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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Social media: Under the influence

Social media is everywhere – but are you harnessing the potential of those who wield power within it? Louise Rumball introduces the ‘influencers’

Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 4
Social media ‘influencers’ can have hundreds of thousands of followers / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Social media ‘influencers’ can have hundreds of thousands of followers / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
When influencers talk, their followers listen – whether it’s where they train, what they eat or what they wear

Communications are constantly evolving, but one thing is clear: advances in digital and social media demonstrate that we’ve entered a new era of marketing. 

The Millenials – or Generation Y as they’re often called – are tech-savvy, globally minded and, putting it simply, are constantly using social media.

This is a generation that isn’t joining, buying, networking, learning or engaging like before. They hate to be sold anything, they trust their peers before standard marketing messages, and actively research products, prices and reviews before purchasing. Generation Y is a visual generation. They’re online all the time and react to photos and videos, not words. 

Introducing the ‘influencers’
As the world has shifted to social media, consumers now look to each other and to their favourite online personalities for guidance and information. These individuals are not necessarily those you would see or hear if you turned on the television or the radio, but they have a social media following that can easily range into the hundreds of thousands. 

When these people talk, their followers listen, whether it’s discussing where they train, what they eat or what they wear. These individuals operate on a variety of different online platforms: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest. Today, each post and caption has the opportunity to add value to a company – and, equally, put any brand that’s not providing the service it promised in the hotseat. The more famous vloggers (video bloggers) like Zoella can make or break a brand – sales can soar or plummet literally overnight.

Increasingly, then, it’s these social media influencers who hold the power – and as they do the talking, brands don’t have to go it alone. Simply put, brands are really missing a trick if they’re not engaging with these influencers.

Where to start?
However, many companies don’t know where to start. Brands often experience difficulties in determining who’s actually classified as an influencer, how to contact them, how much to pay them, or how to create engaging content that will be well-received, liked and shared by the ever-judging Generation Y. 

Certainly in the health club sector, influencer marketing has thus far been given little attention, although this emerging form of marketing is something the boutique operators are picking up on.

Tally Rye – a personal trainer at Fitness First, and a significant online fitness influencer with over 38,000 followers on Instagram – explains: “The newer boutique gyms have done a fantastic job of recognising how to be relevant and how to reach their target audience via links with bloggers and influencers. However, the larger corporate-style gym chains are only just cottoning on to the emerging role of influencers as a key marketing tool.” 

London-based boutique fitness studio 1Rebel is one operator that has understood the power of the influencers – to such an extent that its founders have now launched 1MPACT, a content creation and influencer network agency.

Co-founder Giles Dean explains: “The rise of the social media influencer creates a world of possibilities for businesses, and this was one of the key reasons behind us starting 1MPACT. Content is king, but it’s creating the right content – using the right people – that will determine your success in terms of how many people you can reach and how effectively.”

He continues: “At the heart of 1Rebel is a focus on brand and lifestyle, and social media has been key in bringing this to life.

“The development of an online presence, supported by those with influence, brings a more holistic and integrated approach where customers continually communicate with each other on social media, both inside and outside of the club.

“Their favourite workout, their favourite fitness instructor, how many classes they’ve done that week… When the class stops, the community element doesn’t. All of our campaigns, competitions, deals and brand messages are conveyed through the creation of engaging graphics, photos and videos that we create. We talk to our customers through social media and the use of influencers extends our reach dramatically.” (For more information, see ‘Creating an 1MPACT’, p58).

A rising power
Zanna Van Dijk, a personal trainer and arguably one of the most significant influencers in the London fitness circle at the moment, agrees: “The power of influencers is getting bigger and bigger. Within the last few years, there has been a huge shift from celebrity endorsement to influencer endorsement.

“I’ve found the most engaging content tends to be information that my followers can use – workouts, healthy meal and snack ideas and so on. My message is positive and I try my best to be open, honest and helpful in every post.”  

For Van Dijk, Instagram holds her largest following, with 83,000 people following her every move – a figure that’s rising every day. And when she aligns herself with a brand, her social media followers sit up and take note.   

So too do forward-thinking businesses. The development of a large social media following has allowed Van Dijk not only to set up a successful blog and YouTube channel, but also to become a signed fitness model fronting campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger and Adidas, to develop her own activewear collection, and to write for numerous magazines and host a series of influencer and fitness events.

“Some brands are now catching on to how powerful influencers are, and they value them accordingly,” she says. “It’s these companies that seem to be successfully building their brands and infiltrating the market.” 

However, influencer marketing is still a new concept and not necessarily an easy task, as Van Dijk explains: “There are many brands that still assume influencers will do everything for free or in exchange for product. In reality, time is money and influencers need to be paid in exchange for their skills, time sacrifices and audience.” 

Dean agrees: “Influencer marketing is no doubt a very effective strategy, but brands need to have an understanding of the influencer market, which individuals are associated with which brands already, and which are best aligned to support their specific brand message. That is where 1MPACT comes in – we tell you who you should be using and we do the outreach for you while creating the content.”

The message here is clear: embrace new forms of marketing. Content creation, social media and influencer marketing are no longer the future. They are the now, and the opportunities are endless.

