A solid fitness reputation management strategy offers benefits for fitness business owners as well as the industry at large. Learn how in our guide to fitness center reputation management below.
Owning a gym or fitness center is already tough enough. As consumer preferences have evolved over the past decade, people want more from their gyms, personal training centers, and fitness facilities. Catering to the ever-changing fitness needs of your clients is a full-time job on its own.
Now, add in the challenges associated with how your business is perceived by the public. Does your fitness center have a great reputation, or are bad reviews and poor customer experience ratings hurting your bottom line?
In today’s connected digital world, your online reputation is one of the most valuable assets you possess as a business owner. With a positive online reputation, you’re positioning yourself for business growth and success, while a negative reputation can keep you from achieving your goals.
In our guide to fitness reputation management, we’ll show you why gym reputation management benefits not only your business but the entire fitness industry. Then, we’ll present an overview of online reputation management and highlight the essential services for gym and personal training business owners.
Are you ready to learn how fitness businesses can supercharge their digital marketing with reputation management? Let’s get started!
How Important are Online Reviews for Your Fitness Business?
In today’s digital environment, online reviews are some of the leading factors that contribute to how your business is perceived by potential customers. The more reviews you have, the better your chance of building a strong reputation — if those reviews are left by clients who have been satisfied by their experiences. Online reviews can make — or break — your online reputation.
The truth is that the vast majority of people looking for a gym, personal training center, fitness facility, or health club will read reviews before picking up the phone. Is your online review profile filled with glowing testimonials and positive customer experience stories? Or, are you suffering from bad reviews that are keeping new guests away?
Every online review tells a story to potential guests of your fitness business. Positive feedback in the form of great reviews tells others that your gym or fitness center values its clients and delivers superior service. Negative reviews and negative feedback tell the opposite story; every bad experience shared on Google, Yelp, or other platforms has the potential to unravel the hard work you’ve done to build up your business.
In the following sections, take a look at statistics that highlight the power of positive feedback and how negative reviews can undermine your path toward success:
How important are positive reviews? Consider:
- 93% of consumers in a brief feedback survey indicated that good reviews influenced their choice of gym or fitness center.
- Good reviews lead to higher revenue; on average, gym visitors spend about 31% more on a business with glowing reviews and testimonials left by members.
- Great customer feedback helps fitness businesses stand out more in online searches; search engines favor businesses with great review profiles and 5-star ratings in search rankings.
If great reviews help build success, what can negative reviews do to your bottom line? As you might imagine, bad reviews can damage more than your revenue stream; they can also cause reputational damage that is difficult to overcome without a specialized fitness reputation management strategy.
- Only 13% of consumers will consider doing business with a company with 1- or 2-star ratings on Google reviews or Yelp.
- 94% of potential guests indicate that bad reviews or negative comments have convinced them to avoid a business altogether. A single scathing guest review can begin to damage the business reputation you’ve worked so hard to build.
- One negative review can result in as much as a 22% loss in your customer base. If three or more poor reviews appear in search results, the potential for lost clients jumps to nearly 60%.
- Star ratings influence revenue streams; every decrease in your gym’s rating results in 5-9% lost revenue.
What is Online Reputation Management?
Most people judge a business by the quality and quantity of information they find in online search results. Typically, a person will go to Google or another search engine, type in a business name, and is then presented with a list of results.
To manage those search results and to control the digital narrative, businesses use online reputation management (ORM). Using proven strategies and reputation management software, the goal of ORM is to highlight the positive and remove or suppress the negative in search results.
Typical ORM Services
A reputation management company may offer services like:
- Online review management
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Local SEO
- Public relations
- Crisis management
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising management
- Negative content removal
- Social media management
- Google My Business/Google Business Profile management
Because every business is different, each will have distinct goals and needs. Online reputation management tools are not always “one size fits all,” necessitating a tailored approach.
Benefits of Online Reputation Management for the Fitness Industry
When you think about gyms or fitness centers, what are some of the first attributes that come to mind?
If you’re like many people, you might think of fitness businesses as places where “bro culture” and aggression thrive. In the past, this may have been true, but the focus for modern fitness businesses is to provide a life-changing service for their members. In modern gyms and fitness centers, people turn to these businesses to make positive changes in their health levels and strength.
When gyms and fitness clubs incorporate fitness reputation management into their digital marketing efforts, that helps the entire industry overcome the tired old perceptions of sweaty, loud, and dirty facilities. As a marketing practice, fitness reputation management showcases the members, the facilities, the sales and service, and the culture that make your business a must-visit destination for anyone interested in improving their life.
Here are several additional benefits of adding gym reputation management to your marketing that helps you and fellow businesses in your industry thrive:
- An excellent reputation boosts sales across the industry segment.
- Favorable reputations improve credibility in the fitness industry.
- Reputation management is a cost-effective marketing tool that extends your reach across digital channels, including social media and website marketing.
- A great reputation attracts top talent to your business. You can build a team of enthusiastic and knowledgeable trainers if your Facebook reputation profile is excellent.
- Reputation management helps businesses stand out in online searches, achieving higher rankings in search results and capturing the attention of potential clients.
When you manage your reputation on your website, on Google, or on social platforms like Facebook and YouTube, you’re taking control over the digital narrative. This alone puts you in front of the people who matter most — the people who can help your business grow.
Essential Components of a Fitness Reputation Management Strategy
In a previous section, we presented an overview of the services offered by reputation management companies. Because every gym or health club is different, each will have specific needs and goals.
