The Top 8 Social Media Platforms for Fitness & Coaching Professionals (and how to use them)
Simple, proven strategies to expand your social reach and online influence
Have you ever heard of the book Social Media is Bulls#@! by B.J. Mendelson?
If so, you might be familiar with the author’s argument that social media can never replace real world business connections, and that social media marketing isn’t nearly as powerful as some marketing experts would have you believe. B.J. makes a pretty good point. After all, what’s the point of having thousands of Facebook fans if you’re not able to convert those fans into dollars signs for your business? However, in considering the following statistics, Mr. Mendelson may just need a new title – and a new perspective – for his book.
- Dell Computers has increased its sales by $2 million thanks to its @DellOutlet Twitter handle, which offers exclusive deals to Twitter followers.
- A partnership between fashionista Diane von Furstenberg and HauteLook resulted in over $100,000 in sales in a single day thanks to a well-positioned Facebook ad campaign.
- PETCO has increased its new customer base by 40% by offering exclusive deals and engagement opportunities through its social channels.
Sorry, B.J. – big brands are making big bucks with social media, and individual fitness professionals are following in their footsteps.
Why Your Social Media Strategy Isn’t Working (and what to do about it)
It’s clear that social media is a powerful tool for growing a fitness business (or any business!) and getting more clients into the gym. But for most fitness pros, social media marketing is the first thing that ends up on the chopping block the second things start to get busy. With clients, classes, and the never-ending demands of running a fitness-based business, it can be hard to stay updated on the constantly changing world of social media, let alone stay consistent with your online efforts and monetize your social media marketing.
- Are a “fitness person,” NOT a “marketing person”
- Don’t have a dedicated social media expert on your team
- Know how to use social media for personal reasons but not necessarily to drive business
- Aren’t sure which platforms you should be using in the first place
- Aren’t clear on how to convert social leads into paying customers
- Have been trying to use social media for business but aren’t seeing the results you want
…then read on to discover exactly what you’re missing when it comes to social media, and exactly how to create a powerful strategy that will give you the results you’re looking for in just minutes per day.
But first, let’s make sure you’re not guilty of any of these 7 Deadly Social Media Sins:
- You Have No Strategy – A lot of fitness professionals know they should be using social media, but have no clue how to begin. So, they create a Facebook page and a Twitter feed and dive in head first, without any way to measure their results.
- You’re Tracking the Wrong Goals – Social media marketing, like other forms of content marketing, can be difficult to measure in terms of effectiveness. If you’re trying to track generated revenue based on non-revenue generating activities, you’re likely to crash and burn fast.
- You’re Not Flexible – While it’s important to have a strategy in place, it’s just as important to continually tweak that strategy based on the shifting tides of social media. Social marketing changes constantly, which means your strategy has to change with it.
- You’re Using the Wrong Platform(s) – If your social media strategy is dead in the water, it could be that you’re putting all of your energy and effort into the wrong platform. Just because Twitter is the second most popular social platform overall doesn’t mean it’s the second most popular with your clients.
- You’re Too Salesy – An important part of your strategy is engaging your audience without constantly selling to them. After all, do you go on Facebook to be sold to? I doubt it! People use social media to connect with friends, share funny and awe-inspiring content, get news updates, and be entertained. That means that your strategy has to find ways to connect, inspire, inform, and entertain your audience, first and foremost.
- You Don’t Post/Tweet/Share Enough – While each platform is different in terms of how often you should post, chances are you’re not posting enough.
- You’re Selfish – One of the biggest mistakes fitness professionals tend to make in their social media strategy is being selfish. They “post and run” in Facebook groups, never liking or commenting on other people’s content, they share content THEY like instead of content their CLIENTS might like, or they treat social media like a megaphone instead of a two-way conversation
Uh-oh…are you guilty of one or more of these social media sins?
Don’t worry. In this chapter, you’re going to learn exactly how to solve these social media problems and create an effective strategy that wins you more business, clients, and customers.
The Social Media Solution
How to Generate HUGE Social Media Results in Just Minutes Per Day
Social media is all about engagement. Each social platform gives you the opportunity to get to know your future clients, answer their fitness questions, help them achieve their goals, and provide them with as much value as you can. When you create a social media strategy with the client in mind, you’re much more likely to secure their training business. Social media allows you to connect with clients and prospective gym members on a personal, social level. The bond you create through fun platforms like Facebook and Twitter breeds loyalty in customers, who’ll be more likely to stick with your gym and better yet, bring along their friends. In this way, social media is a powerful lead generator that costs next to nothing!
In this chapter, you’ll discover….
- Which social platforms will appeal to your clients and customers
- How to get started on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Periscope, Pinterest, Google Plus, and YouTube
- Best practices for each platform, including do’s and don’ts
- Growth strategies for expanding your following and influence
- Advertising + monetization strategies for turning followers into paying customers
Social media isn’t an overnight revenue-booster, but it is part of a proven, long-term marketing strategy that expands your reach, endears you to prospective clients, and establishes your unique voice in a sea of competition.
Why you need it
There are lots of social media platforms that you DON’T need, especially if you’re targeting an older (think Baby Boomer) client base. Facebook is not one of them. That is to say, not having a Facebook presence is sort of like not having an online presence. It can even be argued that you can get away with not having a website, but you can’t get away with not having a Facebook page.
According to the company website, Facebook has…
- 968 million daily active users
- 844 million mobile daily active users
- 49 billion monthly active users
- 31 billion mobile monthly active users
If those numbers aren’t enough to convince you that your clients are hanging out on Facebook, the International Business Times recently published this statistic:
71% of online adult use Facebook.
Odds are good that your current and prospective clients fall into that 71%!
How to get started
The type of Facebook account you need to create will depend on your fitness business. If you are an entrepreneur and a personal trainer, you’ll use Facebook differently than if you’re a club employee in a locally based, single-location gym. Luckily, Facebook gives you easy-to-understand options when first setting up your account.
Step One: Create a Personal Facebook Account
I highly recommend you begin with a personal Facebook account if you don’t have one already. There are certain functions you can only access with a personal account, such as creating and participating in groups. While you won’t only want a personal account, you will want to have access to a personal account because of the flexibility and reach it will give you on Facebook.
Step Two: Create a Facebook Page
Once you have a personal account set up, you will want to create a Facebook page to represent your gym or your personal brand.
Here’s what you’ll need to create your page:
- 160×160 profile pic or logo
- 851×315 branded header image
- Long description of your gym/brand
- Mission statement for your gym/brand
Be sure to choose the right category for your page. For instance, if you are a personal trainer interested in becoming a motivational speaker and best-selling author, you might want to create a Public Figure Facebook page. If you represent a gym that has one location, or run the local branch of a franchise gym, you’ll want to create a Local Business Facebook page. There are lots of options, so choose the option that best represents your personal brand as a business owner or employee. Once you have your Facebook page setup, invite your personal friends to Like your page. These Likes will serve as the foundation from which you build your Facebook following.
Step Three: Create a Facebook Group
Facebook pages are going more and more in the direction of websites. It’s still important to have one, but chances are you’ll see far more engagement by participating in or starting your own Facebook group. A Facebook group is a more personalized experience for group members that share a common interest. There is a feeling of belonging to a particular club, and an exclusivity that comes from knowing posts are seen by group members only, not everyone on Facebook. People join groups because of a passion or a problem. Because of that, groups are a much better place to engage with prospective clients and show them what you have to offer.
Create a group and invite friends and clients to be members of your group. This group will set the stage for monetization at a later date. Even in a large Facebook group, you’ll instantly enjoy a closer bond with members who share the same interests, and be able to draw from this pool when searching for new clients.
- Add past and current clients to your Facebook group
- Add Facebook friends to your Facebook group
- Invite email subscribers to your Facebook group
- Reach out to the members of other relevant groups and invite them into your tribe
Facebook fans realize that posts to your newsfeed are public, and that they are targeted toward as many people as possible. They also realize that content posted in a group is much more targeted, more special, and more directly relevant to them.
Best practices (do’s and don’ts)
Post Content Daily
Facebook’s algorithm picks and chooses what it thinks are your most valuable posts. That means it’s likely less than 10% of your Facebook fans are seeing your posts at any given time. Posting content consistently is the best way to make sure you’re staying top-of-mind with fans and followers. A good rule of thumb is to post an engaging question, photo, link, or article at least once per day.
Strive for Engagement Above Numbers
Instead of striving for a bigger number of Facebook fans, strive for better quality connections. A Facebook group with 100 active, interested members will drive more business than a group with 1000 disengaged members.
- Focus on the quality – not the quantity – of your Facebook fans
- Don’t buy fan Likes on Fiverr – these are just low quality Likes of people not in your target market
- Use Facebook as a tool to strengthen connections with current clients and meet new prospective clients
Respond to all comments in a timely manner, and acknowledge fans when they Like or share your content. This will help you create an engaged community of fans from which you can draw new clients and valuable market research.
Include a Call to Action
Facebook uses Call to Action (CTA) buttons to help you achieve your business goals. Whether you want to increase email signups, boost fan page Likes, or get prospects to sign up for a free training session, Facebook can help you do it. Choose from 7 different Facebook CTAs, including “Sign Up” and “Book Now,” and link to any page inside or outside Facebook.
Go easy on the automation
Apps like Hootsuite and SocialOomph can save you hours each week by automatically posting your content while you sleep, and you can now autoschedule posts directly from Facebook itself. The problem with this is that the interaction that follows can’t be automated. It’s crucial that you or a member of your team are monitoring your Facebook account daily, responding to comments, and encouraging engagement.
- Respond to all questions, comments, and other forms of Facebook engagement as soon as possible
- Mix up automated posts with ‘live’ posts and activity
- Follow up with Facebook fans via phone or email and ask how you can help them with their lifestyle and fitness goals
Once you’ve set up a Facebook profile, page, and group, included a Call to Action, and found a way to balance automated posts with authentic interactions, it’s time to focus on growth. The #1 way to grow your Facebook community, and thus gain access to more and more prospective clients, is to increase fan engagement on your page.
