Heads Up: Running Clubs are running the feed

Apr 02, 2024,
Words by
Maansi Kalyan, Creative Strategist

‘Better out than in, I always say.’ - Shrek, and every ✨run club girlie✨ to ever exist.

The most classic concern people have about social media is that it has the ability to pull you in and keep you in - and by ‘in’, we mean chronically indoors and chronically online. 

A 2022 study concluded that people spend 147 minutes per day on their phones (but we’d place our bets on your screen time topping that). The tabloids have dubbed Gen Z ‘the lonely generation’ because of the assumption that we’ve sacrificed real connection for online immortality. The act of scrolling is generally thought of as a mindless past time. 

Before you think this article is going to be another social media doomsday speech tie up your laces since you’re about to get a blast of serious endorphins: because, on the other end of the spectrum, we present to you Running Clubs.

Hackney Moves 2023

It’s hard not to see one pop up on your feed as these communities are rapidly sprinting up the popularity scale online. Whether it’s the Nike Running Club, The My Protein Move Club and Puresport Run Club - or even ones unassociated with big brands like the Grove Lane Runners collective, Peckham Pacers and Your Friendly Runners - these groups and more are bringing the energy both on and offline. 

In an age dominated by digital connectivity, the emergence of running clubs in particular on social media platforms has captured the attention of both seasoned athletes and first-time runners alike. They’re creating online experiences to enhance and encourage offline experiences, challenging the idea that social media closes you off from people - it’s content like this that has led to races like the Hackney Half selling out months in advance as more and more people are inspired to run. 

But running isn’t exactly a new thing, so why and how are clubs that promote the act of running thriving on social media? And what insights from run club-goers’ activity on socials can the brands of today implement into their own strategy?

Building community is just as important in a digital age

No matter what anyone says, people need people. Running’s often seen as a solitary activity, but running clubs bridge the gap by encouraging individuals from diverse backgrounds to unite under a shared passion. Their online platforms serve as virtual meeting grounds where people can share their experiences, encourage each other and forge relationships with one another. 

If you’re looking to build a brand, take this point as the foundation of your playbook: treat your socials like an extension of your brand world rather than a must-have (‘everyone else has an Instagram, so so should we’), and you’ll capture the audience you’re looking for. 

Documenting the reality is the way forward

Runners’ highs, lows and in-betweens are captured during their sessions. Completing your first 5K or conquering a marathon isn’t always pretty, and this makes watching the journey all the more satisfying. We’re in it for the road to success and not just the success itself - it’s just that much sweeter as a viewer when we’ve seen the trials and tribulations that have led to the moment of celebration. 

From a general brand-building perspective, allowing your audience to see the ‘behind the scenes’ or speaking candidly about the journey to get to a product launch or a client to sign on the dotted line gives your community a story they can resonate with, a story they can back. 

Providing value and inviting value will keep eyes on you for longer

Running club communities on social media serve as invaluable stores of knowledge, where veterans provide wisdom and the newest runners of the pack excitedly recount what they’ve learned. From race strategies and injury prevention techniques, those who indulge in the sport offer tips and tricks that empower their online audiences. 

This tells us that by facilitating the exchange of expertise and anecdotes whatever the niche of your business, your platform transforms from a one-sided experience to a dynamic hub of growth that makes your viewers feel included and valuable. 

Running clubs are showing brands how to do it at every level, proving that social media can authentically enhance real-life experiences to keep the good times going.

Fancy keeping up? Drop us an email and we’ll be happy to chat.

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