Creating hashtags to help your business

Last year, Laura Roesch Franchini and her team of coaches at Cornerstone Fitness in Ohio wanted to come up with a “catchy, yet meaningful hashtag” to create community engagement and generate new leads.

At the same time they were brainstorming a hashtag, she and her coaching team were exploring a couple other important subjects:

1. Finding their Why:

“We each went through the process of learning to identify and articulate the why behind what we do,” said Franchini. “I have found that the coaches who are wildly successful are the ones who have a clear understanding of their why. They communicate it strongly and frequently.” The same is true of successful clients, of course.

2. Who are their ideal clients?

“We had conversations for days surrounding who our ideal clients are. We always seemed to circle back to the clients who go all in with us. They’re the ones who attend our community events, bring their spouses, friends and kids into the gym, sign up for every additional thing we do because they trust us. Regardless of injuries or life events, they stay with us because we are their people,” Franchini said.

She added: “As opposed to the clients who exhaust my coaches because they’re always dragging their heels and it feels like you are coaxing them into everything, the (ideal) clients energize and fill my coach’s cups. …They are all in.”

After much discussion, the hashtag they settled on was #allin

“We wanted to be intentional with our roll out and decided to make the whole thing an #allin campaign,” Franchini explained.

First, each of her 10 coaches posted a picture on social media with their WHY along with the hashtag #allin.

Franchini’s post said this:

“I am personally #allin Cornerstone because this place and the people  here have changed my life! I first walked in the door at a time in my life when I felt weak and vulnerable. Cornerstone first taught me that my body was capable of so much more than I’d ever imagined. Over time, it has also taught me to feel emotionally strong and ready to tackle anything life throws at me. …I believe in this lifestyle. I believe in the strength that comes from the Cornerstone community. And I believe int he way we are empowering people to be the best versions of themselves.”


From there, they asked their community to do the same. To say her community answered the call is an understatement.

“The results have been profound, and I’m honestly still sitting in shock that the whole thing has played out so beautifully,” she said. She admitted she wasn’t sure it would be this successful.

“The coaches were all happy to do it but I honestly wasn’t sure if we’d get any of the members to. But we are several weeks in, and they just keep coming. Some people have needed to take time to think about the topic, which is making them even better. What I love about it all is that it doesn’t feel overly salesy or in your face marketing. It’s real people, sharing their real stories, in real authentic ways.”

Since the campaign started, her gym’s social media engagement numbers have quadrupled. This buzz has even led to past members knocking on the door wanting to come back, referencing the #allin campaign in the process, as well as tons of new leads flowing in, Franchini explained.

“We’ve had calls, intros and people get started who have read someone’s #allin post or have seen many of them through our pages,” she said. 

Better yet, it’s starting to bring in the right clients—their ideal clients.

“(I’m) not really interested in the people who come in, but keep four other gym memberships, not really interested in the people who want this to be a six week deal,” she added.  

On top of generating new business, Franchini said she can’t believe what the campaign has done for her current members.

“I think I’ve been most surprised by the affect I’ve seen it have on our own members. They are inspiring one another to be even more #allin with each other. The posts almost help them to understand the people they see every day and the story that comes with them. It makes them more connected,” she said.

Further, the campaign has inspired her coaches both financially and emotionally. Their sales are up, “and it’s so emotionally rewarding for them to see all their clients tell their stories about how their lives have been impacted by what we do,” Franchini said.

She added: “Our hope is that it will also help to continue building the kind of culture we want. If you’re looking for a new month stint at a gym, we aren’t your place.”

Instead, she’s looking for, and now actively attracting, people who want to go #allin.

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