I have a firm belief the concept of community is the competitive advantage locally owned fitness businesses have over the corporate chains and big box gyms. There are plenty of tools at your disposal to create a strong community – but Instagram seems to have carved a path as a favorite for the fitness industry as a whole. But how do you build a community that is authentic and engaged? How do you attract real humans? How can you focus your efforts to target real prospects? I reached out to one of my favorite fitness personalities on Instagram to find out.
Tara LaFerrara has been undeniable in the steady, snowball growth of her following. I’ve followed her journey over the last 3 years as she’s climbed from a humble 3 thousand followers to over 117 thousand at the time of this blog. Relying on her chops as a trainer and as a former social media manager, she has built one of the most honest, engaged followings on Instagram through sheer grit and determination – spring boarding those efforts into a new online training program.
Here are 5 winning strategies from Tara.
1). Start with Why
Understand why you’re trying to build a following. Is that number strictly an ego driven metric or is there a business case for doing putting in the time and effort to attract followers. Having clear intentions behind why you are posting will also help shape the following point.
2). Create useful and relevant content
With a clear understanding of why you’re posting to Instagram, you can start creating content that is relevant and useful instead of aimless and random. Don’t just post to post. Be informative and become a reliable, pertinent source of information for your community.
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3). Focus Locally
If your core business is based on brick and mortar – keep your focus local. It’s much better to have 100 followers in your neighborhood than 30k spread over the country. Partner up with local businesses, create local events, use hyperlocal hashtags and create some chatter in your neighborhood.
4). Stay Up on the Latest and Greatest
The social media landscape is constantly evolving. What worked yesterday is no longer a viable tactic today and you should be prepared to adapt and adjust. Some of her favorite blogs to stay up on current trends include Latergram Blog and The Influencer Podcast.
5). Ask for Help
You don’t need to be an expert in every aspect of Instagram. Understand the fundamentals and delegate the grunt work to those who know your brand. There are plenty of people in your tribe that understand social media and may be willing to work for trade.
Do you use any of these strategies with your business? What strategies have you had success with?