8 Ways to Increase Engagement on your Facebook Page
- Post signs throughout the gym asking for Facebook likes and offering a specific incentive for liking your page. For example, you might offer a free kickboxing class to those who like your page, or give exclusive discounts/rewards to Facebook fans only.
- 2. Observe the 80/20 rule – A good rule of thumb is to share other people’s content 80% of the time, and your own content 20% of the time. This keeps fans interested and prevents them from feeling “sold to” every time you post.
- 3. Post at the right time – You’re likely to get the most interaction right when you post, so choosing the best time is crucial. Generally speaking, the most people will see a post on your Facebook page between 6-8am or 2-5pm between Monday and Friday – but always test what works best for your audience.
- Never buy Facebook likes – If a prospective client sees 5,000 likes on your Facebook page but hardly any shares or comments on your content, they’ll know you’re pulling a fast one! Instead, court real, authentic fans who are truly interested in you and your brand. When it comes to engagement, it’s far better to have 50 active, involved followers than 500 people who never respond.
- 5. Ask authentic questions – Ask questions of your fans when you truly want to know the answer. The authenticity will shine through and you’ll start a real conversation that could lead to real clients! For instance, if you’re having trouble choosing which movie to see, looking for a new hairdresser, or debating where to hold your next conference, ask your fans! People love to share their two cents, especially on social media.
- 6. Create timed offers, freebies, and discounts – Provide value in the form of a coupon, contest, discounted service or fun freebie. Teach your fans that your Facebook page is the only place to score these goods, and watch as engagement and likes soar.
- 7. Get personal – Great personal posts to your Facebook page might involve travel (share a few vacation photos!), checking in at a great restaurant (“Has anyone else been here?”), or doing a fun activity with your kids. Remember that these posts don’t necessarily have to be directly related to your business; their purpose is to connect with fans on a human level.
Advertising + Monetization
In addition to helping you build a platform of engaged fans and followers (all of whom will become your prospective clients), Facebook provides opportunities to monetize those relationships outside of the gym. These include selling products on Facebook, creating Facebook video campaigns, and creating Facebook advertising campaigns.
- Sell directly on Facebook
Did you know that Facebook is one of the fastest growing eCommerce sites in the world? There’s no reason to spend money driving traffic from Facebook to your website when you can simply sell directly from Facebook itself. After all, everyone is already on Facebook anyway! Thanks to storefront solutions like Payment and 8thBridge, more and more solopreneurs and microbusinesses are selling their wares via social. Throw in Facebook video advertising and you have a multitude of powerful ways to increase awareness, engagement, and revenue.
- Create a Facebook Video Campaign
A recent survey of over 100 industry leaders found that 87% percent of them have Facebook video marketing campaigns in the works (source: Global Newswire). There are two important lessons to take away from this: first, Facebook is a video marketing force to be reckoned with – consider using video for any Facebook ad campaigns you may be running in the future. Second, a huge majority (80%++!!) of thought leaders and successful businesses are using video marketing to increase brand awareness. These companies have millions to spend on marketing research each year, so why not follow in their footsteps and embrace their strategy for your own business and brand?
- Create a Facebook Ad Campaign
Facebook has made it easier than ever to connect with your ideal clients by creating a targeted Facebook ad campaign. Unlike more impersonal pay-per-click advertising, Facebook ads are designed to be intimate, engaging, and hyper-personal. Whether they appear as a post in someone’s newsfeed or as a graphic advertisement sandwiched between their page Likes and friend’s list, Facebook ads are presented in a seamless way that results in high conversions.
Set Specific Goals – You can create a Facebook ad campaign to increase page Likes, promote a specific post, send traffic to your website, or increase conversions on a particular website or landing page.
Choose Ad Images – Choose eye-catching, shareable images that don’t contain too much text, as Facebook bans any graphics more than 20% text-heavy. You also want to make sure each image is a minimum of 600px wide, however ideal image specs are 1200 wide by 627 pixels high.
Create Ad Copy – Your Facebook ad campaign has a lot of rules about the length of your ad copy, so be sure to follow them to a tee:
- Your headline cannot exceed 25 characters
- Your ad body text cannot exceed 90 characters
- Your link description cannot exceed 90 characters
Remember that Facebook is its own search engine, and including trending keywords will help your target market find you.
Choose Your Target Market – Choose the audience your ad will target based on age, interests, geographic location, and their connection to you on Facebook. For instance, if you’re creating an ad to get more Likes for your Facebook page, you don’t want to target people who already like your page. Facebook makes it easy to exclude your fans and target their friends instead.
Set Your Budget – If you’re running a campaign to promote a post, drive traffic to a website, or increase conversions, you’ll be charged on a pay-per-click basis: every time someone clicks your ad, you’ll be charged a pre-agreed upon fee. If you’re running a Facebook ad campaign to get more page Likes, you’ll be charged every time someone views your ad, regardless of whether or not they like your page.
During campaign set up, you’ll be asked if you’d like to “bid for clicks” or “bid for impressions.” The most effective way to ensure maximum engagement is to select “bid for clicks” and to set your budget higher than the amount Facebook recommends. Remember, you won’t necessarily spend your maximize bid every day. If you set a budget of $5/day, for example, you may only spend $2-$3 per day instead. But upping the maximum increases your chances of more clicks, and therefore more conversions.
Monitor Your Ad – Monitor your ad every day, or at least every few days, to see what’s working and what’s not. Export data from your campaign so you can get an accurate picture of how things are playing out, how many clicks/conversions you’re getting each day, and how much you’re spending each day.
Optimize Your Campaign – If a particular photo or headline is getting better results than others, you can ‘turn off’ all other options and only use the content that’s getting the best results. If you notice a particular demographic is responding to your campaign more than others, you may want to redo your targeting and only target people from that demographic.
While Facebook is growing and changing every single day, it’s clear that this social network is here to stay. By building an engaged tribe of Facebook fans, you’ll have a pool of prospective clients to target in order to grow your fitness business.
Why you need it
If you think only Millennials use Twitter, think again. With over 500 million tweets sent every day and 316+ million monthly users, Twitter is a force to be reckoned with. It’s also a completely different animal from Facebook, allowing you to target an entirely different audience of prospective clients and customers for your gym.
Twitter is a fast-paced, real time social network that lets users to connect through microblogging, or “tweeting” 140-characters at a time. Twitter is immensely powerful in that it lets you connect with thought leaders in the fitness industry by following them and mentioning them in your tweets. Unlike Facebook, it is relatively easy to grow a large following on Twitter simply by following others with similar interests to you. And since 80% of Twitter users engage with the platform via mobile devices, those who use Twitter most are active, on-the-go types who make ideal fitness clients.
How to get started
It’s easy to get started on Twitter in just a few minutes, but you’ll need to do some brand-related prep work before your account goes live.
- Choose your Twitter handle
Your Twitter “handle” is the username you’ll use on Twitter and how other users will connect with and follow you. Be sure to choose a name that represents your brand as a fitness trainer or fitness club. Fitness entrepreneurs should choose their full name if possible, while clubs can tweet under @NameOfClub.
- Upload your materials
For your Twitter profile, you will need:
400×400 profile pic
If you are a fitness entrepreneur or personal trainer, make sure your profile pic is a picture of you. If you own/run a gym, you may want to use the gym’s logo as your profile picture.
1500×500 branded header
The header is a great place to post an image of you during a training session or otherwise showing what you do. You can also create a custom Twitter background that uses the same colors and textures as your logo or marketing materials.
140-character profile description
Use the 140-character profile description like it’s SEO copy. Include keywords and hashtags people are likely to search for if they’re looking for a trainer or coach. Do hashtag research on RiteTag.com to find out what fitness searches are trending on Twitter, and don’t forget to include the URL to your website as well.
- Follow relevant people and brands
The third way to get started on Twitter is to follow fitness-related people and brands. This can include other fitness trainers, gyms, authors, and entrepreneurs in the health and wellness field. Just be sure to take it slow when first starting out. If you follow too many people at one time, Twitter will think you’re a spammer or a bot and lock your account. Just like on Facebook, choose quality over quantity and only follow those who you’re truly interested in connecting with.
Best practices (do’s and don’t)
- Tweet Early, Tweet Often
A single tweet is seen by less than 2% of your followers. That means sending 3 tweets per day is only enough to reach 6% of your audience! Marketing psychologists now say it takes 12 impressions for people to remember a brand. Tweet less than that each week and you’re sure to get lost in the shuffle! It’s not unreasonable to tweet every 10 minutes, as long as the content is valuable and interesting to your followers. Use automated services like Hootsuite to pre-schedule tweets throughout the day and make your presence known.
- Share Great Content (with pictures)
Just like on other social networks, it’s a great idea to share other people’s content on Twitter. This means frequently retweeting relevant content your followers will love. Use an app like Twibble to curate content from other fitness professionals. Each time they post something new, your Twitter account will automatically tweet a link to their content.Followers will keep following you because you’re a reliable source for fresh, interesting content and because you’re not constantly ‘selling’ them your own content.
It’s also a great idea to tweet content from popular sites (think HuffPo or The NY Times). Look for articles or blog posts that a) are relevant to your followers, and b) already have several thousand retweets and shares. Since the content has proven itself to be popular, you’re much more likely to get lots of retweets and interaction on Twitter.
- Automate Your Tweets (but not your interactions)
Live tweeting is fantastic when and if you have time, but it’s also crucial to be tweeting consistently throughout the day. In order to do that, make sure you’re using an app like Hootsuite or SocialOomph to automate your tweets. A good Twitter strategy is to create and schedule all of your content for the week on Sunday or Monday, then focus your Twitter time on engagement throughout the rest of the week.
