Boxes inherently create a sense of community among their members, which is a huge advantage. For some small businesses, it can take months or years to build the strong, tight-knit network we see among passionate CrossFit athletes. As an Affiliate owner, it’s critical to leverage this community and incorporate it into your digital marketing strategies to connect with your members and prospects.
Think about this: 80 percent of consumers say they are more likely to purchase products or services if they see positive reviews or posts on social media or other sites. The value of online community engagement can’t be ignored.
Creating a robust online community through social media is an organic way to engage current members and pique the interest of prospects who wonder what CrossFit is all about. This authentic brand community can continue to pay off in value over the long haul, which is critical for owners facing the reality of limited time and budgets.
Here are three ways Affiliate owners can leverage social media to strengthen the performance of their digital marketing.
Location, location, location. The location of your online presence is just as important as the physical location of your Box. But with the ever-growing number of social media sites, it can be hard to know where to focus your efforts. Before jumping into Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and LinkedIn all at once, find out where your athletes are already spending their time. Then, focus on building a presence on those platforms where you’ll get the most engagement. Use metrics available to understand the best times to post, the best content to share and how to effectively use hashtags.
Post real life stories. The advantage of social media over other digital marketing is in its authenticity. Use these platforms to share stories of real members seeing real results. Give athletes the opportunity to provide a testimonial about how CrossFit has impacted their life. You can also encourage members to post about their experiences and progress on their personal accounts, and then repost these on your channels. Bottom line: The more authentic, the better.
Provide valuable content. The best way to engage your community online is by providing content and information that is useful and shareable. Many CrossFit owners already post the WOD online and see engagement from their members. Take this a step further by sharing tips and expertise on proper techniques, nutrition and recovery. Incorporating elements like photos, videos and infographics helps engagement.
The benefits of a great social strategy go beyond cultivating an engaged online community. Using social media as a part of your overall digital marketing plan can improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and help current and potential members find you in online searches. Case in point, through digital marketing, Dayton-based Bombers CrossFit saw its SEO score improve by 300 percent, became a top rank on Google for key search terms, and had social media engagement increase, all of which helped lead to a 25 percent increase in membership.
When it comes to social media, remember to make the complex simple. Part of CrossFit’s appeal to athletes is that it’s a simplified approach to fitness. As an Affiliate owner, find ways to efficiently and effectively build an online community. There are a number of digital marketing companies with tools and solutions to help Affiliates manage all aspects of their digital marketing efforts, including social media. Applying some of the same philosophies of CrossFit to your digital marketing will help you strengthen your online community and get the most out of your efforts.
By Joe Pellitteri, the senior vice president at Vivial, a leading advertising tech company. For more information, email email@example.com or visit vivial.net. Let Vivial do the heavy lifting for you. Receive one month FREE when you mention BOX PRO.*
*Some restrictions apply. Offer good through April 28, 2017.