Audiences are searching for more digital content than ever across multiple devices, and social media is now an integral part of any marketing strategy. Saying that people spend a lot of hours scrolling through their phones is an understatement. In today’s world, social media is completely ingrained into our daily lives; the average US adult spends 2 hours and 3 minutes on social media each day.
With content overload online, it’s essential to position your fitness business in the right way on social media. The coronavirus pandemic has led to a significant increase in social media use with consumers looking to social channels to stay in touch through this challenging time. In this article, we discuss how COVID-19 has changed social media marketing and the ways your business can use it in 2020. Skip ahead to:
How has COVID-19 Changed Social Media Marketing?
It’s fair to say that the coronavirus pandemic has affected many industries and continues to influence consumer behavior. In a study of over 25,000 consumers across 30 different markets in the later stages of the pandemic, engagement on social media saw an increase of 61% over regular usage rates. In countries hardest hit by the virus, messages on Facebook and other social media platforms shot up by 50%. Many people have been relying on social media for updates from businesses and brands in the last few months.
What’s more, is that it appears that users were more open to social advertising. This is especially true in countries with stricter lockdowns. With an increased use on social media platforms, social advertising costs dropped. Many businesses jumped on the opportunity, resulting in more cost-effective marketing campaigns and reduced competition.
Consumers want brands to share relevant messages and communication during the crisis. Now is not the time to go silent. Although it’s easy to panic, it’s essential to maintain customer trust and remain transparent. People are craving social interaction; they want to feel supported. Following the crisis, social media content from businesses across will industries will be more critical than ever. Your digital strategy is hugely valuable. Businesses who come across authentic, honest, and empathetic will continue to come out on top in the consumer’s eyes.
The eMarketer Podcast discusses how the coronavirus has changed social media engagement, platform advertising, and influencer behavior in a recent episode. Analysts Blake Droesch and Jasmine Enberg talk about the best length for social media posts, Facebook Stories, and Instagram.
3 Health and Fitness Brands that Excel on Social Media
Finding and using your brand voice is an essential part of social media. Brands that are successful on social media know how to use their platform to stand out from the competition. With consistent messaging and a strong brand voice, let’s take a look at three health and fitness brands that deliver on social media.
1. Weight Watchers
Weight Watchers try to encourage people to lose weight and develop a healthy relationship with food. The brand posts a combination of recipes, exercises, and motivational content to keep users on track. On top of this, they share success stories using video content. The success story includes a person who has used the Weight Watchers program and achieved their goal.
2. Equinox Fitness
Equinox Fitness uses social media to help fans get excited about new ways to exercise with their hashtag #ItsNotFitnessItsLife. They use their platform to share important messages about current issues. With a combination of photos and videos, all content is high-quality with plenty of workouts, tips, and motivational advice.
Fitbit is an excellent example of a business using social media to grow their community and brand. Fitbit uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to keep members engaged, motivated, and supported.
They use social media to offer a fast customer support experience. They listen to their customers, respond quickly, and are creating a community that is fully engaged with the brand. They share a ton of different content, including health tips and advice. Fitbit also regularly ask for feedback on their fitness challenges, helping to drive home the community aspect.
The Voice for Fitness Professionals Podcast has a great episode on the best social media fitness posts right now. The episode is all about the different types of posts you can use for your business and how to create posts to position to your ideal customers.
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Top 8 Fitness Social Media Marketing Tips
The social media marketing landscape is always changing, with trends coming and going. Social media trends can look different from year-to-year. Brands have to find ways to keep users engaged to grow strong relationships and increase revenue. Now is the perfect time to reflect on your social media approach and see how you could further engagement and brand loyalty. Here are eight fitness social media marketing tips.
1. Build Trust with User-Generated Content
Roughly half of marketing professionals believe that user-generated content helps to humanize a brand’s marketing efforts. User-generated content is an important part of your digital marketing strategy, especially in the fitness industry. When content is generated and shared by customers, it’s a genuine reflection of what the service or product will be like in real life. This type of content tends to be more relatable and can have a massive impact on buying decisions.
With user-generated content, you can showcase personal successes. For example, as a yoga studio, a member may join to improve their flexibility and overall fitness. A video showcasing their improvement over time and speaking to the camera about your fitness studio benefits is a great way to show off success while promoting your studio. Other forms of user-generated content include:
- Reviews and testimonials
- Before and after transformation photos
- Personal workout videos
- Social shares
2. Influencer Marketing Continues to Soar
In the last few years, influencer marketing has become a massive part of social media marketing strategy. Influencer marketing continues to grow, with many brands leveraging influencer audiences to expand their reach. What has changed with influencer marketing is that there is more scrutiny. It’s not enough to have a huge following; what matters is the engagement. Brands are delving deeper into influencers and looking for high engagement that will deliver maximum results.
