As a millennial female from Los Angeles, I know my Instagram
game through and through. I know when to post my pictures to get
the most likes. I know which of my followers I can count on to hype
me in comments. I can probably guess how many viewers all of my
stories will have.
Because I am insane.
But like many others who fit my profile or interests, we are
insane because we are products of the hyper-connected digital
environment we live in.
While my personal use for Instagram is purely for entertainment
and probably narcissism, the stark reality is that in terms of
evaluating worth in the business world, social media power holds a
lot of weight.
One of the largest benefactors of the omnipotence of social
media has undoubtedly been the fitness
Social Media’s Glorification of Fitness
The internet revolution catapulted public health consciousness
to unprecedented heights, but social media is directly responsible
for making fitness “popular”.
Living an active lifestyle, regularly exercising, and healthy
eating have become “trendy”, and accordingly, sharing fitness
related content has a massive digital following and engagement
around the world.
The dominance of Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube consequently
added to the overall clout of the industry. Fitness influencers
have used these platforms to become international celebrities,
nutrition and athletic clothing companies have created armies of
loyal followers, and fitness
clubs have rapidly grown in specialties and numbers every
The effect is contagious: aspiring fitness model is an extremely
common side job, athleisure clothing is trendier than high fashion
lines, and fitness clubs are flooded with users taking more mirror
selfies on their stories than actually working out.
Given how saturated the fitness market has become on any level,
the leaders of the industry, both people and businesses,
did not get there on accident: they earned their
respective notoriety through expertly manipulating their digital
presence and social media image to engage users and create a devout
Intelligently using social media to
build your fitness brand has evolved past just relying on
business mission and intuition. In order to even be competitive,
using analytics to apply fact-based knowledge to leverage social
media outreach for fitness brands has proven to be crucial.
In fact, using analytics is by no means a secret any more. Famed
fitness Youtubers, like Tammy Hembrow, Christian Guzman, and Heidi
Somers, commonly discuss consulting metrics before making any
social media postings about their own brands or endorsed
While many spheres of the fitness industry have clearly taken
advantage of analytic tools, the gym and fitness club subcategory
has still yet to fully capitalize off the potential data-based
social media marketing can have.
How Social Media Metrics Can Revolutionize Fitness Clubs
The fitness club industry has grown immensely to include gyms of
all makes, sizes, prices, and themes. Given this diversity,
different social media strategies will benefit different types of
Many fitness clubs are also familiar with analytic platforms
through their elite club management software systems.
The data is used to predict retention and churn rates from their
current client bases so fitness clubs can stay a step ahead to keep
their user satisfaction high.
Most importantly, the data is used to identify your most
profitable demographics, which can be used for customer acquisition
on social media.
Combining information from this BI unit with similar analytic
measures for social media like Sotrender will allow clubs to gain
invaluable insight as to who their most engaged and frequent
For example, you can see if your most engaged demographics on
social media reflect your most loyal demographics in your club.
Reach demographics at Sotrender
Gauging Customer Activity and Outreach
Sotrender allows users to access data regarding follower
demographics, level of engagement, and trends associated with
popular posts. These data points alone will encourage fitness clubs
to tailor social media posts to specific audiences, strategically
post at optimal times and days to have the furthest outreach, and
syndicate the most relevant content to earn likes and shares.
In terms of customer acquisition across any
type of gym, gauging viral impressions is a vital resource.
Sotrender allows users to go outside the scope of follower
impressions to categorize views earned from paid campaigns, organic
followers, or viral posts.
Total reach, Sotrender
This viral metric, which specifies viewers who
organically found the post without actively following or marketing
tactics, is an invaluable resource for analyzing margins of
prospective interested new clients. Therefore, the style of posts
that engage higher viral metrics should be mass produced to target
these new potential leads.
