Social Media Marketing is essential for gyms. From generating new leads, building customer loyalty, and even down to growing your brand awareness, our social media guide has done the leg work for you. We’ve got you spotted!
Why gym owners need a social media strategy.
Do you know anyone who doesn’t use at least one of the Big Three platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)? The Digital Age is truly among us. Friends and family use these platforms to connect with each other and share their own version of the daily grind. Each one provides a unique way for gym-goers to share in each other’s pains and gains, inspirational glow-ups, and competitive challenges. As long as people will be sharing their successes and PR’s, social media will be an excellent way to create these connections.
Knowing how to utilize these important tools will create growth in not only your business but also your community. It will allow the voice of your business to be heard and really stand out in the crowd while also being more effective for marketing than what was used in the past.
So what should I be posting?
A common mistake that we’ve seen most gym and fitness owners do is approach social media with an inconsistent routine. A random equipment photo here and there, perhaps one work out video, and maybe a selfie or two. Those practices aren’t bad alone, but we want better form, more consistency, and stronger motivation! As the Governator himself once said:
“The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides a champion from someone who is not a champion.”
— Arnold Schwarzenegger
Repetition and consistency are as important on social media as they are in the gym. Posting new, quality content every few days can attract potential customers, and gives current members something to talk about. And what do people love talking about more than anything else? The answer is obvious: themselves!
Gyms can make a strong social media presence by posting images, videos, and testimonials featuring their current members. Some good examples are:
Featured Athlete of The Week. Every week make a featured post about a gym member who has been making great progress.
New PR’s. Got a rock star who keeps setting new PR’s? Or maybe two rivals who keep surpassing each other? Post the evidence, and stoke the competition!
Event Photos and Videos. People love to spot themselves in a crowd and remember the fun times.
Exercise Tips and Tutorials. Get a stand-out member with perfect form to illustrate how to perform a perfect exercise.
Recommended Foods and nutrition facts. Nutrition is one of the most important aspects of fitness so be sure to post relevant information to you social media to help your followers and gym members reach their goals faster!
And the most important rule of all: no matter what you’re posting, always tag the people featured in the content! This will show the content on the tagged members’ own feeds and can be seen by their friends and family. This means more eyes on your content, and more potential customers finding your page.
Focus On Community
People don’t just go the the gym to workout, they are looking to hang out with other like minded people and build friendships. Remember to make this a key aspect of your social media marketing strategy. The posts that get the most engagement are the ones that feature real people, that’s why people go to social media in the first place, to see what their friends are doing. So make sure to play into that as much as possible.
“In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.”
– Marianne Williamson
How best to use each Social Media Channel
One of the biggest social networking sites that people use today is Facebook. It provides a lot of unique tools when creating a business page that allows you to add photos, videos, status updates, and even create events that other people can see and attend.
Most people that use Facebook are going to be the older crowd, working professionals, that would be easier to target and cater to their specific needs vs what is “just in and trending” on other platforms. With this platform, focusing more on information and being available to answer questions will garner a very positive response.
Instagram is more of a visual platform that allows users to engage their audience with photos, short videos, and live videos. This particular platform is made up of mostly Millennial and Gen z crowd, So a more creative and visual approach would do better on Instagram.
Make sure to use hashtags on Instagram. #GetFit, #FitFam, #FitLife… are all popular hashtags that people use to mark their posts that help identify what they’re discussing. Hashtags are an easy tool that can be used to help your Instagram posts get discovered by local people browsing content with similar hashtags.
Pro tip: If you add all of your hashtags in the first comment instead of the post itself it will make caption less cluttered and more pleasing visually in the news feed.
YouTube is one of the best opportunities on social media, but its also the most work. If you can take the time to make content that stands out and is helpful to people on YouTube, you have the potential of growing your business beyond your gym.
The key to YouTube is to have longer form content, so 10 minutes to 20 minutes long is what’s performing the best right now. Some of the most popular fitness youtubers are incorporating workout routines and vlogs together into one video. This allows them to differentiate themselves from others through their personality not just the fitness tips they show. Anyone can copy fitness routines, but no one can copy your personality.
