At MyFitCoach, we spend our days helping others to build their fitness businesses and over the last few years, we have learned a lot about what traits are likely to make your business successful. Over the next several weeks we will be sharing a series about what we have found to be most important in establishing your fitness business. This week we will discuss social media for marketing.
This Week’s Topic: How to use Social Media to Market your Fitness Business
There is so much to learn about using social media for marketing and one blog post will not cover it all…but we will try to give you the basics so you can get started marketing your fitness business right away.
Do your research
If you have been following this series you have already narrowed your target market and now you can put that knowledge to use. Go online and read content that is currently attracting your audience. See where they are engaged. See what they are posting themselves. Join in the conversations to find out what matters to them. This will allow you to create content that they will value.
There are so many social media outlets available today and there will be even more in the future. Choose one or two different platforms and focus your efforts there. This is another opportunity to do research. What social media platforms are your ideal clients using? If they are active on snapchat, then don’t spend a lot of energy on twitter. Don’t worry about not reaching everyone…remember that it’s about the quality of interactions, not the quantity.
Each social media platforms and each has it’s own strengths, here are a few of the main players:
- Instagram is a very visual platform. If you have the photo skills (see some tips below) and are running a business that is based on aesthetics, this is the platform for you! As an example if you run a recipe blog or you work with figure competitors, posting photos of your recipes and clients would be a great way to bring attention to your business. Your eye catching photos are guaranteed to get lots of likes.
- Be aware that many followers do not read a lot on Instagram, this platform is less likely to start conversations.
- With the newer Instagram Stories, you are able to share your day or a conversation easily. This feature is similar to Snapchat and attracts the same younger crowd.
- Instagram doesn’t allow active links except for in your bio, so followers have to do some work to get to your website or blog post.
- Facebook is the single largest social media platform out there and it now attracts clients from older age brackets. If you are looking to attract clients in their 40’s and above, this is the platform to focus on.
- Facebook is more conversational. Because of the format, followers are more likely to see what you have written instead of just your photo like on Instagram. Also, if a follower comments on your post, their friends will see this activity bringing a lot of potential attention to your page.
- If you are looking to attract Millenials, Snapchat is the tool for you. As many younger individuals are moving away from the social media platforms that their parents are using such as Facebook.
- Snapchat allows you to really tell your story and shows the personality of your business (Instagram is now doing this as well)
- Be aware that each snap only stays live for 24 hours so if a potential client sees your information but doesn’t act, they won’t be able to access it again.
Be sure to stay active on your social media accounts. We know that it can be annoying to keep all of your notifications on, but you don’t want to miss an opportunity to connect with your followers. If someone sends you a message or comments on your post you want to respond quickly…this will start online conversations that will allow clients to connect with you.
Take good pictures.
This one seems pretty obvious, but if you scroll through any social media platform, you will see plenty of businesses that post poor quality images. You don’t need a fancy camera or any expensive tools, your smart phone will do the job. Here are a few tips on taking a good photo for social media:
- Use the rule of thirds – imagine your photo with vertical lines dividing it into thirds. You want the focus of your image to be mainly in the left or right third.
- Use natural lighting if possible – outdoors is great, but in your gym you may want to be near a window (not with the window directly behind the subject).
- Check the background – Do a quick scan of the background of your photo in advance. Make sure there is no excess clutter or extra people that will ruin your shot.
- Try multiple angles – try taking multiple photos from different angles to see which one looks best for your post. You may like one better than the rest, but you may also have a few great shots to turn into a collage.
- Use a photo editing app to add filters, wording, frames and more. A few of our favorites are Aviary, Pixlr and Canva. For just adding text we like InstaQuote and WordSwag (which also allows you to add your logo to each photo).
Don’t always sell
The goal of your social media accounts is to create relationships with your followers. You will not do this if you are constantly selling. Be sure to create content that simply gives your clients something of value. For example most of your posts should be motivational quotes, encouragement, exercise tips, workouts, etc. If you fill your social media accounts with sales, you will lose followers fast. A good rule to follow is that for every sales post you should share 3-4 non-sales posts.
If you want others to share your posts, you need to do the same. Find other resources that are not direct competitors, but that may also be valuable to your clients. For example, if you are personal trainer, find a few local health food stores or restaurants and share their recipes, sales and tips on your page. Your clients will love the information and the other businesses are more likely to share your posts.
Pay attention to which posts are working and which ones are not. What images are getting the most “likes” and which ones are sparking conversations? You want to mimic those. So many different factors can be at play: What time was it posted? Are there certain colors that are getting attention? What font did you use? Did you use specific hashtags? It may feel like it would be impossible to figure out what is attracting customers, but if you really focus, patterns will show up and you will start to see what is working best.
There is so much more to cover regarding social media for marketing, but this is a good place to start.
Have you successfully used any of the tips above? We’d love to hear about your experience…just leave us a comment below!