That being said, several of the ORM services available to business owners can be considered “essential” in building a resilient and strong reputation. Whether you choose to use reputation management software on your own or hire a professional ORM team to assist you, the following services can help you get the most from your digital marketing efforts:
If you aren’t already aware, branding is an essential part of any business. In the fitness industry, your brand tells potential customers who you are, what your culture is, and what benefits you provide to your fitness customers.
All too often, gym owners miss out on the opportunities unlocked by a powerful, visible brand. Perhaps they don’t understand why branding is needed or don’t have the experience required to build a brand. Unfortunately, without a strong brand, fitness centers and gyms across the country struggle to reach success. It cannot be overstated that branding is an essential tool in your fitness reputation management campaign.
Branding builds awareness and recognition of your gym or fitness facility, even in competitive markets. Branding touches every aspect of your digital footprint, including your gym’s website, social media profiles, review profiles, and advertising materials.
Research shows that prospective visitors respond to visible brands. With branding services, you can highlight your customer-first mentality, expand your digital presence, and reinforce your digital marketing channels with the content needed to tell your story. In simple terms, your fitness business’s reputation can be made into a dominant force, giving you a significant competitive advantage in the fitness industry.
Social Media Management
Most modern gyms and fitness centers are vibrant places filled with energy, positive life changes, and happy members. With social media management, you can share those attributes with a wider audience.
There are dozens of social media platforms to choose from, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. Whether you operate a fitness center or have a personal training business, leveraging social media is an essential part of your fitness reputation management strategy.
Social media is one of the hottest tools in digital marketing, giving business owners the power to connect with people worldwide. Social posts that feature honest feedback, interesting content, and personal recommendations or testimonials go a long way toward building a trustworthy, visible, and engaged brand for your fitness facility. This feedback serves as “social proof” for prospective clients and potential customers alike. Satisfied customers showcased on your social profiles work to establish the trust you need to thrive, even in competitive markets. and serves as a source for collecting positive reviews from your gym’s members.
Modern public relations combines aspects of digital marketing, branding, and social media to generate public interest in a business. With public relations, fitness business owners can reach new audiences and share the stories that make them unique in the industry.
Consumers respond favorably to businesses that reach out to their customer bases. This outreach and engagement have the ability to help your fitness business build and maintain a strong reputation. Ultimately, PR helps your business generate more leads, offering a pathway to continued business growth.
PR expands your marketing efforts by using owned promotion, earned promotion, and paid promotion channels in the digital environment as well as in print or radio/TV advertising. Every fitness business can benefit from incorporating PR into their digital marketing efforts.
For the small business owner of a gym or fitness center, local SEO optimizes company websites and web content for visibility in locally-oriented searches. After all, much of your business is tied to a specific geographic area; in other words, potential customers typically want to frequent gyms or fitness clubs convenient to their location. By using local SEO to your advantage, you stand out from your competitors in Google search results and attract potential customers from your area.
Local SEO incorporates tactics like adding geographic information to your business listings and information on your gym website. Another great tool for local SEO is Google Business Profile, which is a free service provided by Google that lets business owners write and manage their own listings on the platform. This step alone puts you on the map, literally — visibility on Google Maps translates to more customers, more positive reviews, and higher rankings in search results.
Whether you realize it or not, people read reviews about your fitness business before making decisions on which businesses they want to patronize. In fact, as many as 95% of all consumers read reviews before picking up the phone or visiting your location.
Positive reviews build trust and highlight every positive customer experience. Negative feedback in the form of negative reviews, poor ratings, or negative mentions can damage the reputation you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Because reviews are critical in establishing and maintaining the online reputation of your fitness business, review management can be considered one of — if not THE — most essential parts of a gym reputation management strategy.
Review management for your fitness business is comprised of four parts:
- Review monitoring — this component gives gym and fitness center owners a better understanding of what customers say about their experiences. This allows you to watch your gym’s reputation for potential problems before they can lead to a bad reputation.
- Review removal — fake reviews are a severe threat to your reputation. With review removal services, management professionals help you identify each fake review and any review of a defamatory or misleading nature. Then, they use proven strategies to get those reviews deleted from all the popular review outlets like Google Reviews, Yelp, Sitejabber, and more.
- Review generation — a steady stream of new reviews helps to improve a company’s reputation. Review generation encourages customers to leave honest feedback through point-of-sale apps, automated feedback surveys, and email invitations. The goal of soliciting more customer reviews is to improve brand awareness and reinforce the trust you’ve built with your customer base.
- Review responses — smart business owners know that responding to every new review can serve as a way to build brand loyalty as well as serve as a form of damage control. When you commit to responding to each positive review or negative review left by your guests, you’re telling them that you care about the guest experience. Your gym reputation management team can help you craft a review response strategy that provides transparency and honesty — two factors that resonate with your customer base.
Contact OnlineReputation Today
OnlineReputation is a leader in information resources for the online reputation management industry. Our guides provide the details you need to make informed decisions, helping you to select the services and strategies for your fitness business.
Your gym’s or fitness center’s reputation is a valuable asset, but protecting this asset requires specialized tools and knowledge. Business owners who wish to stand out in competitive marketplaces need reputation management services to get the most from their digital profiles. By harnessing ORM, fitness businesses stand out to the people who matter most: customers who are searching for you on the web.
To learn more about fitness reputation management, including review management and social media management solutions for gyms, spas, health clubs, and training facilities, contact our team today at 844-230-3803 for a free consultation.
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