Gym Marketing: Guide to Instagram for Gym & Fitness Professionals

Published on: 
23 January 18
Posted in: 
5 minutes

When we usually talk about social media marketing for a fitness business, Facebook Advertising  is often front and centre of the conversation. And, while it currently has the largest user base of any social platform, Instagram is indeed the home of user engagement. It’s growing user base spend on average between 25-30 mins on the platform liking over 4 billion posts per day.

So what does this mean for your fitness business?

You need to get on it, STAT!

Instagram is now a core part of any gym marketing strategy, and you need to develop a plan with your ideal customer profile at the core. The platform gives you the potential to create a cost-effective means of acquiring new clients and keeping existing ones engaged.

So to help you out we have put together these top tips for Instagramming your #fitness #business!

Increase Your Activity

If you want your Instagram account to be found organically, you need to be proactive. By merely liking, commenting and regramming posts by profiles within your niche, you’ll begin to see a steady increase in followers and overall account engagement. When it comes to Instagram, this engagement will be crucial to your success.

If you want to maximise your reach, you should create a content schedule with daily post inspiration, keeping you on track for success. Whether you opt for a motivational Monday post, a Tuesday training tip, a wellness Wednesday piece of advice, or client success stories, there are loads of ways to keep your content unique, creative and inspiring.

Don’t forget to select your timing wisely. What time is your ideal customer  most likely to see your post in their feed? Is it on the morning commute, or 10 pm when the kids are gone to bed?

Give Your Two Cents

This is straight out of the Gary Vaynerchuk playbook. He advises using the $1.80 strategy to grow your Instagram account.

This strategy is based on straightforward concept.

Be social!

So how does it work?

  • Basically, search for the top 10 hashtags in the fitness space
  • Choose the top 9 posts for that hashtag.
  • Leave your two cents i.e. say something meaningful about the post
  • Do this every day (or as regularly as you can)

This is a good way of building your account slowly and creating a long-lasting following. Remember giving your two cents means saying something about the content that provides value. It is not asking for follows or likes.  

Optimize Your Hashtags

Why use hashtags? Hashtags help new users find your Instagram account. So do your research! A quick google search for the best Instagram hashtags will bring you a top 100 of all time with tags like #instagood and #photooftheday.

In the fitness sphere, Precor discuss 51 hashtags that will help you to achieve your fitness goals. Popular tags include:

  • #Fitness
  • #FitnessAddict
  • #FitnessMotivation
  • #Fitfam
  • #GetStrong
  • #GirlsWhoLift
  • #GymLife
  • #NoPainNoGain

By using multiple hashtags that are relevant to your space, you can engage new audiences that fit the ideal customer profile we mentioned earlier. Studies suggest a 70% rise in engagement on posts with 11+ tags. To find out what hashtags are popular, simply type them into the search bar in Instagram and it will tell you the volume of its usage.

Pick a Style or Theme

What to post? Instagram photos with faces generate 38% more likes than those without. Most importantly, Instagrammers like high quality images!

If you run a fitness studio don’t seek business, instead, snap classes in progress, faces of your members training or different techniques you discovered. Behind the scenes content generates far more engagement than trying to sell a product.

So, the number one rule? Forget your brand for now. People don’t want to follow brands. Yes you’re looking for brand awareness but pushing it in users faces will lead to low engagement and a loss of followers.

Post what you’re about, your philosophy, the day to day operations of your business. Be playful and don’t be the sales guy! It’s ok to promote a product but don’t overload. Consider the 4-1-1 rule of content marketing by Marketo.


A key objective of your gym marketing efforts is community building, and Instagram is perfect for this. Use call-to-actions to keep your followers engaged with your content across Instagram and even your websiteA call-to-action encourages users to take a particular action, whether that be to try a new workout style, product or to visit an upcoming class at your studio.

By giving your followers high-quality content, you can keep them coming back to your profile, liking, commenting and essentially, spreading the word of your brand!

If you post something that relates to a follower, tag them in it, e.g. “Work hard, play hard with @therock.” You can jump on their follower bandwagon and reap the rewards too.

Create Instagram Storiesfsty

Instagram Stories is a feature that lets you post videos and images that disappear after a 24-hour window. Stories appear at the very top of the Instagram feed, giving you the opportunity to get your brand in front of your followers!

When followers engage with your Story, it’s more likely to show at the very top of their feed, ensuring you keep your community actively participating.

Not to mention, stories are also a great way to build hype around your facility, for example, by sharing “Sneak Peek” content and “day in the life” style videos.

As well as that you can utilise your gym management software  to enhance the effectiveness of your Stories. Social booking with Glofox allows you to place booking links within your Instagram Stories to drive followers to a particular class or membership offer, will enable them to book quickly.

Want to take a 5-minute tour to see what else Glofox can do for your gym marketing efforts and business in general ? Then click here.