How to Improve Your Gym Engagement on Facebook

Facebook continues to be a great tool to engage your gym members. In this article, we’ll explore some fundamental ways to improve your gym engagement on Facebook.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on xing
Share on email

Using social media to increase your gym’s membership and engagement can be a smart move, but if performed incorrectly, it can waste a lot of time and (potentially) money. This article will look at some ways you can improve your gym engagement on Facebook. In a nutshell:

You can improve gym engagement on Facebook by being consistent with your content, interacting with comments from members, introducing a hybrid online and offline approach to member engagement, and showcasing the successes of your members.

Now, let’s take a more in-depth look at each of the points raised above.

The Importance of Social Media

Social media is simultaneously the most underused and overused method for building your business. Correct usage can help you create a bulletproof business that can survive anything. Poor usage can lead to your business looking unprofessional, or it can lead to you wasting time that could be better spent elsewhere.

Sure, there are many ways to mess up when it comes to social media, but that does not mean that you should avoid it. Having a good social media strategy is very useful and can be virtually cost-free.

It is becoming increasingly common for people to look up prospective gyms in their area online before making a decision. Google reviews are crucial, local SEO for your website is crucial, and increasingly a solid Facebook page is also crucial.

But for a gym Facebook page to be successful it needs several things:

A healthy online review score (out of 5 stars) – This is mostly down to how well you run the gym, how well you look after your members, and how successfully you have encouraged current members to give you a favourable score.

High number of Facebook followers – It shouldn’t matter, but for businesses it kind of does. Partly from a vanity point of view (“wow, this gym has 10,000 followers it must be doing something right”), but also for an increased chance of engagement.

Consistent posting – You don’t want a Facebook page which hasn’t had a comment, post, or picture posted onto it for 3 years. This is a bad look for a business.

Engaged members – This is the most important factor in how successful a gym’s Facebook page is. You can have 1 million followers, but if your posts are receiving no engagement then you won’t be selling anything. Engagement can be created through both online and offline strategies, but ultimately it requires hard work, creative content, and a community feel.

How to improve gym engagement on Facebook

We are about to discuss numerous strategies that you can implement with your Facebook profile so that members engage with it. But if there is a common thread that ties them all together it is this: To succeed with Facebook you need to care about Facebook.

You need to be prepared to work hard for a long time while dealing with tumbleweed responses. You may need to invest financially to find people who are interested (though this option is not compulsory for success). You need to be clever, creative, educational, and you need to speak to your members.

Successful gym Facebook pages take time to cultivate, and it can be very frustrating at first. But if you persevere the results can be spectacular. So, here are some tips and techniques to help you improve your gym engagement on Facebook.

Don't bother going viral

Going viral can turn a social media into a celebrity overnight. There are thousands of examples of businesses and entrepreneurs who have become instantly successful after a photo, meme, video, or heartfelt status went viral.

This may lead you to believe that if you create the funniest video ever your gym may explode in popularity. Well, there are two main problems with this:

  1. The competition for going viral is massive. Going viral is a little like winning America’s got Talent. Your content has to be very good; you need to be in the right place at the right time, and you need a lot of luck.
  2. Even if you do go viral, as a bricks and mortar gym your audience needs to be local. But a viral video will not be specific to your location. You may get thousands of new followers, but only the tiniest fraction will be within 100 miles of your location. Also, people who like viral videos may not also be looking for a new gym.

This is one of the biggest mistakes that many businesses make when it comes to social media. They are obsessed with quantity rather than quality. Five engaged “likes” from local residents is worth more than 50,000 likes from people on the other side of the world.

Posting content that is solely designed to go viral is very unlikely to be successful, and you don’t want to be wasting time on it. Does this mean that making funny videos in your gym is a bad idea? Not at all, once you have enough members following you, they will get a kick out of them, and it can really help.

Key Takeaways
  • Entertaining your audience = Good 
  • Going internationally viral = Neutral at best
Create a private Facebook Group

One thing that you will want to do is have a separate private Facebook group that is for your current members (past-members should also be welcome). This will be a place for people to ask specific questions (“what time is the gym open on Tuesday?”) that you can answer straight away. It is also here that you can give updates, talk about fitness challenges, charity events, etc.

You can also share content from your page in your group or vice versa. Repurposing content is a smart move, so long as you do it right.

Key Takeaways
  • A Facebook page is good for finding new members
  • A Facebook group is good for keeping your current members happy
Minimum effort for maximum reward

Being efficient with the amount of time you spend on social media is very important. We all know what a time-suck it can be. The following advice is gym-specific, but it can help you to learn which type of content to avoid and which forms to keep.

