When it comes to digital marketing, there’s one constant, and that’s change. Tactics that worked to bring in leads two years ago may not work today. But at the same time, new tools frequently pop-up, and we find different ways to connect with prospective customers.
Case in point is the improved business functionality on Instagram. Since Facebook owns Instagram, they’re adding new Facebook-like features that make Instagram a great place promote your gym. To help you take advantage of all Instagram has to offer, we created a short list of best practices for using it to attract leads.
Use Instagram’s Free Help Center
Use the Instagram for Business help center to make sure you get the most out of your gym’s profile. The help center is regularly updated and highlights all the tools you can use to connect with prospects in your area. You can even follow the Instagram business blog to stay current on updates and new features like their expanded business profiles with click-to-call buttons.
Share the Right Content at the Right Time
We don’t need to tell you, but it’s all about visuals on Instagram. Post images and videos that tell a story or elicit an emotion, and vary your content so it’s not the same every day. Add inspiring quotes or questions to your pictures, but avoid making the images cluttered and hard on the eyes. Showcase short videos of your best classes and daily workout tips. Share before and after photos, and event promotions.
Zen Planner customer, 181 Fitness, does a great posting pictures of their workouts and workout recovery sessions.
As for when to post, experts say the very best time to post on Instagram is on Wednesdays between 5:00 and 6:00 pm. Avoid posting later at night because the typical post only has a four hour life in your follower’s feeds.
Use Hashtags to Generate Engagement
Come up with fun hashtags and use them with each post. Try #FlexFriday, #MotivationMonday, #TransformationTuesday, #WhatWeEatWednesday and so on. Also, create and use unique hashtags that describe your brand and mission. For instance, one of our customers uses #BeLegendary to evoke a sense of their culture.
Host a Contest
Contests were one of the original ways to get exposure on Instagram, and they still work. Ask participants to post a photo on their profile and mention or tag you with it. Also ask them to use your contest specific hashtag to generate excitement and exposure.
Find Your Influencers
Influencer marketing is at its best on Instagram, and you can use it to connect with more prospects. Start by identifying influencers in your gym community, and then ask them to post about workouts and classes at your gym. Give your influencers free shirts and other logo gear to advertise your gym’s name, and make sure they use your gym’s specific hashtags too.
Project MOVE shares photos and events for influencers within the fitness community
Photo credit: Struck Down Entertainment
Do you ever pay to boost posts on Facebook? If you do, then you already know how to advertise on Instagram. Since users need Facebook’s Ad Manager to set up paid posts on Instagram, the process of paying for visibility is simple and familiar. Just like with your promoted posts on Facebook, you have extensive targeting options and the ability to set up a budget that works for you.
The crossover from Facebook also means you get the same reporting functionality with promoted Instagram posts, so there’s no need to waste your money on random guesses. You have the ability to be strategic by tracking things like engagement, impressions and reach.
Looking for other ways to connect with prospects in your community? Check out our free marketing guide created specifically for gym owners like you.