Between this blog, school and work, I have noticed how remarkably “social” the fitness and health industry has become. Since starting the blog, I have noticed more brands following me and I have been following some of them as well. Lately, I have been asked who I follow and why. The brands I follow the most are the ones that offer regular tips and useful information. My favorite is Runner’s World. For those who don’t know, Runner’s World is a magazine (obviously, for runners). I started reading the magazine and visiting its website after it was suggested by friends. What I like about Runner’s World is that it is an awesome magazine that appeals to all running levels. Everything that I have a question about, it has an article on. It has effectively translated its appeal into its social media strategy. Via Twiiter and Facebook, it sends out tips about shoes, gear, food and keeping motivated. Its posts often make me want to lace up my shoes and hit the track.
My Fitness Pal (a site that helps users track fitness, diet and weight goals) also has recently stepped its social media efforts and quickly is becoming another favorite. Lately, I have been getting motivating emails and tweets from MFP. Like Runner’s World, it has been motivating me to try new things and get back on the right path.
I think because both of these companies are continuing to evolve and are working to be more engaging to their followers, they will be around a while. They are changing as their audience’s needs are changing. Personally, I like that these companies are offering the engagement I need in the bite-side bits that appeal to me. I wish Garmin (the maker of my runner’s watch) was doing the same. I love Garmin products, but the company earns a C- in the engagement arena. I find most of their social media doesn’t appeal to me. It’s probably only a matter of time before some other brand woos me away.
For me (and I think the same is true for many), it is important for health and fitness brands to engaging. Those of us (like me) who are still working to make this health thing a way of life need all the motivation and engagement we can get. If they want to stay a part of my future plans, they have to keep the engagement coming.