Jeff Mo, the director of global marketing at Spirit Commercial, shares the importance of using user-generated content in your marketing strategy.
Sharing user-generated content on your social media accounts is a great way to strengthen your fitness facilities’ online community and build your brand, and many gyms don’t do it enough.
As a refresher, user-generated content counts as any content — videos, images, reviews, text — created by customers or members, rather than brands or businesses, that you can then reshare on your business’ social media accounts.
The beauty of user-generated content is that it’s free, fun, and far more valuable than content you create yourself.
A recent study from TurnTo Networks found that people trust user-generated content far more than other forms of marketing, with 90% of respondents saying it is more influential than promotional material and search engine results.
Another study from Stackia found that people are 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content as authentic compared to content created by a business.
One strategy to jump start the amount of user-generated content your Instagram and Facebook accounts receive is by holding a contest.
For example, you could announce through all your available channels that in one month you will award the member who has posted the most creative gym selfie with a custom hashtag you create for the contest. The winner could receive a month’s free dues, or a free personal training session, or a gift card to your gym’s café.
If you wanted to generate even more engagement, you could create an online poll on Instagram or Twitter that members could use to vote for their favorite post.
Another contest idea is to ask members to submit their best weight loss or body transformation pictures.
You could tell members to tag your account with a picture of them at the beginning of the contest, and another at the end showing the change. In each picture, instruct the poster to hold up a handwritten note with the date to ensure the pictures being submitted are new.
Either way, be sure to keep track of all the images posted for the contest, and reshare them periodically when you need fresh content.
We live in the era of the gym selfie, for better or worse. Why not use it to reach new members, and make your Instagram and Facebook pages more fun and personal?