OK, this may well be my weirdest post ever, so bear with me. This isn't actually happening; it's theoretical. SOCi is a former client and 9Round is my new HIIT kickboxing gym.
I pay 9Round Penrose money to use their gym. And, as a gym, they're taking over. They currently have 311 locations in 8 countries via franchise. And I noticed that while there are social media profiles for other local 9Round gyms, the new Penrose location has yet to embrace social media. So, instead of pimping the Penrose location directly via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, I only had a nearby gym, 9Round NOVA, and corporate's 9Round Official account to tag and @reply.
It was frustrating. It occurred to me that both 9Round and all their franchisees are 100% percent responsible for all their social, including creating their social media profiles. And when you're risking your butt and starting up a new franchise, no matter how important social may well be for a modern experience, I assume "rocking social" is pretty far down the list of to-dos, understandably.
So, there's a corporate HQ and 311 decentralized studios everywhere. After writing my experience as a new 9Round member, Rob Graveline, owner of 4 gyms here in Northern Virginia and Fitness Together, picked up the phone to call me. He saw the post and we chatted.
While he's got decades of experience as a professional trainer and athlete, digital marketing and social media management isn't his raison d'être, maybe not even his number-one priority (he's running these 4 new gyms and a couple personal training centers, right, so he's a very busy man and all his kids' college money is tied up in their success). And Rob Graveline is awesome, right? He called me (nobody does that) on the phone (nobody)!
I assume that the other 307 franchisees are a mixed bag (proven true by the myriad of random though plentiful 9Round francise handles on Twitter and Instagram) but I do know that 9Round corporate, called 9Round Official on Twitter, @9Round, and on Instagram, @9roundofficial, is doing things right, is a social media maven, and is doing a lot of hard work on behalf of her 311 baby birds.
You know what? To be honest, Mr. Graveline is doing an excellent job with one of his 9Round properties, 9Round NoVa AKA @9rndcourthouse -- but that's only one and he owns 4 of them; he should be running 4 distinct social media LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter properties.
So, while there are so many unique things that SOCi can do, I'm only going to discuss a very unique feature that makes them the darling of multi-family residence management companies, multi-location dental management companies, and national brands: the ability to organize lots of brand locations under one cohesive social media brand!
In the case of Rob Graveline, M.Ed., if he only has the time and energy to only run @9rndcourthouse, SOCi's hierarchical, multi-location tools would allow him and his social media manager to put the same effort in as he did for one and be able to populate the content for his 4 current gyms as well as all the future 9Round gyms he may well buy in the future. Cool, right? And SOCi is super affordable even for the small business person, though it can easily scale to whatever 9Round HQ could ever need it for.
So, for example:
- 9Round Corporate could now have the ability to post to potentially every franchisee's Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ account, taking pressure off of each franchise owner while concurrently pushing interesting and germane content from 9Round HQ down to every location's social media channel -- with just one click.
- 9Round Corporate could do the important work of curating important health-related content as well as home-brewed 9Round content and news and make sure that good stuff ends up being tweeted, posted, and facebooked across every 9Round location's social media.
- While each location can still be in control of their own daily news, updates, branding, and messaging, they will not all be on the hook to populate the daily bread of content marketing, engagement, response, and the curation and sharing of content.
- Corporate can create and maintain both a message and a photo library of all 9Round locations to borrow from and use, which can make 9Round's voice and tone more consistent across locations, around the world and it can also protect 9Round gyms from getting into licensing and copyright issues by providing photos and graphics that gym owners can use without needing to worry about legal and licensing issues, which can mitigate risk.
- SOCi has this tool called the Design Hub which is a WYSIWYG design tool that can help each location's social media manager design their Twitter and Facebook pages in a brand-consistent and professional way outside of just distributing guidelines via email or in a PDF or book.
- With the message library, both 9Round Corporate and all their locations can have a pre-approved and curated archive of evergreen content that new and seasoned 9Round owners can use when they're too busy to come up with their own witty tweets and posts on really busy weeks.
- New and slow-to-adopt 9Round franchisees will be more willing to set up their social media channels with the knowledge that once they (or corporate) set up their new Facebook Page and Twitter Profiles there will already be content that will flow from corporate down to their profiles and pages, taking a lot of pressure off of the folks launching these gyms, especially the folks who are still too new to have any extra time or who are in a position to hire a social media manager.
- There will never ever be a chance for a social media ghost town ever again because no matter how little a studio owner can commit to social media, their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ social media profiles will, at the very least, be receiving updates and content from 9Round Official.
How does that sound? Doesn't that sound cool?
I know, SOCi guys, you can do so much more than simply manage distributed, highly complex, hierarchical, and persistent social media campaigns! I know! But, you do this thing so well and it hasn't been until I finally fell in love with 9Round as a gym and as an idea that I saw them and SOCi as the chocolate and peanut butter that they are: hey you got peanut butter in my chocolate, together, they're as delicious as a social media Reese's.
I want to stress that nobody's paying me for this, though I might very well be pandering (I'm always pandering). SOCi is a former client and 9Round would be an awesome client. The reason why I am doing this is because I am always trying to offer interesting social media solutions for you, my gentle reader, most of which must be theoretical and illustrative. In this case, it made a lot of sense because these two brands are perfect for each-other, though any syndicated studio would work: CrossFit, [solidcore], SoulCycle, Bikram Yoga, Gold's Gym, XSport, Planet Fitness, Sport&Health Clubs, Equinox, 24-Hour Fitness, Bally Total Fitness, Curves, Snap Fitness, Life Time Fitness, et al.
Now, what're you gonna do? I know! Go git 'em, Tiger!