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Social Media

Written by Josh Unfried

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There is a misconception out there that Facebook is only good for branding and awareness, but this simply is not true. The truth is that successful health clubs are generating memberships and increasing retention with Facebook marketing.

With a solid membership acquisition strategy on Facebook you can achieve these business objectives and become less reliant on paid media like traditional advertising and direct mail.

Rule #1 Inspire and Motivate

As you know, making the decision to join a gym is not just a financial commitment but a time commitment as well. So you need to fill your brand’s Facebook news feed with content that helps people value health and fitness more than their most precious non-renewable resource - time.

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Often it will come from messaging that pulls at the heart and/or ego. The focus of this type of content is to inspire, motivate and help people want to become and stay healthy.  The key strategy is to incorporate visual content and messaging which speak directly to each of your most buyer persona groups and that demonstrate the benefits of choosing to be healthy in ways that are meaningful to them. For example, you may want to engage middle aged working professionals by highlighting that they can live a rewarding life free of many preventive health concerns and stress from being inactive.

We suggest observing and listening to your personal trainers and internal fitness thought leaders. What are their most memorable quotes or soundbytes used to motivate people? Browse Google’s image search for “fitspiration” and you will be bombarded with powerful messaging. Write their words of wisdom down and create graphics optimized with proper dimensions, branded photography, colors, and fonts, then publish them to Facebook.  

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Motivational graphics are great content for Facebook because it will inspire your current members to stay engaged with your club’s amenities, and motivate your non-member fans to focus more on their health and fitness

Plus, people love sharing motivational graphics inside of Facebook which will help extend your reach.

Rule #2 Educate

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If you are following our advice, you are publishing educational content about fitness and nutrition on your health club website’s blog. We highly recommend sharing links to these blog posts because part of staying committed to a fitness plan tied to a gym membership is being educated on fitness routines and advice.

As you attract prospects into your Facebook channel, it can become a great source of referral traffic to your website when you share educational blog posts from your domain. Referral traffic from interested prospects on Facebook matters because your website is where you host free trials and special membership offers, among other things.

Moz.org, a leader in digital marketing, found that on their site, users converted to free trial members after viewing their website 7.5 on average. We propose making that your goal; using educational blog posts to help get every fan to visit your website at least 7.5 times.

Every business is different; every health club is different. Find that sweet spot in identifying how many visits it takes to convert a web visitor into a free trial member, and implement strategies for driving more visits. Facebook is an excellent source for that traffic.  
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Rule #3 Generate Memberships via Targeted Campaigns

That’s right, you heard it. Attract new memberships via your Facebook page. If you are like most health clubs, you are running some kind of promotional campaign each month or quarter to drive memberships. But very few health clubs are publishing those offers on Facebook and putting them in front of potential members via targeted ads. 

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With the right targeting you can advertise your special offer to non-member Facebook fans. And because you have spent so much time motivating and educating them, they are more sales-ready than non-fans, and they are less expensive to advertise to because they convert better!


What have you seen work best for engaging your fans on Facebook? Please share your experiences and/or questions in the comment section of this blog.


Josh is the founder and CEO of WindFarm. Josh enjoys helping brands navigate the transition from traditional to new media and preparing their organization for digital-social marketing lead generation and success. A lively and entertaining speaker, Josh is often asked to speak to large groups looking for clarity in the realm of digital, social and inbound marketing. Associations, companies, franchises, trade groups and local chambers have all benefited from his passion for breaking complex things down into simple terms and helping people grow their business online.