With social media continuing to make an impact on our society, several fitness boutiques have begun to utilize new technologies to engage their members. This in turn has developed lasting relationships between members that would have otherwise never interacted.
I’m sure this has been going on in big cities for the past several years, but I hadn’t been introduced to the concept until I joined the Flywheel Charlotte community about two years ago. Let me give you a background. When Flywheel Charlotte opened, I was one of a few members riding on a regular basis. There was a Facebook page (that had some simple interaction), but no twitter page. The interaction on Facebook was so limited that I remember at times if I just commented on a post they would give me a free ride credit. Times have changed.
As the studio has grown, the Facebook page has gotten several thousand likes, while setting up a twitter page with several thousand followers. Instructors are engaged with riders and better yet riders are engaged with each other. It is truly amazing how motivating individuals who don’t know each other can be to one another. You used to have to awkwardly introduce yourself to that person that you would see at the gym every morning on a specified day. Social media has allowed people to connect in a casual way. At the gym there is no bias. Everyone comes together for one common goal – get your workout done. It is that common goal at places like Flywheel Charlotte that creates such a fun, supportive atmosphere that can be shared through social media.
Boutique studios have been able to capitalize on the use of social media in bringing people in because they have the technology to do so. Instructors can preview rosters prior to class giving them the ability to reach out to new participants and even play music that they know “regulars” enjoy. This advantage creates an environment where new people already feel welcome and “regulars” want to keep coming back. Using these rosters, instructors can also reach out to individuals on Facebook and twitter to let members know what a great job they did. It is here that members can connect in a way that they never have before. By simply “checking in” for a class on social media, you are introducing yourself to others that are there also. It is trend that has begun to snowball in the Charlotte area, not only at Flywheel, but at local Crossfit gyms and barre studios.
Simple “shout outs” on Facebook and twitter by both instructors and riders make us feel connected and good about our effort. These boutique studios are no longer just a gym, but a social outlet. People form long lasting friendships at the gym. Several of my best girl friends are connected to me through fitness in some way, and fitness is what ultimately brought my husband and I together. If you haven’t checked out this trend, do a little research when you have time. Get engaged. There is a reason why at Flywheel Charlotte the hashtag #FlyFam has become so popular. In reaching our common goal, we connect on a level that is different than the professional relationships that we are accustomed to.