Social media can be a powerful tool for health clubs, simultaneously allowing for lead generation and engagement with current members.
But although you may know the importance of having a social media presence, do you know how to measure specific return on investment (ROI)? For many, the answer is no. According to HubSpot, “88 percent of marketers want to know how to measure their ROI for social media activities.”
To get to the bottom of social media ROI, we spoke with health club marketers to find out their goals for social media and how they gauge success.
Platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Google+ and Youtube.
Management Tools: Hootsuite and Buffer.
According to Tiffany Hock, the marketing director for Elite Sports Clubs, social media serves two purposes: informing existing members what’s happening at individual clubs, and generating interest with prospective members.
“For our existing members, we use social media as a way to generate interest in our programs,” explained Hock. “We provide a blend of our own original content as well as share user-generated content and other reputable sources to round out our social media library. The goal is to position our brand and our staff as an authoritative source for accurate health and recreation information.”
When it comes to prospective customers, this is where paid campaigns — such as Facebook advertising — come into play, which allow Elite Sports Clubs to target individuals and families they feel would have an interest in joining one of the brand’s five locations.
“Attributing new memberships to social media can be difficult, given they may have several points of contact with our marketing channels before they sign up,” said Hock. “Nevertheless, anything we can do to track their purchase process helps us understand touch points along the new member’s buying journey and which seemed to have the most impact.”
To measure success, Elite Sports Clubs leans on the native analytics tools provided by each of the social media platforms they have a presence on. “Because we put more weight on Facebook and Instagram, we generally define success by faster growth than Twitter, for example. Recently, we’ve even seen a spike in our YouTube activity, and even though it’s not a high priority for us, we’ll continue to monitor its progress given our regular output of video content.”
Additionally, the marketing team uses Hootsuite and Buffer for scheduling, and the Facebook ads platform to track the success of paid campaigns. “Specifically for paid ads, we use Facebook Pixel to track the ROI of our spending,” explained Hock. “Each campaign’s goal is different, but it gives us an idea of what to expect for similar future campaigns.”
According to Charlie Antoine, a marketing specialist for Elite Sports Clubs, to see the highest return with social media it’s important to consistently deliver relevant and educational content. “We’ve seen evidence our content, no matter the form, is regularly consumed by our audience,” he said. “Social media provides a way to connect with our members on a personal level when they’re not physically at the clubs. It’s a way to build that connection as well as constantly providing education on matters related to health and recreation.”
To nurture that connection potential, Elite Sports Clubs takes a team approach to posting to social media, so that updates can be made in a timely manner. “However, we do have a primary social media coordinator responsible for curating our content and editorial calendar,” he said. “It’s still important to have one person to take ownership of our social media strategy to create a consistent brand voice throughout.”
Antoine’s advice for other club marketers? “Focus on the channels that work for your audience,” he said. “Having a vast social presence is important, but sending messages en masse doesn’t always deliver results. Concentrate on where your audience will receive your message, and ensure it’s your target audience that is receiving it.”
Platforms: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter.
Management Tools: Facebook + Instagram Business, Sprout Social, Hootsuite.
According to Kari Bedgood, the vice president of marketing and public relations for Active Wellness, one of the biggest benefits to having a social media presence is increased brand awareness.
“As a management company we are highly focused on growing our network to increase brand awareness by sharing relevant content we hope is useful and helpful to our partners,” said Bedgood. “As a growing business, we are also always looking for exceptional, motivated individuals to join our team. So growing our network and staying top of mind is critical in both attracting key talent and generating new business opportunities.”
From a fitness consumer standpoint, the company’s goal is to use social media to become an important aspect of members’ lives. As a result, it aims to build relationships and engage in both online and offline conversations.
“Our interactions help to foster brand loyalty so members feel inclined to share our brand story, invites, offers and aspects of their member experience with their social networks,” continued Bedgood. “We really appreciate Facebook groups to allow members to connect, share and provide feedback in a more intimate way. It’s been incredibly helpful in building clubs within our clubs. We also use Facebook and Instagram for targeted advertising to generate new membership leads.”
When it comes to measuring these goals, Active Wellness tracks the number of followers, likes, reach and click-throughs on posts, in addition to evaluating the number of leads generated through campaigns with a specific call-to-action.
“Everything we do has intent and purpose to help grow our business,” said Bedgood. “Ultimately, we’re also learning about our audiences — what they like to read and when for instance — and ultimately aim to use this information to increase our customer experience and track satisfaction.”
At Active Wellness, the entire organization is responsible for contributing to social media. “We encourage all of our team members to interact with us on social media and to be alert for opportunities to engage, connect, celebrate and share with their networks, as well as our branded accounts,” said Bedgood. “We’ve put together standards to help encourage our teams to engage in the best way possible. This is in addition to our employee social media policy. The global marketing team does own, monitor and manage our accounts, but we grant admin access to ambassador employees to manage content as well.”
According to Bedgood, to see the most return from social media, it’s important to have a plan and the tools to use it effectively. “Responsiveness and content should be your focus — not a schedule,” she said. “The algorithms on Facebook and Instagram publish posts that have more engagement. Meaning the more relevant, resourceful and entertaining your content is, the more people will engage and the more people you will reach.”
Ultimately, Bedgood advised engaging in the platforms that resonate best with your audience and integrate them into as much of your business as you can. “We’ve learned that happy members, employees and partners are engaged and help drive growth because they’re proud to do so,” she said.