Six Key Lessons from the Fitbit Community

May 26, 2021

Fitbit has a truly passionate community of people who use their products and love the company.

The Fitbit Community is made up of more than 1,122,022+ members from all over the world with various backgrounds. Fitbit provides an interesting approach to community building strategies that we can all learn from.

Among an incredibly diverse community of users and fans, their forum is a great way to bring people together from around the world. The Fitbit Community is abuzz with users sharing their own stories, insights, discussion topics, and tips.

Business owners, entrepreneurs, and brands can take a lesson or two (in fact, take 6) from the Fitbit community on how to do communities well. 

Here are some of the best lessons businesses can learn from the thriving Fitbit community:

(1) The Fitbit Community Formula: Passion + Desire + Brand

Healthy eating, exercise, sleep, taking care of your body and your mind are near-universal goals. Getting fit is a huge, global, and collective passion.

As such, the Fitbit community wraps itself around this shared obsession with maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and that makes for a strong case study for community members coming together to share their ideas and experience.

The Fitbit Community is a great example of how brands can tap into the community’s desire for something shared while what the community shares is also a strong use case for its own products.

fitbit health and wellness posts count

Notice the “Health & Wellness” section on the community? Each of those subsections corresponds to a shared passion among their members.

This provides a logical breakdown so community members can dig into the areas most on their mind and find techniques and experiences their fellow members are able to share.

(2) Stories: what makes you do what you do?

What motivates you? Is it the desire to be healthy? To stay in shape? To get through another day at work or school?

Stories are what draw us to “each other” and to “brands”.

While the talk and discussions might be about the Fitbit brand or its products, what’s keeping the community together is really the stories they share.

The products are wonderful and well-designed, but the community shares more than just an interest in fitness technology; they share stories about what drives their own individual goals, struggles, and successes with health for themselves or those around them.

It can be motivating to see others who have found success in the Fitbit community, especially if you feel like you are struggling.

Here’s an example of a series of threads that help share user stories:

snippet of fitbit forum threads sharing user stories

These story are an enormous motivator. When you build your community, ensure people are not just safe to share, but encourage them to share their stories.

(3) Learning from others: how did you do it?

We are hardwired to learn from each other. We want to follow, lead, share, educate, and inspire (or get inspired). This is an area where communities thrive.

The Fitbit community pulls everyone along, without making it look like members are “showing off”. It is more of a “run with me”, “let’s walk together”, or “daily challenges” – it brings people together to challenge themselves with new goals.

For example:

fitbit user posting and challenging themselves

Members also post their own accounts of how they started and where they are at (while making mentions about several other lifestyle choices they made).

(4) Collaboration: we all grow together

Collaboration doesn’t have to be like a band working together to create the next best selling single worldwide; it can be as simple as keeping daily journal entries (inside the community) about the progress a member has been making…with weight loss, for example.

This collaboration takes many forms. It can be joining a group who loves a certain exercise (e.g. swimming). It can be collaborating on challenges. It can be creating shared content and material.

Communities are powerful because we pool our ideas and expertise together.

In this example below, in the “Mind & Body” section of the Fitbit community, look at a direct callout for people who want to get together, make friends, and get on the ride together.

fitbit community reach out to collaborate with others

We see inspiring threads about running marathons, going up hiking trails, and so much more.

(5) Product discussions and feature requests

With so many passionate Fitbit users, the community is a powerful source of input and ideas for new features, services, opportunities, and more that Fitbit can offer.

Fitbit are explicit about making it easy for people to not just submit feature ideas and requests, but to also share their interest and support for these requests together too:

coming soon to fitbit posts

Or, take a look at the continuously evolving chatter around Fitbit Apps:

chatter posts around fitbit apps

Fitbit Apps, Fitbit Premium & Fitbit Coach are directly related to Fitbit’s success.

See how the conversations around their premium programs drive user engagement – it provides a regular place for community members to squeeze more and more value out of their Fitbit products:

conversation posts around fitbit premium programs driving user engagement

Users recommend products based on others’ questions. Particular products are discussed — including merits, demerits, where products fall short sometimes, features, and benefits.

While the products (including coaching and premium subscriptions) are a central part of the community, it still relates to users’ needs, the features they need, or their actual experiences with Fitbit as a product.

(6) Gamification

Did you know that you have “earn” your place in some communities, forums, or even large social communities like Reddit?

Fitbit badges are also a great way to let you know how well you are doing with your goals.

Reddit allows other users to upvote your posts. With use and active participation on Reddit, you earn Karma.

See what’s happening there? It’s called Gamification. Smart marketers use it all the time.

Every game has levels you have to achieve (the name comes from there). Smart community builders and marketers use gamification in quizzes, courses, memberships, online magazines, and more. Several brands also have virtual points, miles earned, or coins that you keep for loyalty (some of these can be redeemed).

Throw in a certain level of gamification into an active forum and you’ll have people spending more time in forums, working hard to provide value to others, and truly creating a sense of engagement in the community.

The Fitbit community has leadership boards (most helpful authors and top answer authors) to help recognize active members with boards such as current council members, Fitbit member alumni, most helpful authors, top answer authors, and more.

Fitbit do amazing work in their community – I hope this is food for thought for your own community!

Re-published with permission per Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license