Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Catching, Hatching and getting your members moving with Pokémon GO

Improving health club retention with Pokémon Go – Part 3

In the last article we gave you a few hints on how to integrate Pokémon GO with your health club marketing plans.  Not only will this help with member retention, but it also gives your club a steady social media content stream that is highly engaging.  If you would like to know more about this secondary benefit, get in touch with our team or download the full Pokémon GO guide. If you need to go back to basics, check out our 1 minute getting started guide for health clubs.

So in this article we’re giving you ideas and methods on catching, hatching and exercising for your new Pokémon GO programs.

Is your club a PokéStop or PokéGym?

If your club is already a PokéStop or PokéGym, then you should find more Pokémon nearby, and can also attach lure modules to attract more (read on to find out how). Let members and non-members know with posters and social media posts, and have your staff (create master Pokémon trainers) educate members about the game.

Your real life Pokémon Master Trainer can will help members get fit and catch Pokémon through 1-2-1 PT sessions in or out of the gym, mixing fitness with play.

A clever idea from Nerd Fitness that will help make things interesting is to set the number of reps for each move to the same number as your Pokémon Trainer level – helping members to push themselves in their workouts as they get progressively harder the further they get in the game.

What if you’re not a PokéStop or PokéGym 

Everything is not lost if you are not a PokéStop or PokéGym, in fact there may be more opportunity for exercise… You will need to explore your local area and find places to take your members on excursions to catch Pokémon.  This part is easy, plan a route around your local PokéStops and organise walking or running clubs for members to join in. You’ll collect additional items needed to play the game, eggs that you can hatch into Pokémon, and will undoubtedly find more Pokémon to catch on your travels.

Virgin Active were one of the first UK clubs to jump on the band wagon and kicked things off by launching the first ever 5K Pokérun.  You can read more here...

Hatching vs Catching

As well as spotting and catching Pokémon, a big part of the game is to incubate and hatch Pokémon eggs. Players need to do a certain amount of walking in order to be able to hatch their eggs – this could be an ideal way for some members to enjoy the great outdoors with a group of likeminded people that they feel safe with, as usually they wouldn’t venture out on their own and stick to the indoor gym. The app must be turned on to log distance travelled, and running on a treadmill won’t work… get outside!

To level it up, you can consider incorporating fitness into your excursions.  You could design an interval training style workout, completing a certain bodyweight move at each PokéStop; for example, press-ups, lunges, burpees, or tri dips.

Or, rather than having set moves for each stop, let the Pokémon that you catch dictate the bodyweight move.  You could pinch a few ideas for this over at Nerd Fitness.

Bring the Pokémon to you!

Whether you are a PokéStop, PokéGym, or neither, you can still bring Pokémon to your club by purchasing lures.  A lure is a device that attracts Pokémon to a specific location (or incense works near a player, e.g. your Pokémon Master Trainer) for a half hour at a time, this is a great way to attract other players to your business and could be a cost effective way to find new customers. Reimburse your Master Trainer (lures and incense cost less than a pound, and more when bought in bulk). If your Master Trainer is up for it, then it’s a good idea to rename their account to your club’s business name, then other players will recognise your brand in the game.

Make sure you have information on display when they arrive about your Pokémon activities and how they can get involved – offer free education sessions, a kind of try before you buy?

General ideas to engage with members who love Pokémon GO

Once you have your Pokémon Program up and running you can take to the web to promote your activities and engage with members on a fun ‘social’ level.  Use social media to promote your classes or group sessions, then engage with members who are already playing with you, here are a few ideas:

  • Post photos of Pokémon caught in the club with your club logo in background – e.g. a prize for the rarest Pokémon caught each week (free PT sessions) Make sure your members use a dedicated hashtag for you to aggregate the entries via all social platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).  If they tag your club in too then even better!
  • Share details of your next walk or run, then take photos of your Pokémon team in action and share again via social media, tagging members so they can share too.
  • Schedule Pokémon battle events at your nearest PokéGym 

Don’t overload your social media channels with just Pokémon news!

Even though this might be the latest craze and many of your members are exclusively interested in Pokémon GO, make sure you don’t overload your social media feeds or other communications with only Pokémon news.  It is important to keep a good balance at all times.  If you need help or guidance on this, or perhaps you do not have the time to manage your social media channels, then why not give our team a buzz and we will be happy to give advice and help you out.

Now you are ready to battle…

More on battling at PokéGyms next time. In the meantime, talk to your members more about Pokémon, or anything else, and have fun!

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