Gone are the days when personal trainers solely had to rely on adverts to get noticed by prospects. Today, social media plays a vital role in lead generation and business development. For businesses in the health & fitness industry, Instagram is the go-to platform for marketing and branding activities.
Statistics show that 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business on the app and a year ago at least 30% have bought a product they have first discovered on Instagram.
On the other hand it seems that 70% of Instagram posts aren't seen so while posting about your fitness services can be a great way to get visibility and engagement, the content you post and the marketing strategy around it will affect how successful you become on Instagram. Here are 5 tips to make the most out of your IG content and grow your following base.
1. The Right Photos
A picture speaks a thousand words, an entire story can be told through pictures. Images are the lifeblood of Instagram and for personal trainers, they are the primary tools for getting your fitness business known and visible to followers, competitors, and influences.
Research shows that 41.5% of global marketers feel original images in the form of edited screenshots and infographics have the highest engagement of all types of graphics.
Visuals are extremely attractive and alluring and have the ability to communicate with people. When used in Instagram, they can be used to do everything from introducing the gym to followers to showcasing the trainer’s talents and skills.
One important thing I realized recently since focusing more on our Instagram marketing is that OK graphics or pictures are not necessarily enough, pretty images can get much more engagement, so it's worth investing time in picture optimization and design. Even better if you can put your fitness brand's stamp on it so people will know the source, wherever they come across your content.
Aim to create unique content that's specific to your personal training business, showcases your fitness facility, the methods you use with your clients, provides valuable tips and information to your followers about health, fitness and lifestyle and even to show the results your clients have achieved by working with you.
Short videos are also becoming more and more popular and can be a better choice for an exercise demo or even a client testimonial.
2. The Right Hashtags
Hashtags are the language of social media and they are a crucial part of finding information on Instagram. Without hashtags, you’ll be hard-pressed to earn social currency in the form of likes, shares and comments.
When using hashtags, it’s important to use those tags that are trending at the moment and are also relevant to your fitness services. Using popular tags is a great way to stay current and relevant on social media. Keep in mind though, that abusing hashtags may land you on the other side of Instagram, so make sure you use 5-30 and only the relevant ones to the post and your business.
Some popular hashtags that you can use on Instagram are:
#GymLife #GirlsWhoLift #NoPainNoGain #Instarunners #Crossfit
#Yoga #LegDay #Bodybuilding #TrainHard #Workout
It’s important to remember that as a personal trainer, you are expected to know more than just workouts. The most famous and well-loved fitness Instagrammers are ones who also talk about nutrition and healthy lifestyle.
When creating or curating content related to healthy diets, you can consider using the following hashtags:
#HealthyEating #Eatclean #EatLocal #Vegan #GlutenFree
#Nutrition #GetHealthy #HealthyRecipes #CalorieCounting
Even better, you can use hashtags to find potential followers. If there's a topic your ideal clients are specifically interested in, find posts using those specific hashtags and spend some time finding people who could likely use your help, like their post with said hashtag and comment something positive or useful on that post. If they follow you, follow them back.
3. Optimize Your Profile
The trainers are the most important asset of any personal training business and in most cases, that's you.
People relate to people. If you'd like your Instagram followers to become leads then clients, introduce all personal trainers involved in your fitness business via your Instagram feed and in your profile.
The one or two sentences you get for your profile should say exactly what it is you do and who you do it for so that potential followers will know whether they will enjoy your content.
Instagram has also introduced hashtags to profile bio in an effort to show more relevant and new content in the users feed so be sure to optimize yours.
4. Network with Fitness Influencers and Fitness Brands
70% of all millennials globally depend on the recommendations of their peers to make a purchase decision. This makes influencer marketing one of the most powerful marketing trends today. For an up and coming fitness instructor or gym owner, networking with fitness influencers on social media is an extremely important part of the job.
Fitness influencers have a very high reach and a massive, dedicated following who act on every word the influencers say/write. From following the latest fitness trends to boycotting a fitness brand, followers do absolutely everything that influencers tell them.
This is why fitness center owners need to keep influencers in their good books. Start tagging your chosen influencers in your posts. Remember not to spam them with tags and messages, but do keep in touch with them. Take part in their contests and converse with them. Doing so will make you visible to their followers.
It’s important to choose an influencer who matches the services you offer, as it will help you gain access to the relevant prospects.
5. Organize Contests and Join or Start Trends
Want to really engage your new followers on Instagram? Well then, there’s nothing better than a good-old-fashioned fitness contest. The plank challenge, 30 day push-up challenge and the 100 burpee challenge are some of the most famous challenges and contests happening on social media. You could take a bite-of-the-apple and start your own fitness contest. You can even organize polls and quizzes to start conversations with followers.
Another way to get noticed by the crowd is to start a new fitness trend. Take the new Scandinavian trend of ‘plogging’ – which is a combination of the Swedish word ‘plocka up/pick up’ and ‘running’. Participants have to pick up garbage from the trail while on the run. They need to squat and lunge when picking up trash, in order to complete their workout.
This new fitness trend is such a rage in Sweden that fitness apps like Lifesum have a dedicated section where participants can log in the number of minutes they spent ‘plogging’. Now, it is one of the highest-trending entries on Instagram.
If you prefer something more local to you, find out what people are crazy about in your area and jump on the wagon. With a little creativity, organization, marketing and perseverance you could even start a fitness trend of your own. Find something that benefits a trendy cause and can get people moving.
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