In today’s modern and digital world, marketing has evolved drastically. As a gym owner, you would know that your fitness marketing has to be larger than sending a few emails and flyers to your customer base. In fact, you should be working toward an online reputation marketing strategy for platforms like social media.
What does this mean, and why is it important for gyms?
Fitness industry marketing linked with online reputation marketing is the key to success. This is because reputation marketing on social media is the best way to connect with customers and help share your business and its unique selling points with other followers. Reputation marketing takes it to the next level by allowing you to promote ratings and reviews across your social media profiles. This helps followers see your business for what it really is – from a customer’s point of view. And that’s true value.
The importance of reputation marketing in the fitness industry
Reputation marketing plays a significant part in your overall online presence, which is an absolute must-have for fitness businesses out there today. And while reputation marketing may feel more like a marathon than a sprint, the rewards reaped are most definitely worth the effort.
A positive online reputation can serve as a potent fitness marketing tool. This is due to the fact that consumers rely on reviews before signing up for any membership. These testimonials or social proof help grow and maintain a robust reputation, boosting your gym’s overall visibility and help attract new customers and members.
Online reputation marketing can also make your social profiles more authentic to consumers. And it can support your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts. This can make your gym more visible to prospects on search engine giants like Google when they’re actively searching for fitness services. (For example, more reviews on your Google Business Profile means a higher rank on Google).
Reputation marketing is also popular because it helps you build strong, long-lasting community relationships. When your gym is actively participating in online conversations about things like local events, seasonal occasions, and charitable causes, your followers will tend to become a consistent part of the conversation. This helps foster a sense of community online, which many consumers will find attractive.
Remember, your gym should always be aiming for continuous improvement. And this can be achieved with online reputation marketing and management. Allow your customers to share their feedback – get opinions on fitness center improvements, and try to improve your gym from this. It’s how you can take your fitness business and its services to the next level.
How to Use Social Media for Fitness Reputation Marketing
Social media is a great marketing channel to help build a strong and positive reputation for your gym. But in order to use social media correctly and effectively, you’ll need a strategic and well-thought-out approach.
This means you should avoid opening social media profiles on every platform and rushing into posting content. Instead, use these eight steps to help define a structured and data-driven reputation marketing strategy:
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Step 1: Setting the Foundation
The first step is to get the lay of the land and set the foundation for your reputation marketing strategy. Fitness social media marketing should have a solid outline for its reputation management efforts, namely:
- A set of SMART goals: Define goals for your social media plan in relation to reputation management. For example, positive sentiment must increase from 55 to 60% in the next three months across all social media platforms. This gives your gym direction and helps you remain accountable for outcomes.
- The right social media platforms: We’ll discuss this in more detail in the next step, but you should select only the best platforms for your reputation marketing efforts. Remember, not all platforms will be suitable for your gym.
- An audience profile: Build out an ideal persona and stick to it. This is essentially audience profiling. Certain social media platforms may have different personae from others. Understanding your audience is important so you can create appropriate content for each profile.
- Quality content: Always aim to create high-quality and relevant content on social media. Make sure not to sound too promotional. Instead, create a good mix of educational, promotional, and social-proof content. We’ll chat more about this later.
- A good engagement strategy: Get your audience talking! You want everyone in your social media community to feel included and heard. Have an engagement strategy that allows you to become a leading and connected gym owner online.
- Measurement and analysis: Take the time to measure overall performance regularly and analyze the results. Pull out key takeaways from each result and use those learnings in future social media campaigns.
Step 2: Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms
Once you have a foundation and outline for your social media marketing strategy, it’s time to select your social media channels. As mentioned in the step above, only some channels will be suitable for your business. This is because you need to understand your audience and take note of their demographics, behavior graphics, and preferences.
For example, if your target market is predominantly millennials, selecting Instagram or TikTok as your primary platforms may be a good idea. But if you have a broader age range (e.g., 24-50), consider Facebook.
A top tip here is to choose just one or two social media platforms and focus on them initially. This helps you optimize your social media efforts and boost your connection with the right audience over time. Again, this leads to a sense of community and trust.
Step 3: Building a Sturdy Social Media Presence
Now that you have selected your social media platforms, it’s time to start building your presence on those channels. You should take a few steps when building your social media presence. Some steps are just for initial setup, and others should be done continually:
- Let people know your gym is on social media: This sounds obvious, but many business owners forget this one. Let your members, friends, family, and acquaintances know that your fitness center is on social media. This will boost your initial following quickly and easily.
- Optimize your social media profiles: This can be time-consuming, but it’s worth the work. Ensure your profiles and/or pages contain all the right information about your gym. Ensure your branding is consistent, all links are correct and working, and your contact information is front and center. Follow online how-to guides to help set your social media profiles up effectively.
- Stay up-to-date with algorithms and platform updates: Social media platforms often change their algorithms and functionality. Staying on top of that and updating your profiles and content is important.
- Look at what’s trending: Pay attention to what’s trending on social media platforms. If it’s relevant to your gym, jump on the bandwagon to boost engagement with your audience. Make sure you use relevant hashtags to increase your audience reach.
