Social media marketing is the channel for connecting with your brand. Creating a strong profile on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube and blogs should be on the "must do" list for every health club.

A strategic social media marketing plan is an invaluable tool for driving brand awareness, customer loyalty and increased revenue. An added bonus to engaging in social media marketing is the positive effect this has on search engine optimization (SEO) efforts as well. Combining SEO strategies with a comprehensive social media campaign increases the success rate for both.

As a health club professional with more than 37 years of experience owning health clubs and consulting for health club owners and operators throughout the country and most recently starting a Baseball Instruction Academy, I have noticed that marketing in the past five years has turned upside down. Not only have the preferred mediums for advertising and marketing shifted, but the attitude towards marketability also has evolved with it.

You may already know that social media is an essential component to getting your club noticed. It is similar to the rush in the 1990s to creating a website. Unfortunately, many health clubs have stumbled and failed to see social media for what it truly is. They see it as a tool that may or may not allow them to achieve the goals of their marketing plan.

But social media is not a magic potion. The key to success in social media is buried right in the term itself: Be social. We have long understood the importance of getting people to interact in our fitness facilities. Social media marketing simply expands the four walls of the club and enables club operators to reach their entire trading market.

Before you do anything more with social media, I suggest that you analyze your current social media marketing plan to see if it allows you to accomplish your short- and long-term goals and if it includes the following points:

  1. Share first-rate subject matter often. Not only do you need to share great content, but you also need to become known for great content. Social media is the perfect platform for this.
  2. Connect, engage and associate. Everything depends on your presence on the social web. Join in on conversations in which you or your staff can share an opinion with your target market. Every conversation refreshes your health club in the consumer's mind.
  3. What goes around comes around. Create powerful bonds with other "like" social media users by retweeting, engaging and sharing their posts. Doing so is an unspoken expectation on social networks as the appeal is being social. When you do share, people will often reciprocate, which essentially promotes you to their followers. It is the ultimate compliment in social media.