You also don’t want to give away the story in your thumbnail, you want people to question what the thumbnail means, which will lead them to click and watch the video to find out. A great example of someone using all of these techniques is Christian Guzman who owns the alphalete gym and clothing brand.
Social Media Best Practices
Making social media accounts is simple enough, but planning, managing, and maintaining them can be difficult unless you establish some important ground rules:
Be selective about your platform!
With the number of platforms available to you, it could be exciting to try to post everywhere, but with that, you run the risk of spreading yourself too thin at the beginning. While sites like LinkedIn, Pinterest, and others could be helpful, it would be best to prioritize a few (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat) before expanding too far. Focus on a few and expand from there if you find yourself with enough time and energy to do more.
Just like making a workout schedule, you want to plan your content and posting ahead of time so that you don’t post too much too fast, or go a long time without posting anything. It is best to spread out your posts and videos by staggering the days you upload a new training video or AMA (Ask Me Anything) to avoid potential burnout or fatigue from your followers. There is always a rest day, so give your followers a rest, too!
Social Media Is Visual
Social media is nothing but picture and video content, so make sure each post is interesting with one central and clear point. Your post is probably mixed in with other social media posts on their feeds, so try to keep that in mind and try to add some visual interest by capturing interesting moments in your gym, or adding some text overlays, or filters when appropriate. Just make sure to not overdo it.
Engage and Interact
People like to be heard and recognized, it makes them feel important and special! Responding to comments and acknowledging reviews are a great way to keep the engagement going on your platform. When you’re the gym owner, you’re the star, and a Like or comment from you can give the poster an ego boost for the day.
Engagement is so important as each platform has its own algorithms it uses to prioritize what posts are to be shown and what might be “trending”. Those trending posts often have a lot of comments and internal discussions. After all, in the world of fitness, people are the overall business, so engaging with people is a necessity!
Make Content Contextual
A lot of people will tell you to post as much content as possible across all the platforms, and to an extent this is true, the problem with this approach is its not contextual to each platform. what you post on Facebook will not perform as well on Instagram, or YouTube. We suggest a top down approach, first film a long form video that you can upload to YouTube, then edit out small individual clips that you can post on Instagram, and finally transcribe that video into a blog post that you post on Facebook.
Events, Charities, and Recognition!
An important step in building a community is raising awareness of people and events around you. Embrace sharing your employee recognitions and achievements! Share goals achieved from clients to celebrate the victories together. Show how you come together with your team to participate in local events and charities. You can even host a community event yourself! Charity 5k’s or obstacle courses can help establish your business as a prominent figure in the area. All of this can be shared on social media to show that you aren’t just a business–you’re a community.
Don’t be afraid to be in front of the camera!
It’s really important that you or someone on your team is the mane personality on camera, it might be hard or intimidatingly at first, but eventually you will get used to it. This is really important because people build relationships and connect with individuals, they also like consistency. If you have a lot of random people in your videos it can come across as non genuine. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and be the leader of your organization and community!
Facebook Ads For Gyms.
Facebook ads are one of the best ways to gain traction and draw attention to your business. We are going to give you the breakdown of each step and explain why it is important! With minimal effort, this method can do the work of attracting new customers for you!
⦁ Have A Solid Offer
The best ads for gyms have a solid offer, for example free 7 day trial, free 14 day trial, or something along those lines is what I have seen work the best. Now I know gym owners don’t want to give away things for free all the time, but if you have the right mindset and strategy, this can grow your business like crazy. If you get people to come into your gym for a free 7 day trial, introduce them to the community members, give them good attention, and actually help them in that time, then when you go to ask them to become a paying member, they are way more likely to do so.
Here is an example of a ad that has worked great, feel free to copy it!
Make sure to create scarcity in your ad by limiting the availability of the promotion which will get people to take action. It also can help increase the perceived value of what one is pushing which creates interest for people to want it even more. For example, the 14-day Free Trial might only be for one month, which provides a reason for the potential customers to call sooner rather than later.
