The subject of marketing communication for fitness industry, in my opinion, can be treated individually because of its specificity. It is crucial to first answer some basic questions like in which areas sport facilities can use social media. For what purposes crossfit boxes and gyms use Facebook activities? What can they achieve thanks to them? Without a doubt, it is the foundation of building a proper strategy for social media activities. It is not enough to say "everyone is on Facebook, we also have to be!". Behind this presence there must be a coherent vision of what marketing activities are meant to serve in principle. Each club is an individual case and is at a different stage of development, is struggling with specific problems, has different needs. And it is precisely to this individual situation of a given fitness club or crossfit box that social media activities should be adapted.
Activities in social media are usually one of the elements of a broader marketing plan of a fitness club, next to, for example, advertising in press, radio, or outdoor. Importantly, all should be consistent with each other. If top-down activities are focused on building awareness and brand image, then everything we do on social media should follow this idea. Content provided on club website or profile should always be derived from the assumptions based on marketing plan and with handful information from business analysis including even market segmentation.
Is your club focused on premium customers? Is the fitness center only for women? Or maybe the whole marketing strategy is built on the biggest value which is being open 24 hours a day? Are you positioned as a family-friendly fitness club or a spot with top notch zumba classes in the area? What distinguishes you and why does someone have to become a customer of your health club? Depending on the adopted strategy, fitness clubs should make this available in social media materials and related to the key message around which they build their communication.
Social media can also be a great selling tool. They enable sharing information about current promotions, as well as collecting data of potential customers who can be interested in a current offer. Paid advertising tools on social platforms can also effectively support reaching specific audience. There are numerous actions that can be taken in order to boost your sales. As a part of a sales promotion a fitness club can apply for example: discounts on memberships, free daily passes, discounts on long-term contracts, discounts for recommendations to friends etc. Social media work well also asa tool to use in various types of competitions organized by sports facilities and their partners.
Social media is also a very important communication platform with customers. As the popularity of social media increases, customers more often prefer to contact companies this way. They tend to expect they can get an answer faster and easier than by e-mailing or filling out a contact form on the website. Sports facilities, through social media platforms, can in turn quickly provide information on changes in the schedule, opening hours during holidays, or remind about the current timetable. Social media also has its dark side which is often forgotten or omitted. Any news about problems, annoyances and complications concerning a brand or a company spread in an unprecedented pace. What's more, customers often are aware of their strength and power of influence. In case of personal dissatisfaction with a service or personnel, they are more likely to spread unflattering opinions on the Internet. Fitness clubs and crossfit boxes should monitor social media carefully to spot any potential danger and also learn how to behave when a crisis occurs, and a fast reaction is needed.
This short article can be treated as an introduction for this huge and broad subject, but at least gives you some sort of directions what to take into consideration while planning social media usage. In all those 3 mentioned aspects: brand image, sales and customer service, crucial is coordination between your core business running on Perfect Gym management software and extra activities on social media. For example, you set new pricing for upcoming season in the system, send communication via the automation center, and of course you inform about it or promote it on social media closely checking all comments and opinions. It is entirely up to you, to estimate to what extend use the means of social media and what effect you can expect.