Lessons from Using Facebook to Promote Gyms

August 15, 2018 / James Hughes

There are many modern markets that are completely saturated with competition. Take the exercise industry as an example: how many gyms are there in a given town? How many supplements and exercise clothing stores are out there? More than most can name. Additionally, how can these companies use social media effectively to target customers and position their brands, when they are all offering similar services? Research can help inform us of the best strategies to us. Wright, Williams, & Byon (2017) conducted an experiment in which Facebook users were presented with different marketing styles for a fictitious fitness club. They found that the content of the Facebook posts, specifically the style of images used, has an effect on customer intentions and behaviors.

Recommendations for Managers:

Wright, Williams, & Byon noted several important takeaways for managers of fitness clubs, but these results may well matter for any company posting on social media:

  • Images matter!

  • When using images of “typical users” or brand offers (fitness classes & facilities), customers reported a higher brand equity. Use pictures to show off what you offer!

  • Know your brand!

  • Use images that match the culture of your fitness club and positioning strategy, whether it be “upscale” or a traditional weight-lifting club.

  • Be sure to include pictures of people! Users want to not only match their fitness needs, but their social needs as well.

Thanks for reading,

James Hughes


Wright, B.K., Williams, A.S., & Byon, K.K. (2017). Brand Marketing Via Facebook: An Investigation of the Marketing Mix, Consumer-Based Brand Equity, and Purchasing Intention in the Fitness Industry. Marketing Management Journal, 27(2), 131-142.