- Use Social plugins to cross-promote on other platforms
Give your followers an opportunity to promote your content on Twitter no matter where they happen to be online. Include social sharing icons in your emails and on your blog posts, and be sure to link your Twitter account with your Facebook and other social accounts.
- Reward your followers
Do you thank each and every new follower you get? You should. Sending out a “thank you Tweet” to every new person who follows you makes Twitter a more personal place to interact online. It also drastically reduces the chances of your new follower unfollowing you in the near future. Feel free to batch your “new follower tweets” by using up to 5 Twitter handles at a time, and composing a tweet like this: “Awesome new followers: @soandso, @fitnessfreak, @coach2stars….” Etc.
By giving each of your new followers a “shout out,” you’re promoting them to the rest of your followers and giving them some exposure. Be sure to follow them back as well, especially if they are a potential client, competitor, or colleague.
- Be consistent
Your Twitter strategy will only work if you are consistent. That means consistently using Twitter in the following ways:
- Consistently posting fresh content using an automation app (Step 3) and content curation app (Step 2)
- Consistently engaging your followers with retweets, replies, favorites, and “shout-out’s” at least 15 minutes every day (ideally more!)
- Consistently tweeting to share your content, services, and brand
Remember that sending out one tweet is akin to connecting with 1% of your followers. Twitter moves quickly, and chances are that 99% of those who follow you will miss your tweet! Don’t be afraid to tweet multiple times per hour. Most Twitter feeds are so chockfull of tweets that users won’t even notice how often you’re tweeting.
Finally, remember that tweets aren’t precious – follow best practices by keeping it short and sweet, and using relevant hashtags whenever possible. But don’t labor for hours over a single tweet (unless, of course, you’re already a huge celebrity with followers hanging onto your every tweet. In that case, leave your Twitter strategy in the hands of an expensive PR team and go enjoy a massage or something!).
Keep It Clean (clean up your followers)
Are you following or being followed by a bunch of spammers? You know the type – the people constantly hitting you up with tweets like “Get 24k followers for $24!!!” Clean up your list and make sure those you follow, and those who follow you, are made up of (real) targeted tweeters. A targeted tweeter is someone who falls into your target market and could be a potential client or customer someday. That, or they have the potential to become a brand advocate or partner and refer friends and family to you and your brand.
When clients, prospects, event bookers and TV producers look at your Twitter account, they’re not simply looking at your number of followers. They’re looking for authentic engagement with real people who are passionate about what you do.
Give Frequent Shout-out’s
Acknowledge each and every new follower you receive with an individual, personalized tweet. Yes, this takes time, but it can easily be outsourced to a VA and the benefits are awesome – you’ll have hardly any unfollows which means your list is always growing, and your followers will return the ‘shout out’ favor by retweeting your content.
If someone takes the time to mention, favorite, or retweet something you’ve posted on Twitter, acknowledge it with a mention, favorite, or retweet. This is a fantastic Twitter hack because it’s so simple and not enough people do it. When you reward your followers for “good behavior,” they’re far more likely to continue engaging with you and sharing your content. This in turn leads to more followers, more engagement, and the creation of a loyal Twitter tribe.
TweetAdder keeps you tweeting day and night, even while you sleep. This app lets you pre-schedule tweets in bulk so your content is constantly being pumped out. This tool is particularly useful for increasing podcast downloads and getting found through hashtags. Remember that Twitter is its own search engine, so tag your tweets appropriately to increase their chances of being found!
Work Your Followers (Case study)
Twitter is not just about growing your following, but engaging the followers you already have. Fitness trainer Ben recently hit the 60,000 follower mark on Twitter, and he did it by working his followers. In addition to the “shout out’s” mentioned above, Ben chooses 5 followers per day to focus on. He mentions them in his tweets, retweets their content, and otherwise engages them. The next day, he moves onto the next 5 people on his list.
Yes, it takes time to get to everyone on his list, but the personalized attention makes people stick with him. And clearly this technique is working – 60,000 followers is nothing to sneeze at, especially for your average fitness coach!
The best Twitter hacks combine awesome apps and technology with a personalized touch. Remember that a lot of these Twitter to-do’s can be outsourced to an assistant or freelancer, but be sure to spend at least 15 minutes per day giving your followers the personal touch only you can give. Having a loyal, engaged following on Twitter is one of the fastest ways to grow your brand, build a tribe, and convert followers into paying clients!
Advertising + Monetization
Your long-term Twitter monetization strategy is the same as it is on Facebook: by expanding your reach and connecting with prospective clients, you will position yourself as an expert within the fitness industry and remain top-of-mind when clients are ready to hire a trainer or join a gym.You can enhance and speed that experience with paid advertising on Twitter, which allows you to promote your account, individual tweets, and specific trends.
Begin on the Twitter for Business website (Business.Twitter.com). Before you create an ad campaign, you’ll be asked to choose between three different campaign types:
Promoted Accounts – promote your Twitter handle under the “Who to follow” stream in order to increase targeted followers.
Promoted Tweets – promote a specific tweet that you want to make a big splash, such as info on an open house at your gym, or a link to your upcoming webinar.
Promoted Trends – promote topics and hashtags you want people to see. For instance, if you’re attending or hosting a fitness conference, you can promote a trend related to that conference, encouraging targeted followers to view all tweets and updates related to that conference.
From there, you can create a pay-per-click advertising campaign that targets users based on location. Twitter’s targeting is not as specific as Facebook’s, but that may change soon. After the campaign runs, use Twitter’s Analytics tool to view the number of impressions your campaign generated, as well as the traffic it drove to your website.
Twitter is a powerful tool for fitness professionals because it allows you to connect with followers in real time and build a substantial following quickly. Remember to tweet frequently and consistently, share valuable content with links and images, and consider investing in paid advertising to boost your reach even further.
Why you need it
Okay, let’s admit it – LinkedIn just isn’t as sexy as Facebook, Twitter, and all the other “fun” social media platforms that are used for both work and play. But forget about LinkedIn’s clean-cut, professional exterior. The fact is that your LinkedIn profile may be able to do more to grow your business this year than all other social platforms combined.
That’s because there are over 100 million active LinkedIn users in the United States, and nearly 380 million users worldwide. 40% of LinkedIn users use the application every day, and in 2014 alone LinkedIn user profiles were viewed 28 billion (with a b!) times. (source: Digital Marketing Stats).
When it first started, LinkedIn served as a sort of online resume posting site for job seekers and recruiters. Today, it’s an important way for all business professionals to assert their expertise and status within their chosen industry. Whether you’re a personal trainer or a club employee, having both a personal and business profile on LinkedIn is essential for:
- Increasing reach
- Growing sales
- Attracting new clients
- Generating leads
- Creating a tribe
- Staying top of mind
How to get started
Just like Facebook and Twitter, you will need some basic marketing materials to get started on LinkedIn. If you are a personal trainer or independent fitness entrepreneur, you’ll be creating a profile page. If you own or work at a gym or fitness company, you will want to create a profile page and a company page.
Create Your Profile
On LinkedIn, it’s important to differentiate between personal and business profiles. Don’t write your company LinkedIn profile as if you’re a single person (even if you are), and don’t write your personal LinkedIn profile as if you are a company (even if you are!). A personal LinkedIn profile should talk about you, your background, and what you do to help your clients succeed. Let’s say you’re the CEO of a company called Fearless Fitness. Your personal profile should talk about your role within the company, how you’ve helped it to grow, your personal history with the company, and how you work to help your customers and clients. The company page can then give a broader overview of your business and the services it provides.
Keep in mind that both your personal and company profiles should be focused on the end user and how you can help solve their most pressing problems.
- Your profile picture appears as 200×200 pixels. There is no maximum file size so the bigger, the better! If you choose to get a premium (paid) LinkedIn account, a profile picture that is 240×240 is recommended.
- Choose a background image that is 1400×425 pixels.
- Consider using the same profile picture and background image you are using on Facebook and Twitter so it’s easy to recognize you across multiple platforms.
- Include a standard logo that is 100×60 pixels. This is what users will see when they land on your company page.
- Include a square 50×50 logo. This smaller version of your logo will be used throughout other areas of LinkedIn and will be visible in your newsfeed, so make sure it’s the right size.
- Upload a banner image that is 646×220 pixels for a standard company page, and 947x330pixels for a company showcase (paid) page.
Once you have your images uploaded, it’s time to write your LinkedIn profile. Both personal and company profiles will benefit from the inclusion of keyword-rich SEO copy. Make it easy for others to find you by including terms such as “personal trainer,” “[Your City] fitness center,” etc. Be sure to include these keywords in the title and subheading of your profile or company page.
In your personal profile, you’ll be asked to list and describe jobs you’ve held in the past. Feel free to eliminate jobs that are not relevant to your current fitness business. Focus on the Skills section of LinkedIn and incorporate all of your fitness-related skills into your profile. When crafting your summary, which is a short bio that introduces you to the LinkedIn community, consider writing in the first person to make it more personal (“I’ve been a personal trainer for the past 13 years and I’m passionate about my job!”).
In your company profile, it’s time to create a page that represents your business as an entity that reaches beyond you as an individual. Here, use third person when writing your profile (“XYZ Fitness was established in 2009 and has become the most popular fitness center in Atlanta”). Includes specialties (personal training, yoga, aerobics, etc), details on products and services you provide, your number of employees, and the year your company was founded.
Keep in mind that LinkedIn hides most of your profile to make room for your most recent status updates, so viewers can only see the first few sentences when they land on your page. For this reason, make sure those first few sentences are enticing and induce curiosity to make the reader click “read more.”
Be sure to include a specific Call To Action in your profile on both your personal and company pages. Invite viewers to visit your website, opt in to your email list, schedule a free consultation, or connect with you on Facebook.
