Social media is a bit like cilantro: You either love it, or it literally tastes like soap to you.
But unlike cilantro, where you can generally avoid eating it, if you’re a gym owner you can’t really can’t choose the avoidance strategy toward social media. This is true, maybe even more true, if you’re in the planning stages of opening your gym.
To help you out, we spoke to more than a dozen experienced gym owners, who helped us create a social media checklist for the planning stage.
1. Hit it Hard and Hit it Early:
In the weeks, perhaps even couple months, before you open your doors, get all your social media channels up and running and start posting early. Post pictures, produce and publish informative and entertaining blog content, and introduce yourself and engage with your target market online. In other words, start generating awareness about your brand as soon as possible.
2. Do your Hashtag Research:
Spend some time researching which hashtags are relevant both locally and globally and start incorporating them into your posts in useful ways. Then start tracking which types of hashtags do well for your brand and which ones don’t.
3. Install Social Media Structure
Come up with a plan for each forum you intend to be on and create your own personal checklist to hold yourself accountable. The checklist can include tasks such as: one blog post per week, one IG post a day, reply to everyone who commented on my posts, check my mentions, monitor for keywords, connect with three new people a day, or whatever other aspects of social media you think are important for building your brand. Adding some structure and holding yourself accountable to your social media plan will help you stay on track. Otherwise, it’s easy for social media tasks and blogging to constantly be the thing you push back to the next day.
4. Install a Pixel:
Get them installed right away before you open your doors.
What’s a pixel? In short, a Facebook pixel, for example, is analytics tool that has a code you can put on your website to track visitors to your site. The data then allows you to re-target these people via Facebook ads in the future, and to monitor what they’re looking at on your website.
Have you ever seen an ad for the exact product you almost bought online but didn’t pull the trigger on yet and is still sitting on your amazon shopping cart? This was done through pixel tracking data.
Here’s some more useful information to sift through about the Facebook pixel: (https://blog.hootsuite.com/facebook-pixel/).
5. Be Assertive:
Start actively engaging with people in your local market. Devote even 30 minutes a day to seek out potential clients online and start engaging through commenting on their pictures and posts and telling them how you can help them.
It might feel awkward and forced at first, but just be as genuine and natural as possible. You don’t need to go for the hard sell and book them in for an introductory session, but planting the seed by introducing yourself genuinely goes a long way in starting to build a relationship and gather potential prospects.
Accept it: You’re in sales now. The sooner you realize this, the easier your job will be.
6. Dabble with Targeted Ads:
As you get closer to your grand opening, it might be worth it to put out a couple Facebook ads to help promote your grand opening, or encourage people to sign up for an introductory session or fundamentals at your gym. If you have been posting, engaging, building an audience and tracking your audience for a couple months, you’ll easily be able to target the right people to get them to bite the moment you open your doors.
7. Get your Google Analytics on:
Get a google analytics account and connect it to your website. Not only will it help you target prospects, it will also help you figure out which social media platforms are helping you out the most and which ones you need to focus on most.
Google analytics will also help you figure out, for example, which types of blog content are resonating with your audience and which ones don’t get read at all. In short, it will allow you to be more efficient with how you’re using social media to generate leads and retain clients etc.
On a similar note, make sure your e-commerce conversion tracking is on. Read more details about this here: (https://www.optimizesmart.com/e-commerce-tracking-works-google-analytics-ultimate-guide/).
8. Get ALL Platforms Up and Running:
Make sure you register your gym’s handle on all social media platforms even if you don’t plan to use them right away or ever, as this could change a year down the road.
9. Schedule to Save Time:
Sign up for a planner that auto posts. One example is later.com. When you’re super busy coaching 8 hours a day, it’ll be especially nice to organize and schedule posts well into the future, as opposed to arbitrarily posting each day without much forethought. Not only that, but setting up batch posts is like batch meal prepping: A huge time saver.
10. High Resolution Matters
It also might be worth hiring a photographer during your planning stage to help you build a library of high quality shots to pull from for your various social media platforms. Gone are the days where grainy, blurry pictures are going to get likes and comments. Quality matters, and it goes a long way in leaving an impression on people about the type of business you’re running.
Though social media might seem like a hassle at the moment, once it starts bringing you a return on your time investment in terms of actual human beings coming into your gym, gym owners say you’ll start to appreciate it. It’s not going away any time soon, so like the old saying goes, ‘If you can’t beat em, join em.’ The sooner you join the social conversation, the better your beloved business will do.
Are you ready for the next step?
If you need a gym management system that will help you understand how important setting up your entire digital presence is, 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!