How Gyms Can Take Advantage of Students Home For Summer
Summer months may be a slower time of year for your gym, as many people are vacationing or spending their exercise time outdoors. Plus, they’re probably past the point of trying to lose weight for bathing suit weather and aren’t yet gaining that yearly holiday weight they’ll want to combat.
So, where does that leave your gym business? If you’re relatively slow, consider a group that may be prime for tapping into this time of year. This is for students who are home from school for the summer. While it’s up to your gym whether to include teenagers in this group, it’s definitely worth considering the college-age crowd. How can you reach this market?
Use Social Media
Younger people commonly use social media platforms, so this is one of the ways you can reach them. Pew Research Center shows that among the 18- to 29-year-old crowd in the United States:
- 84 percent use social media in general
- 95 percent use YouTube
- 71 percent use Instagram
- 70 percent use Facebook
- 65 percent use Snapchat
- 48 percent use TikTok
Your gym’s social media pages can share posts that gain an organic following and give a place for members to gather. Nonetheless, to reach out to new local people in a certain age group, thereby connecting with students, it makes sense to run targeted social media ads designed for this demographic.
Try Event and Listing Websites
Students that are home for the summer may be looking for local things to do. Make sure you get on their radar by posting your gym on websites that list local events and activities. Try sites like:
- City, county and downtown area event listings
To get their attention, it may help to come up with specific events or promotions. Consider:
- Friend or group activities
- A race or other athletic competition
- A time-specific exercise program, such as a four-week strength-building class
It’s also helpful to have your business listed on Google My Business and Yelp. This way, if a student Googles places and activities in the area, your business is more likely to pop up in a search.
Give Them What They Want
Tap into the school-age crowd by offering services that appeal to them. Here are two main areas to consider:
- High-tech Offerings
Younger people are often tech-savvy and spend a significant amount of time with technology. In addition, a research review found that a lot of young people living in the Global North actively use digital health technologies. They enjoy things like personal health stats, connecting with others online and digital ways to improve health and fitness. Your gym can reach them through exercise equipment that integrates with wearable devices, a gym app, digital fitness offerings and online peer support.
- Mental Health and Wellness
Society has been realizing that a large portion of young people struggle with mental health, just as many adults do, and that young people have specific challenges that impact their mental health and wellbeing. Significant numbers face anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. When away from school, young people may need extra support. Your gym can offer mental health support to the out-of-school crowd through exercise, social support, a refuge from home and targeted wellness classes like yoga or meditation.
Overall, it’s great to think of the school crowd as part of your marketing efforts. The summer is a great time to reach out-of-school high school and/or college students. Toward the end of the summer, go for those back-to-school promotions to reach parents and students alike. Does your gym membership include students?