Is Social Media the Next Step in Fitness?
If you've ever had a case of insomnia and find yourself staring at fitness infomercial with your eyes glazed over then there's a good chance you may have seen one of the products by Team Beachbody. Some of the fitness infomercials that play in the early hours of the day are all from the same company. If you've heard of Shaun T and his "Hip Hop Abs," "Insanity," or if you've ever seen the guy on the left urging you to exercise either with dance or extreme exercise, you've heard of Team Beach Body. If you've seen the infomercials that say you can slim down in six weeks with a program called "Slim in Six" by Debbie Siebers (woman on the right), then you've heard of Team Beachbody. The infomercials, however, don't always advertises that they are a part of one company, but if you go to the internet to search them out, you'll discover this company has eleven different fitness programs in addition to other weight-loss products.
Team Beachbody is a marketing company in the health and fitness industry that uses its website to not only get already healthy and fit people like trainers and athletes to join their site, but also to encourage those who are just starting a program to join and use their site to get healthy. With the use of this site, a trainer can increase or build a client base while getting paid to promote Team Beachbody products. They have also been recognized as the only health and fitness company to be in partnership with the American Diabetes Association to help reduce and eliminate the rates of obesity and diabetes in this country. The mission is to eliminate the rates of obesity and all other health risks associated with physical inactivity and poor nutrition habits.
Tweeting Face to Face
Social Media sites like Twitter and Facebook build a vision of the company that adds a personal touch to their business. Team Beachbody, however, does not use Twitter or Facebook themselves, but there is a Twitter account posted by a coach on their main website as there are a few fans who've created Facebook pages. The tweets are fairly general updating followers with information about new Team Beachbody products or promotions such as One on One: Volume 2. The user also routinely posts tweets about subscribing to other user's Youtube channels who are logging their progress with some Beachbody product or some progress on one of the Facebook accounts (again, also not official sanctioned by Beachbody) but updates users with current Beachbody promotions and products. However, the creator of the largest Facebook accounts ads a personal touch by giving users a positive greeting on holidays and other celebratory events.
Youtube is the only social media medium Team Beachbody actually uses that isn't found on their site. In fact, if a user posts a video of decent quality that the company likes, they'll contact them and asks to use the video for their own to market their products. There are also other sites that use video to promote Beachbody products focusing on the success they've had.
Everything Team Beachbody does, however, is aimed at getting uses to join their website and users independently use social media sites to try to get others to join the main site too!
Because of the company's limited use of social media sites makes it seem like the company's primary and possibly only goal is to get users to register for their site and use their social media products. With the exception of Youtube, the popular sites aren't used by Beachbody; however, this could be due to the fact that users promote the products enough and the company chooses not to waste resources where there's already enough promotion. If a user does well, it generates customers for the company, and if a user does poor, Beachbody is not affiliated with the user and has plausible deniability. If anyone complains about the social sites out there, the company can just say that they can't control social media sites, which they can't, others use and if you want to be a real customer, then join their site. Joining their site is free, however, if you want to use the social media portions of their site like blogging and the groups.
Perhaps, the best way for a company to use sites like Twitter and Facebook is to allow users to do all their free advertising for them while offering an alternative in an environment that they can control. That way, as stated before, they can disassociate themselves with negative perspectives while reaping the benefits of the advertising.