LinkedIn will help you make connections by showing you who you already know on the platform. This is done by giving the application access to your email address book. You can also reach out to personal connections from Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms and ask to connect with them on LinkedIn as well. The more connections you have on LinkedIn, the larger your network will be and the easier it will be to find qualified leads, promote your fitness business, and establish a professional reputation online.
Start sharing updates
Just like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn allows you to share status updates with your network. Choose relevant content, include an eye-catching image, and post consistently. Consider the professional nature of LinkedIn before selecting what you want to share – this is not necessarily the platform for sharing personal pictures. Keep it focused on career and business updates and content your audience will love.
Best practices (do’s and don’ts)
Further optimize your use of keywords
Your LinkedIn profile provides lots of different opportunities to insert relevant keywords, making it easier for prospective clients and customers to find you. But having keywords in your headline and summary alone just doesn’t cut it. Make sure to do your keyword research within LinkedIn itself (as opposed to on Google or by using another SEO tool). Use LinkedIn’s search bar and see what pops up, or go to the profiles of colleagues and competitors to get keyword ideas.
From there, make sure to use keywords in all of the following areas of your profile:
- Job description
Remember that when it comes to keyword optimization, your goal is to make it easy for others to find you. Be willing to sacrifice a bit of eloquence and creative copywriting in favor of the perfect keywords.
- Highlight the right parts of your profile
Did you know that you can change the order of the different sections that appear on your LinkedIn profile? If you’re an employee seeking a full-time job, you’ll want to highlight different sections than you would as an entrepreneur, author, or coach. For example, if you’re a personal trainer who’s also an author or speaker, you’ll want to highlight the Publications section so your published works and articles are among the first things potential clients see when they view your profile.
Here is how to change the order of your profile:
- In the top nav bar within your LinkedIn profile, select Profile à Edit Profile
- Mouse over the section you’d like to move
- Drag the section to its new position.
Consider what your ideal customer is looking for when they view your profile. Highlight the areas you’d want them to see first, leaving the least important sections at the bottom of your profile.
- Separate your Summary from your Skills/Specialties
If possible, keep your Summary section separate from your Specialties section. Keeping these two areas separate gives you more space in the Summary section to pitch yourself and incorporate relevant keywords. If you combine the two, you’ll have far less space to work with and won’t be able to accurately represent yourself in either area.
If you have already combined Summary with Specialties, don’t worry! You can create a “mock” Specialties section in your Summary by first typing in “Specialties,” and then choosing from a drop down list of relevant keywords.
- Endorse others
LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to endorse your connections for certain skillsets and areas of expertise. The more people you endorse, the more people are likely to endorse you in return. Be selective, however – when you recommend a colleague to another colleague, it’s your reputation on the line!
Get others to share your content – The best way to get your social content shared is to first get to know your LinkedIn connections as intimately as possible.
- Research their LinkedIn accounts and see what kind of content they share the most
- Stay clean, positive, and “office cooler-friendly” with your content
- Experiment with different content lengths, images, and descriptions
- Create helpful content that is user-focused and that makes their lives better in some way
Post Once per Day – consistently sharing high quality content is the fastest way to build a fitness-based following on LinkedIn.
Engage, Engage, Engage – if you want others to share and comment on your updates, be sure to share and comment on theirs. On LinkedIn, you get what you give, so spend at least a few minutes every day acknowledging other people’s status updates and news.
Ask for connections – LinkedIn suggests connections for you from right within your profile. If you’d like to connect with someone in the fitness industry, or someone who could be a potential client, simply click “connect.” With a paid account, you can send connection requests to people you don’t yet know but would like to.
Join groups – Just like on Facebook, participating in groups on LinkedIn amplifies your ability to make connections. There is a group search function on LinkedIn where you can search specifically by group topic, select relevant fitness-related groups, and ask to join.
Use a Call to Action (CTA) – As a fitness professional, your LinkedIn profile is going to be slightly different than that of a typical employee. Because you’re not necessarily looking for a new job (at least not in the traditional sense), it’s important to include a strong Call to Action (CTA) in your LinkedIn profile. In the summary section, give the viewer specific instructions for how to get in touch with you or what to do next.
- Invite them to connect with you on LinkedIn
- Reveal how they can get a free gift on your website
- Ask to connect on other social networks (y’know, the sexy ones)
Whatever you do, don’t leave your prospect hanging! By telling them what to do next with a strong CTA, you’ll greatly improve the chances of them contacting you in the future.
Promote outside LinkedIn – Include a link to your LinkedIn profile in your personal email as well as any email campaigns you send to your list. Ask Facebook fans to connect with you on LinkedIn and tweet your LinkedIn profile to Twitter followers. Include a link to your LinkedIn profile on your website. Consider using sharing plugins to make it easy for your audience to share your content to LinkedIn, as well as follow you on LinkedIn.
Advertising + Monetization
Monetizing your LinkedIn profile is easy with LinkedIn’s built-in ad campaigns. The way you advertise on LinkedIn is similar to Facebook in terms of targeting power, but lacks the flexibility to promote your LinkedIn profile. Instead, the pay-per-click setup only allows you to promote a third party link, like a link to your website or landing page.
Let’s say you’re launching a new Pilates class at your gym. LinkedIn advertising will allow you to create a targeted ad campaign by gender, age, and industry, but also by hyper-specific qualities like job title, city, company size, or LinkedIn group membership. Choose exactly who you want to sign up for your new class, then create a campaign with a set pay-per-click daily budget.
For each ad, LinkedIn requires
- 25-character text headline
- 75-character description
- Your name or company name
- A 50×50 image
- The URL you want people to visit
While there is not yet an option to promote your LinkedIn profile like there is on Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn’s targeting options make advertising a great way to monetize your account and attract targeted traffic likely to purchase your fitness-related services.
Don’t underestimate the power of LinkedIn to attract new clients and customers. It’s also perhaps the best social network out there for networking with industry colleagues and securing career-boosting opportunities like speaking engagements and joint ventures.
Why you need it
If a picture speaks a thousand words, then Instagram just can’t shut up! This youthful social media platform is fiercely popular with Millennials and younger audiences, with 90% of users under the age of 35. It’s also being used by more and more brands, companies, and celebrities to build big followings and make connections using exciting images.
- 75 million daily active users
- 300 million monthly active users
- A reach that includes 34% of the entire U.S. population
Instagram lets you post pictures and videos instantly, allowing you to share the most exciting moments of your day with your followers. With cool filtering options, your photos can look artsy and interesting even if you have no experience as a photographer. This platform is 100% mobile based and works with Android and iOS.
Unlike Facebook, whose algorithm decides what you do and don’t see in your newsfeed, Instagram shows you every image of those you follow. This means that your followers are seeing your images too, and that you can have a much bigger, more consistent impact each time you post. Videos posted to Instagram automatically play in the feed, making it easy to share exercise videos, fitness tips, and training sessions with your followers. The totally mobile nature of Instagram makes it a great platform for fitness professionals who are always in the gym and can’t always access a laptop or desktop computer.
How to get started
Download the Instagram app for your smartphone or tablet from within the app store or by visiting Instagram.com.
You will need:
- A 161×161 profile picture – use the same profile pic you’re using on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- A username that represents you or your company
- A 150-word bio that is SEO-friendly and includes keywords and hashtags
- Your website URL included in your bio
Images are meant to be uploaded to your Instagram account from your mobile device in real time and will be displayed in your feed at 510×510 pixels. Your most recent uploads will also be displayed on your profile.
Best practices (do’s and don’ts)
Instagram is not Facebook! – Instagram is NOT the place to share photos of you going out to dinner with your favorite aunt. Instagram is artsy, and at its core is about great photography and exciting, inspiring snapshots. When you post an image, you’re competing with other pictures of exotic destinations and awe-inspiring happenings. A simple snapshot of you lounging around the gym just isn’t going to cut it, so be selective with what you choose to share with your followers. Is your photo beautiful, interesting, or helpful in some way? If not, don’t post it and wait til you have one that is.
Don’t blast your followers – “Blasting” is a big faux pas on Instagram, so make sure you’re not guilty of this common sin! While it’s kosher to post Instagram pics throughout the day, your followers do not want to see 10 similar pictures posted within a few seconds of each other. Why? Because Instagram is all about what’s fresh, interesting, and different. Sharing a pic of the same plank hold from 16 different angles is sure to make your followers yawn.
Encourage Client Sharing – Instagram is a great social tool for gym owners and personal trainers because it’s so easy to get your clients involved. Encourage members to post pictures of their accomplishments or favorite workouts using a hashtag specific to your gym. Whenever they share a photo on Instagram, all of their Instagram followers will see that photo and be exposed to your brand, which in turn will drive more traffic to your website.
Maintain your brand identity – Getting more training clients is easy when you have a strong understanding of who your clients are: what makes them tick, what they’re afraid of, and what they value most. If your Instagram photos don’t resonate with that identity, your content won’t get shared. Make sure you have a deep understanding of your clients and other social connections. If in doubt, look at what they tend to post and share on Facebook and Twitter. What values can you assume from analyzing their content? If most of your fans are sharing inspirational quotes with each other, rest assured that inspirational photos on Instagram will be a shoe-in for sharing.
Use hashtags – Hashtags are not only a great way to help potential clients find you on Instagram; they can also be strategically used to increase your number of followers. In addition to hashtags like #fitnessaddict and #fitnessmotivation, use hashtags like #l4l (like for like), #tagforlikes and #instafollow to attract new followers and build your network.
Hold a contest – Post a photo announcing your fitness-related contest on Instagram. Ask people to follow you and/or like the photo in order to enter the contest. Be sure to offer a fitness-themed prize to the contest winner and include related Calls to Action, such as subscribing to your email list to find out who won the contest.
Like other pictures – Engage with others on Instagram by liking their photos and following them. Search fitness-related hashtags to find users who are interested in fitness and likely to be members of your target market. Then engage with them by following their Instagram feed and liking their pictures. You’re sure to get a fair amount of people liking and following you back!
