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Special Project

Special Project
From the 10th Annual Shorty Awards

Outstanding Community Engagement on Facebook

Entered in Health & Fitness


As a health and fitness company, Aaptiv strives to help every one of our members achieve their desired results and to feel better more holistically about themselves. Because exercise is such a challenge for some, especially at first, resolutions or decrees for improvement are often met with disappointment and abandonment. Aaptiv, an audio fitness solution with 200,000 paying members, has set out from its start in late 2015 to change the way we think about -- and speak about -- working out. The positivity necessary to make sweeping and lasting change requires a strong support system and a community of advocates.

Aaptiv is active on several social media channels to champion its cause and to keep people motivated to deliver on their promises. But it's the Facebook group ( where Aaptiv members really shine, a community that emerged and grew organically. Nearly 25,000 people have registered for this private group to share successes with, cheerlead on behalf of, and seek wisdom and companionship from fellow members. In addition, Aaptiv's 15 expert personal trainers chime in regularly in both original posts and within the comments section of other posts to reinforce that a complete fitness regimen begins at the gym, on a machine, or outdoors, however it extends to mental health and emotional well-being.

Strategy and Execution

Aaptiv has used its Facebook groups page to launch events including its first-ever 'Virtual 5K,' an autumn race that brought over a thousand people around the country together. They ran the race in their neck of the woods, at whichever pace felt comfortable to them, but they shared their winning images with the group shortly afterward, for all to revel in. For many, from the looks of the selfies, this event was the equivalent of completing their first and most influential marathon.

This group also offers us real insight and reactions to product updates and a chance for our members to get to know new and veteran trainers. We host weekly Facebook Live chats that attract hundreds of people and an influx of questions. Members listen to trainers on the app, and then have the opportunity to connect with them live on this platform. All of these efforts are done in an authentic, unobtrusive manner that underscore the transformative power of a life lived more healthfully and more actively. Amid a tumultuous time when we often debate the value of and nature of social media that can drive us apart, Aaptiv's Facebook community stands firm in its own category as a place to turn to for healthy and helpful support of all types.

Take the 57-year-old woman who recently ran her first-ever full marathon as a tribute to her late brother, a marine. "I never thought I could…" she began her story, going on to tell everyone about what it meant to her to cross that finish line at the Marine Corps Marathon. Or the mother of a six-year-old daughter, who shouted from the other room for her mom to come see what she was up to. "Look, I'm Mommy," she screamed as she ran on a turned-off treadmill. "I used to think of it as a 'dreadmill,'" this mom shared with the others. Or the San Francisco-based tech executive whose company is based in a town in Australia that happens to also be home to a fellow Aaptiv member he'd never met before but whom he's engaged with in the comments section on the Aaptiv page. So when he took a trip last year to the corporate headquarters, he also had dinner at the home of his new friend and met her family. They had formed a bond over the exercise solution they'd both downloaded.

The posts come in 24 hours a day, from all over the world, from people of all ages, backgrounds, skill levels, and interests. People speak about their milestones and accomplishments in the second halves of their lives, and how Aaptiv helped them restore their belief in what is possible. They also outline their setbacks and struggles, always received with an understanding and familiar note.


Aaptiv is built on is the idea that we meet people where they are in their personal fitness journeys. Our trainers take their responsibility seriously, too. They encourage people in our forum to keep with it during the cold, winter months, to push themselves past what they perceive as their limits, and to uncover solutions that might have eluded them. It's an essential piece of the puzzle for Aaptiv since all of the classes are pre-recorded. Through the workouts, Aaptiv members feel connections with trainers they've never been with in the same room, yet with whom they feel unnaturally close.

Through our Facebook community, we witness the real-life voices -- about the struggles and the triumphs -- of those who've seen the impact firsthand and also the inspiration that keeps them chugging along. It's about much more than being customer-centric and responding to inquiries; to offer and to manage a fitness solution necessitates beginning the conversation with empathy.

An overwhelming majority of the community is engaging with us, and each other, on a consistent basis. That's our primary objective; we're proud of the results. This group is a testament to the power and beauty of what a large group of people brought together can both discover and achieve when they are told that they can make positive changes in themselves. And when they do reach those personal milestones, they will time and again turn around and look for ways to help others on the verge.


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