Video Monetization

10 Ways to Engage and Grow an Online Fitness Community

By Aarushi Singh
10 Min Read

Learn More About Community

A woman follows along to a live streamed yoga class, indicating the instructor has put to use ways to grow an online fitness community.

If your content ever gets stagnant, the growth of your fitness community can plateau just like physical gains.

Keeping your content and tactics fresh can keep your subscribers increasing at the same rate as your weights. 

To that end, we’ve gathered 10 ways to grow an online fitness community.

  1. Host Fitness Challenges
  2. Create a Referral Program
  3. Cross-Promote Your Community
  4. Host Free Live Streams
  5. Interact With Members Consistently
  6. Offer Inclusive Fitness Programs
  7. Give Personalized Support
  8. Hire Community Managers
  9. Welcome Every New Member
  10. Encourage Members to Contribute

Let’s get into them!

1. Host Fitness Challenges

Giving your online fitness community a specific target to hit is a great way to motivate them and avoid monotony.

Issuing a fun challenge each day, week, or month can keep them coming back for regular workouts. 

And since consistency is key for physical growth, giving them regular motivation to stick with it will lead to better results.  

Potential fitness challenge ideas include:

  • Performing 20 pull-ups.
  • Holding a plank for 4 minutes.
  • Completing a 5K in under 25 minutes.
  • Attending every class for a month.

The list goes on.

Be sure to reward your members when they meet these goals. For instance, you might give them free merch or a gift card. 

Sometimes, simply recognizing their achievement on social media is enough to keep them going.  

2. Create a Referral Program

A referral program rewards members with a gift when their friends or family sign up. 

It kills 2 birds with one stone by growing your online fitness community subscriber base while getting your members invested in the success of your business. 

There’s evidence showing referred customers are about 18% less likely to leave a company than other customers. 

Time is a valuable commodity. Marketing campaigns can take awhile to figure out, and once you have they can still be expensive to run.

Getting help from your customers can drastically reduce the time it takes to grow your network while saving you money in the process.

Possible rewards for your referral program could include:

  • A free month of membership.
  • Cold hard cash.
  • Your custom merch.

3. Cross-Promote Your Community

If you want to grow an online fitness community, you need to get your online fitness community noticed. An easy way to do that is through promotion on other platforms. 

Regardless of the online community platform you currently use, sticking to one alone can eventually lead to a plateau in growth. 

Using multiple platforms and mediums will increase your overall reach and bring in members who may only use one platform. 

Have a social media presence on multiple platforms and tailor your content to its strength. For example: 

  • TikTok is great for short videos demonstrating exercises. 
  • Instagram can be used for lifestyle pictures and promotions.
  • Twitter is more suitable for interactions with followers. 
  • Facebook is popular for its ad-targeting abilities.

Pair up with other content creators by writing guest articles for their blog or making guest appearances in their videos.

4. Host Free Live Streams

Giving prospects a taste of what they’ll get as members can be a great way to get them to sign up, because it lets them experience what your classes are actually like firsthand.  

The risk of buyer’s remorse can cause people to tighten their purse strings. Removing that risk can get them to loosen up. 

Plus, there’s an energy to a live event that is missing from pre-recorded videos, and that energy is a great thing in a fitness class.

Offer free live streams of your class to entice procrastinators into taking action. Take advantage of one of the best live streaming platforms on the market and develop a strong bond with your audience.

Knowing a specific time is their only opportunity to experience the class can be the motivation they need to turn off the TV and turn on your fitness community app. 

Live streaming requires special support and equipment, so ensure your hosting platform is up to the task.

5. Interact With Members Consistently

Get in the habit of having conversations with your group members to keep engagement up. 

By commenting on your followers’ posts, you can keep an active social media presence in their lives. 

Responding to comments on your own posts is great, but going out of your way to engage your fitness community can also grow it at a surprising rate as word of mouth spreads. 

Just like your workouts, you can set goals for yourself to interact with members: 

  • Scheduling a time to engage your online fitness community every day. 
  • Setting a quota for the number of messages you send. 
  • Setting a quota for the number of posts you make per week. 

Your personality is the driving force behind your fitness company’s success. Put it at the forefront of your interactions to show people right away what they’ll experience in your classes. 

Let your charisma drive your brand since it is a large part of what makes your business unique.

6. Offer Inclusive Fitness Programs

People have different goals for what they want out of a fitness program and they have different limitations to their performance. 

An inclusive fitness program is one that is tailored to the needs of a specific group, providing modified exercises that they can perform. 

If you offer a class for a specific demographic, they have a strong reason to choose your online fitness platform over others. 

A chart describes 4 ways to grow an online fitness community through engagement.

For instance, if you want to create a program that targets seniors, you’ll need to incorporate exercises that will be most beneficial to their needs, like:

  • Slowing down routines to a pace that suits them. 
  • Using chairs that can aid their limited range of motion. 
  • Focusing on exercises that improve flexibility instead of strength and cardio. 

Apply the same mindset to beginners, maternity classes, or whatever your specialized niche.

7. Give Personalized Support

Keep your members from feeling like another face in the crowd by adding personalization to your classes. Get to know your members, their goals, and the problems they face to tailor your classes to their needs.

Options for giving personalized support include:

  • Setting up a chat forum where you can get involved in discussions. 
  • Arranging one-on-one coaching opportunities with members.
  • Give shoutouts to attendees during live streams.

Some people need direct guidance on their form and advice for achieving personal goals. Meeting this need as a trusted source can help keep them both happy and healthy.

8. Hire Community Managers

As your membership grows, eventually you’ll need help engaging the community. 

Calling in backup can help you maintain control of your group and take some of the work off your plate. That’s where community managers come in to act as mediators.

A good community manager can take over some of the tedious aspects of your work, like providing customer support, managing forums, and taking over content publishing.

A lot of trust will be placed in any community manager you hire, so look for someone that is just as passionate about your community as you are. 

Look for community managers who potentially:

  • Have a background in customer support.
  • Are savvy on social media.
  • Have experience creating content.
  • Have strong interpersonal skills.

Hiring from within your community can help with this.

They’ll already understand your community values and are familiar with how your online fitness group works. 

All that’s left for you to do is to introduce them to any backend processes, like learning publishing steps and how to resolve issues on the platform.

9. Welcome Every New Member

Make every new member feel welcome by giving them a personal greeting when they sign up. 

It’s common for gyms to give new members an orientation regarding the services they offer and the machines they feature, and you should do the same. 

This process can help the new member make use of what’s available and keep them from feeling overwhelmed or out of place.

Apply this same logic to your own online orientation. While you may have too many members to do this personally for each one, delegating it to community managers or using a simple email template can make it possible. 

Give them a rundown of your different classes and schedules. Break down some of the exercises and jargon you commonly use in class. 

The quicker you can make them feel like an insider, the sooner you’ll have another loyal community member singing your praises.

10. Encourage Members to Contribute

Your members can do more than just log on for their workouts. 

Get them involved with creating content for your online fitness community.

A chart describes 3 ways to grow an online fitness community with an inclusive program.

Encourage members to contribute by:

  • Asking for feedback about the classes they attend or the challenges they have participated in. 
  • Asking for recommendations for new routines or questions about nutrition.
  • Offering them an opportunity to lead a class if they are knowledgeable in a specialized area. 
  • Asking to share their testimonials on your blog.

Wrapping This Up

A lot goes into running your online fitness community. And the same is true for growing an online fitness community.

Applying the advice we’ve laid out above can help you sustain your business’s gains and keep them from becoming stagnant. 
If you’re looking to reach new personal bests with your community, look into what else Uscreen has to offer online fitness communities.

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