For the fitness professional, social media is an indispensable tool for growing a fitness business.
And as we saw in our blog on the top five fitness influencers for fitness business success, there is a massive appetite for fitness related content on social media.
Therefore, as a fitness business owner, you can’t afford to ignore this key channel when building your marketing and branding strategy. In this article, we will discuss the 9 top tips you can use to maximize the effectiveness of your social media. You can click on a section in the table of contents below
1. Inspire, Inform and Entertain
People are usually on social media to be entertained, to see that their friends are up to or to be informed about what is going on in the world. They are not there to be sold to. And if you always post content that is overly “salesy” you will get passed over very quickly.
Instead, base your content around the following principles:
Inspire: showcase your member’s fitness transformations or share inspiring fitness and motivation content from other pages
Inform: educate your audience with valuable information about fitness and nutrition. Give them advice in a clear way that makes it simple for them to implement at home.
Entertain: sometimes people just want to be entertained so inject a bit of your personality and be a bit off the cuff with your content
2. Focus on Mobile
Focus on mobile: For the majority of industries, the way that they communicate with their target audience will be through mobile. A recent study by Smart Insights found that the hours outside a typical working day mobile phone and tablet was the primary device people used and it is during these hours you are more likely to engage them. The study also found that 90% of the time spent on these devices was on apps.
Being present on Facebook and Instagram in particular as they are the most effective for a fitness business and have the additional powerful advertising capabilities that we discussed. Alongside this, talk with your web developer to make sure your website is optimized for mobile.
3. Be Patient and Post Often
The major hurdle a lot of fitness professionals fall when they first attempt digital marketing is that they give up after a couple of weeks. The reason for this is that they expect results straight away. However, growing your studio’s presence online is a sprint, not a marathon.
Even worse, some people opt to go down the route of buying fake followers, and this never ends well, especially on Instagram. Not only does it look bad when you have all these followers and none of them engaging with your posts, but Instagram is cracking down on this behavior.
Instead, aim to post three to five times a week on all your different social platforms.
Here is a quick guide to what you should post each week:
- Share an article of relevance to the fitness industry
- Post two videos or pictures of your classes
- Your timetable for that week
- Post a workout tutorial which can be a video, blog post or image
- Post nutrition advice which again can be a video, blog post or image
4. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Ads
Facebook and Instagram Ads are the most popular option for smaller businesses to advertise online. The reason for this is that they are still relatively cheap in comparison to traditional and other digital means of advertising.
These platforms are also where the majority of the world are spending their time. There are currently 2.2 billion active monthly users on Facebook and 800 million on Instagram. The advantage of using these ads is that you can specifically target your ideal customer. Or if you have a couple of different demographics, you would like to target you can run a selection of ads with separate creative and copy that is specific to the person you are targeting. This is a considerable advantage over creating a one size fits all ad.
Keep these top tips in mind when creating ads for Facebook and Instagram:
- A/B Test your ads until you figure out what combination of copy and creative gets the best results. You can do this with Facebook’s Ad Manager, and they provide an easy to follow guide to help you.
- Create a promotion for your ad campaign that gives value. An example of this is Sign Up By 5 pm on Wednesday To Get 2 Free Introductory classes
- Use good quality images and video. Video is predicted to make up 80% of web traffic by 2021, so it is essential you start implementing it into your ads strategy.
- And finally, the most crucial part of running social media ads is having somewhere the person can go once they have clicked through the ad. Have a dedicated landing page on your website with a clear Call To Action(CTA) where the person can sign up for the promotion in your ad.
Lead generation is key to the success of a fitness business, especially in the early days. Read The Glofox Ultimate Guide To Opening a Gym for tips on this and more.
5. Good Images and Video is Key
Whether it be making organic content or content for your paid advertising, you need good quality images and video. Here is a breakdown of what you need to do:
Images: Keep it as visual as possible and any text to a minimum. For paid advertising, Facebook implements a 20% rule as it prefers ads images with as little as text as possible to give people a higher quality user experience.
If you do have too much text on your image, Facebook will show your ad to fewer people, causing your ad to be less effective. To make sure the text in ad falls within the 20% rule use Facebook’s Text Overlay Tool.
Video: Make a video that is short and to the point. For paid advertising research from Facebook suggests that 47% of the real value of a Facebook Ads comes in the first 3 seconds and 74% comes in the first 10 seconds. With the audio for your video consider 85% of video is watched with the sound off, meaning that advertisers have to get their message across without the need for audio. So think about using captions. Some useful tools for this include free software like Headliner or Facebooks automated caption tool.
