It’s likely your gym already has a presence on Facebook. According to BrandWatch, there are over 60 million active business pages worldwide.
But how can you ensure you’re getting the most out of your fitness business’ Facebook page? Here, Lisa Maguire, the marketing director at Hockessin Athletic Club, shares tips for ensuring you’re maximizing your marketing efforts on the platform.
CS: Why is it beneficial for clubs to have a presence on Facebook?
LM: Aside from the obvious — it being the largest social media platform in the world with 2.41 billion users and it’s free — it’s important to have a presence on Facebook to do a few things. First and foremost, Facebook is a tool that clubs can leverage to showcase their brand personality and tell the world about why being a member of their gym is great. It’s important to remember that people don’t want to blatantly read, “My gym is so great, come join.” So the key is to communicate the benefits of a membership by showing the viewer, not telling them.
Secondly, it’s an amazing word-of-mouth tool to get your members and staff talking about your club, your services and your programming organically.
Finally, people in your market are on this platform — every single day — scrolling through their feeds and engaging with different brands. You can absolutely be social and interact with people, especially those who have first interacted with you. Make connections, ask questions, cheer people on — it goes a long way.
CS: What are your goals for Hockessin’s Facebook page?
LM: Our biggest goal in 2019 is to focus on the “social” aspect of social media. We’ve found that the more we engage with people on Facebook (and Instagram), the more they engage, and the more others engage. It’s a quick and easy way to interact with our members and showcase their stories — and our engagement and support is getting seen by their friends a lot more often.
CS: How do you measure success? Any specific metrics you look at, or social media tools/technologies you’ve found helpful?
LM: Gauging the ROI on social is always changing and difficult to measure a lot of times. Right now, we’re just using Facebook Insights to see if our engagement efforts are working, and we also keep track of the number of leads generated from those conversations or other paid advertisements on Facebook.
CS: What are some tips you can share with other club operators for marketing/having a presence on Facebook?
LM: Shifting your
focus from “post, post, post” just for the sake of posting, to posting when you
have something really meaningful to share and taking that time that you’d
usually be spending on generic content and focusing on interacting with people
on social media has been key for us. It’s taken off the once-per-day or
three-times-per-day pressure and allowed us to organically grow our followers
and interest in a more meaningful way.
CS: Do you have any advice on what not to do or avoid?
LM: Avoid posting just for the sake of posting — make the content meaningful to your followers so they’re more likely to engage. Instead of posting, “Come to our seminar next Tuesday” with a picture of the flyer, post someone who’s had results from the program, or really showcase the “what’s in it for them.”
CS: Are there any other tips/best practices for Facebook you can share?
LM: Make sure you’re keeping tabs on what people are posting to your page, but also do a post search for your gym name to see what others are saying about you. Social media is an around-the-clock job, so make sure if you’re not doing it yourself, you have a clearly defined method for paying someone to handle your social media and set expectations. If you expect your Facebook messages to be responded to within an hour, don’t leave it all up to one social media person. Share monitoring and responding capabilities with people you trust in the organization to respond professionally.