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The key to UFC Gym’s social media success isn’t a result of the number of posts or tweets the company produces in a day. Instead, it’s a lot more personal.
“I would rather have 100 of our members talking about how much fun they are having inside our space, taking pictures and video of their daily experience, over a big global campaign talking about UFC and ‘Train Different,’ because there’s an authenticity to it,” said Brian Calegari, UFC Gym’s director of marketing. “There’s a ‘me too’ environment on social media.”
Facebook is one of the top social media platforms UFC Gym uses, alongside Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. However, Facebook’s algorithms can be a challenge for gyms. According to Calegari, a lot of emphasis is on Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm, which can change daily.
But UFC Gym is not focusing on this aspect, looking instead to develop its community through the use of Facebook’s pages. “We’ve really put a lot of focus in building communities for each gym,” said Calegari. “Each of our locations has a consumer-based Facebook page where … it highlights the brand, the logistics and the map, promotional offers, guest passes and then a lot of our member experiences.”
Each UFC Gym community page consists of 6,000 to 8,000 members. “From the moment you step foot into our facility and you sign up, we welcome you to our social media community,” said Calegari. “And we’re really all about member-centric experience. So, with the algorithm shift and Facebook putting so much focus on boosting advertising revenues for small, medium and large companies, we’ve kind of stuck to our guns since day one and focused 100 percent on customer service and member experience.”
UFC Gym has been pushing social media because of its benefits. “Social media to me is the most important facet,” said Calegari. “It’s free, it’s viral marketing and you’re allowing yourself and your team to create a brand identity as you build your enrollment. So social media is very important.”
Calegari said where Facebook goes, UFC Gym will follow. “Every time Facebook creates new ways for UFC Gym to get their message out, we’re going to try it,” he said. “We’re going to beta test it. We’re going to create two to three offers, and we’re going to look at the analytics to see what has the best response. We’re going to make sure we stay on top of the evolution of social media because if you don’t, it’ll pass you up pretty quick, and eventually, it’ll cut off your pipeline of communication to your demographic.”
But UFC Gym has continued to keep true to its member-centric mentality by staying authentic and looking to just have fun. “That strategy is never going to change,” said Calegari. “Facebook is going to continue their algorithms, which again is more focused on the revenue-based side of the business, so the service and the member side is going to stay the same.”
By Heather Hartmann