In today’s digital age, Instagram has become an essential communication platform and the fitness world is no exception. If you are a gym or sports centre manager and you want to strengthen and expand your community on Instagram, you are in the right place. In this article, we give you four strategies to build your gym’s community on Instagram. Let’s take a look at them!
1. Organise online challenges to build your gym’s community on Instagram
Implementing challenges and competitions in your gym is a simple and fun way to keep your members engaged and increase their satisfaction. These activities give them the opportunity to actively participate, set fitness goals and share their progress.
You can set a monthly or weekly challenge, such as completing a specific exercise routine or reaching a certain goal. Encourage participants to post their progress using a unique hashtag and give prizes or recognition to the winners. This strategy will not only encourage engagement, but also motivate users to keep coming back to the club while creating a sense of community.
How can you do it? There are plenty of challenges so let’s look at a concrete example, “30 Day Plank Challenge”:
- Announce to your community that for a whole month they will perform the plank exercise every day, gradually increasing the duration.
- Create a unique hashtag for the challenge, such as #PlankChallenge2023.
- Post a video doing the plank on Instagram and explain the rules of the challenge.
- As participants share their daily progress using the hashtag, highlight their posts in your stories and on your main feed.
- At the end of the challenge, reward the participant who has achieved the longest plank or shown the most inspiring progress.
This strategy will not only encourage participation and interaction, but will also motivate users to join and become part of the gym community.
*If with these challenges you are looking to keep your users training during the summer, we have something of interest for you: 5 tips to take advantage of seasonality in your gym.
2. Interact with your gym’s community on Instagram
Active interaction with your community is key to strengthening ties and creating a sense of belonging. The least you should do, if you are not already doing so, is to respond to your followers’ comments, questions and direct messages quickly and closely, without sounding like a robot.
Also, take the opportunity to showcase the great atmosphere and spirit of your gym and how your members train, creating a sense of community. On the other hand, by highlighting the achievements and dedication of your members, you will show them that they are an integral part of your gym’s success.
A very simple strategy that works is to highlight your users. How can you do this? Let’s look at an example:
Imagine a member of your gym has shared a photo of their fitness transformation on Instagram, tagging your account and using your community hashtag.
- Respond to the comment on the publication with words of praise and encouragement, congratulating him on his success.
- Then, ask for permission to share their story on your profile and ask them questions to learn more about their story.
- Post the interview, highlighting your achievements, challenges overcome and giving advice to inspire other users to pursue their best version.
By doing so, you not only show that you care about your users, but you also increase their loyalty. If you want to know more keys and actions that will help you build loyalty, take a look at this article: How to build customer loyalty in your gym.
3. Use Instagram Stories to talk to your users
Instagram Stories are a powerful tool to connect with your gym community in a more direct and closer way.
Take advantage of this feature to share content from the day’s classes, quick workout tips or healthy recipes so your users know what to eat before and after training.
Another idea to encourage communication with your users is to hold question and answer sessions, polls or even to live stream some of your classes or trainings.
How can you do this?
- Announce the event in advance and encourage your followers to submit their fitness, nutrition or wellness related questions.
- During the session, records short videos answering the questions and tagging the followers who asked them.
- Also share quick workout tips or healthy recipes in story format.
By using Instagram Stories on a regular basis, you will be creating an interactive space where followers will feel more connected to the community and to the gym. This strategy will encourage engagement and create an atmosphere of closeness with your users.
4. Create a hashtag for your gym’s Instagram community
A unique hashtag for your gym community on Instagram can be a great way to unite your followers and generate a sense of collective identity.
How can you do this? Let’s say you have a gym called “FitLife Gym”.
- Create a unique hashtag for your community, such as #FitLifeFam.
- Encourage your followers to use it in stories or posts they upload while training or in the gym.
- Include this hashtag in all the content you upload to the gym’s Instagram account as well as in Instagram Stories.
- To further encourage participation, run monthly challenges using the hashtag. For example, you can launch the “#FitLifeFam Healthy Eating Challenge”, where participants share photos of their nutritious and balanced meals, tagging your account and using the hashtag.
- Highlight the best posts from each challenge in your stories and offer prizes or recognition to participants.
This will allow users to put faces and connect with each other, creating a stronger and more active online community. Also, take the opportunity to highlight and share user-generated content that uses the community hashtag. This will give them visibility and reinforce the feeling of community and collaboration.
Building your gym’s community on Instagram takes time, effort and effective strategies. In this article we have looked at 4 concrete strategies that will help you achieve this goal.
Remember to be consistent, approachable and take advantage of all the tools available on Instagram to strengthen and expand your community. Start implementing these strategies and watch your Instagram community grow!