Creating an 1MPACT

Over the past four months, 1MPACT has orchestrated four online social media and content campaigns for London-based boutique operator 1Rebel. With campaigns ranging from one-week stints to three-month promotions, bespoke video and photo content was created for each campaign to run across the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter platforms.

For example, the #REBELSLEEPREPEAT campaign – which was fronted by some of London’s largest fitness influencers, each with social media followings of 20,000–100,000 people – encouraged customers to complete four sessions a week for four weeks. People like Jessica Ball, a London-based nutritionist, posted about the challenge four times a week for four weeks to an audience of over 19,000 Londoners. 

The campaign reached over a million people, and although increased sales and attendance cannot be directly correlated to the social media influencers – attendees weren’t specifically asked what made them decide to visit the club – the 1Rebel founders have no doubt of the power of the influencers in driving interest in the campaign.

1Rebel co-founder Giles Dean comments: “Aligning ourselves with authentic, on-brand influencers with thousands of followers was key to spreading our brand message. Before we knew it, we had a whole community of Londoners involved in the #REBELSLEEPREPEAT challenge.

“On an hourly basis, photos and videos were being created by customers buying into the #REBELSLEEPREPEAT community. Had we done this without influencers, I have no doubt that our reach would have been significantly smaller.”

Additionally, when 1MPACT launched, 1Rebel hosted a party for 100 of London’s biggest fitness influencers at its club in Broadgate Circle. As a result of these influencers posting on Instagram before, during and after the event, the 1Rebel and 1MPACT brand names reached over 849,000 Londoners in 24 hours.

#REBELSLEEPREPEAT – 1Rebel’s campaign reached 849,000 people in 24 hours
#REBELSLEEPREPEAT – 1Rebel’s campaign reached 849,000 people in 24 hours

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Louise Rumball is co-founder of 1MPACT, a health and fitness-focused content creation, social media management and influencer outreach agency. 1MPACT focuses on creating content for brands featuring those with influence within the market, managing all social media channels and reporting on the reach of each campaign. 

www.1mpact.co.uk

Louise Rumball
Louise Rumball
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Girl power: Zanna Van Dijk is one of the leading influencers in London fitness circles / PHOTO:GARY MORRISROE
Girl power: Zanna Van Dijk is one of the leading influencers in London fitness circles / PHOTO:GARY MORRISROE
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/939062_297080.jpg
How to harness the power of social media influencers to grow your business
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features

Social media: Under the influence

Social media is everywhere – but are you harnessing the potential of those who wield power within it? Louise Rumball introduces the ‘influencers’

Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 4
Social media ‘influencers’ can have hundreds of thousands of followers / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Social media ‘influencers’ can have hundreds of thousands of followers / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
When influencers talk, their followers listen – whether it’s where they train, what they eat or what they wear

Communications are constantly evolving, but one thing is clear: advances in digital and social media demonstrate that we’ve entered a new era of marketing. 

The Millenials – or Generation Y as they’re often called – are tech-savvy, globally minded and, putting it simply, are constantly using social media.

This is a generation that isn’t joining, buying, networking, learning or engaging like before. They hate to be sold anything, they trust their peers before standard marketing messages, and actively research products, prices and reviews before purchasing. Generation Y is a visual generation. They’re online all the time and react to photos and videos, not words. 

Introducing the ‘influencers’
As the world has shifted to social media, consumers now look to each other and to their favourite online personalities for guidance and information. These individuals are not necessarily those you would see or hear if you turned on the television or the radio, but they have a social media following that can easily range into the hundreds of thousands. 

When these people talk, their followers listen, whether it’s discussing where they train, what they eat or what they wear. These individuals operate on a variety of different online platforms: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest. Today, each post and caption has the opportunity to add value to a company – and, equally, put any brand that’s not providing the service it promised in the hotseat. The more famous vloggers (video bloggers) like Zoella can make or break a brand – sales can soar or plummet literally overnight.

Increasingly, then, it’s these social media influencers who hold the power – and as they do the talking, brands don’t have to go it alone. Simply put, brands are really missing a trick if they’re not engaging with these influencers.

Where to start?
However, many companies don’t know where to start. Brands often experience difficulties in determining who’s actually classified as an influencer, how to contact them, how much to pay them, or how to create engaging content that will be well-received, liked and shared by the ever-judging Generation Y. 

Certainly in the health club sector, influencer marketing has thus far been given little attention, although this emerging form of marketing is something the boutique operators are picking up on.

Tally Rye – a personal trainer at Fitness First, and a significant online fitness influencer with over 38,000 followers on Instagram – explains: “The newer boutique gyms have done a fantastic job of recognising how to be relevant and how to reach their target audience via links with bloggers and influencers. However, the larger corporate-style gym chains are only just cottoning on to the emerging role of influencers as a key marketing tool.” 

London-based boutique fitness studio 1Rebel is one operator that has understood the power of the influencers – to such an extent that its founders have now launched 1MPACT, a content creation and influencer network agency.

