Each social media platform gives brands a window to help their members get to know them in ways they never could before. It’s a new level of intimacy between brands and consumers, one that — like any intimate relationship — is based on trust. And we as stewards of the brand need to protect that trust and ensure we don’t misuse it. Sounds like heavy stuff, but it is something that marketers need to take seriously.
Think about what our members are saying when they choose to like or follow us. They are actually saying that their relationship with the gym means something to them and they want to be a part of it, even when they aren’t there. It’s pretty remarkable really, given that we continually struggle to retain our members. Here we are presented with the chance to stay connected with them on their phones and on their computers, in social spaces like Facebook, where they are choosing to go at their leisure.
And because they have invited us to be a part of their personal, online social life, we need to make sure we behave appropriately. That doesn’t mean we need to totally avoid any and all sales messaging or revenue-driving initiatives. It simply means that we need to respect the member and the platform by always being engaging, entertaining and relevant.
So promote personal training, but do it in a way that celebrates your trainers and their expertise, maybe by giving members tips or advice they see value in. They will then see more value in the idea of personal training. Let them know when you have new products and services at the club, in a way that makes them appreciate what you offer in case they need it some day.
Lastly, celebrate them, thank them for coming to the gym, give personal shout outs to members that have achieved their goals. The truth is, we owe them one both for staying with us and for inviting us to stay with them.
Christina DeGuardi is the senior vice president of marketing, branding and communications for Crunch. For questions on marketing, she can be reached at email@example.com.