The LIVESTRONG.com Challenge Group on Facebook was established to support people on their health journeys, regardless of age or fitness level. We wanted to create a safe, non-judgmental community for anyone who wished to take charge of their health by eating better and getting active, as well as give people the opportunity to support, motivate and hold each other accountable. Our objective is to help members reach their healthy living goals, no matter whether that’s losing weight, quitting smoking, running their first 5K or improving their blood pressure numbers.
The Challenge Group was launched as an extension of the leading health website, LIVESTRONG.com. Although the strategy has changed slightly as we’ve grown, the vision remains the same: Help people live their healthiest lives — whatever that looks like for them — and get the support they need to accomplish their goals.
Each month, we host a challenge (usually fitness- or nutrition-focused) to motivate group members to establish healthier habits in their daily lives. Examples include the Fuel-Your-Fit Challenge, which walked people through the basics of pre- and post-workout nutrition with a new optimized food-and-exercise pairing (e.g., eating high-quality carbs before doing a cardio workout) each week; The 10,000 Steps a Day Challenge, which encouraged people to walk more throughout the day; and The 30-Day Abs Challenge, which challenged people to follow a specific workout calendar throughout the month for a stronger core.
We work with registered dietitians, personal trainers and other experts to create comprehensive plans that include articles, graphics, videos and other tools to help followers get the most out of each challenge. Experts also host Q&As within the Facebook group to help members through each challenge.
And what’s an online community without GIFs and memes? We regularly share GIFs and memes throughout the challenges, because we believe it’s important to be able to commiserate with each other when things are hard, celebrate with each other when goals are reached, laugh off our missteps and cheer each other on with motivational and funny quotes.
The most important feature of the group is the community itself. We don’t have to encourage or remind members to post or answer questions. Unlike similar groups where the moderators and their friends are the top contributors and the feed is often quiet for days at a time, The LIVESTRONG.com Challenge Group has an incredibly active member base that keeps the feed lively and supportive all day, every day.
Since the group was created in June 2016, we’ve organically grown the community to more than 38,000 members, and we continue to see an average of 47K engagements each month without any paid media support. We’ve seen a 76% increase in average active members YoY.
The numbers are great, but the experience is even better: We feel confident saying this group is one of the most positive, supportive places on the internet today.
As the group has grown, members have become comfortable with not only posting about their successes in the challenges we’ve created for them, but with posting their own fitness and nutrition challenges, asking other members for advice and sharing their goals, obstacles and wins — both big and small — every single day.
This diverse, inspiring community has seen, supported and celebrated members who’ve conquered cancer, reached their weight-loss goals, beat their marathon PR, eliminated their need for cholesterol and blood pressure management medications, reduced knee pain and, well, just felt better for the first time in years.
In short, this group is doing exactly what we hoped it would.