Brands are also shifting from large influencers to micro or nano-influencers. Nano-influencers are defined as having between 1,000-10,000 followers. Micro-influencers can have up to 50,000 followers. During the COVID-19 crisis, businesses’ influencer budget shrunk, which opens the door to nano-influencers. These types of influencers tend to be super niche with smaller audiences. They are usually more engaged, which leads to more meaningful interactions. Leading brands already understand the value of nano-influencers and are collaborating with these kinds of content creators.
3. Social Broadcasting
In 2019, internet users watched 1.1 billion hours of live video. According to Livestream, 82% of social media users prefer to watch live video content over standard posts. Social broadcasting is growing massively with a huge demand for live content. Fitness marketing has enormous potential in this area. You can push your marketing message to a global audience and connect with your members through a shared passion and interest.
With the option to go live on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, fitness brands are going live to drive content to their members. Consumers can see the action as it happens from anywhere in the world. Go live on things like workouts, health and fitness tips, industry and COVID-19 updates, and recipes.
4. Equality and Inclusivity
Inclusivity is more crucial than ever. Whether its gender, body type, or ethnicity, inclusivity, and equality are integral. Fitness brands need to create a non-judgmental environment that is accessible and inclusive. It’s essential to find a balance between refining your target audience while also increasing your inclusivity. This helps you stand out from the competition while using your voice to support your gym members and new clients.
One example is the “All Souls Welcome” campaign by Soul Cycle. The pride marketing campaign was centered around inclusivity and acceptance. The brand used the hashtag #AllSoulsWelcome on social media and utilized hand-painted billboards to spread the message. For more inspirational fitness campaigns, we’ve pulled together nine of our favorites.
5. Inspire with Instagram Stories
With Instagram Stories alongside IGTV, many brands are turning to Instagram to inspire potential members and customers. Instagram Stories is a hugely popular feature on Instagram. Over 500 million active accounts use Instagram Stories every day. Since first being introduced, IG Stories has changed over the years. Brands can now add text, add music, interact with audiences live, and record live footage.
Before Stories, many people didn’t tend to share posts and thoughts daily. Instagram Stories changed that. It allows your business to share daily moments without having to actively keep that content on your profile. This helps to increase visibility and build an engaged audience. If you’re looking to increase your use of Instagram Stories, we’ve pulled together everything you need to know to use Instagram Stories for a fitness business.
6. Dominate with Video Content
Video isn’t going anywhere. Successful brands continue to dominate with video content. According to Optinmonster, video marketers experience a 66% increase in qualified leads every year. Video is an extremely effective marketing tool. More and more marketers are using video within their marketing strategy, with 57% of marketers already using live video.
Video content is hugely popular on social media, and you can use this to your advantage. Keep videos short and engagingly tell your story. You can use videos for client testimonials, promote a new workout class, or motivate members to exercise. With video, you have the option to record ahead of time or film live in the moment. Share content that interests your ideal client and will resonate with your target audience.
7. Ephemeral Content is Gaining Popularity
Ephemeral Content is content that disappears after a short period. Think Snapchat or Instagram Stories. The content is only available for 24 hours or so. It’s basically the complete opposite of evergreen content. Evergreen content is blogs, articles, and posts that remain relevant well past the point of publication.
Nowadays, people have shorter attention spans, and the way users consume content is changing. Things like Instagram Stories have become so popular as they are short, engaging, and addictive. Customers can spend hours scrolling through different Stories. Ephemeral content encourages FOMO (fear of missing out) and leaves customers wanting more.
8. Advanced and Direct Social Media Ads
Many brands continue to invest heavily in social media ads and for good reason. Almost 50% of the global population uses social media. That equates to about 3.3 billion people. Social media ads are becoming more advanced with the ability to personalize like never before. It’s getting easier for brands to target customers to promote direct business on social media.
In terms of advertising, social media video ads can be very effective as users are more likely to interact with a video. Adding videos to your ad will help your brand to stand out. Finding creative ways to use social media ads is key to positioning your brand successfully online. You can use a combination of ads such as social marketplace ads, Story ads, Facebook ads, live streaming ads, and even use chatbots to gather information and advertise certain services.
The COVID-19 crisis has massively affected the fitness industry. With more and more people online, social media use has skyrocketed. Consumers have a big appetite for content and are looking to brands for updates and guidance during tough times. As a business owner, social media is an essential tool for connecting with customers, growing your business, and effectively positioning your brand.