Promote your account – Sync your Instagram account with Facebook, include an Instagram icon on your website, and ask for Instagram follows on Twitter and other social networks. Cross promotion is the best way to bring the followers you already have over to Instagram.
Share helpful images – Travel bloggers can get away with sharing beautiful locales on Instagram all day long. You, on the other hand, are most likely working from the same location and can’t rely on beauty alone to grow your Instagram following. If you can’t be awe-inspiring, be helpful, engaging, and beneficial. Share photos and videos that show your followers how to make a tangible change in their lives through fitness. Doing so will not only build brand trust between you and prospective clients; it will dramatically increase the shareability of your Instagram photos and grow your following.
Stay focused on the client – Feel free to share photos you’re passionate about, but remember that the content isn’t for you – it’s for your clients and prospective clients, and should therefore be presented with their needs, wants, and problems in mind.
Stay focused on goals – People share content when it’s in alignment with their life’s goals. Because of this, it’s crucial to know what kinds of goals your clients have and help them reach those goals through the photos you share on Instagram. Identify specific goals that many of your clients have. If weight loss is a common goal, for instance, your photos should not only reflect that goal, but show people exactly how to reach that goal through targeted action steps.
Use the “Get Followers” app – Designed for iPhone and iPad, this app helps you find Instagrammers in your target market and promote your profile to them. While you’re still responsible for posting interesting images, the app does work to help you connect with people interested in fitness and health.
Advertising + Monetization
Since Facebook owns Instagram, the way to advertise on Instagram is through Facebook. Specifically, you need to use the Facebook Power Editor or the Facebook Ads API in order to create an ad campaign for Instagram. At the time of writing, Facebook promises to have Instagram functionality from within its more user-friendly “ad creation” application by late 2015.
If you have already created an ad campaign on Facebook, you can use that same advertising account to create ads on Instagram. Since Instagram users are shown all posts from every account they follow, the likelihood of them seeing your Instagram ad is much higher than if you were to use Facebook’s algorithm alone.
Your Instagram ad will appear exactly as a normal post would appear – as a square or landscape image with a text description underneath. The only difference is that users will see a blue “Sponsored” icon in the upper right hand corner of your image. Be sure to include relevant keywords, hashtags, and a strong Call to Action.
This year Instagram has begun allowing advertisers to use clickable URLs within their ads. This is done with a “learn more” button placed within a carousel ad (several photos that are viewed in sequence by swiping within the application). On the last photo in the series, users can click to learn more and be sent to your website. Note that they will view the site from within Instagram, so it’s crucial to have a compelling reason for them to stay on your site and complete an action instead of continuing to scroll their Instagram feed.
Instagram is fresh and edgier than many of the other social networks out there. Its visual nature makes it perfect for providing exercise instruction, sharing healthy recipes, and demonstrating proper form.
Why you need it
As a coach, personal trainer, or solopreneur, video lets you engage your audience on a whole new level. By connecting with your face and voice, clients and prospective customers can get a sense of what it’d be like to work with you while vetting your expertise. Now take all of those benefits and amplify them tenfold with the growing popularity of live video streaming, and you’ve got a recipe for marketing success.
Real-time video applications like Periscope are giving social users and brands the ability to connect in real-time.
- Personal trainers and fitness experts can live-stream their training sessions with current clients
- Coaches can livestream talks, podcast recordings, and interviews
- Wellness experts can livestream Q&A sessions with clients and give new customers a no-risk way to ‘try on’ their brand for free (and in real time)
Are people really looking for live-streamed videos? Wouldn’t it be better to spend time and money creating a more polished, pre-recorded video for your brand?
The data says no.
Since its Twitter launch in late March 2015, Periscope has seen some 50,000 tweets per day that include live video streams. (source: Marketing Land). If video marketing is powerful, then live video marketing is positively almighty. Periscope already has 10 million users, 2 million daily active users, and streams over 40 years (not hours, not days, but years) of video every single day.
Periscope allows users to see the world through other people’s eyes by watching video through their smartphone, sort of like FaceTiming with strangers. The live, real-time nature of Periscope encourages its users to “pop in” and view video feeds from all over the world. Users can comment on the stream in real time, and the person filming can respond in real time. When users find a stream that’s interesting to them, they will follow the person or company that created that stream and “tune in” the next time they stream on Periscope.
Businesses and entrepreneurs are using Periscope to do all sorts of exciting things. Using the app, you can live stream product launches, exercise classes, or simply let people join you on your commute to work. The implications for fitness trainers are particularly exciting because with Periscope, you can invite prospective clients to experience your training sessions, classes, and workshops with you as a way of building your brand and reputation. People get a chance to “try before they buy” and get to trust you, which will make closing a sale and winning a new client that much easier.
Periscope also records each live stream and stores it for viewing for up to 24 hours. With the right storage apps, you can download and store each Periscope you create. This means that every time you stream, you are creating content that can then be repurposed and used on your website or other marketing channels.
How to get started
To get started using Periscope, you need an iPhone or Android mobile device and a Twitter account. Download the Periscope app and follow the instructions for logging in to Twitter. Your Periscope account will automatically be connected to your Twitter account, and you’ll see a list of people you follow on Twitter who have recently streamed on Periscope.
Watch a few videos to get a sense of what Periscope is all about. You can either watch streams of those you’re following, or select the “View Global List” option and watch livestreams from users you’re not connected with yet. You can also view recent broadcasts that are no longer live but recently finished streaming.
Create a live broadcast. Don’t worry about the content right now, simply dive in and see what happens. Periscope is all about spontaneity, and scripted videos perform poorly compared to spontaneous ones. Let users join you for part of your day, whether you’re headed to the gym, working on your blog, or getting ready to speak at a conference.
Make sure you…
- Turn on location sharing so your audience can see where your broadcast is taking place. Many Periscopers may tune in to your feed because they are curious about where you are in the world.
- Create a compelling title that accurately reflects what viewers are going to see/experience with you.
- Select Twitter Post On so a link to your stream will be shared with your Twitter followers.
- Create a Private Broadcast if you only want to share your stream with a few select followers (like your training clients, for instance).
Add new followers. Periscope will show you two lists from which you can build a bigger audience. The first list shows you people who use Periscope that you are already following on Twitter. Follow whoever you like and get notified any time they begin a broadcast. The second list is Periscope’s “Most Loved” list that reveals the most popular broadcasters from around the world. Follow your fellow fitness colleagues to announce your presence on Periscope and get the ball rolling.
Best practices (do’s and don’ts)
Get the right equipment – besides your iPhone or tablet, you may want to invest in a tripod to avoid shaky handheld streaming during your broadcast. (Try a tripod with a smartphone mount for an inexpensive way to look uber-professional). This will also let you talk to the camera hands-free, and frees you up to demonstrate exercises or work with a training client. Make sure your mobile device is fully charged and you have a strong WiFi or data-based connection.
Get strategic with your title – it’s important to create a streaming title that is compelling, but also one that’s accurate. Include a specific Call to Action in the title so your viewers know what to expect and can prepare comments or questions for you, i.e. “Your weight loss questions answered” or “Ask me anything about cross training”.
Brand your broadcast so followers know what to expect from your livestream. Include fitness-related hashtags and titles each time you stream, even if you’re streaming from Starbucks. This will help your followers get to know you as a fitness professional first and foremost.
Choose vertical or horizontal filming – Periscope has recently added landscape filming capabilities to its app, allowing you to stream video vertically or horizontally. As viewers leave comments, those comments will appear in the lower half of the video screen, so make sure the most important elements in your video can be viewed towards the top of the screen.
Engage your audience – Periscope is meant to be a conversation between the streamer and the viewers. Be sure to acknowledge all comments, respond to questions, and show your appreciation for any hearts (likes) you receive.
Answer questions in real time. When you respond to comments and questions as they are asked, viewers get the thrill of knowing your feed is, in fact, live.
Share your broadcast across your other social networks. Always make sure the “Twitter post” option is selected before you start broadcasting, which allows the application to tweet a link to your broadcast. After Periscope tweets the link to your broadcast on Twitter, copy and paste that link and share it on Facebook and other social networks. You can also include it in an email blast or include it with a screenshot on Instagram.
Share broadcast replays. As you can imagine, a lot of your followers won’t be able to view your feed in real time because they’re busy working or doing other things. Periscope automatically saves each broadcast you create, making it available to your followers. You can also share recorded broadcasts on Facebook and other social networks to further increase your reach and followers. On iOS, go to Settings, then log in to Facebook from within the Settings app. Next, open Periscope and select the “Share to Facebook” option. Copy and paste the link and share it on LinkedIn, Instagram, or the social platform of your choice.
Boost positive feedback by asking viewers to tap the heart icon to answer yes/no questions. If they tap once for yes and twice for no, you’re increasing the number of hearts your feed receives, and in turn your overall visibility.
Follow other people in the same way you would on Twitter or any other social network, making sure they fall somewhere within your target market. You want to build a substantial following, sure, but you also want to target users who could become clients or customers someday. The more targeted people you follow, the more people likely to follow you back.
Go private with an exclusive broadcast that can only be seen by invited guests. This is a great way to build exclusivity and buzz around your brand.
Analyze your results by looking at how many people watched your livestream, how long they watched, when they stopped watching, and how many hearts you received. Feel free to survey your Twitter and Periscope audiences to ask them what they most want to see from you in a livestream video, then give the people what they want!
Advertising + Monetization
Periscope’s advertising and monetization options are as innovative as the application itself. Instead of traditional ad campaigns or promoted Periscope videos, the creators of Periscope are taking a more organic approach, working with big brands and social media stars to promote products via video.
