Differentiation: a social media course related topic | #SNHUMK655

April 12, 2013

Social Media Marketing

DSC04483Most of my posts became travel focused: place we went to and the experience I want to share with family & friends and other interested in the adventures of a German woman living abroad. Back in Germany the U.S. was always known for fitness, people in perfect shape hanging out at the California beaches. I have never been a sporty person but since I moved here I started to go to the gym on a regular basis and at some point it became a routine. Living in a big city one has a big choice of places to choose from but when one lives in the countryside one has limited choice.

This post is also a “thanks for chasing me all the time to give my best” to my personal trainer Traci but also for the fact that I can do it.

Anyway, in this context I’d like to compare the global fitness company  “Golds Gym” and the  gym “Performance Health and Fitness” located in the Monadnock area.

Once you go to the gym you either love it or hate it – depending on the people surrounding you. But also the location and especially the instructors are key drivers why one goes there.

But the question is what are a fitness company’s strategic goals? Of course increasing number of members and also having the latest and greatest equipment and motivating instructors onboard. But what tactics do both gyms use to achieve their strategic goals? In a small town, mouth-to-mouth advertising is the most important which applies for big city gyms likewise but the city hosts more competition. So what else? A proper website which provides information about the facility. Promotions shown on the website are also tactics to raise interest and to get closer to the goal. However, this is a one-way communication and therefore both Gold’s Gym and Performance Health and Fitness use social media. In a way it is unfair as the comparison is between a global company and a local company – David vs. Goliath – but still it is all about customer engagement and to connect with them also outside the gym.

Performance Health and Fitness only maintains a Facebook account and while at the facility people get easily connected the Facebook posts are a mix of general comments on health and fitness combined with news from the gym. One does not really feel connected, which I think is a pity. It’s a great location, great people and with more emphasis in taking advantage of social media the gym could easily get more attention and people would feel more engaged.

Gold’s Gym in contrast, is by far bigger and also has a more professional approach in terms of traditional marketing combined with social media activities.

Both, Gold’s Gym as a company or single locations, maintain a Facebook page. UntitledThe content varies but, for instance the local Facebook page, provides promotions, updates about courses which customers respond to.

The tactics used on a holistic but also local level foster the same output: increase the number of members and make people feel they have made the right choice. In order to get familiar with the company Gold’s Gym also has a YouTube presence, GoldsGymChannel, as well as videos of people sharing their success story. Sharing people’s (success) stories is always an opportunity to increase customer base. You can tell me the opposite, but who’s not dreaming of the perfect body?

In addition they also have a Google+ account, which I like as the appearance of the Google+ platform is not as overloaded as Facebook. Untitled

 Gold’s Gym uses best practices by having an aligned communication theme and again if one is neither on Facebook or YouTube this is another channel the company uses to reach out to customers. Finally Gold’s Gym is also utilizing Twitter. Untitled

Like on their other social media channels it is a mix of health & fitness but also tweets by customers providing information how motivated they are or what they like about Gold’s Gym.

It is clear that the bigger the company the overall marketing approach is different but no matter the budget available in the fitness industry it is all about motivation, transformation, healthy lifestyle and exercise. While the local gym shows efforts by incorporating all elements it doesn’t seem that they have a proper strategy in place to reach their goals. In contrast Gold’s Gym is doing great effort to use social media to get connected with customers also outside the gym. One can see, the more people provide positive feedback on Gold’s Gyms performance the more people want to connect to the company in order to get closer to one’s personal goals: become lean, toned and healthy.

Reference:

Performance Health and Fitness (2013). Retrieved from http://www.perfhealth.com/

Performance Health and Fitness (2013). Facebook. Retrieved on April 10, 2013 from https://www.facebook.com/pages/Performance-Health-and-Fitness/146318762750?ref=ts&fref=ts

Gold’s Gym (2013). Retrieved from http://www.goldsgym.com/

Gold’s Gym (2013). Facebook. Retrieved on April 10, 2013 from https://www.facebook.com/goldsgym?ref=ts&fref=ts

Gold’s Gym West Covina (2013). Facebook. Retrieved on April 10, 2013 from https://www.facebook.com/goldsgymwestcovina?ref=ts&fref=ts

Gold’s Gym (2013). Twitter. Retrieved  on April 10, 2013 from https://twitter.com/goldsgym

Gold’s Gym (2013). Google+. Retrieved on April 10, 2013 from https://plus.google.com/u/0/105914446067460306811/posts

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3 Comments on “Differentiation: a social media course related topic | #SNHUMK655”

  1. jsalafia Says:

    Great blog post! Very interesting comparison you made between the two gyms. For my differentiation blog post I compared two grocery store’s social media presence and efforts. They are not direct competitors but both are involved in social media strategies that were worth talking about.

    I think it is great when companies have an official corporate page like Gold’s does and then has individual local pages. When each branch has its own page they can really customize it to fit the area and post things that corporate might not normally think of.

    Do you think the small gym, Performance Health and Fitness, will ever look to bigger companies such as Gold’s as a role model for social media tactics?

    Reply

    • mykatjesworld Says:

      An official corporate page updates people on general aspects and strategies of the companies whereas the local page informs what happens right in front of my door. One also can see whether a company has a consistent approach. If the local page would be much different I would start to wonder whether they take care of me the way I expect it.
      I wish Performance Health and Fitness would look at companies like Gold’s as it would increase their reputation a lot. Right now it feels the Facebook page is more utilized from a private perspective than from a professional. What they need is someone providing guidance how to utilize social media to transfer their great caring attitude from inside the studio outside to new potential clients.

  2. DPleacoff Says:

    Interesting to see how gym’s navigate the social media space.Having videos about success stories is such a powerful way to promote a gym. Everyone knows the benefits of going to the gym, but to see a motivational video only helps increase the want to go. Every gym should have a Youtube page dedicated to videos like that! I’m curious to know if Golds gym helps its chains in social media. I know Mercedes supplies guidelines for their dealership pages. Interesting to know if Golds gym does the same!

    Reply

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