Planet Fitness is known for a lot of things: low prices (and all the stuff you get for those low prices), the Lunk Alarm, and of course, the #JudgementFreeZone (and yes, that's the way we spell "judgement" because, well...we don't judge). Fiercely protective of their Planet and the rights of their members to feel like they belong, they've created an environment of over 1,000 clubs where you can relax, go at your own pace and just do your own thing without ever having to worry about being judged. More importantly, a community of over 44k where you can do just that, without even leaving the comfort of your couch. By creating an extension of its brand and core message on social media, the #JudgementFreeZone is no longer just a tagline; it's a way of life that members, and non-members, have come to embrace.
@PlanetFitness's official account was launched January 1, 2014 with the charge to build a social extension of the #JudgementFreeZone. Their competitors created and pushed out extreme fitness and dieting content to their audiences, simultaneously making members feel pressured to keep up with fitness fads and compare themselves to the hottest bodies. Planet Fitness defined that behavior and posting content as Gymtimidation, and instead adopted its own voice on social, creating the "Elevate" platform. No brand can guarantee that they won't let you down, but Planet Fitness promises to do it's best to lift you up, and show that no matter who you are or what you are capable of accomplishing; You Belong. While creating organic content serves as an extension of the brand, community management proved itself to also be a key Instagram initiative in not only growing the platform's audience, but also engagements. Seeing every post and interaction as a new opportunity to change the consumer's mind and bring someone new into the brand was an immediate challenge accepted.
From January 1, 2015 to January 1, 2016, @PlanetFitness gained over 37,110 followers - a +662.5% increase year over year - surpassing its goal of +200% by more than triple. By engaging with their audience and participating in on-the-ground real time events, @PlanetFitness also increased their engagements by +503.2% year over year, more than doubling its goal of +200%. Publishing one organic post per day on average (360 total posts throughout the year), @PlanetFitness reached over 13MM fans through estimated reach and impressions. Branded hashtags also saw success, with #JudgementFreeZone reaching over 15,000 user-generated entries.
There is one immeasurable statistic that stood out more than most, and that was the community managing itself. Though @PlanetFitness has a dedicated Community Manager on hand to respond to product inquiries, support fans along their fitness journeys, and more, they found it is the members themselves that serve as true representatives of the brand. In a year where Instagram banned body-image hashtags like "curvy" because they were frequently being tied to posts with graphic or offensive content, Our Planet posted positive messages in support of our weekly #TriumphTuesdays, and general branded content. Comments like "This will change your life if you just try," and "I just stumbled upon this.. I don't know you however you are very inspiring."
This kind of internal member boost to us, says more than any number or percentage ever could.