In this digital age, a lot of fitness centers have social media accounts. However, do these businesses have a winning social media marketing strategy?
Let’s say you want to build muscle. However, you’ve not created a solid plan to help you achieve this goal. You show up at the gym, which is a crucial first step, but since you don’t have a set plan you try something different every day – running on the treadmill, group classes, yoga, lifting weights.
Despite your efforts, you may not see timely results unless you come up with a strategic plan. The same applies to marketing your small business on social media. Your content needs to be coordinated and working together towards your specific business goals.
In this article we will look at the best social media platforms for your gym, winning social media marketing ideas you can implement to grow your small business and the best practices for growing your social media presence.
Skip ahead to:
- Why have a social media marketing strategy?
- Which social media platforms are best to promote your business?
- 7 steps to creating a social media marketing strategy
Why have a social media marketing strategy?
The latest figures show that there are over 4.48 billion social media users globally, which means that your potential customers are already on these platforms. The daily time spent on social networking apps has also been on the rise, with many people scrolling through various platforms during their daily commutes, work breaks, when eating, and even in bed. Social media is undoubtedly a crucial tool for businesses in this era. And with a social media marketing strategy, you can acquire new customers while staying connected to existing ones.
A social media marketing plan can also be instrumental in building better brand awareness. Not every member of your audience is ready to commit to a gym membership now. However, this may change down the line. When this happens, you want this individual to think of your fitness center first. With an organized social media marketing strategy, you can ensure that your business is on top of your target audience’s mind.
Which social media platforms are best to promote your business?
Currently, there are over 111,000 fitness businesses in the US and close to 10,000 fitness franchises. With such numbers, competition is bound to be high, and it’s crucial that you let your target audience know that your gym is the ideal option for them.
However, which social media channels work best when promoting a fitness business? Let’s take a look at the leading social platforms you can leverage to grow your small business.
With over 2.89 billion monthly active users, Facebook is one of the best social media channels that you can leverage to promote your gym or fitness business. It provides you with a big potential reach and allows you to nurture a community.
You can market your gym business through a diverse range of posts on your Facebook page including, links to your fitness blogs, ongoing promotions, and weekly recipes.
Instagram is a visual platform. You can, therefore, use it to share members’ transformations, short tutorials, pictures of your facility, and even photos and video content from actual workouts.
When you’re setting up an Instagram account for your fitness center, opt for a business rather than a personal account. This is because the former offers more premium tools, including advanced insights, the ability to boost posts, a contact button, and a quick reply feature.
Instagram pairs well with Facebook. You can cross-post everything across these two platforms to maximize your reach.
Marketing on Twitter is not a walk in the park. For starters, you get a maximum of 280 characters to communicate with your audience. In addition, an average of 6,000 tweets are sent every second, and therefore, your content can easily get lost in the sea of tweets.
That being said, this site can offer a great deal of value, including a vast potential reach. If you have strong opinions on fitness-related subjects, Twitter is the ideal platform to engage in spirited discussions around those topics. You can also use the platform to share links related to your gym business and retweet positive tweets about your center.
A lot of brands think of TikTok as a platform for teenagers, but nothing could be further from the truth. TikTok is a simple yet influential channel, and it can give your fitness business a quick win. By riding the wave of a popular song, an incredibly large audience can come across your business. TikTok also allows you to share your videos on other social media outlets, such as Instagram and Facebook, which can further boost your reach.
If you’re looking to establish a reputation as a leader in a movement space, YouTube is the way to go. For instance, if you’re running a yoga fitness business, you can grow your authority with tutorials, instructional videos, and live videos on this platform. Keep in mind that with YouTube, quality is king. While this may mean a larger production budget, high-quality content will rank for years to come.
LinkedIn is one of the most overlooked social media platforms amongst fitness entrepreneurs. However, this channel can help you expand your reach if it’s utilized correctly.
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As with any other social media outlet, you have to maintain the delicate balance between selling and providing value on LinkedIn. Your posts should be a healthy blend of both promotional and informative content.
7 steps to creating a social media marketing strategy
Having a social media account for your gym and making posts is not enough. As the business owner, you need to ensure an effective digital marketing plan to drive leads and conversions. Here are seven social media marketing ideas to grow your small business.
