The Leisure sector is growing, and it’s competitive. With more and more gyms, leisure and sports centres serving all parts of the UK, social media helps leisure operators stand out from the crowd and engage the right audience.
Statistics show that membership of UK gyms increased to 10.4m in 2019 and that the number of facilities also increased to over 7,200. With one in seven Brits already a gym member, social media helps to retain existing members as well as recruiting new ones.
Here, we take a look at three main benefits of social media for leisure brands!
1. Brand Awareness
One of the main reasons leisure organisations uses social media is to achieve brand awareness. Positioning the brand in front of potential customers is critical for growth. It also helps to fix the leaky bucket when it comes to membership churning, which is a considerable challenge across all leisure chains.
Social media helps organisations to communicate and deliver on their brand promise through the look and feel of their social brand identity. Your content and messaging that supports brand awareness will all work towards creating that positioning; for example, whether your facilities are budget, luxury, clinical, specialist etc.
One organisation who does this well is The Bannatyne Group, operating a chain of Luxury Health Clubs across the UK. While they use social to achieve several objectives, brand awareness is critical! Their twitter page alone shows all the different services they can provide, from gym memberships to food to spa days, all falling under the Bannatyne group.
Not only this but by publishing member-generated content to celebrate what their members are achieving, it gives a more realistic expectation to potential customers. As such, social helps to provide a better understanding of what people are buying into, driving better customer satisfaction.
Two of our regular Ayr members, Mark & Adele will be appearing on Ready Steady Cook tonight! Mark has lost an incredible 100 lbs since joining us and his new found lifestyle of fitness & healthy food is an inspiration to everyone. Good luck Mark and Adele! pic.twitter.com/cyB1at5WCc
‚Äî The Bannatyne Group (@Bannatyne) March 10, 2020
2. New Revenue
With just over 2 billion Facebook users and 328 million monthly Twitter users, social media is the place to be advertising. These sites enable you to set up targeted ads to help you find the right customer. With so many potential leads on social media, organisations must showcase their ‘best bits’, whether that’s a membership offer or a new set of classes launching at the gym.
Every brand needs to offer value to their customers and sell the reasons why a brand is different and why they should sign up to them.
This allows brands to promote all the great things about their facilities that stand out from the crowd such as the location, free parking offers and guest passes. Ensuring that followers are aware of all the perks provided also works as a tactic for motivating ambassadors to share and promote the brand on social media.
Sport Aberdeen does a great job in promoting their reasons why local people should participate, ensuring no one is left out regardless of physical ability. By doing this, they are actively involving all members of the community. As such, potential customers can see what they can achieve through the organisation.
You may have seen Emily Plant‚Äôs story on BBC Scotland @BBCScotNine last week.
The girl did it! Emily won gold in the Giant Slalom event yesterday!
Congrats to Emily & the rest of the @SpecialOlympics Grampian Area team! https://t.co/M2kyIJWBd7#ChooseToInclude pic.twitter.com/I7IK7qLps8
‚Äî Sport Aberdeen (@Sportaberdeen) February 5, 2020
3. Revenue Retention
Connecting with the audience on social media is a great advantage for the leisure industry. At a simple level, it enables health clubs to send out appropriate content targeted at key audiences to ‘add value’ to their membership. Most people cancel their membership because they don’t use it enough, so social media provides an excellent tool for showing how to get the most value out of it.
By making the gym a pleasant place to be, members will be more likely to keep coming back. Investing in quality equipment and the gym’s look and feel means that members of this Serco Leisure centre are more likely to enjoy being there and want to renew memberships.
More gym update news. This time at Maidstone Leisure Centre, where they’ve invested in quality kit and a fresh new look, which looks certain to be a hit with gym-going locals in the New Year.@maidstone_lc @maidstonebc #gym #NewYearsResolutions pic.twitter.com/XHeHusDjmy
‚Äî Serco Leisure (@sercoleisure) December 24, 2019
Social media enables leisure organisations to connect on a meaningful level with both current and prospective customers. By aligning social media strategy with your organisation goals, you can build meaningful relationships and stand out from the competition.