In today's digital environment, social media is an essential marketing tool. If used successfully, you can enhance your gym’s brand recognition and attract new customers. Your strategy should include developing relationships, interacting consistently, providing value and telling your story.
The wide variety of platforms allows you to choose the best avenues for your messaging. From Facebook to TikTok and everything in between, you have options to get creative. There is no “best platform” for any one gym; it simply depends on your specific goals.
Let’s Get This Party Started.
It’s not complicated to launch an account on any social media platform but take the time to do it right. Remember, your gym’s online presence is a reflection of your physical business.
Create a clear, professional bio that adequately represents your brand. You have only a few moments to show people who you are. Use your gym’s logo and include a link to your website. Accounts with strong profiles and well-written bios have superior outcomes to those that lack professionalism.
Note that your gym account should not look like your personal social media account. The pumpkin patch is a fun adventure with your kids. It does not belong on your gym’s social media page.
Build Your Tribe.
It’s not really a party until the guests arrive, so it’s time to build your following. On certain platforms like Facebook, the first quick step is to invite friends to follow your account.
However, it’s not that simple on platforms like Instagram or TikTok. Here, relevant content is the name of the game. We’ll get into that shortly.
Most social media platforms follow an algorithm designed to connect you to content that’s relevant to you. “Explore” tabs allow you to discover other accounts, and hashtags can help you join relevant conversations across the platform. Follow potential followers, comment on their posts and hopefully they’ll reciprocate.
Some companies opt to buy followers as a way to grow their following initially, but be cautious. Depending on the reliability of the company, follower “bots” can be more detrimental than helpful.
Post Relevant Content.
One more time for the people in the back: Post relevant content.
To make the most of your social media presence, you need to be relevant to your followers. Everything you post should fall under one of these categories: Informing, engaging or entertaining. To do this, you need to know your audience and understand what they’re looking for.
Here are some fun ideas for creating relevant content:
- Share photos and videos of classes. This should be a simple one. Allow people to get a glimpse inside your gym before they enter your doors. Think about showing leads what your gym culture and classes are like through the eyes of your members.
- Post member testimonials. Ask your community for volunteers to share their story. Record short videos of members explaining their journey. They can talk about what brought them in, what keeps them there, what they love about your brand, etc.
- Create online contests. Challenge your followers to compete in an online contest! You can grow your following by having members like your post, and tag friends and family. Or challenge them to post a #FlexFriday or #SweatySelfie. Offer some fun prizes to sweeten the pot.
- Highlight a member of the month. Each month, feature a member that’s doing big things or that exemplifies your culture. Whether they’re spending extra time on accessory work or volunteering in the community, recognize them accordingly. Include a few photos and a bio that highlights why you’ve chosen to feature them.
- Share tips and tricks videos. Especially in the fitness world, people love learning things that will help them see progress. Record a series of videos offering valuable tips and tricks. Release them consistently as “episodes” to help your followers ramp up their training.
- Repurpose your content. Chances are, your members aren’t catching all of your content on every social media channel. If you have a series of YouTube videos, edit them into :30 clips to share on Instagram. Or use quotes from a blog to highlight on Twitter, linking back to the full piece on your website.
- Go behind the scenes. Give your members “exclusive” content, going behind the scenes at your gym. Instagram Stories and TikTok are great options for this, allowing sneak peeks into #ThatGymOwnerLife.
- Promote special offers. Whether you’re running a promo on memberships, energy drinks or merchandise, use social media to spread the word. Just be sure your promotions don’t overshadow your relevant content. Use the 80/20 rule for a valuable balance: 80% content and 20% offers.
Speak The “Native” Language Of Each Social Media Platform.
Each social media platform has its own unique language. For instance, Twitter was designed for short, text updates while Instagram is a visual platform where users share images and video. Facebook tends to be more casual while LinkedIn is a much more professional environment.
Learn to speak the language of the platforms you’re using so that content feels natural to your followers. And don’t neglect the value of your captions. Even on visual channels like Instagram, captions can provide an immense amount of value to your content.
One more thing: Include links from one account to another, for those who want even more of your content. If you’re speaking the native language of each platform, you’ll have different types of content for them to consume on each channel.
Be Consistent. B.E. CONSISTENT.
The best time to start posting consistently was yesterday. The next-best time is today. Posting consistently ensures better engagement from your followers. If you’re putting out valuable content, you’ll create raving fans. And your followers will be anxious for your next post.
Create a social media content calendar and mix in the ideas listed above. Aim for a minimum of one post per day but share more if you’re able. Think of it like any other type of marketing: The more you advertise, the more likely people are to see it.
More posts means more data. Over time, you’ll be able to see which days and times are yielding the best results. You can use that intel to further dial in your content calendar.
Forget Perfect. Just Post.
You can spend a ton of time and money trying to create the perfect social media content. But if, for example, it takes you one month to create your dream content, one month will go by with nothing shared. You’ll learn how to improve your content as you go. For now, just start. Your gym has a story to tell and your followers will probably appreciate you being real instead of perfect.
In Summary: Social Media Gets Results.
Social media marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. Choose the channels that work best for your goals, then build a following. Publish relevant content that provides value for your followers. Throw in some fun contests and promotions along the way. Prioritize consistency over perfection and track your data. You’ll learn and evolve along the way, dialing in your posts for a solid social media strategy.