Gym brands with extensive networks or locations can manipulate
their social media channels to make their clubs impress a more
personal touch. By cross-referencing demographics and responses to
social media posts from various club locations, these larger gyms
can tailor their social media campaigns to their most engaged
customers, resulting in higher probabilities of positive
Top cities and top languages, Sotrender
Additionally, cross-referencing data from different club
locations will allow fitness clubs to identify patterns or
specified trends between clientele.
If responses are mixed depending on location, then clubs can
launch localized campaigns based off those unique preferences. That
personal introspection enables club management to treat each
location like the unique unit it is as opposed to grouping all
client preferences together on a macro level.
One larger scale fitness club that has brilliantly gauged its
metrics to create a strong social media community is the popular
high-end gym Equinox.
Equinox has publicly aligned their brand with an all-encompassing
luxurious fitness lifestyle, using images of lavish facilities,
designer workout outfits, gourmet healthy recipes, and high profile
events like fashion shows and cocktail parties.
Accordingly, not only are Equinox’s engagement on posts
consistently high, but its reputation as an elite fitness club is
commonly known by members and non-members alike. This identity
branding has helped Equinox both retain old members while
attracting new like-minded ones who want a more extensive
experience from their fitness club.
While creating campaigns and brand identities is essential for
fitness club marketing, being able to comprehensively track their
impact and continuously revise or improve these strategies is what
makes them successful. Sotrender provides consistent aggregated
data reports in order to make sure campaigns maintain the same
positive public response that they launched with.
Boutique Fitness Clubs on Social Media
Excluding the massive chains, most fitness clubs fit the bill as
a prime example of a small business. Where small businesses tend to
have the upper hand on corporate giants is their ability to create
a cult-like following with customer loyalty.
However, to gain this type of following, fitness clubs need to
deliver on the promise of elite personal experience: growth and
survival of boutique clubs is completely dependent upon customer
service and developing personal relationships with members.
A boutique fitness club is characterized by a class-based
structure that offers a specific fitness experience that would be
difficult to replicate at a traditional club. They have skyrocketed
in popularity due to the exceptional and intimate environment they
Fitness expert Pete
McCall describes the consumer appeal as,
fitting analogy is fast food vs. fine dining — the former
provides basic food needs while the latter may be much more
expensive, but provides a unique, hard-to-match experience.”
Famed examples of these passionate followings to fitness clubs
belong to CrossFit, Orangetheory, and Soulcycle. All three of these
clubs have masterfully crafted their social media images to be
extremely interactive, allowing these fan bases to provide most of
their visual content for them. They have similarly produced
merchandise and apparel that mirrors their social media campaigns,
encouraging their customers to truly fit the mold of the
Social media for these small-scale clubs serves as the highway
that connects branding to client allegiance. Often times, customer
loyalty to this boutique fitness experience can be their most
effective, and free, form of advertising. Knowing which campaigns
will be the most successful can rely off which specific campaigns
earned the highest Impressions with viewers:
Highest impressions and responses can indicate which marketing
ideas will translate to community-building opportunities.
However, building a reputable brand and experience may not be
enough. Since boutique clubs have expanded dramatically,
competition within their fields is at an all-time high.
Think about how many specialty yoga, pilates, interval training,
barre method studios you can think of within your neighborhood
alone. Not only do these studios have to validate their worth
compared to large traditional gyms, but they have to stand out
against competition down the street that offers similar services
In order to beat the competition, you have to know your
competition. Sotrender permits users to compare their social media
statistics, outreach, and strategies with competitor businesses,
which will put them ahead of the game in terms of surveying the
client landscape and deploying their own strategies.
The Fitness Industry as a whole would not be where it is today
without different aspects of social media getting it there. As the
“popularity” of fitness shows no sign of slowing down anytime
soon, related businesses need to stay current with every digital
Social Media analytics have a wealth of untapped potential in
terms of helping fitness clubs distinguish themselves in their
increasingly competitive market.
Source: FS – Social Media Blogs 1
How Social Media Has Redefined the Fitness Industry