Physical Activity Programs GO SOCIAL!
The best program will miss its best chances for success these days unless it includes an ENGAGEMENT piece – and these days that piece should include marketing for a social world. Many fitness destinations are realizing the need to move toward being wellness destinations in order to engage the 80% of us who don’t avidly seek “fitness.” While adding the age bands and condition-specific programming that meets the needs of a new audience , wellness leaders must add a plan for social networking.
HCD Consultants working with a wellness destination within any community don’t need to go this road alone. Among those ready to be part of a Wellness Resource Network for the DESTINATION client are experts in social media, gamification of almost everything and peer-driven virality. You only need to ask for their help – and all will benefit.
Who do most people trust to tell them about new products and things like the activity program or fitness center to go to?
Traditional marketers don’t typically ask this question. They “know” people trust a brand, a well-designed ad or salesperson. Not these days! Most people really trust only two sources: themselves and their social networks –”real” friends, Facebook friends, co-workers or Google results. The Internet has made us and our contacts the expert. In everything. Really. We are no longer dependent on a constricted advertising stream managed by the marketer. We are no longer “funnelable” by a sales process. Most people search topics, read reviews or ask friends – online and off – what they think about programs, products and services.
How can we help “wellness destinations” amplify their marketing investment? In an HCD Wellness Resource Network we include processes that integrate the participant/customer directly into the content development and marketing outreach process. This isn’t so easy – people are distracted, busy and suspect of over-eager “viral marketing” efforts.
It is important to work with knowledgable experts who ask of every strategy, of every promotion, of every widget and clickable button, “how can we get users to share our messages with their social connections?”
How do we know when we get it right? Data simply does not flow in real-time through traditional channels. The best that can be done are after-the-fact surveys and post-experience analyses.
While not “fall off a log” easy, if you want social networking done right it’s important to incorporate real-time intelligence gathering opportunities into marketing strategies – commenting opportunities, tweet requests, votes, polls, social hubs with measurable traffic. You may ask about metrics relative to a social marketing opportunity, seeking some proof of ROI. It’s cool because social engagements, even though they are often brand-focused, not sales-focused, are so much more measurable than traditional advertising forms.
Like in every HCD endeavor, we are an organization of experts. We can connect you to the best in social media and networking as part of your success in wellness delivery.