Gym Owners Guide to Getting Started with User-Generated Content

Content is king, but let’s face it: for busy gym owners, finding time to create it consistently is challenging. What if your members could help?

That’s where user-generated content (UGC) comes in. In this article, we’ll show you how using your clients’ stories and experiences can grow your fitness business.

Let’s dive in and see how it works.

What is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content (UGC) in the fitness industry is any original content relating to your gym’s brand that someone—like a gym member or staff member—creates and shares online. This includes things like social media posts, workout videos, and testimonials about their experiences at your gym.

💡 Think of it this way: when someone from your gym’s community posts a photo of their workout at your facility and tags your location, that’s UGC. It’s authentic, unpaid content that shows real experiences and opinions about your gym.

And UGC isn’t just something you’ll see in gyms; it’s an essential component of any brand’s social media strategy. Many brands repost what their customers share to highlight their products or services. They often get this content by:

  • Looking up specific hashtags related to the brand to find content posted by users
  • Keeping an eye on posts where the brand’s social media handle is tagged
  • Hosting contests or challenges that encourage users to post content

Here’s a simple example of UGC in action via Gymshark:

example of UGC in action via Gymshark

Every time you scroll on social media, you’re probably seeing UGC. It’s everywhere, influencing how we perceive and engage with brands, including gyms like yours.

Why is User-Generated Content Important?

UGC in gyms is powerful because it comes from the people who know your gym best.

Unlike standard marketing content, UGC stands out for being genuine and raw, adding an element of humanity to your fitness business. This realness is crucial in building trust with your audience, increasing brand loyalty, strengthening community, and overall, influencing a potential client’s decision to join your gym.

User-Generated Content Infographic

Source: EmbedSocial

💡 97% of people view UGC as more credible compared to other types of content, making them more likely to convert.

But besides its credibility, UGC’s cost-effectiveness also stands out. It’s like free marketing because you’re utilizing the content being shared by your gym’s community. For gym owners, this means you’re tapping into the organic reach and influence of your members, which is a great way to generate more qualified leads.

How to Get User-Generated Content for Your Gym

Now that we’re more familiar with UGC, let’s look at 5 easy ways to start getting UGC for your gym:

1. Encourage Your Gym Members to Create Content

One of the easiest ways to gather UGC is by simply asking your members to share their fitness experiences on social media. Guide them on the type of posts that align well with your gym’s brand, like their workout progress, favorite gym activities, or any special gym moments.

💡 Be sure to remind them to tag your gym in their posts. The key is to make this process enjoyable and simple for your members.

2. Encourage Your Coaching Staff to Create Content

Sometimes members need a bit of inspiration to start creating content, or they might feel a bit hesitant. This is where your coaching staff can step in. So, encourage your trainers to share their own fitness tips or any other workout-related content at the gym on their social media, and have them tag your gym in the posts.

💡 When members see coaches actively posting and engaging, it can spark their own creativity and comfort in sharing.

3. Leverage Customer Testimonials

Customer testimonials are a powerful tool for building trust and authenticity. You can gather them in various formats and repurpose them on your social media to provide real-life proof of the benefits of joining your gym.

Simple yet effective testimonials include:

  • Google reviews
  • Before-and-after transformation photos
  • Success story videos, or
  • Written experiences
fittownjupiter testimonial

Source: fittownjupiter

4. Create a Hashtag Campaign

Just like many brands utilize hashtags to discover customer content, your gym can adopt the same strategy. Do this by launching a unique hashtag campaign tailored to your gym, and encourage members to tag their posts with this hashtag.

fittownjupiter hashtag campaign

Source: fittownjupiter

Using this hashtag will not only help you easily collect and showcase member content in one place but also strengthen the community feeling. It’s a great way for potential clients to get a real sense of your gym’s environment and the experiences of your members, all in one engaging feed.

5. Run Challenges and Giveaways

Running challenges or giveaways at your gym is a great way to generate UGC. You can encourage those taking part to tag friends and share on their social media. This approach is effective in boosting excitement, increasing your social media visibility, and getting more people involved in your gym.

💡 For fitness challenges, inspire participants to post their progress photos and tag your gym. These posts not only highlight their personal achievements but also showcase your gym’s role in their success.

Best Practices for User-Generated Content

Now that we’ve explored different ways to generate UGC for your gym, let’s go over some best practices to ensure you’re leveraging this content effectively. These guidelines will help maximize the impact of UGC.

Ask for Permission

Always make sure to get consent before using someone’s content. This respects their rights and builds goodwill among your community.

Credit the Creator

When sharing UGC, clearly tag and acknowledge the original creator. Whether it’s their photos, words, or both, proper credit is always key.

Credit the Creator example by fittownjupiter

Source: fittownjupiter

Know Your Audience

Tailor UGC to resonate with your target audience. Be clear about the type of content that aligns with your gym’s ethos and audience interests. This helps in getting content that is both relevant and appealing to your members and potential clients.

Grow Your Gym with User-Generated Content Today!

And there you have it—simple yet powerful ways to leverage UGC for your gym’s success. To quickly recap, remember:

  • Encourage members and staff to create and share content
  • Utilize customer testimonials and success stories
  • Create a unique hashtag campaign for wider reach
  • Engage your community with challenges and giveaways
  • Always ask for permission and give credit where it’s due
  • Understand your audience to ensure the content resonates

UGC not only adds authenticity to your marketing but also creates a personal connection with your audience. Start putting these tactics into action today, and watch your gym’s community grow.

For more insights on streamlining your role as a gym owner, book a call with us at Kilo. We’re here to support you in finding the best solution for your gym.

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