Social media is today one of the most powerful forces on the planet. Over 2.5 billion people globally have accounts on multiple social media platforms. For new businesses, this translates to finding most of their customers on social media.
Understanding how social media functions and how it will change as the years go by, will help business owners make informed decisions to improve their visibility and social media outreach.
Here is the list of the Top 5 Social Media Trends of which you need to take advantage if you wish to market your new fitness center and personal training class on social media:
1. Social Media Is Going Mobile
Mobile optimization is the future of social media. These days, mobile devices like smartphones have become a prime access point to social media platforms for users. Research shows that 94% Facebook users use mobile devices to log onto the platform. Twitter stands at 82%, Pinterest at 80% and LinkedIn at 60%.
The below chart from Statista about the mobile social media user situation as of April 2018 tells a lot as well. These are numbers any personal trainers who are marketing on social media need to understand to be able to harvest the benefits.
This is why social media marketers need to focus on creating mobile-friendly posts and advertisements for their customers. As a fitness business owner, you’ll need to use mobile-optimized posts extensively to get in touch with your prospects.
Geotargeted social media posts work exceptionally well as mobile-optimized posts, don't forget to tag your location on Facebook, Instagram and use geofence on Snapchat whenever it's relevant where you are.
Your prospective clients will receive immediate notifications on their phones when they’re near you and they may be encouraged to visit your fitness center based on their preferences.
2. Changing Algorithms Are Reducing Organic Reach
Social media giants like Facebook and Instagram are changing their algorithms, which may have a negative impact on small brands. The new algorithms intend to judge the usefulness of a social media post to a user, by analyzing the engagement it has received by the user’s closest friends circle.
If for example, your competitor who’s been in the industry a few years longer than you, has received more likes and shares than you have on social media, your prospects are more likely to see their posts than yours on their feed.
Additionally, Facebook’s bid to reduce referral traffic is preventing brands from taking customers onto their website from their social media page and vice versa. When you’re invisible to prospects, you can’t have any conversions.
If this is a problem you face (or will face in the future), we recommend you create private social media groups of existing clients and prospects and share content with them directly. You could also identify a group of like-minded people; for example, runners and create a group for them or join an already existing one to build rapport.
As you publish valuable content and are more responsive to your member’s queries, you’ll see your group increasing in size and popularity. Our My PT Website client, Patrick Umphrey has done an amazing job building his ETP community via a Facebook group.
3. Live Streaming Has Overtaken All Forms of Content
Did you know that 78% of all Facebook users prefer live videos over static content? Live streamed videos are extremely popular these days and they are a very powerful avenue for promoting your new fitness website and personal training services.
When creating posts, share live videos of you conducting a boot camp session. You could stream videos of you interviewing a famous local athlete or a talk with a renowned nutritionist. You can even live stream How-to videos.
A great way to make your live videos more effective is to choose a theme which connects to a fitness activity. Read more Facebook Live Tips for Personal Trainers here.
4. Instant Messaging May Be the New Social Media
I reached out to Statista again to show you that 3 out of the top 5 most popular social media platforms are instant messaging apps, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat.
People spend more time on their messaging app by the year and can form group conversations within the app to accommodate hobby or professional groups and keep the communications direct and quick.
One way to increase audience engagement is to create a group chat with your clients on whichever app they mostly prefer: Facebook Messenger WhatsApp, WeChat or Viber can all work depending on your target audience.
A great client retention strategy is sending daily workout/diet tips to your clients and prospects via messaging. Research shows that 61% users like receiving personalized messages via messaging applications. A single message could bring you a loyal lifetime customer.
5. Chatbots May Become The Next Big Thing
I have been testing a variety of chat bots in the past year, especially the Facebook Messenger one in a few roles, including starting up chats with new visitors or using it as a support tool. The results were mixed but they proved to be very useful for support with people who already knew and trusted us.
A survey conducted by Oracle show that chatbots are not all that hated, some use them frequently and very few dislike them categorically. 80% of senior marketers and sales executives are either already using them or plan to use them by 2020 for their business marketing.
Chatbots use AI-driven deep learning software to understand the vocabulary and typing pattern of users on social media. Based on a specific algorithm, they recognize what a user wants and take them to the desired sections/pages instantaneously. This saves a lot of time and effort on part of the administrator.
Many chatbots these days are extremely adaptable and can automatically change their own speech patterns and operations based on what customers need. I would recommend personal trainers who are aiming to venture into online fitness coaching and/or scale their online training business to test chatbots. It may take a load of the work off your shoulders.
Collect.chat, Landbot.io, ManyChat and ChattyPeople are some great chatbot applications that you can start trialing for your personal training website.
Remember to make your chatbot fun, engaging and easy-to-understand. Create conversations about topics that most people ask you about. If your ideal clients engage and get hooked, test them in a variety of roles to see what makes it the best tol for your fitness business.
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