When you think about how social media can benefit your business, you probably think of its advertising and lead generation capabilities. But social media is also a critical tool for strengthening your boot camp community. Social media helps extend those connections made in your classes so your members become an important part of each other’s lives. Social media gives them a place to cheer each other on and hold each other accountable, so your community just gets stronger and stronger.
This is our second post in a three-part series about building community at your boot camp. Our first post, explained why it’s so important to have a strong community. Now we’ll discuss the keys to using social media to reinforce the community you’re building in your classes.
Building Community with Social Media
Set Up Accounts and Get Followers
If you haven’t done so already, start by creating your accounts and working to get followers. (Yes, this is basic, but it’s the first step) We suggest starting with a Facebook and Instagram account, and then use very means possible to promote them. Post “let’s get social” signs at your check-in area, add social buttons (with links) on your website and remind your members in your newsletter and other email communications. Also, mention all the fun things you’re posting before you start each your classes so your members want to be connected.
Share Photos or Videos
Photos and videos get the best engagement on social media, so try to think in terms of both when sharing on your pages. Or, challenge yourself to always post with an accompanying image or video.
Since engagement is the key to using social media to build your community, do whatever it takes to get your members commenting on and sharing your content. Post group updates, congratulate your members on their successes and share pictures and videos from classes. Don’t become discouraged if progress is slow. It can take a while for your community to get engaged and active with your posts, but it will happen.
Promote Photo Tags
When your members tag your boot camp (and each other), your posts become visible to a wider audience. Since Facebook doesn’t allow business pages to tag followers, you need your members to help you with this. To rally them around the cause, ask for tags every time you post photos and videos. Then thank them before each class (when there’s a group of students there) for tagging (or engaging) with one of your posts.
Choose hashtags that are motivating, inspiring or represent your boot camp, and use them each time you post.
Bonus Facebook Tools
Posts in private groups are never filtered out with an algorithm, and members get a notification each time something is posted in the group. Plus, private groups feel safe, and that makes it far more likely your members will share in yours. Typically, private groups built around gyms and boot camps turn into thriving communities, with posts about everything from workouts to the best gyms shoes or fun community get-togethers. Because of all this, private groups are probably the single most effective tool for building community with social media.
Facebook events are also helpful because they give you a ton of features to promote your get-togethers. Once you create an event, you can invite your entire member roster with a single click. If you’ve got a private group, another click allows you to share the event with each group member. From there, you get a notification when someone RSVP’s or marks that they’re interested in attending your event.
Social media is one of the best tools for building a boot camp community. Stay tuned to our blog for our final article in this series, which will cover how you can plan great social events to help build a stronger community at your boot camp.
Social media is a critical piece of any successful boot camp marketing strategy. Looking for additional ways to better promote your boot camp? Get your copy of our free 10-Step Marketing Guide.
Zen Planner is a management and billing software for boutique fitness businesses.
We help gym, school, and studio owners streamline their day-to-day tasks so they can get back to doing what they love — helping their members. Enjoy all the features you need to manage your fitness business, including robust reporting dashboards, automated payment processing, skills and belt tracking, attendance history, and online retail.