1. Focus on the right social platforms
Each social media platform is different, and it serves a unique purpose in your marketing strategy. For instance, Instagram is a visual platform and is the ideal outlet to post photos and short video content. On the other hand, Twitter is a great place to share quick updates, useful links and engage in discussions with your followers.
Depending on your business goals, select the social media channels that are bound to be most effective and focus all your efforts on those platforms. If you’re at the beginning of your social media marketing journey, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great places to get started. These three outlets offer an immense reach and, potentially, a substantial return on your time and financial investment.
2. Know your audience
You need to start your social media marketing strategy with your customer persona in mind. What is your ideal gym member’s demographic – age, gender, income level, education level, marital status -? What are their fitness goals? What challenges are they likely to face in their pursuit of these goals? Once you’ve defined your buyer persona, you can focus on reaching them through content tailored to their needs, desires, and interests.
It may be easier to create content for a huge faceless audience and hope to connect with everyone in general. However, this type of content can come off as dispassionate and bland, and it’s just not as effective.
3. Consistency counts
Posting content frequently is a surefire way to create a strong social media presence and add value to your channels. To guarantee consistency, you can set realistic goals for how much you’d like to post and develop a content schedule.
If you’re looking to boost the reach and impact of your social media outlets even further, consider the timing of your posts. You can determine the optimal time to post by researching when your target audience is most active. Over time, you may also realize that you get more traffic and engagement on specific days. You must create your content schedule with your high-traffic days in mind.
While consistency is important, you also need to consider the quality of your social media posts and the value that they offer. Everyone is interested in great content, but an audience will quickly lose interest if you’re constantly putting out filler content.
4. Cover every stage of the marketing funnel
Your prospects are always in varying stages of the marketing funnel. Therefore, when you create social media content, you need to diversify your posts to cater to strangers, followers, qualified leads, and members.
For instance, with your followers, you can craft engaging posts and share blog posts. This type of content keeps them interested in your profile and builds your credibility. Similarly, free trials can motivate leads to come in and try out your facility. The goal with your social media posts should be to retain your existing members and advance your prospects to the next stage of the marketing funnel.
5. Organic Content vs. paid social advertising.
Every marketing strategy needs both organic and paid content. Therefore, you ought to have a social ad budget to maximize your reach and bring in leads. If you focus on organic content only, you’re leaving a huge chunk of leads on the table.
Take Facebook, for example. The average organic reach for a Facebook post is currently at 5.2% (and declining.) This means that you’ll only reach 1 in every 20 followers with organic posts. It’ll be harder to reach potential customers with these numbers, and engagement is bound to be low.
On the other hand, Facebook Ads have an average conversion rate of 9.21% across all industries. The fitness sector enjoys an even higher CVR of 14.29%. A paid ad will reach more social media users and lead to more conversions for your small business.
6. Leverage trending topics
A foolproof way to boost your online engagement is to start a conversation on trending topics on social media. To determine subjects that you need to focus on, you’ll need to identify the type of content that your audience is currently connecting with. What type of posts are they sharing or commenting on? How are the profiles of other business accounts that they’re following? Once you’ve identified these topics, you can utilize open-ended questions to encourage responses from your audience.
7. Feature user-generated content.
User-generated content is often viewed as credible and relatable, and it can influence the decisions of your target audience. If leveraged correctly, this type of content can be a game-changer for your marketing campaign.
User-generated content takes on a variety of forms. It could be transformation pictures from clients, reviews, video content from personal training sessions, testimonials, and even customers’ success stories. Such posts give potential customers an idea of what to expect if they join your fitness center.
You can repost Instagram stories when clients tag your business and add these posts to your highlights. That way, whenever potential clients visit your profile, they’ll know that other users are happy with your services. With Facebook, you can share posts that mention your center on your profile as social proof.
Social media platforms are an essential tool that can drive more qualified traffic and engagement to your business. To make the most of these channels and see a boost in gym memberships and client retention, you’ll need to create a winning social media marketing strategy. You can also use this in combination with gym management software to get all your ducks in a row.