This post is part of our series where we talk to real companies (and other organizations) around the world to find out how they’re leveraging social media, how it has impacted their business, and what lessons they’ve learned. Today we’re talking with Greg Stallkamp at Holosfitness.com. You can also follow them on Twitter here.
Tell me a little about your company, what you do, how long you’ve been in business, how many employees you have, etc.
Holosfitness.com is a free online fitness tool that helps individuals get in shape, stay in shape, and lead healthy lifestyles. The site has a wide array of health, fitness, and nutrition-related information, including step-by-step instruction on hundreds of exercises, and video demonstration of many workouts. The social networking features on the site help support and motivate individuals as they strive towards their fitness goals.
The site was launched roughly one year ago. Aside from myself, all of our employees are contractual, part-time employees. We rely on a wide array of outsourced workers to provide tech help, graphic design services, fitness-content, and much more.
How much of your business comes from the web, either via social media or via traditional web?
At this point nearly 100% of our business comes from the web. We have refined our strategy over the past few months, because marketing on the web is really the only effective way for us to reach our target audience.
When did you start engaging in social media?
We knew as soon as we launched the site that social media would be the dominant piece of our marketing strategy. Every expert and consultant we spoke with highlighted the need for a coordinated, focused social media campaign.
Who manages your social media efforts?
I spent most of my time working on the social media efforts. In addition I elicit a lot of outside resources to help with this campaign, including local consultants and project teams from local schools (Northwestern University).
What networks are you active on?
The majority of our time is spent on Facbook, Twitter, YouTube, and MySpace. I am also a very active blogger on the health sections of nearly every major nationwide newspaper.
Which have been the biggest drivers of business for you?
So far referrals are the biggest driver of business for us. Usually when an individual signs up, we see that two or three of their friends sign up over time as well. In many cases the initial introduction came from a blog that I posted or content placed on a social media site.
Describe any customer interactions that stick out in your mind
At this point nearly all of our customer interactions have been positive. Nearly everyone is amazed at the amount of free fitness-related information they find on the site. Recently, we have found that there have been a lot of personal trainers who have signed up for Holosfitness.com, because they want to share information with our community. We have received incredibly positive feedback from this group.
For your business, what makes social media different from other channels?
Social media stands out from other channels as it allows me to instantly communicate with the largest possible audience. Social media is largely a very democratic system. It allows us to promote any message we want. If that message resonates with our audience, then the audience will often pass the message on to their friends, and our audience will continue to grow.
What has been the most challenging part of dealing with social media?
While social media is very democratic, it is also very competitive. It is increasingly hard to be recognized in such a crowded environment. It seems like every day a new competitor is popping up and targeting our same audience.
What are your social media plans for 2010?
Our social media plans for 2010 revolve around the idea that Content is King. We realize that simply “tweeting” a new message or posting a blog is not as valuable as providing insightful content to social media audiences. As a result, we are engaging in a coordinated campaign that promotes valuable information to our audience. We have a strong line-up of videos, new exercise data, blogs, and interactive features that are both fun and entertaining.
I appreciate Greg taking the time to talk to us, and I encourage you to check out Holosfitness.com and follow them on Twitter here. We’re always looking for interesting companies and individuals to talk to, so if you know of anyone that would like to be profiled, please contact us.