Boost your gym member engagement with UGC

Jun 10, 2024 | Gym marketing, Gym marketing

One strategy that has proven to be very useful for the fitness industry is the use of user-generated content (UGC). In this article, we tell you what UGC is and how it can transform your gym by increasing your gym member engagement and strengthening your brand image. Shall we get started?


What is UGC Content?

User-generated content (UGC), or in the case of gyms, user-driven content, is the modern version of word-of-mouth.

That is, original and gym-specific content created by users and published on social networks or other channels. It can be an image, video, review, testimonial or podcast, created by the users of your gym.


The importance of UGC content for gym member engagement

This type of content has two major benefits for your gym:

Build trust and foster an online community

People trust people. User-generated content acts like a personal recommendation from a friend or family member.

According to reports, users trust a gym that has reviews 50% more than one that does not. And UGC content is basically just that, reviews from users who have already joined your gym.

Grow your gym

Higher impact, lower cost. UGC is a cost-effective way to attract potential users to your gym by driving traffic to your gym’s website and social media platforms.

What is the cost of asking your users to share their gym experience? Virtually nothing. And approximately 80% of people believe that UGC helps influence consumer purchasing decisions compared to content created by brands (13%) and social media influencers (8%).


3 tips for designing a UGC strategy

1. Keep it simple

Keep things simple. In other words, make it easy for your users to share this type of content. The first step is to choose a generalised platform like Instagram to make sure that the vast majority of your users already use this platform and are familiar with it.

You can also design a specific area in the gym where users can take pictures or record their workouts, using an eye-catching background or a sign with the gym’s official hashtag.

Also, give them the option of having tools such as mobile phone tripods or studio lights to improve the quality of the photos.

On the other hand, it is important that you promote an environment of trust where users feel comfortable sharing their experiences in an honest and unfiltered way.

 2. Encourage your users to participate

Of course, engaging your users is essential for your UGC strategy to work logically. Encourage your users to share their daily experiences at the gym.

Using hashtags is very important when it comes to controlling and analysing all the content uploaded related to your gym. Create a specific hashtag for your gym where users can share images of their achievements, favourite workouts or good times at your gym.

Offer incentives that motivate users to share your content, such as exclusive discounts on fees or early access to special classes.

Actively respond to and engage with user-generated content, thanking users for their content and encouraging conversation and interaction.

Also, talk to your users about the value of their content and how it can positively influence others, which will motivate them to contribute on an ongoing basis.

3. Involve your gym’s coaches

Users trust their gym trainers and seeing how they react to their videos and photos will undoubtedly make them feel proud and foster their sense of community in an incredible way.

In addition, your team are experts, bringing a variety of perspectives and knowledge to the design of your social media strategy.

They can create different types of content, such as video training tips, exercise demonstrations, personalised exercise routines and nutrition advice, which helps to keep the audience engaged and attract different customer segments.

Another idea is to organise, once a week, live question and answer sessions with one of the coaches. In this way, users can ask questions directly to the coach, who will give them a close and personalised answer to each question they have.

By sharing their own experiences, knowledge and advice, they add a personal touch to the user-generated content, which makes it more relatable.

How to analyse the performance of a UGC strategy

There is no point in designing a social media strategy if you don’t know if it has worked or not. Social media platforms give you thousands of metrics, but do you know which ones are really important? Here they are:

  • Engagement: the cornerstone of any social media strategy, are your followers interacting with your content? That’s what really matters. Look at how many likes, comments and shares your content gets. The more active your audience is, the better.
  • Reach: How many people have seen your content? Reach tells you how far your message has reached. If you notice an increase in reach, it’s a sign that your strategy is working and your content is going viral (well done!).
  • Conversions: Is your strategy generating tangible results and how many people have signed up thanks to this strategy? To find out, you can make the hashtag you have used on Instagram (for example) a discount code in the first instalment. This way, you can see if the strategy has worked or if you should make any changes.


In short, UGC content is a very powerful tool to attract new users because it builds trust and increases credibility in your gym by seeing your online community so involved. And, on the other hand, by designing a good strategy and analysing its results, you maximise its impact while working on user retention. It’s all advantages!


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