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Used well, social
media can help to
develop a sense
of community
at your club
If you engage with social media for your marketing hierarchy. Your website is your members to register interest in a club
business, you need to take a much more online shop window. Paper brochures online (details going into the management
hands-on relationship management now tend to be used only for outreach system’s prospect database), join online
approach and closely manage your social marketing – high street and exhibitions (details going into the management
media group/fan page. The upside is that – and to provide take-away information system’s membership database) and book
engaged social media increases the size for walk-ins. Your website is like a fl uid online (members log in and can book
and frequency of customer interactions, brochure, allowing you to quickly and sessions, classes and so on).
while in many cases the customers also easily change your message, create A social media site for your club can use
create valuable content and become instant offers and process enquiries. the above interactive elements embedded
brand champions for you. However, if it’s not interactive, it’s still within your club’s profi le page. There are
In many industries, social media is now a Web 1.0 ‘broadcast media monologue’. not many, if any, UK clubs doing this at
a designated marketing area in its own It might be a great tool for people who present, but in the US there are a couple
right, commanding a discussion point in are looking specifi cally for you to fi nd of excellent examples. For example, 24
any marketing meeting alongside website information, but a mere presence is no Hour Fitness has a Facebook fan page
and e-zine communications. So is it longer enough. Nowadays, companies with more than 60,000 fans, while Gold’s
applicable to health clubs? It’s perhaps too have to interact. Social media provides a Gym has one with more than 30,000
soon to say, as there are only a handful platform to do this beyond the boundaries fans. Both companies have incorporated
of operators engaging with it. However, of the club – but if you’re going to engage, interactive aspects of their websites
outside of health and fitness, the take-up, you need to get it right. Think social into their fan pages and actively engage
continued use, apparent longevity and dialogue, not broadcast monologue. with their fans. It’s early days but, given
preference of social media websites – the success of comparethemarket.com’s
particularly with Generation Y – suggest social media and campaign – the meerkat, Alexander Orlov
we need to at least take it seriously, management software has more than 600,000 fans – and others
learning what it is and how it works. The leading health and fitness membership that have enjoyed similar social media
Most businesses have a website management software companies have success, it’s likely that we will see more
nowadays, but you need to understand been offering interactive solutions for and more fi tness case studies in social
where your website sits within the digital quite some time. These essentially allow media in the future.
In addition, building on the success of
the Web 2.0 utilities already developed
and successfully operating online at many
A mere online presence is
clubs and leisure centres, UK health club
no longer enough; nowadays,
management software providers are now
starting to develop some very interesting
companies have to interact
ideas for social media.
Darrell Boxall, MD of XN Leisure,
explains: “Online interactivity was
60 Read Health Club Management online february 2010 © cybertrek 2010
healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital
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