So if you can’t (yet) buy advertising on Periscope, how can you monetize the app? By using it as a lead magnet for your fitness business. Use Periscope as your “free initial consultation” with prospective fitness clients. Commit to streaming live once per day and offering viewers valuable training tips, weight loss secrets, or strength-building insights. At the end of each broadcast, be sure to invite your viewers to complete a Call to Action that will help you build your business and turn a profit fast: sign up for an in-person training session in your gym, download a coupon for a free aerobics class, subscribe to your email list, or join your Facebook community.
Periscope video only remains on the platform for 24 hours, so it’s crucial to move quickly to make the most of your broadcast. Consider using a video storage app like Gbox to store your Periscope videos for long-term use in your marketing.
Why you need it
If you’re not using Pinterest marketing, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful social media tools for coaches and trainers – especially those who work in the health and wellness industry. Health, fitness, exercise, and personal growth pins are consistently rated among the most popular on Pinterest. That means they’re shared the most among Pinterest users and result in the most click-through’s to the pinner’s website. Pinterest is also unique because it lets you reach a wider audience than just your followers. When you pin an interesting image, graphic, photo, or meme, your followers can see it in their feed, by everyone else on Pinterest can see it too by searching for your topic.
Pinterest at a glance
- 100 million users
- 42% of U.S. women use Pinterest
- 500,000+ business accounts
- 93% of Pinterest users regularly shop online
- 67% of all pinned content comes from a business’s website
- 33% of new Pinterest signups are from men
Pinterest users love connecting with and sharing the businesses, brands, and companies they love. With only 5% of small businesses taking advantage of this growing platform, why not strike while the iron is hot?
How to get started
Just as you differentiated between personal and business pages on Facebook and LinkedIn, you’ll have to choose if you want to create a personal or business Pinterest account. The same rules apply: if you are branding yourself as a personal trainer or independent fitness professional, your name and face are what your clients want to connect with. If you represent a gym or other fitness business, a Pinterest business account will be more your speed. However, keep in mind that only Pinterest business accounts have access to Promoted Pins, Pinterest’s advertising platform. Also, it is possible to create a business account and brand it with your personal profile picture instead of a business logo.
Create your profile
To create your profile, you will need:
- Your business or personal name
- A profile picture or logo (upload a square image at least 600×600 – Pinterest will resize this to be 165×165)
- A branded username that will be your Pinterest URL (pinterest.com/yourname)
- An “About you” bio statement shorter than 160 characters
- Your location
- Your website URL
Follow other pinners
Pinterest is filled with pins, which are organized into themed “boards.” These boards are created by users who are known as “pinners.”
To get started, search for and follow some fitness-related boards. If you find a board you really like, you can also follow the pinner who created that board. As always, following others is a great way to get more followers for yourself. Remember that you are likely to find and connect with potential clients not only by discovering pinners, but by tapping into the audience of those pinners. In this way, each pinner you follow has the potential to bring an entirely new audience to you.
Create some boards
You can like pins and follow pinners without creating your own boards, but in order to gain a following on Twitter you need to create your own boards as well. Boards will allow you to collect the pins you like best and organize them in an appealing way. When people view one of your boards and like what they see, they’re more likely to check out your other boards and follow you.
Best practices (do’s and don’ts)
In order to engage an audience on Pinterest and convert pinners into paying customers, it’s important to abide by the rules of the road: Pinterest is not Facebook (or Twitter, or Google+), and has its own set of criteria to follow in order to achieve success.
Be specific with board content and board names so pinners know what to expect. A board titled “Fitness” won’t make as big an impact as a board titled “Lower Body Workouts to Do at Home.”
Pin actionable images. Here is where health and fitness entrepreneurs have an edge over everyone else on Pinterest: the industry is, by nature, action-oriented. Because of this, savvy pinners are sharing how-to content that gives step-by-step, graphic instructions for everything from sit-up series to preparing healthy meals. Pins that show the user how to complete specific exercises are extremely popular, as are before-and-after pins and pins that inspire the user to take action. If you give the pinner something to do, not just something to see, you’re sure to gain new followers (and new clients!).
Choose Visually Appealing Content. Pinterest is a highly visual medium, which means that 99% of a given pins’ shareability is based on how it looks. When pinning exercise series, recipes, or quotes, take care to share the most visually stunning material possible. For instance, exercise pins that feature good-looking models that have been photographed professionally tend to do much better than quick snapshots of amateur exercisers taken with a smartphone. Again, Pinterest is not Facebook. Users don’t want to look at a regular Joe or Jane; they want to pin that which is extraordinary, special, rare, and inspiring.
Optimize pin descriptions with hashtags and keywords. Since Pinterest is so visual in nature, the most important part of your pin is always the image, photo, or infographic. However, the description area of each pin is powerful because it helps people find your pins in the first place. In addition to describing what your pin is all about, you want to include a relevant link to your website, keywords, and/or hashtags that will help pinners find your content. Including the full URL to your website or blog post is crucial. When you do, pinners will be able to click on your pin and view your link without leaving the Pinterest application. This creates a seamless user experience while allowing users to engage with your brand beyond the pin.
Pin other’s content. Remember that while you can upload your own pins, the fun part about Pinterest is discovering, sharing, and collecting other people’s pins. If you choose to upload your own, remember that Pinterest is not Facebook – no one else is interested in pinning photos of you and your dog! However, they may be interested in pinning an image of you demonstrating a helpful exercise or fitness tip. Always keep your audience in mind when choosing what to pin.
Remain faceless. Pins without faces are statistically show to convert better (source: Sprout Social). This is very important for fitness pros!! How can you showcase exercises/proper form without including a face?
Participate in Group Boards. Like all social media, Pinterest is highly interactive and is based on engagement. You can’t simply “pin and run” if you hope to create connections with prospective clients and grow a strong following. By becoming a member of a group board, you will make connections with other fitness professionals and get access to their audiences on Pinterest. Consider starting your own group board and inviting popular pinners to contribute to it.
Optimize your pin descriptions. Once you have begun pinning with relevant keywords, hashtags, and links, you can take it a step further. For instance, the words “recipe,” “cup,” and “DIY” are included the most above all other keywords on Pinterest (source: Sprout Social). How can you incorporate these popular words into your pin descriptions? Don’t be afraid to get creative with a “recipe for fitness” or “DIY home workouts.”
Be consistent with your pinning, especially on your group boards. The more you participate on Pinterest, the faster your following will grow. Since Pinterest is different from Facebook and Twitter in that not all of your followers will see every single thing you pin, you can feel free to pin a bunch of content at one time, as well as pin every day.
Comment and like other’s pins, and respond to all comments and likes on your pins. Follow those who interact with your pins and boards the most, and don’t be afraid to ask them to subscribe to your email list or complete some other CTA.
Cross promote your pins on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social platforms. Integrate the “pin it” button onto your website and into your email campaigns. Add the Pinterest app to your Facebook page and tweet cool pins whenever possible.
Experts at Pinterest marketing are constantly
- Pinning other’s content as well as their own
- Creating collaborative group boards that allow them to share and showcase health and fitness related pins
- Liking and commenting on other’s pins
- Alternating promotional content with “just for fun” pins (i.e. other people’s pins or pins that do not include links to their website)
Advertising + Monetization
Use Promoted Pins
If you have a Pinterest business account, you can get access to promoted pins. Promoted pins will allow you to start getting your content in front of more and more targeted pinners using the Pinterest marketing advertising model. Promoted pins are a Pinterest marketing opportunity similar to Facebook ads or sponsored tweets.
Once you’ve chosen action-based, visually appealing content, you’ll have the opportunity to promote that content to the pinners most likely to fall within your target market.
- Choose from an engagement campaign to increase engagement on Pinterest, or a traffic campaign to driver pinners to your website or landing page.
- Set a goal and budget for your campaign – you only pay when people click on your pin.
- Choose a target audience to promote your pin to.
- Analyze your results with Pinterest’s analytics.
Promoted pins have been statistically shown to be just as popular as organic pins. They show up in regular searches and look just like regular pins, except for a small “Promoted” icon at the bottom of the pin. If you have room in your budget, promoted pins are a powerful marketing weapon to add to your social media arsenal.
Thanks to its visual nature, shareabiltiy, action-based content, and opportunity for engagement, more and more fitness professionals are using Pinterest to grow their followings both on and offline. If you’re new to Pinterest marketing, get started by creating a few fitness-related boards, pinning other’s content, and becoming a member of relevant group boards. From there, you can begin creating and pinning your own content. Finally, don’t forget to connect with current friends, clients, and prospects by following them on Pinterest. This will lay the foundation for Pinterest domination in the very near future!
#7: Google Plus
Why you need it
Google+ has a bad reputation when it comes to social media platforms, but it’s actually one of the most powerful tools you can use to improve your search ranking with Google. With somewhere between 300 and 540 million users (Google’s a bit hush-hush about the exact numbers), G+ doesn’t have as much activity as Facebook and Twitter – but it doesn’t matter. The true power of G+ lies in how Google includes its content in search engine results.
Your Google+ profile and content will…
- Increase your Google search visibility
- Improve your SEO/page rank
- Help your content rank when your website does not
- Show up in “local carousel” results
- Allow you to easily connect with anyone who uses Gmail
- Show up in searches in G+ Publisher
How to get started
G+ is similar to Facebook and other social platforms in that it allows you to make connections with other users, post and like content, join groups, and create business pages. The jargon is just a bit different.
- Instead of friending or following someone on G+, you add them to circles. You can create each circle to be as niched as you want, i.e. “Work friends,” “Workout contacts,” “Clients,” etc. Circles help you organizes your contacts and target specific people with your content.
- Instead of “liking” a post, you +1 it. The more +1’s a post has, the more visible it becomes on G+ and the more likely it is to pop up in a Google search. You can also share a post on G+, which will publish it on your G+ feed for those in your circles to see.
- Instead of groups, G+ has communities. They work similarly to Facebook groups.
- Just like most other social platforms, G+ has profiles for individuals and pages for businesses. Consider creating a business page branded with your company information or your individual information and image.
