Social media is often a love-hate sort of thing. As a fitness business owner with a limited about of time in each day, it’s easy to place just about everything as a higher priority. But the statistics supporting the need for businesses to embrace social media are overwhelming. A Google search will turn up countless pages of data to back the claim that social media brings in prospective customers, raises your search rankings, and helps you advertise more effectively than if you don’t use social media at all.
Fortunately, engaging in social media doesn’t need to be hard. To be effective all you need to remember is that it’s a way to have an ongoing conversation with your gym’s community and prospective members. In other words, when it’s done well social media is about engagement. It’s easy to forget this, but if you look at “blasting” out messages, the interaction is one-sided. We’ve all seen this. When a business just “talks at” their audience, there is no sense of community and the real value in social media is lost. Who wants to receive message after message of “sign up now” or “free class today.” Your audience wants to learn something from you like a new workout or a suggestion on food or fitness. We at Zen Planner try hard not to do that, although it takes our caring and awesome followers (YOU) to make that not happen.
Posts that create a dialogue with your followers and show them you value their participation and input changes they dynamic of social media. I know you’ve heard it before, but people want to talk about themselves. By providing an opportunity to do it with you, through social media you are building your community. People also want to be recognized. When they are recognized they feel like they belong and that in turn leads to higher retention numbers. I’m always amazed to hear how special people feel when we tag them or reply to them when communicating on the Zen Planner Facebook or Twitter page. To us, it’s just a human-to-human interaction, but to the recipient it means more than that. And it’s amazing the engagement we get when that happens.
Here are some fitness social media marketing tips to keep your presence a two-way interaction:
- Don’t always post content about you or your business. Share stories and links to information that is relevant and interesting for your audience. (Free playlists, recipes, relevant things happening in your community)
- Encourage feedback and ask sincere questions. Remember, people generally like talking about themselves or something that interests them personally, so give them the opportunity to tell you what they think.
- Have fun with big announcements. Post teasers and clues about an upcoming community event and ask your followers to guess the event or secret.
- Encourage your members to check-in on Facebook. This is a super easy way to get your business name in front of all of your members’ social media contacts.
- Recognize your members’ success on your page and post plenty of photos. Many fitness businesses highlight a “Member of the Month,” and that’s a great way to shift the focus from your business to your members.
- Always engage with members who post on your page. Reply or repost, but be sure to do it.
Most of your customers and prospects are active on social media, so posting more than today’s WOD has real value. If you post daily and have an ongoing conversation with your followers, you will build your social media presence and fitness community.
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