual personal trainer, with links to Facebook pages or Youtube videos — doing so bridges the gap between member and trainer.
The popularity of weight-loss shows such as The Biggest Loser influenced the success of the challenge, explained Ruf. “They see the challenge and say ‘that’s something I can do locally,’” he said.
Challenges such as the Lose Weight, Feel Great challenge are great for members looking for extra motivation and guidance. “A lot of people looking for motivation do the challenge,” said Ruf. “It really does help get members in the door and with retention. It was much bigger than last year and we expect next year to be even bigger.”
By Rachel Zabonick