by: Mario Bravolamo, Founder
Daron Allen, President/CEO
Visual Fitness Planner
Social media is changing our world. The adoption rate of users to Facebook was the fastest of any product in history. Facebook has done a remarkable job of connecting people. The concept of community is core to Facebook… as well as our clubs. But for most, it is still a mystery as to how social media communities can immediately and directly affect the bottom line and drive business for clubs.
They say that numbers don’t lie. And the statistics tied to social media (Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, etc.) are astounding. For most, they create confusion and cause the question, “Those numbers are significant, but how do they relate to me? How can I leverage this power?”
Let’s look at two of the most compelling statistics related to social media:
1.) People who interact with a company’s Facebook page spend 20% more money with that company than with other companies which they do not interact with online.
2.) People are 90% more likely to take their friend’s recommendation about making a purchase than all other forms of marketing.
By looking at these statistics, it is clear that an opportunity exists for the health club industry. Especially since significant numbers of our members are generated through referrals. But in order to capitalize, you must have a strategy, and most importantly, you must be able to execute the strategy each and every day with each and every prospect and member of your club. You need a system.
Converting the social media platform from just connecting people to actually connecting people with your club is the strategy. Now for the execution; you need a system. You need to be able to ask new and existing members of your club to promote you. You do this by posting messages about your club on Facebook, sending Tweets about how great it is to work out, adding your club logo onto their Facebook wall, and sending club e-mails including “special deals” to all their friends and family. Your club Facebook page needs to have relevant content and be updated daily or at least weekly. The top level staff in the club should Tweet about special services, special offerings, and/or added value. Your special deals should give consumers the ability to “buy the deal of the day/week” and refer their friends to your special offers as well. All of this requires a system to be able to execute.
After interviewing various sources, the response was “We know most of this… we just cannot consistenly execute these strategies”. This cemented in our minds that the execution of the strategy was the key and we created an application that is incredibly simple for your club staff to execute. Simply provide your prospects and members with a link that, when clicked, will post formatted messages via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more in exchange for a small reward from the club.
This link can be clicked on when they join, in the privacy of their home, or on their smart phone. The formatted post can have your club logo, a link to your Facebook page, and any special deals or offers from your club. Think ‘membership referrals meet Facebook meet Groupon’.
Think about how your paper-based lead boxes worked. Lead boxes are placed around the community. The lead box would prompt people to try and get a “deal” or special offer. They would fill out an entry form with their information and put it in the lead box to get the special deal… and for your salespeople to have as a lead for the next day.
Now apply this concept to social media: view social media as the new online lead box. You offer special deals that consumers are able to access instantly; they can purchase and refer their friends. As a result, your club offers can now go “viral” within the social media world driven by prospects and members, exposing your club deals and offers to potentially thousands of people. Any person wanting to claim a special offer or deal via your club’s “deal site” will simply fill out minimal information and can be followed up with by your team as a new lead.
Your offers and deals become more powerful because they were recommended among friends within the social media communities. The formatted messages with your club logo also gives you the ability to connect people with your company’s Facebook page, resulting in more company loyalty and revenue per member.
Social media as a way to connect people with your business is only going to become more mainstream as time passes. Finding ways to implement strategies and execute consistently is key.
Finding tools and applications that help you achieve your goal of driving more leads and increasing your revenue per member through social media will become critical business functions in the health club industry. You will probably be able to find various systems designed to help you leverage social media at the IHRSA trade show March 14th through the 17th in Los Angeles, California. We encourage you to begin finding systems to leverage social media.
Don’t miss your chance for a personal demonstration! Stop by our booth #647 for a free demonstration! Make sure you test drive our new application designed to give you a turnkey solution to leveraging social media.