Here’s how to get started using Google+:
- Create your profile – even if you’re more interested in creating a G+ page for your business, you’ll need to begin with a Google profile to start. Once you have a Google profile you’ll have access to all sorts of applications and tools, including YouTube, so it’s a good idea to have one. Keep in mind that you can create a Google account using an email address other than a Gmail address if you so choose.
- Upload a profile picture – your picture will display at 250×250, but it’s best to upload a larger-sized image which will look better when viewed at the smaller dimensions. Consider using the same profile picture you’re using on all other social platforms for brand consistency.
- Create a tagline and introduction – in addition to a tagline and brief intro, G+ combines Facebook and LinkedIn profile information by asking for the places you’ve lived, jobs you’ve held, skills you’re proud of, and demographic information. Share whatever you like, but keep it on-brand and fitness-oriented.
- Choose a cover photo – G+ recommends a cover photo that is 1080×608. The application will accept other sizes, but nothing smaller than 480 x 270 and nothing larger than 2120 x 1192.
- Create a Google+ page – Once logged into your G+ profile, look for the big blue + circle icon and click it. You’ll be sent to a page where you can fill in your page name, website URL, and the type of page you want to create (product or brand, entertainment, community, etc.). The dimensions for your profile and cover photo are the same, but consider using a logo instead of a profile pic if promoting your gym or brick-and-mortar business. You may also want to use a cover photo template to ensure a responsive design that looks great across all devices.
Best practices (do’s and don’ts)
- Post images and graphics whenever possible. G+ is very visual and users like to +1 visually appealing content.
- Circle other pages and profiles. This will help you create segmented target audiences, which in turn will help with sharing/promoting your content and monetizing each audience. Once you circle, you can then share appealing content with each circled group, increasing the likelihood they will +1 and share your content. Also, every time you circle or follow others, they are more likely to follow/circle you back.
- Use hashtags and keywords that are automatically populated on your G+ post. When you post content on G+, you have the opportunity to fill out a description. Include relevant keywords and see which hashtags G+ suggests by typing in the ‘#’ sign followed by a hashtag.
For instance, when you type in “#fit” you will see a list of Google’s suggestions, including #fitness, #fitnessmotivation, #fitnessaddict, and more. Including these hashtags will help people find your content and make them more likely to circle you and share your stuff.
Hashtags also help people find your G+ content in organic Google searches. For instance, if you post content and use the hashtag #healthyliving, Google may include your post in a search for “healthy living tips” or “healthy living recipes.” In fact, it can be much easier to rank on page 1 of Google through your G+ content than through your website or blog!
- Include links in the post description – but not all the time! If you only post links on G+, your followers won’t stay around for long. Include links to your website, blog, and landing pages, but also post engaging content without a URL, such as photos, questions, quizzes, and infographics. Also, make sure to include your main URL on your profile and page so it’s linked with your G+ account.
- Share, +1, and comment on other people’s content. This is the best way to connect with others and grow your circles on G+.
- Ask for client reviews on your G+ page. The more reviews you have, the better your G+ page will rank in local Google searches. This option only applies to businesses/companies, not to individuals.
Sync your page with your profile – if you have both a profile and a page on G+, you can grow your following by sharing page content from your profile. It’s much easier to circle contacts from your individual profile, so chances are good you’ll have access to a bigger audience. For this reason, sharing your page content from your profile will expand your reach and encourage more people to follow your page.
Get on the Hot and Recommended list – Google+ promotes trending hashtags, communities, and posts through its What’s Hot and Recommended stream, which is featured on the main Explore page of the site. In order to get on this list, you may want to deviate from fitness-related content and share a photo, meme, or GIF you’re sure will go viral. How to do that? Check out what’s trending on G+ and time your post to coincide with a specific niche topic, such as #throwbackthursday. When you get enough shares and +1’s to trip Google’s algorithm, your post will appear in the Hot feed, and you will greatly increase your followers.
Be active in communities – Share, +1, and post awesome content to get noticed in fitness-related communities on G+. Be sure to follow the community guidelines for what is and isn’t ok to share. Some communities frown on sharing blog posts, for instance, because they see it as spammy self-promotion. Find other ways to add value to the group and build relationships. The more consistent and beneficial you are, the more circles you’ll get.
Ask for what you want – it never hurts to ask for more followers if you do it the right way. In each description, include a follow request along with a benefit, such as “Circle us to get more 2-minute fitness tips!”
Sync with other social accounts – Ask for G+ connections on Twitter and Facebook, and add a G+ follow badge to your website, blog, and email marketing campaigns.
Attend Google Hangouts – Google Hangouts and other G+ events will let you meet people face to face via video. You can connect and chat in real time and solidify the connections you’ve made on Google+. The new followers you gain from these events will be much more likely to +1 and share your content since they know you “personally.”
Advertising + Monetization
Google+ offers +Post ads as a way to monetize your G+ account. These ads are incredibly powerful because they are not just promoted on G+, but throughout the Internet. According to Sprout Social, +Post ads have the potential to be seen on 2 million external websites that are linked to Google’s Display Network.
Not everyone can use +Post ads, however. In order to promote a post on G+, your page must have a minimum of 1,000 followers. The content you choose to promote should be fitness related and family friendly since Google will review it before making the ad live.
+Post ads can be created using your Google AdWords account or from within your G+ page. Once logged into G+, simply choose a post you want to promote and select the arrow in the upper right hand corner. Then select “Promote this post.” The pay-per-click options and budgeting work in the same way they do if creating a traditional Google AdWords campaign.
While Google+ may not have the numbers or obvious engagement of more popular social platforms, it offers many tangible benefits that can’t be found on Facebook or Twitter – namely, the chance to have your content seen across the entire Internet, not just a single social platform.
Why you need it
As a personal trainer or fitness professional, having your own YouTube channel is an essential component of your marketing strategy. Not only is YouTube the perfect platform for creating web-based personal training services and an online fitness brand; it’s also one of the biggest forces to be reckoned with on the internet.
- Over 1 billion people regularly use YouTube
- YouTubers watch hundreds of millions of hours of video every single day
- YouTube’s reach is far greater than any U.S. television cable network
- YouTube’s audience is 80% outside the United States, making it possible to “go global” with your brand
- Nearly 75% of B2C marketers create video content on YouTube (source: TrackMaven.com)
More and more people want to exercise from the comfort of their homes, but still need the instruction, motivation, and expertise of a fitness professional or personal trainer. Video lends itself well to fitness and training because it’s the perfect way to hold tutorials, demonstrate proper form, showcase classes, and increase your status as a trainer or fitness brand.
There is a huge market for people searching for exercise videos on YouTube. By shooting simple videos, like the best way to perform a bicep curl, you can grow a huge following, attract more offline clients, and increase your revenue.
How to get started
Remember that Google account you created when you were getting started on Google+? Good, because it’s the same account you’re going to use for YouTube. From within that YouTube account, you can create multiple YouTube channels where you can upload videos. For instance, you could create one channel that’s focused on how-to training videos, and another channel where you share workout videos from your gym. Be sure to name your channel with your brand in mind, and make it clear what kind of videos viewers can expect to see.
Like every other platform we’ve discussed thus far, YouTube gives you the opportunity to showcase a profile picture and a cover photo, which in YouTube-land is called “channel art.”
- Your profile picture will automatically be pulled from your Google profile.
- Your channel art should be 2560×1440 pixels. Consider using the same cover photo you use on other platforms.
- Include a keyword-rich description of your channel.
- Include a link to your website
- Include links to your other social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
Best practices (do’s and don’ts)
Create LOTS of content – Uploading one video to YouTube once in awhile just isn’t going to cut it if you want to get noticed. According to TrackMaven.com, the top 25 brands using YouTube to market their products publish upwards of 75 videos every single month. Your videos do not need to be professionally produced, but they do need to be valuable and published consistently.
Create multiple channels – Another secret of big YouTube players is that they upload video content to multiple YouTube channels. Doing this will allow you to brand each individual channel with targeted content to attract particular types of viewers. You’ll also be able to track which channels perform best and create videos that have been proven to resonate with your audience.
Keep it short and sweet – The most popular videos on YouTube are no more than two minutes long, and no shorter than 16 seconds.
Optimize video descriptions – Each video you upload can be optimized with keyword-rich descriptions, an SEO-friendly title, and lots of “tags.” Tags are simply YouTube’s word for “keywords,” and are automatically populated when you begin typing into your video description. Don’t get creative with tags – select what YouTube suggests because the tags that pop up will be the most searched for on the platform.
Post at the right times – Although viewers can watch your YouTube videos at any time, the moment you upload or share your video has the potential to make the biggest impact. That’s why it’s important to promote at the perfect time. According to marketing research, the most popular viewing time on YouTube is on Thursdays and Fridays between 12pm and 3pm Eastern.
Make videos mobile-friendly – Everything you upload – just like everything you create for your website or other social platforms – should be mobile optimized and look great on a smartphone or tablet.
All of the best practices we’ve covered so far also apply to growing your YouTube channel: cross-promoting across other social platforms, engaging other users by commenting and sharing their content, subscribing to other YouTube channels, and so on. But because YouTube is such a dynamite social space for fitness professionals in particular, it’s important to dig even deeper and take advantage of YouTube’s ability to produce viral videos.
The #1 best way to grow your YouTube channel, expand your reach, and score new clients through the videos you share, is to consistently create viral videos on YouTube. Viral videos take the Internet by storm, get shared millions of times, and launch their creator into the online spotlight. Viral content gives you the opportunity to shine in front of the entire online world, making it easier than ever for your tribe (and prospective clients) to find you. Viral content can also lead to a huge surge of email opt-in’s, website views, and new customer inquiries. It’s a surefire way to get attention, so how come everyone’s not creating videos that goes viral?
