Like most things, Facebook can be used for both good and evil!
Well, the other day, when I woke after a late night of drin- I mean … sophisticated conversation over a great bottle of wine with friends, I immediately panicked when I found that I had 59 Facebook notifications! There it was (names have been changed to protect the innocent!):
John Smith, Kelly Jack and 57 other people like a photo you’re tagged in.
Barely able to open my eyes, but wide awake, I hesitantly clicked to explore this alleged photo that I’m tagged in.
My suspicions were true. Once more, the wine I had the evening before had eventually got the best of me and I wandered off to find a comfy place to rest my eyes (translation: pass out).
My friends all know to expect this from me. I’ve ended up under coffee tables, behind sofas (don’t ask) and in bathtubs. It’s kind of my “thing” I guess.
And there it was. For all the world to see – well at least the world of my “friends” and “friends of friends”.
Well boys & girls – there’s a lesson here! One that we all know but rarely keep in mind as we go about marketing our gyms, health clubs, yoga studios, CrossFit locations, etc.
SOCIAL CONTENT THAT IS SHARED & TAGGED BY INDIVIDUALS GETS MUCH MORE ATTENTION & ORGANIC REACH (than content that is shared by a brand).
Those “friends of friends” on Facebook. Twitter followers. Instagram followers. They are the objective!
Why? Again, something we all know but seem to forget when it comes to marketing: walk-ins are the “cheapest” types of gym members to obtain, no matter what your target new member acquisition cost!
So the key is to generate “in-club” content that can be shared and interacted with by your members.
You want them to tag themselves, to share your pictures and videos, to add comments, to retweet, to repost and to post their own pics and tag you so you get organic access to their networks (presumably made up of a large percentage of “non-members”.
This is Word-of-Mouth Marketing on steroids. Your brand is front and center. Top of Mind.
People who are in the latter stages of the buying cycle may be prompted to check out your facility because “their friend Bobby works out there”.
Or maybe they aren’t ready to join at this moment. When they are, chances are pretty good that you’ll be top of mind and they will check you out if they are consistently seeing you in their news feeds, twitter feeds or Instagram feeds!
The trick here is to follow a process of consistently generating and promoting shareable content. Here’s how:
- Identify the social networks that make sense for your business. Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Pinterest? It all depends!
- Create a detailed content calendar listing each day, content needed, how it’s to be generated and the intended MVC (minimum viable conversion) i.e., the minimum acceptable outcome you expect from the generated content. Shares? Downloading a Guest Pass? Clicks? Visits to your facility? Leave nothing to chance!
- Create templates for repetitive components of your content calendar to keep production costs to a minimum (e.g., #WorkOutWednesday images to be shared on Instagram or FridayFitness images to be shared on Facebook).
- Get your members involved! <– THIS IS THE SECRET SAUCE! Make it fun! Create content people WANT to share, tag and interact with. You might even consider designating a “Social Media Ambassador” – someone on your team, a real “people person” who knows all of your members whose role it is to promote “social sharing”.
If you complete steps 1 to 3 but don’t get to step 4 … you’re just “Posting on Facebook” (which is becoming less & less effective these days as Facebook continues to push paid advertising) rather than “Generating New Member Leads”. It’s that simple.
Stay tuned as I walk through the above steps in much more detail in a series of blog posts over the coming weeks. Feedback or ideas to share? Leave me a comment below!