It’s a saying we’ve all heard before–you only get one chance to make a good impression. This applies to businesses too. When it comes to fitness marketing, reputation management should be at the top of your priorities list for this very reason.
Think about your personal experience. When you’re looking for a nice place to eat, who do you consult? Your friends? Your family? Google? If you answered “yes” to any of these, you would fall among the 97% of consumers who look to reviews and recommendations before making a purchasing decision.
In the world of fitness, not managing your reputation means missing out on thousands of dollars in profit. When consumers are looking for a gym, specific class, or fitness club they are turning to the internet first. Consider these statistics:
- Customers read an average of 10 reviews before trusting a business (Brightlocal)
- 49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before moving to action (Reputationx)
- 65% of consumers trust online search engines over in-person recommendations (Reputationx)
So, yes–when we say you could be missing out on thousands of dollars, we mean thousands.
But, having a good reputation management strategy for your gym or fitness club is a little more complicated than fielding Google Reviews. The fitness marketing industry can be a little complex but don’t worry, we’ve got your back.
In this article, we’ll dive into eight major pressure points of reputation management to help you build a well-rounded, effective reputation management program for your gym or fitness center.
What is Reputation Management?
Reputation management is the practice of influencing the public perception of your fitness club.
In fitness marketing, you may try to influence your business’s reputation in obvious ways like asking for reviews, responding to negative reviews, or creating videos to boost your brand visibility.
While those things are all effective and great tactics, it’s important to never lose sight of the number one factor that will impact your brand reputation: customer service.
8 tips for reputation management for fitness centers
1. Claim and optimize your local listings
Claiming your business is the first step and most critical step in developing a fitness reputation management strategy. Even if all of the information found on platforms like Yelp, Facebook, and Google is correct, that information can be changed by anyone if you haven’t claimed your business.
If you are only able to claim your business on one platform, choose Google Business Profile. Google receives over 40,000 search queries every second. This makes it the most-used search engine in the world. When you claim your business, it prevents you from getting buried among the thousands of other potentially relevant web pages.
Claiming your business helps you ensure that you can be contacted easily by clients. When you don’t claim your business, you are also able to improve your ranking in relevant search results thus increasing your ability to generate organic traffic.
2. Improve your brand visibility
In order to build a reputation, you need to be visible on several platforms. When it comes to fitness marketing, you have lots of opportunities to create content that will help put your fitness business in the spotlight.
One of the most effective ways to improve visibility is to create content that motivates engagement. Video has proven to be one of the best tools for this, with 2 out of 3 consumers ranking it as the most engaging type of content.
Furthermore, marketers who use video get an average of 66% more qualified leads per year. TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram are all great platforms to begin improving your fitness club or gym’s brand visibility.
As a gym, improving your brand visibility goes hand-in-hand with strengthening your community and, therefore, your loyal base of customers. Go beyond testimonial videos and run contests, work with micro-influencers to reach your ideal audience, or create a database of information for your clients to reference.
Building a database of information can help you to develop strong SEO practices thus building visibility. Strong SEO practices help you increase organic search traffic and may offer better ROI over a long time.
Moreover, it increases the value of the service you’re providing to your customer. Offer health tips, nutrition advice, or even post industry news on your social media. You can do this through blogs, videos, and even partnering with like-minded or related businesses.
3. Make use of customer reviews
Of course, a big part of reputation management is knowing what people are saying about you. Odds are, you’ve got dozens of happy clients who would be happy to share their experiences.
Consider that 85% of buyers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
These statistics tell us that social proof is a huge motivator for the consumer.
Gym-goers are making both a monetary and time commitment when they choose a gym membership, so it’s no surprise that they want to know what they’re getting into. By being aware of and utilizing customer reviews you may be able to substantially influence consumer behavior.
When it comes to reviews, there are a few ways that reviews can help you manage your reputation.
- Visibility: Recent online reviews help your product pages rank higher on search results, thus making your website more visible
- Lead capture: Customer reviews draw the eye of high-intent buyers. The more reviews you have, the more trustworthy your brand and the more likely consumers are to choose your fitness business or gym. On top of this, like-minded individuals will find reviews attractive so be sure you’re asking your ideal clients to leave reviews.
- Awards and Badges: Some third-party review sites give badges and awards to businesses based on review volume, average rating, and authenticity. They then use these metrics to distinguish industry leaders. This can help set you apart from other businesses.
- Feedback: Customer reviews can also help you gain authentic user feedback. By considering both positive and negative feedback, you can help ensure that your fitness club stands out.
By utilizing reviews, you can help to build a positive and authentic representation of who you are as a business and motivate high-intent buyers down your sales pipeline.