Because viral videos must contain these key 7 ingredients. Without the right mix, your content will fall into YouTube oblivion as soon as it’s posted. Here are 7 powerful ingredients to include in each and every video you upload:
- Universal appeal
Videos that go viral have universal mass appeal. That’s not to say that your content can’t be industry-specific or geared toward a certain target market. But it must contain universally felt emotions or situations that can be related to by millions of people.
Example: A huge majority of viral content features the antics of babies or animals. Why? Because almost all human beings, regardless of age, ethnicity, or culture, are inherently drawn to cute little creatures doing cute things. Find a way to incorporate this type of “viral seed” into your workout videos and you’re sure to expand your reach way beyond your intended market.
Just because content is universal doesn’t mean it’s shareable. Viral content becomes viral by user-generated sharing. It’s not enough to get a bunch of likes or views – you also want people to share your content with friends with a comment that reads “You have to see this.”
Example: Sorrow is a universal feeling. It’s something everyone understands. But it’s not something everyone wants to share with their friends or display publically. This is why content that invokes joy or laughter is much more likely to go viral than content that evokes sorrow or pain. When in doubt, make sure your content is “water cooler”-friendly. If people wouldn’t talk about it around the water cooler, they probably won’t share it online either. How can you make a video demonstrating proper sit-up form more shareable?
- A positive spin
Positive content goes viral much more often than negative content. Sure, there is plenty of negativity online and people are quick to indulge in Twitter wars and nasty Facebook exchanges. But viral content tends to be most popular when it has an uplifting message, is funny, or gives people practical tips on how to live a better life.
Example: In a study conducted by the NY Times, emotionally positive messages went viral far more frequently than negative messages. An article about people falling in love with New York City fared far better than an article about a baby polar bear’s caretaker dying. Sadness is especially toxic when trying to create viral content.
Let’s say you’re shooting a video featuring a client of yours who’s had lots of health challenges. Instead of focusing on their hardship, use your video to show how they’ve overcome those hardships by working with you. The uplifting message of triumph over adversity is not only positive, but universal as well.
- Emotional arousal
If your content is universal, shareable, and positive, but lacks deep emotional appeal, it still won’t go viral. The most effective content appeals to deeply felt human emotions like love, joy, hope, anger, and fear. Keep in mind that you can still stay positive while incorporating fear and anger into your content.
Example: The content created and shared during Charlie Sheen’s 2011 breakdown was some of the most viral of all time. Sheen’s story had emotional appeal because it was all about anger – an emotion everyone understands and can either empathize with or despise. This emotional connection is what caused a single tweet of Sheen’s to receive over 7,000 retweets in a single day when he sought to hire an intern during the height of the scandal.
So what does this mean for a personal training video? In addition to giving practical fitness tips, demonstrating exercises, and showcasing client success stories, there must be a strong emotional pull present in your videos. Think about the reasons people want to get and stay fit: to live longer, to have more energy for their kids, to feel like themselves again, to gain confidence. All of these reasons contain deep emotions that can be brought out in your videos in order to arouse an emotional response from your viewers.
- Actionable insights
In addition to emotional resonance, viral videos often becomes so because they have “news you can use,” i.e. they provide people with practical tips to make their lives better. This includes lists, how-to content, life hacks, and unique prescriptions for better living. The key to creating actionable viral content is to give the end user a way to engage with the content and make it work for them.
Example: The most viral content on Pinterest includes pins that people can do or learn, i.e. “How to compost,” “7 things every new mom should know,” and “The best foods to grow indoors.” This is great news for fitness professionals because the very nature of what we do every day is actionable! When demonstrating a new exercise or sharing fitness tips, be sure to include a clear, specific video title so your viewers know they’re about to get hit with massive value.
- Fear and anxiety
Steer clear of sadness but don’t be afraid to create video content that invokes fear, anxiety, and even anger. These emotions are just as powerful as more ‘positive’ emotions like hope and love, and are even more effective if positioned in a positive context.
Example: When Willie Nelson partnered with Chipotle to create an animated music video about factory farming, the content instantly went viral. The emotional appeal started with the fear and anxiety of a world dominated by factory farms, but ended with hope for the future of farming. The juxtaposition of both emotions in one video was the perfect recipe for viral content. A lot of people have fear and anxiety around their weight and their health. You can address this directly in your videos as long as you also provide a solution for how to overcome such emotions – training with you, of course!
Great viral video content is always focused on the present moment. That’s not to say that it can’t deal with the past or future – in fact, some of the most popular content online comments on things we’ve done in the past or what we think the future might be like. The key is to showcase past and future as it relates to our current times and contemporary lives.
Example: “Throwback Thursdays” are popular on Facebook because they make us remember how far we’ve come since ‘back in the day.’ They remind us where we are now and give us a sense of connection with the world around us. A great way to play on past and future in fitness videos is to do a “before and after” segment featuring one of your clients. You can film their first training session, then follow them as they progress through your training program. Once they’ve made substantial progress, film another training session and edit it together with their first session, allowing the viewer to experience remarkable transformation in a single moment.
Advertising + Monetization
YouTube has a great built-in program for monetizing your various channels. Because YouTube is connected to your Google account, the YouTube Partner Program is connected directly to your AdSense account. All you have to do to begin monetizing your YouTube videos is go to the monetize tab within your account and select Enable My Account. Follow the prompts and you’ll soon be making money every time someone watches one of your videos.
YouTube videos are monetized through advertisements that appear before or during your videos. You can choose what types of ads you want to appear depending on what you think will annoy your viewers least (because let’s be honest – no one likes ads during videos!). For example, TrueView in-stream ads appear at the very beginning of your video and allow the viewer to skip to your content after a few seconds. YouTube also offers display ads, which appear to the right or bottom of your video, and overlay ads, which appear on the lower portion of your video as it’s playing.
In addition to monetizing your video content, you can also purchase advertising on YouTube in various formats, all of which are charged on a cost per view basis (as opposed to Cost Per Click). In the spring of 2015, YouTube announced a new TrueView advertising feature called “Cards.” Cards allow advertisers to add a Call to Action (CTA) to video advertisements in the form of a small text card that appears on the right side of the video screen (or below the screen on mobile devices). Cards create much more opportunity for engagement thanks to their positioning, the CTA language used, and the new payment structure that’s been rolled out by YouTube. Instead of getting charged whenever someone decides not to skip an ad, advertisers now get charged whenever someone clicks a card. This means more visibility for you, the advertiser, which in turns leads to better monetization of your videos on YouTube.
YouTube continues to dominate video marketing and afford individual content creators the opportunity to build a following, connect with their audience, and monetize their videos quickly and easily. For fitness professionals, this social platform offers the perfect way to show prospective clients what you and your brand have to offer.
How to Succeed on Social
Social media success is a combination of reach, engagement, lead generation, and monetization. In order to make social media work for you across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope, Google+, and YouTube, adopt the following 7 failproof success strategies:
- Build awareness
If only you could hop onto Facebook and instantly start creating a steady cash flow. If that were possible, everyone would be doing it! Huge companies like Petco, Hautelook, and Dell succeed in monetizing their social media because they have a certain level of brand awareness – a level you need to strive for if you also want to monetize your social media marketing. That’s not to say you have to be an international celebrity trainer to start making money with Twitter. You do, however, have to consistently solidify your social presence by sharing great content, interacting with your followers, and positioning yourself and your brand as a leader in your particular market – even if (no, especially if) that market is hyper-local.
- Enhance engagement
Social media marketing is just like any other type of marketing: engagement with the prospect is the key to success. Social media being what it is, your chances for direct engagement with the end user are better than ever. Focusing on engagement with your followers will not only clue you in as to what they need and want from you as a fitness professional; it will increase your chances of a sale when the time comes to present a paid offer.
- Offer special promotions
Reward your social followers the same way you might reward your email subscribers – with exclusive offers just for them. If you make it clear that your Twitter followers or Facebook fans will receive special discounts, coupon codes, or promotional offers at certain times of the day or week, new prospects will be much more likely to follow you (especially if you’ve done a great job with awareness and engagement in steps 1 and 2 above).
Make the promotional offer clear, consistent, and relevant to your target market. If you’re a personal trainer, for instance, you could offer a coupon code for a free training session, and a series of free sessions to the person who shares your offer the most (that’s free viral marketing!).
- Hold contests
Nothing screams ‘social media success’ like a well-executed contest. Contests are fun, they don’t feel ‘salesy,’ and they’re an excellent way to increase engagement with your brand. A popular contest also reveals tons about what your prospects like and want from a personal brand like yours. Try combining a paid Facebook campaign with a contest. Offer followers discounts toward classes or training sessions by sharing the contest with their friends. In this way you’ll get “facetime” with your followers and their friends, expanding your reach exponentially.
- Choose paid advertising
Almost every social media platform now offers paid promotions, where you can advertise to a select group of targeted followers or other social demographic. Unlike traditional Pay-per-Click ads, which don’t try and disguise the fact that they are advertisements, social ads allow you to choose sponsored posts and other highly targeted campaigns that make your message feel more like an offering from a friend than an ad from a company. You also have more power than ever when it comes to targeting. You can choose exactly who sees your ad and make sure you’re only spending money on people in your target market who are most likely to buy.
- Integrate with Apps
More and more companies are monetizing their social media marketing by combining their social presence with mobile applications. 50% of all smartphone users use their phones to download or access apps (source: Pew Research Center). That’s a huge market share just waiting to interact with your brand. Social-based apps are the most popular and the most likely to drive sales. Apps can be paid or free, but their use should always lead to opportunities for the user to make a purchase.
The most successful individuals and brands use social media marketing not only to gain new customers, but to retain the loyal customer base they already have. Be sure to reward loyal social followers with deals and discounts, feature products and services that people will want to share with their friends, and remember that social media is, above all else, an ongoing, two-way conversation between you and your target market
Kevin Lewis says
Thank you for sharing this valuable content relevant not only for fitness business professional but any business in today’s market.