- Interact with your social audience: Make sure you respond to comments and messages on your social media profiles. You want your audience to feel heard and appreciated at all times.
- Learn from mistakes: If you receive negative feedback about your gym or its services via social media, respond immediately to resolve the issue. Take note of it and try to make changes to your fitness studio based on this feedback.
Step 4: Creating and Curating Content
When it comes to creating and curating content for your fitness social media posts, there is one thing to remember: quality is absolutely crucial. You should use high-quality images for instructional videos and everything in between. Showcase your fitness studio, encourage people to share your posts, and incorporate the following in your social media strategy:
- Be consistent: Post regularly to keep your audience engaged.
- Share your business: Showcase your fitness studio, classes, and trainers to show your gym culture and offerings to your audience.
- Share social proof and testimonials: Share positive feedback to help build trust and credibility on social media.
- Share influential posts from fitness professionals: Curate content and share inspirational posts from other fitness professionals to help broaden your network.
Step 5: Engaging with Your Audience
Engagement is the absolute key to building a strong and steady social media presence. It is also the start of developing a good online reputation. The key here is to try and get a sense of community and make people comfortable with your brand online. Once they are and they’re members of your gym, there’s a high chance that they will begin to share their positive experiences with others, give your gym good ratings, and even refer friends and family.
Here are a few ways you can boost engagement on social media:
- Respond to your followers’ messages and comments promptly
- Start to build a community by talking about topics they’re interested in
- Ask for feedback from customers on social media
- Host a giveaway on social media
- Encourage user-generated content by asking for reviews and ratings
- Share client success stories on your social media profiles
Step 6: Leveraging Visual and Video Content
Social media marketing is extremely powerful to businesses like gyms because it transforms how gyms connect with their members. When you understand the elements that drive consumers to prefer your fitness studio over others, you can leverage visual and video content to match that and showcase it to others.
People love seeing information portrayed visually – whether online or in print. It helps them understand your content quickly and interestingly. This is why visual and video content is crucial in a social media marketing strategy. Here are a few top tips to help you create stunning visual content to aid your reputation marketing efforts:
- Utilize eye-catching imagery to convey information about your gym.
- Incorporate short instructional or promotional videos into your social media content calendar.
- Optimize your social posts for mobile devices.
- Use social media elements like reels to help make your content stand out.
Step 7: Implementing Reputation Management Strategies
It’s a good idea to implement an online reputation management strategy. This strategy should outline every step you need to take in the following areas:
- Reputation Monitoring: Monitor what people are saying about your gym online. Then, come up with a specific action plan that steers the conversation into an ideal direction on social media.
- Reputation Building: Actively build your online reputation by building social media engagement, sharing awards or any achievements at the gym, sharing social proof, and partnering with influencers.
- Reputation Crisis Management – Repair: Acknowledge any negative reviews, comments, or ratings and manage them. You can do so by implementing any of the following tactics:
- Own up to your mistakes
- Respond to negative reviews as quickly as possible
- Follow-up with a fix such as replacing a product for free or a discounted gym membership.
A quick way to set up online reputation alerts is using Google Alerts. This free tool allows you to get notified every time someone mentions your gym on social media. You should pair this online reputation software with the best results.
Step 8: Analyzing and Measuring Results
The last step is to measure and analyze your social media results and metrics on a regular basis. You want to be able to use this to measure your success.
Remember your SMART goals from step one? Yes, you should always measure your success against them. This helps you to understand how positive or well your campaigns are doing. But it also shows you how far away you are from your goal.
Here are a few metrics you can measure to help understand how well your brand is doing online:
- How many followers have you gained (per social media platform)?
- What is your sentiment (how positive, neutral, or negative is your commentary)?
- What is your engagement rate?
- What is your website traffic generated from social media channels?
The biggest thing to remember is that your online reputation management is an ongoing task. Before embarking on this journey on social media, you need to understand that and be comfortable with the idea for you, your staff, and your gym. And these eight steps can help you get there. All you need to do is invest in tools that can help you streamline the process.
Gleantap helps you manage your online reputation with ease. More than that, it’s a tool that manages your opt-in contact lists, email, and SMS marketing efforts and automates the entire process. Gleantap also measures your results for you, so you can track reports whenever necessary.
Interested? Schedule a demo to see how Gleantap can help build your online reputation the right way.
1. How can social media help enhance the reputation of my fitness business?
Social media enables you to consistently share educational and valuable content with your audience – prompting them to engage with you and enhance your overall reputation.
2. How do I manage and respond to online reviews and feedback on social media?
Always be professional and polite to customers. Apologize for any inconvenience caused during their experience and end with a solution. Try not to use generic responses. Instead, sound sincere and approachable.
3. Why is social media important for fitness reputation marketing?
As a fitness professional, it’s important to be active on social media as it enhances your overall visibility as a business, helps you build deep and meaningful relationships with people in your social community, and, eventually, builds a good online reputation for your gym from your customers themselves.
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