Co-founder Giles Dean explains: “The rise of the social media influencer creates a world of possibilities for businesses, and this was one of the key reasons behind us starting 1MPACT. Content is king, but it’s creating the right content – using the right people – that will determine your success in terms of how many people you can reach and how effectively.”

He continues: “At the heart of 1Rebel is a focus on brand and lifestyle, and social media has been key in bringing this to life.

“The development of an online presence, supported by those with influence, brings a more holistic and integrated approach where customers continually communicate with each other on social media, both inside and outside of the club.

“Their favourite workout, their favourite fitness instructor, how many classes they’ve done that week… When the class stops, the community element doesn’t. All of our campaigns, competitions, deals and brand messages are conveyed through the creation of engaging graphics, photos and videos that we create. We talk to our customers through social media and the use of influencers extends our reach dramatically.” (For more information, see ‘Creating an 1MPACT’, p58).

A rising power
Zanna Van Dijk, a personal trainer and arguably one of the most significant influencers in the London fitness circle at the moment, agrees: “The power of influencers is getting bigger and bigger. Within the last few years, there has been a huge shift from celebrity endorsement to influencer endorsement.

“I’ve found the most engaging content tends to be information that my followers can use – workouts, healthy meal and snack ideas and so on. My message is positive and I try my best to be open, honest and helpful in every post.”  

For Van Dijk, Instagram holds her largest following, with 83,000 people following her every move – a figure that’s rising every day. And when she aligns herself with a brand, her social media followers sit up and take note.   

So too do forward-thinking businesses. The development of a large social media following has allowed Van Dijk not only to set up a successful blog and YouTube channel, but also to become a signed fitness model fronting campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger and Adidas, to develop her own activewear collection, and to write for numerous magazines and host a series of influencer and fitness events.

“Some brands are now catching on to how powerful influencers are, and they value them accordingly,” she says. “It’s these companies that seem to be successfully building their brands and infiltrating the market.” 

However, influencer marketing is still a new concept and not necessarily an easy task, as Van Dijk explains: “There are many brands that still assume influencers will do everything for free or in exchange for product. In reality, time is money and influencers need to be paid in exchange for their skills, time sacrifices and audience.” 

Dean agrees: “Influencer marketing is no doubt a very effective strategy, but brands need to have an understanding of the influencer market, which individuals are associated with which brands already, and which are best aligned to support their specific brand message. That is where 1MPACT comes in – we tell you who you should be using and we do the outreach for you while creating the content.”

The message here is clear: embrace new forms of marketing. Content creation, social media and influencer marketing are no longer the future. They are the now, and the opportunities are endless.

Creating an 1MPACT

Over the past four months, 1MPACT has orchestrated four online social media and content campaigns for London-based boutique operator 1Rebel. With campaigns ranging from one-week stints to three-month promotions, bespoke video and photo content was created for each campaign to run across the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter platforms.

For example, the #REBELSLEEPREPEAT campaign – which was fronted by some of London’s largest fitness influencers, each with social media followings of 20,000–100,000 people – encouraged customers to complete four sessions a week for four weeks. People like Jessica Ball, a London-based nutritionist, posted about the challenge four times a week for four weeks to an audience of over 19,000 Londoners. 

The campaign reached over a million people, and although increased sales and attendance cannot be directly correlated to the social media influencers – attendees weren’t specifically asked what made them decide to visit the club – the 1Rebel founders have no doubt of the power of the influencers in driving interest in the campaign.

1Rebel co-founder Giles Dean comments: “Aligning ourselves with authentic, on-brand influencers with thousands of followers was key to spreading our brand message. Before we knew it, we had a whole community of Londoners involved in the #REBELSLEEPREPEAT challenge.

“On an hourly basis, photos and videos were being created by customers buying into the #REBELSLEEPREPEAT community. Had we done this without influencers, I have no doubt that our reach would have been significantly smaller.”

Additionally, when 1MPACT launched, 1Rebel hosted a party for 100 of London’s biggest fitness influencers at its club in Broadgate Circle. As a result of these influencers posting on Instagram before, during and after the event, the 1Rebel and 1MPACT brand names reached over 849,000 Londoners in 24 hours.

#REBELSLEEPREPEAT – 1Rebel’s campaign reached 849,000 people in 24 hours
#REBELSLEEPREPEAT – 1Rebel’s campaign reached 849,000 people in 24 hours

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Louise Rumball is co-founder of 1MPACT, a health and fitness-focused content creation, social media management and influencer outreach agency. 1MPACT focuses on creating content for brands featuring those with influence within the market, managing all social media channels and reporting on the reach of each campaign. 

www.1mpact.co.uk

Louise Rumball
Louise Rumball
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Girl power: Zanna Van Dijk is one of the leading influencers in London fitness circles / PHOTO:GARY MORRISROE
Girl power: Zanna Van Dijk is one of the leading influencers in London fitness circles / PHOTO:GARY MORRISROE
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/939062_297080.jpg
How to harness the power of social media influencers to grow your business
Louise Rumball is co-founder of 1MPACT,Social media, influencers, 1Rebel, 1MPACT, Louise Rumball, Zanna, Giles Dean, Tally Rye
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