Social media marketing for gym and fitness business has become a huge industry over the past few years. If you look at the statistics for UK and US for example you’ll see there are now over 9.7 million fitness members in the U.K, with the U.S having a total membership of 57.25 million.
It’s 2018 and social media marketing for your fitness business is one of the leading ways you as an owner can broadcast your message to a wide range of audience. In this digital era, social media grabs the attention of users and keeps current members engaged.
The two social media platforms worth focusing on are Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook has over 2 billion monthly users worldwide and is becoming one of the most popular platforms for gym and fitness business owners to market their brand. The reasons for this:
- Most, if not all, your target audience have a personal Facebook account and can be reached.
- Using Facebook Ads ensures you can reach your target audience easily.
- You’ll more likely to get shares and likes from current clients who will include information about your gym/business on their account, which will lead to more potential clients.
Facebook may have a larger user base, but Instagram is the currently the most popular social media platform with 800 million monthly users. The engagement rates such as likes and shares are skyrocketing on Instagram making it. The reason why this social media platform is just as popular is:
- Although you can add brief captions and there is a comments section, Instagram is mostly a visual application which fits in perfectly with the fitness industry which is also visually based.
- You can add great photos and short video clips of fitness workouts and members who have done really well as a result of your training.
- You get to engage with your followers easily and build a club community online.
When you build and develop your social media marketing strategy you need to keep your ideal audience member at the forefront – for example, think about who is it you’re targeting (young women between 18-30?), what do you know they would like to see (pictures of the different workouts that you do?) and what will they engage with more (pictures of your members working out?)
So how do you market your brand effectively?
1. Choose a theme for your accounts
From your Facebook and Instagram posts to your cover photo, there is a lot you can do to optimise your business page design and content.
When it comes to your profile picture, the two best options are either:
A friendly-looking headshot of you as owner (especially if you’re a solo fitness instructor)
A clear picture of your gym’s logo.
Use your cover photo as a lead generation tool as it will act a constant visual representation and reminder of your brand
Make sure you keep these two images the same on Facebook and Instagram, so as not to confuse your members when following you on both sites.
Photos with faces generate 38% more likes than those without.
“We are naturally attracted to faces,” says researcher Saeideh Bakhshi of Georgia Tech.
“We are social animals and want to see other people — it’s comforting to us and makes us safe.”
As part as your theme for posting don’t seek out business and put posts solely requesting followers to sign up and join. Instead invite them into your fitness world, so they can see for themselves what it would be like be a member of your gym or fitness club.
A great tip is to plan out the theme of your posts using as many visuals as possible for each day of the week for instance:
- Monday: Motivational fitness quotes
- Tuesday: Training tips for members
- Wednesday: Workout images of members
- Thursday: Tasty healthy meal plans member should try
- Friday: Fresh new videos of sessions carried out in the week
2. Post pictures of members working encourages social sharing
As mentioned above, you want to get your current members to share your fitness business on their personal FB page. One of the easiest ways to do this is to increase the amount of pictures that you’re posting.
If you start posting pictures of people that attend your gym, those people are likely to “like” or “share” that picture on their own wall, thus increasing your visibility. ‘Likes’ are valuable as this increases your rankings on internet search engines too.
Post pictures of workouts and tag members who have been in them and again they will share the workout they carried out. People love bragging about their workouts, so you might as well take advantage of this to promote your gym!
3. Increase activity
One of the key things that big brands are doing well on social media is constantly communicating with their customers. The point of using Facebook and Instagram is to encourage communication between you, the gym/fitness owner and your members and followers.
If someone communicates with you and you fail to reply to their message or complaint about your business, it will get noticed and they’ll eventually realize that you’re not that in touch with your audience and you will lose followers. 62% of Millennials are more loyal to brands that engage them via social messaging.
Make sure you reply to every single post on your wall, every single comment. You can use Facebook Messenger instant replies if you can’t reply straight away but want to acknowledge them. This shows that you’re actively involved with your business and that you care about what your members and clients have to say.
Having an active Facebook comments section and page also shows Google that you’re an active business and boosts you up in the PageRank when people search for gyms near them.
By simply liking, commenting and regramming (when an Instagram user posts a photo from someone else’s account to their own) you will see a steady increase in followers and overall account engagement. This engagement will be crucial to your success.
4. Facebook Live and Instagram Stories
With the permission of your members and trainers, use Facebook Live to stream a workout session to share with your followers, so they get an insight of what it is like there and be engaged.
You’ll generate an online crowd of people watching your current workout, posting comments and getting inspired to join in next time!
Instagram Stories is a feature that lets you post videos and images that disappear after a 24 hours. You can use this to show off videos of sessions during that day. Stories appear at the very top of the Instagram feed, giving you the opportunity to really get your fitness brand out in the in front.
5. Tagging and hashtags
When you tag someone, you create a link to their profile. The post you tag the person in may also be added to that person’s timeline.
If you post something that relates to a member (e.g. you have posted a picture of them), tag them in it:
The member’s followers will see them being tagged in and get them engaged and interested.
Hashtags help new users who may be interested in what you have to offer, find your Instagram account.
Popular hashtags for gym and fitness enthusiasts use:
By using multiple hashtags that are relevant to your space, you can engage new audiences that fit the ideal audience member we mentioned earlier. Check out other gym brand accounts to see what other hashtags are gauging most likes.
Instagram posts with at least one hashtag have 12.6% more engagement than those without, so it’s definitely something you should be doing.
You can add in up to 30 hashtags per post, and general advice has been that more is better, with 11 being the optimum number.
6. BUILD A COMMUNITY
So the whole point of building your brand on social media is to build an online community. You want to engage them and get new clients intrigued.
Use call-to-actions to keep your followers engaged with your posts on Facebook and Instagram.
A call-to-action encourages users to take a particular action, e.g.:
- Click on the link in the bio
- Select the Book button on Facebook for a session with an instructor.
- Leave a comment under a post
- Double tap if followers agree
- Answer a question you have posted with a picture
With your regular high quality posts, you want to encourage your followers and members to keep coming back to your profile, liking, commenting which in turn helps to spread the word of your gym and brand!
What you hopefully got out of this post is that in this day and age social media is one of the most important marketing tools and needs to be embraced fully.
To summarise the tips that have been given, the way to use social media effectively to market your brand is to make your members feel valued and share their success stories and to motivate them constantly with images and quotes.
It is important to market your gym/fitness business in a fun and engaging way so if you haven’t started already, what are you waiting for?