Building a sense of community within your gym is one of the best ways to increase member retention and attract new prospects. Get to know your members! Make them feel included, and foster a strong connection with other gym members to keep them coming back.
Here are a few tips on how to nurture a strong sense of community both at the gym and beyond.
Send a Shout Out
Personal attention is one of the most effective ways to increase member retention. Let your members know that you notice when they are not around. If you see a member that has missed a week of training, send a quick message to let them know they are missed. You can do this manually or use of one of several tools that will automatically send a message based on trigger events such as non-attendance.
Take the time to know what your members are doing when they are not in the gym. If they are training for a competition, ask them about their progress leading up to the event or if how you can help them prepare. Remember to follow up after the event to see how they performed. Birthdays and life events are another great way to connect with your members. A small note, personal email, newsletter highlight or Facebook post can go a long way in making someone feel connected and appreciated.
Give Members a Shared Goal
Nothing builds camaraderie like working towards a common goal. Organize fitness challenges such as clean eating and nutritional awareness months, decreased body fat percentage challenges or seasonal training boosts to recharge member’s enthusiasm. Reward hard work and encourage friendly competition by recognizing the top performers.
Social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are a great way to boost engagement among your gym members. Share updates about your gym and trainers. Encourage members to share stories of their own. Athletic events, nutrition topics and trainer achievements all serve as great post topics. Also, consider using Facebook check-ins to create a sense of encouragement, healthy competition and accountability.
Track Progress and Performance
Giving members a way to set goals and track improvements shows you are interested in their success and gives members a goal to reach. Utilize a digital platform such as an app or portal to help members to track their progress from anywhere, anytime. If your gym offers group classes or workouts, consider creating a leaderboard so members can comment or like their fellow athletes’ results.
Meet and Mingle
Give your members opportunities to get to know one another. Plan group events such as healthy potlucks, outdoor runs, volunteer projects or charity workouts. Encourage participation through Facebook, at the gym and reminder emails.
A strong sense of community will go a long way in increasing member retention, improving training results and boosting awareness of your gym. With the right tools, encouragement and leadership, your community will thrive inside and outside the gym.