Utilize Social Media
Facebook, in particular, can be a powerful tool for health clubs to encourage and coach members. Marisa Hoff, general manager of Stevenson Fitness in Oak Park, CA, has successfully utilized Facebook outreach to boost engagement. She suggests taking the time to complete your profile, start hashtag campaigns, and post testimonials, class schedules, etc. There are abundant possibilities and the financial investment is relatively low compared to the reward.
“What’s really awesome about Facebook is you can target to a very specific audience, which means the money that you’re spending is going much farther than if you’re blanketing the entire neighborhood with flyers,” she says.
Offer Guidance on Nutrition
Even dedicated members can undo all of the work they do on the exercise floor if their nutritional needs aren’t met. In “Leveraging Nutrition Expertise at Your Health Club,” part of IHRSA’s Best Practice E-Book Series, club owners offer testimonials on how nutrition programs created more opportunities to improve member experience by enhancing overall fitness results while increasing more interaction with members.
Upgrade Your Mobile Strategy
Mobile is where your members are—even when they’re physically in your club, they’re often online in the cloud.
“It's irrefutable that a 'mobile-first' strategy is emerging, which means that you may need to rethink some aspects of your business model,” says Bryan O’Rourke, the president of the Fitness Industry Technology Council (FITC). “The clubs that are going to be the most successful are the ones that integrate thoughtful digital strategies with the brick and mortar.”
All of the strategies listed above can be realized through a system of cloud-based apps. This is a better approach than trying to create programs that link up with different proprietary fitness software and wearables, since some technology may not be compatible with your equipment. And apps are cost-effective.
“Basically, these apps tap into a smartphone's built-in tracking sensors and repurpose that data for fitness monitoring,” explains Michael Rucker, vice president of technology for Active Wellness. “If you're a high-volume/low-price club, your members are likely to be cost-conscious. They're going to appreciate it if you offer them a free mobile app that does 80% of what a [wearable] does.”