Being successful in CrossFit as a coach, athlete, or business owner demands evolution. We must find ways to reach the masses and lead them to fresh water.
As an affiliate owner, I have seen social media as a means of reaching the greatest number of people to become a part of the functional fitness community. This is not a new concept; however, as times change, the manner in which social media outlets are used must. The vast majority of affiliates have a website, Facebook page, and maybe even an Instagram, but it occurred to me that few have a Snaptchat!
Snapchat is a video messaging application where users can send photos, recorded videos, text, and drawings to a controlled list of recipients. The story function of Snapchat allows the view a systemic understanding of the daily life of the gym and its members. It also allows for a series of recordings, pictures and other mediums to comprise the course of the day or series of instances within the 24 hour span.
Some might question the difference in using one medium versus another; I wish to share how Snapchat is the way to globalize your gym (‘CrossFit box’). First, let’s consider what other companies are currently using Snapchat to enhance their product and create better public relations: ESPN, Comedy Central, Food Network, National Geographic, and People to name a few. I know what you are thinking; those companies are large multi-national conglomerates, and my gym is miniscule by comparison. You are seeing this with ‘stagnant’ vision my friend. What these companies are doing is putting information in people’s hands and branding themselves. They are putting eyes on their product thus creating momentum in their business.
The ability to build a brand takes time; consequently, do not see the use of Snapchat as a means of overnight monetary gain, but a manner of creating a foundational progress within your business as well as a means of promoting a sport that we all love. Initially, your goal should be to build an audience and develop a following for your ‘box’. This is crucial for so many different reasons:
Morale: Consider how many Instagram accounts of famous CrossFit Athletes you look at and admire their prowess. While this is great, it isn’t a realistic understanding of fitness for the average person. Posting your community in action and the day’s workout in progress could very well mean the difference between people making it to the gym that day or not. This is an instantaneous form of peer-based motivation.
Displaying your awesome staff: You have worked so hard to become a good coach; you are positive, amiable, and knowledgeable. Unfortunately that does not come across on your bios on the affiliate website. Have your coaches display their personalities and display each day’s timeline and energy through Snapchat.
Being Authentic: No offence to Facebook or Instagram, but they lack the authenticity and natural dynamic of displaying your gym on Snapchat. The greatest part about the tool is that it can be fluid throughout the day. If someone posts over and over again on FB or Instagram it becomes a saturated medium. Due to the brevity and mutability of Snapchat, it provides a real life experience. It puts eyes in your gym.
Promotions and new products: Once you have established a following you can utilize instances to display new products, equipment, services, or charity opportunities. What you will be essentially doing is monetizing your efforts and creating a long term ‘snowball effect’ of clientele and peaked interest.
Growing as a community: The displaying of programming and workouts offers creative outlets for other affiliates and athletes alike to view programming in action. We are not on an island and sharing information and getting feedback is how we collectively grow. Share with other affiliates trials and successes thus creating a mutually beneficial relationship.
Personality and likeability: Take the work seriously, not yourself. Show your customers and future members that you can be silly, laugh, and put yourself out there. People can find a good set of weights and rigs anywhere; they will come back for you.
Finally, I would like to address some of the naysayers who do not see Snapchat as a benefit because the demographic it reaches is too young. I find this premise completely ridiculous. Yes, as of right now, the average age of a person with Snapchat is 35 and younger; however, it wasn’t that long ago that only college kids were using Facebook. Now, my mother has one, and she is 68! If we happen to initially reach a younger generation then aren’t we doing them a service by teaching them about health and fitness? CrossFit doesn’t have a demographic that’s what makes it so wonderful.
In closing, I would like to say that I have no affiliation with Snapchat whatsoever, but I have a passion for seeing CrossFit sustain itself for a long time to come.