Did you ever have a hard time engaging members to join your community? Then this blog post is for you.
You can use both online and offline tactics to get started. Dig into this blog post to explore 4 simple ways to create attention around your community.
Why should you build a community?
A community is a great way to create a bond between your business and your members. Additionally, you can create a close bond among your members – building an even stronger community.
When establishing this close connection, you will experience that your members will be much more loyal to your business.
And loyal members are always a positive thing in your business. It can increase your profits and business growth rate if you accomplish to maintain your members’ best interest, so they stay loyal to your business.
Let’s have a look at what you can do to build a strong community.
#1 Be active on social media
Social media is a great way to spread the word about your community. You can post images or videos of activities at your gym.
This can show the great atmosphere and spirit at your gym and how your members interact with each other – creating a great community for others to join. Share your members' stories and experiences, and let them be your ambassadors towards new members.
On social media, you can also interact with your members by encouraging them to like, comment and share your posts. The interactions can help you spread the word about your community, so even more members will join.
Tip: Remember to get permission to share on social media, if you show pictures or videos with your members’ faces on.
#2 Start a forum online
An online forum is a great way of interacting with your members and starting a community. In the forum, your members can share their progress, their challenges, ask for advice and find inspiration.
At first, you might need to give the forum some extra attention by starting the conversations. However, if you manage to create an active and relevant forum, the members will end up keeping it alive on their own.
Either way, it’s important that you monitor the forum, to ensure a good tone and make everyone feel welcomed. This will create a community that your members will love to be part of.
Tip: Facebook is a well-known platform where most of your members are already active. It is an obvious choice of platform for establishing a forum. You might want to create multiple groups for various, dedicated interests - for instance, weight loss, functional training or dance.
You might want to decide if the group should be dedicated to your existing members or if you would like to create a wider group that could also work as a lead generator. As the admin, you can monitor who can access the forum.
Bonus tip: When new members join your gym, you can encourage them to join the online forum. It can be your receptionist that introduces the forum or a welcome email that links directly to the forum for new members to join.
#3 Set up challenges at your facility
Let’s move on to some of the offline tactics. You have a lot of opportunities to encourage members to join your community at the gym. A great solution is challenges. It can be all kinds of challenges.
- The most push-ups
- The longest plank
- The fastest mile on a treadmill
- The largest performance improvement in X weeks/months
- The heaviest deadlift
- The most class attendances during a month
- The longest streak of workouts
Make sure that there are challenges that suit a wide spectrum of your member base. The best kind of community includes all kinds of member types – giving the community diversity and dynamic.
Tip: Introduce both weekly, monthly and annual challenges for members to join. It brings some dynamics when there are multiple challenges for your members to join.
#4 Host events for your members
Events are a great way to start a community and for your members to get together. The events give your members the chance to get to know each other. At the same time, you and your staff can get to know the members even better.
Events come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. It can be everything from the big, annual Christmas party for all members to the weekly trips to outdoor training facilities in the woods.
Here are some examples to serve as inspiration:
- Commuting and setting up a joint camp at larger running races, marathons and the like
- Hosting a summer party
- Inviting to special exercise events – e.g., outdoor workouts, team sports etc.
- Going to amusement parks
- Arranging an extended workout session with a guru within your business
Tip: It doesn’t necessarily have to be full-blown fitness-related events. You can think outside the box – for instance hosting a bus trip to a museum for the senior segment. The most important thing is that you always focus on your members and what they would find interesting.