Social media can be confusing. What do you post — and when? How do you know if your posts are making an impact?
Done poorly, social media can be a waste of time, but an authentic, engaging social media presence is an essential part of your gym’s marketing strategy.
The key word here is “strategy.”
You need a plan to effectively market your gym or you’ll waste your efforts and miss opportunities. If you’ve been struggling to figure out what or when to post, here are four tips for optimizing your social media to attract—and retain—gym members.
1. Create shareable content
The best social media posts inspire others to share your content, exposing your business to an audience beyond your followers.
How do you create shareable content? It’s not an exact science, but frequently shared posts usually have these things in common:
- They are positive or uplifting
- They are short and simple
- They include a link and images
- They are tailored to the platform (more text for Facebook, an emphasis on the image for Instagram)
Examples of shareable content for a gym might be a new study about the benefits of exercise, a transformation story or something practical like a recipe or meal prep tips. Use your own reactions to give you a sense of what might interest your followers. If you read something that makes you want to tell a friend, share it on social media!
When looking for shareable content, don’t overlook the knowledge you have within your gym. If you see a trainer give a member a cue that leads to a breakthrough on her pull-ups, capture it on video or post a quick tutorial and share away.
2. Encourage conversation and engagement
Think of your social media platforms like your house—followers need to be invited in before joining the party.
If you want to encourage conversation and interaction, ask a question. It can be a question about your gym’s programming like “what skill do you most want to work on at the gym?” or “what is your favorite workout?” or you can test your followers’ knowledge with a question about fitness or nutrition. Polls are another way to engage, but they are less personal than a dialogue. If you do run a poll, be sure to make a follow-up post with the results.
Contests are a natural fit for a gym. You could start a “push-ups at work” challenge and ask members to post videos of themselves doing push-ups at work on Instagram or Facebook. Each post has to tag the gym and include a customized hashtag, created by you for the contest. Run the contest for a week and give out prizes for categories like “most creative location” and “best conference room push-ups.”
A simple way to engage your members is to tag them in a post. Use these posts to highlight a member’s accomplishment or to celebrate a birthday or just show your appreciation for a loyal member.
3. Plan content in advance
Creating a vibrant social media presence takes time, but it doesn’t have to take over your life.
Rather than trying to come up with a new idea each day, set aside time each week or month to plan your content ideas in advance, then write some of your posts and schedule them for days you know you’ll be too busy for social media. This is more efficient and will help you stay on track, and it will also encourage you to follow an overall social media strategy rather than haphazard posts with no purpose or theme. Keep a running list of ideas, and add to it whenever you come across an interesting article or news item. Building a bank of ideas and content will mean you’re never scrambling for ideas when it comes time to post.
Don’t be afraid to multitask. You can record your workout or share your weekly meal prep. With a bit of advance planning you can turn your daily or weekly routine into informative and inspiring content.
4. Be authentic and consistent
The best social media marketing is honest and stays true to the core values of your business. Impersonal or manufactured content will ring false, so be sure to incorporate your personality while staying respectful and professional. It’s a similar tone to coaching a class at the gym: you should be entertaining and genuine but never inappropriate. Don’t be afraid to be funny or informal, as long as it’s consistent with your overall brand and message.
Once you get started, don’t give up, even if you don’t get results right away. Consistent, daily posts will build your audience, develop your voice, and help bring in new members.
Are you ready for the next step?
If you need a gym management system that will help you use social media to effectively increase your visibility and reach PLUS maximize your return on your investment by approaching social media smarter, not harder, register your free account here!
PushPress is a gym management software that is here to help you grow your fitness facility. With PushPress, you'll be able to manage classes and privates, take payments, track attendance, manage leads, and maintain member relationships all from the palm of your hand!