6. Build Communities
One of the main goals of your fitness business should be to create a community. You can achieve this through social media through two simple but effective methods
Create Groups: Facebook is particularly useful for creating closed groups for members of your gym. Here you can post member specific content and create a place your members can interact and build relationships outside of clash.
Use a Hashtag: Particularly effective on Instagram, have a specific hashtag for your fitness studio to help spread the word about your business. People will share social media images of themselves going to a particular gym so they can show off to their friends on social media.
A hashtag will increase the visibility of your post; since many people who are interested in that topic will be able to view it easily. There are three kinds of hashtags which you can utilize; content hashtags, trending hashtags and, brand-specific hashtags.
Trending hashtags are utilized on viral topics. They are mostly used on Twitter, and using trending hashtags is the best way to market your fitness business on the Twitter platform. For example; if #Monday Motivation is the most trending topic, then you can take advantage of this topic and use social media for marketing your business. Just post the before and after pictures of one of your faithful gym members – of course with their consent, and hashtag it with Monday Motivation.
Brand-specific hashtags are the hashtags which you can create for yourself. The more you and, your faithful gym patrons use the brand-specific hashtags; the more your business will grow. You should always give a reason for your social media fans to use your brand-specific hashtag. For instance; you can promise them giveaways, promotions and, a membership fee discount if they use your brand-specific hashtag in their posts.
7. Invest Time in Instagram Stories
Since Instagram Stories was launched in 2016 and has taken over Snapchat as the dominant temporary content sharing platform. Every major influencer and brand is sharing an extensive Instagram story nearly every day. At least 2 million brands are using Stories, and a third of Stories viewed are from businesses.
Instagram Stories allows users to post videos and images that last for a 24-hour window. Instagram has cleverly placed stories at the very top of the Instagram feed. It gives businesses the chance to get their brand immediately in front of followers. Stories are a fantastic way to create excitement and hype up an upcoming event, a new class, or to give them a sneak peek of daily life.
There are endless options with stories like geographic location tagging, hashtags, polls, gifs, stickers, and more, which enables companies to organically boost their followers and simplifies brand engagement.
Instagram Stories allow brands to show themselves off in a more exciting and amusing light. This also makes it easier to humanize your brand.
8. Using Fitness Influencers to Market Your Fitness Studio
No matter what marketers do, there is still something to be said for good word of mouth marketing. This is where influencers come in. Influencers are people who have significant social media followings, particularly on Instagram. They are seen as authority figures within the lives of their fans.
Influencer marketing has become so big that big brands have dedicated budgets and agencies have sprung to represent them. The world of health and fitness has especially been impacted by this marketing trend, as we explored in our previous blog on fitness influencers.
But how do you get in on this action?
You don’t necessarily need someone of Shona Vertues or Kayla Itsines level of fame. You should look to target people with at least 1000-2000 followers who are posting daily about health and fitness. There are thousands of PTs and fitness addicts who are building personal brands online. Their goal is to cash in on the social media gold rush at the moment. So there is more than likely someone in your local area that suits,
Here are some quick influencer marketing tips to help put an influencer strategy into action and help you get new members.
- Find an influencer in your local area with 1000+ followers
- Direct message them with a pitch about marketing your studio
- Offer them a couple of free classes and training sessions
- In exchange get them to post an agreed number of posts about each and the benefits of the fitness program
- If they have any content – youtube videos, e-books or a blog, promote this through your social media
- Have them guest post on your blog or even better guest post on their blog. It will give you a precious backlink to your site. Backlinks help improve your site’s authority and give you broader brand awareness
You should aim to try different influencers and see what the results are. If you find that this is successful possibly hire the person as a trainer(if they have the qualifications).
9. Publish the Success Stories of Your Members
If you have a gym member who has put in the work and made a great transformation; then go ahead and congratulate them on social media! This way, you will show your appreciation to your gym members. As well as that they feel proud of their achievements.
If you publish the success stories of your gym members on social media, you will motivate a lot of people to keep on working hard in their fitness journey. Furthermore, more people will join your gym in a bid to be successful as your gym members.
Testimonials are one of the most powerful marketing tools if done correctly. These success stories show off the real results of your fitness studios efforts. They are a great way of telling a person’s journey in case study form. This will always interest an audience.
Make it a key task to collect at least 1 to 2 testimonials a month.