4. Respond to all reviews, good and bad
Responding to reviews is an important aspect of utilizing reviews in your reputation management strategy. Whether the review was positive or negative, someone took the time to write it and it’s now your turn to show them how much you value their time.
When you respond promptly, you let customers know your care and provide social proof of your investment to potential customers.
In fact, 56% of customers say that it matters to them that businesses respond to customers.
Responding to positive reviews
When someone leaves you a positive review, it shows that you made an impact on them. Take time to thank them for sharing their experience by responding to their review.
“Thanks for your kind words [name]! We’re happy to hear that you love our [event, product, service]. It makes us so happy to know we’re helping you achieve your goals!
P.S. Do you have any suggestions for improvements we could make? Please share your thoughts here [business email]. We’d love to know!”
Responding to negative reviews
It’s never fun to receive a negative review, however, it’s impossible to please everyone who walks through your gym doors. What you might not know is that negative reviews are important for building an authentic and trustworthy star rating.
Most consumers are suspicious of businesses with five stars. The most trustworthy ratings fall between 4.2 and 4.8 stars. What’s even more important is responding quickly to negative reviews.
In this way, you have the opportunity to turn a negative experience into a positive one. When crafting a response, it’s important to acknowledge the issue, apologize, and, when possible, contact the customer privately to resolve the issue.
“Thank you for your feedback, [name].
We understand that it must have been frustrating to have been out of towels in the locker room and not been able to find someone to help. We try to ensure that all of our clients have access to the services and utilities that they need.
We have reviewed the policy with the team to prevent you from having this experience again. If you would like to discuss this further or have other suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [business email of manager]
We appreciate your business and look forward to making sure you have the best experience.
5. Monitor your reputation closely
Monitoring your fitness business’s reputation is an important part of an effective fitness marketing strategy. You should be watching review sites, social media channels, and other important platforms regularly.
It is important to monitor any mentions you receive on social media in addition to reviews. This will help you maintain your brand visibility, build an online community, and address any issues that arise to minimize negative impact.
The digital world moves quickly, so it’s important to have a strong system of monitoring in place. Having a reputation management software can help with this.
6. Provide an excellent customer experience
At its core, reputation management is all about customer service. The best reputation management tactic you can employ is to put your clients and your employees at the forefront of your decisions.
It’s important to note that this does not mean making financial decisions or policies that martyr your business in hopes that everyone will leave you a five-star review.
What it does mean is that you are doing your diligence to ensure that your staff is smiling, your equipment is shining, and your customers feel valued from the moment they walk in your doors.
Equally important is that, when a customer does leave you feedback, you make a point to listen and consider their perspective. On the customer’s end, nothing feels better than knowing your opinion matters.
7. Take advantage of referral programs
Imagine this: Suzie is your ideal client. The odds are, Suzie has more than a few like-minded friends who would fit the mold of your ideal client. How do you get those clients through your door?
Give Suzie a reason to bring them! Referral programs offer you direct access to your ideal community and are a great way to reward your most loyal customers. These programs also offer a wide range of flexibility when choosing a structure that works for you and your business.
In addition to this, promoting a referral program can be a great opportunity to improve your brand visibility and exposure. You can achieve this by ramping up promotional content on Instagram or partnering with a related brand.
8. Use a competent reputation management software
Managing your reputation is no easy task. The internet can feel bottomless and knowing where to look for mentions of your brand is a task with no real starting point or true end. Having a reputation management software can help.
Reputation management softwares like Gleantap are custom built to help you keep track of your fitness business’s online reputation. These softwares can include features like:
- Automated review responses
- AI content assistants for creating engaging content
- Website monitoring for reviews and mentions
- Insights and analysis to help you pinpoint areas of growth
As a gym owner, you already have a lot on your plate. A reputation management software can help keep you focused on big-picture goals by taking care of the tedious tasks and details that come with fitness marketing.
When it comes to managing your fitness business, having a competent fitness center marketing strategy in place is critical to finding and keeping a loyal customer base. From managing your reviews to creating content, reputation management for your gym is a big job.
Want to know more about how a killer reputation management strategy can increase profit for your gym or fitness center? We have lots of great resources on our blog. Or, schedule your demo today to see how Gleantap can revolutionize your fitness marketing.
What are the benefits of reputation management?
Some benefits of reputation management are higher consumer trust, increased profit, and more loyal customers.
How does Google impact my online reputation?
Google reviews can help make you more visible to consumers and increase your website’s search ranking.
Get the full story here:
- Why Gym and Fitness Centers Should Use Text Message Marketing
- 8 Creative Online Fitness Marketing Strategies
- The Importance of Referral Programs for Your Fitness Business