Community building helps owners build a strong rapport leading to positive word of mouth which can influence customer purchasing decisions. When a community is built effectively, customers buy into the studio’s vision and mission leading to customer loyalty. If consistency is added into the mix, the possibilities for client expansion are endless through referrals and testimonials.
During this pandemic, the emphasis on human interaction has increased. Customers want to feel valued and supported through their journeys. Building a community creates a sense of belonging. With the Covid-19 pandemic brewing, how can you break down the communication barriers and ensure active participation?
Understanding customer needs
What customer segments do you serve? It is important to understand your customers’ needs and desires. Important factors to highlight include customer spending power, customer’s psychological needs and expectations from the brand/studio. Customers will only buy into the brand if these key areas are met and surpass their perceived brand value expectations.
Where are they most active? Social media has revolutionized exchanges therefore it is imperative to know what social media platforms clients use. This can help you structure community-building initiatives to keep old clients engaged while attracting new clients with similar interests. This can be done by establishing groups, social media pages, and personal blogs.
The top three social media sites used in Singapore are YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Statica research has shown that by 2025, the number of Facebook users in Singapore is expected to reach 5.1 million, up from 4.74 million in 2019 and the number of Instagram users in Singapore amounted to about 2.5 million as of January 2021. This shows the strong technological pull therefore owners can use this to their advantage to market and sustain their clientele base.
Community building in relation to customer needs? Customers’ needs may vary with some focusing on personal gains, but many have chosen the all-hands approach of getting fit with their gym buddies. Owners can motivate clients through group participation by introducing online/onsite group classes and selling shareable packages. These packages help customers cut costs and enjoy refreshing group sessions.
Here are the 3 different platforms that you can use to build yourself a fitness community:
1. Facebook Groups
Facebook groups allow for easy advertising of services which allow you to communicate and find potential clients. Facebook groups can include private groups allowing clients to join in. You can also host online events to increase participation during Covid-19. Client recognition can be a useful tool to retain customers – acknowledging customer journeys by posting before and after client fitness results can help boost client morale keeping them motivated.
Difficulty can be faced piloting these groups as members may be inactive due to the saturation of social media groups and communication platforms. Consistency will be key in giving these members a reason to return and engage actively on your social media groups. Share content on a regular cadence, and encourage participation through small giveaways to ensure optimum reach.
Personal Trainer Singapore
Personal Trainer Singapore is a Facebook group, open to the public which brings together fitnesspreneurs and personal trainers across Singapore. This group provides an amazing opportunity to interact with potential target groups and like-minded fitness enthusiasts. With strong community-building groups assisting with outreach, success may be just a few clicks away!
2. Instagram pages
Instagram has been growing in popularity and could be the perfect opportunity to create a solid social movement. Encourage clients to post their sweat selfies with their personal testimonials to boost engagement and create a sense of value to potential clients viewing the posts. Create personalized hashtags and encourage clients to use them to create brand recognition and boost marketing outcomes.
Some challenges you may face include clients preferring to keep their fitness journeys private. If pages are established, client privacy policies should be adapted to protect the interests of clients featured.
Founder Jamie Foo from FitFoo is an example of how to maximize your community outreach through instagram. Sharing student’s progress on her stories keeps the fitspiration levels up at Fitfoo! Seems like this initiative is a heavy-weight champion with clients happily sharing their positive experiences.
If effectively administered, blogs can create a sense of thought leadership which may increase traffic. Blogs should include direct contact details and FAQ pages for customers to access to optimize client touchpoints. The blog should be comprehensive and user-friendly allowing for easy navigation to resources.
Blogs may invite traffic but may not guarantee your first conversion/sale. Nevertheless, it is always in the interest of owners to increase awareness through website clicks. The regular updating and need for technical competency may be an evident issue to a smooth sailing implementation. Despite the possible downsides to establishing blogs, if the owner is consistent in their efforts to create a positive customer touchpoint, blogs may be an affordable start.
Anytime fitness goes the extra mile creating a dedicated blog encouraging potential clients to join their fitness movement. The blog includes directions, direct contact details and a dedicated FAQ link where customers can go to have their queries answered. The user-friendly navigation also allows for direct access to all their attached social media pages creating an excellent customer touchpoint experience.
How to engage your community through those platforms
Leveraging on Instagram stories may include participation polls to collect client preferences and increase engagement. Feature customer journeys and give recognition to customers who have reached their fitness goals. Clients can share these stories on their personal profiles which may be a source of fitspiration to potential clients.
Create workout movements to support community building by offering free fitness programs to create virality amongst fitness enthusiasts. The key to success is to constantly collect feedback to understand customer preferences and refine your value proposition.
How vibefam can help accelerate community building
Vibefam was built to support boutique studios by helping you build your fitness tribe with future-centric community building features allowing you to break down those communication barriers. Whether online or onsite, scheduling has never been easier. Find out more by following us on Instagram!
This article was written by Kimera Naidoo.