Member Transformation Stories: A Powerful Tool for O2 Fitness
At O2 Fitness, everything revolves around the members, which is why the brand realized it wanted a place where it could highlight and congratulate outstanding member transformation stories. What better place than a blog and social media?
“Our members are at the core of who we are,” said Carrie Riggin, the digital marketing manager for O2 Fitness. “We always want to be highlighting them, not only to congratulate them on their hard work, but also to empower others to make a change, too. People don’t listen to brands, they listen to people. If they see others like themselves transforming, they are much more likely to want to take action as well.”
The O2 Fitness employees identify members that have a story to tell, and then escalate them to the marketing team. Stories can include bouncing back from an injury, significant weight loss, body transformations or things like a senior citizen finding a better quality of life.
The process for collecting the story is what comes next, after identifying the member. “From there, we get permission from the member to highlight their likeness on our public-facing channels — blog and social media — and then we go through the following process,” said Riggin.
The process, from Carrie Riggin:
1. Questions to the member: “After the O2 Fitness employee escalates initial details regarding the member transformation story, I develop five to six questions for the member to answer in writing. These questions usually include asking about the member’s health history, what got them to an unhealthy point, what there “aha” moment was that made them decide to make a change, details about the journey (fitness, nutrition, mind-body, support, etc.), how O2 Fitness has impacted their journey, any inspiration that they would provide to someone else in their same situation, and anything else they’d like to add.”
2. Source images/video: “Ask for pictures of the member, specifically before and after photos if it’s a transformation story.”
3. An O2 Fitness employee works with the member to finalize the story: “An O2 Fitness employee works with the member to answer questions and provide answers to marketing.”
4. Publish to the blog: “We then upload information and reformat it with photos on the blog. At the end of the story, to capture the reader, we always include a call to action with a contact form for users to fill out. This call to action is usually worded like, ‘Ready to create your own transformation story? Contact us for a free consultation.’”
5. Syndicate to all social channels: “When we share this content, we make sure the posts are clickable back to our website. This gives the viewer the opportunity to read the full story and also brings them to our website in a natural way. As part of these social media posts, we also use a clear ‘call to action’ within the post copy for viewers to congratulate the member in the comments below.
If you don’t know already, in social media, when people engage with content, it automatically populates to their news feeds, making our content visible to their network. Because so many people are inspired by these types of stories, we typically see high engagement (likes, comments, shares, clicks), which means our brand’s visibility is extending much further than our page fans. And it’s all happening organically.”
6. Notify members that the member transformation story is up: “Members love to feel special (as they should), especially after working so hard to better themselves. When their story is featured, they like to share with their family and friends on and off social media. Again, when sharing content, this brings more awareness and visibility to our clubs, team, services, culture and so on. And, if the content is inspiring enough, it likely could encourage someone who sees it to walk in our doors.”
Riggin tries to share one story per week, and said the response to the stories “gives her goosebumps every time.”
“We get so many likes, comments and shares on these stories, even from people that don’t know the person, aren’t a fan of our social media pages or even a member at one of our clubs,” continued Riggin. “When people see this type of content, I think they can relate to the person’s story and thus can envision themselves embarking on the same journey. These stories literally empower others to create their transformation stories and change lives. This content is that powerful.”