Content to focus on:
  • Photos of members exercising (ask for permission, and ask if you can tag them)
  • Photos of new equipment or just the gym looking nice
  • Videos of workouts
  • Memes (keep them civil and gym specific)
  • Member success stories
  • Meet the team stories
  • Educational videos or infographics – cover topics that will resonate with most of your audience.
Content to avoid:
  • Politics – If you have seen what happened to CrossFit in 2020 then this should be obvious
  • Videos from other content providers – It’s not that this will harm your business, it’s just that people won’t associate the video with your business they’ll just see a video pop up on their feed. So, it’s a bit of a waste of time.
  • Rants – While polarising opinions can work for some businesses, they won’t work well for gyms.
The importance of consistency

Building a successful Facebook page and/or group is a highly frustrating experience for the first few months. Until you have a decent following it can feel like you’re just yelling in an empty room. If you get a lot of people to like your page and then rarely post, you won’t have engaged members and again you can expect a big silence after every post.

But post regularly, respond to every comment, tag members (ask permission first), and offer interesting, funny, and informative posts and slowly your engagement will increase. This takes lots of discipline and perseverance. But if you stick with it, it could be very worth it.

Think of it like training in the gym. There are weeks and weeks of exercising and dieting where you won’t see any progress. But you know that if you keep doing the right things and stay focused, you will eventually see results.

The online/offline hybrid approach

Getting your members to like your Facebook page when they sign up is a must, but you will need to incentivise them. Free t-shirt giveaways, a free fitness evaluation, a free class, or even a free protein shake. Whatever it takes to get that like. It true that some members will take their prize and then unsubscribe an hour later, but if you have 500 members and 10% follow your page then that’s 50 Facebook followers for a couple of hours work.

Encouraging your members to tag your gym when they do a good workout or finish a tough HIIT class is another good idea. Get your PTs on board too. Their clients can tag them and the gym after a tough session which will benefit you both.

Combining online and offline strategies like this (a hybrid approach) is a great way to speed up engagement and the popularity of your page.

Making heroes of your members

This is a no-brainer. Testimonials are incredibly powerful, and they can be like gold dust to a gym. There are two ways to get a testimonial.

  • The Traditional Way – Ask your member to write something about their experience, attach a progress photo, and allow you to post them online.
  • The Reverse Testimonial – Instead of asking them to write a testimonial for you, you ask if you can write one for them! “Sarah came to our gym in 2019 and has made amazing progress over the last two years. We at [insert gym name] just wanted to congratulate her on all her hard work”.

Both are great are great ways to improve your gym engagement on Facebook. The reverse testimonial could even have more reach since the member is likely to respond in the comments with praise for you. They may also share the post with their friends. Other members will also encourage and congratulate that member.

Creating a community

The final step is to create a community within your gym. There are many ways to achieve this, and we’ve written about it before. A gym member that feels part of a community is more likely to engage on the Facebook page and the group. This also works the other way round.

Get your members feeling confident, either online or in person (preferably both) and they will be more engaged and happier. Which is in the best interests of everyone.

The Future of Facebook as an Engagement Tool

While Facebook is a good way to improve your gym engagement, you should make sure that Facebook or any social media isn’t your only means of effectively engaging your gym community.

Facebook as an engagement channel is full of distraction and doesn’t capture the attention of your members fully. Your members don’t only engage with your gym on Facebook, but also other businesses, their friends, family, etc.

Additionally, Facebook is constantly and just recently under public scrutiny for its business practices and loose regulation on its social platforms. If your engagement strategy depends on the effectiveness of one channel, you’re assuming too much risk.

What if in the future, Facebook becomes less effective due to a falloff in popularity or tighter regulations dampening its network effect? Regardless, it’s never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket.

Facebook isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but it rebranding as Meta signals its shift in focus to the “metaverse”. Facebook will remain under the umbrella of Meta’s technologies, and they very well might come out with a different social technology all together for you to engage with your members in the metaverse, but it’s safe to say that you will need multiple channels and technologies to fully engage your members in such a saturated consumer environment.

Moreover, in terms of only using one technology like social media, it limits your effectiveness. A good idea is to use social media like Facebook in tandem with a more localized and hybrid engagement channel. An engagement channel that captures more of your members attention, without the distractions of outside influences and third parties.

With new technologies disrupting the fitness industry, it may be wise to start looking to the future regarding new ways to engage your audience.  

Copyright @ 2021 MoFit Technologies. All rights reserved.