⦁ Landing Page
While some people use their own website to create and manage their landing pages, the best results can come from a software program called Leadpages.
Leadpages is a page builder that also has a built-in pop-up that helps collect user information, such as first name, email, and phone number.
The important thing to consider is that the information on your landing page matches what is on your ad. In addition, you want to make sure you have a concise and clear call-to-action button on the page for someone to see.
Different techniques can make people feel more invested to interact with the call-to-action button, such as a countdown timer that you combine with your scarcity marketing as discussed from above.
⦁ Thank You Page
In leadpages you can send people to a thank you page after they have opted in to your offer, you want to make sure there is a phone number or another call to action here so they actually call you before you have to call them.
⦁ Set up your Pixel
What is the Facebook pixel?
“The Facebook pixel is an analytics tool that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your advertising by understanding the actions people take on your website.”
How to Create a Facebook pixel?
Go to Events Manager.
Click Connect Data Sources which is the green plus button to the left.
Select Web on the pop up and click get started.
Select Facebook Pixel and click Connect.
Add your Pixel Name and website URl then click Continue.
You will then get another pop up, select “install code manually.”
You will then click the green “copy code” button.
You will want to past this code on your landing page or website on all pages in the “Header” section. If you are using WordPress we recommend using a plugin called PixelYourSite.
If you are using lead pages then paste the code in the “header” section by clicking on the page and going inside of the editor. Then to the left click “settings”
After you click on settings navigate to the analytics section of the new menu, from there you will see the “header” section where you can past your pixel. Don’t forget to click save and then update. You will want to do this for all pages including your thank you page.
Set up a custom conversion
The last thing you need to do is create a custom conversion so Facebook can track the people who opt in to your offer.
The way you do this is by going back to the Facebook events manager, the click the green “create” button to the right, the scroll down to custom conversion.
Once you select customer conversion you will get a pop up. Name the custom conversion “leads” since that is what someone is when they opt in to you offer.
In the rules section make sure to past the URL link of the thank you page only. We want this page to be the trigger for the lead conversion only when someone visits the thank you page. You also want to make sure the box to the right of URL is set to “equals”
That’s it! that’s how you set up the Facebook pixel with a custom conversion on your landing page, so you can now create a ad on Facebook with the “lead” goal and optimize your ads for leads instead of impressions. this get’s WAY better results than just boosting posts or running random ads.
After you’ve completed the pixel setup on your Landing page, along with lead custom conversion on the Thank You page, it is time to get into Facebook targeting! People tend to overcomplicate the targeting process on Facebook, but it is really very simple. I will share with you what got me the best results!
The first step you should do when you create an ad is to pick which type of ad you want to run. Since you have your custom conversion set, that is what we are going to use! So go over to the ads manager, click “create” then you want to pick the “conversions” goal.
Next choose the custom conversion you created earlier, It should be in a drop down.
Next up is picking your budget. Five dollars ($5) a day is usually the standard for local gyms, but you can easily increase it when you feel comfortable! Also in this section you will see a “end date”, make sure to not check this pox, you can always turn your ads off later if they are not performing.
The next step is all about “audience”, the people you are going to be targeting. It is important that you divide the ads by gender–men and women. This way you can run two ads at once and see which demographic performs better. However, for this example, we would select women between the ages of 20-52 since that tends to get good results.
When it comes to selecting the distance radius of target ads, some people may just want to type in their town or city name and leave it at that, but with a little more work you can refine it further. By researching the zip codes in the area, you can manually enter in the zip codes you want, which does help refine the results a bit better (though it isn’t necessary).
The next step is choosing an interest, and honestly, this is where people mainly mess up! Others tend to narrow down their range by adding in too many different interests, which reduces what is seen. You just want to add one that covers a majority spread “Physical Fitness.”
Don’t forget that we want to select the “People living in this location” in the location options!
Lastly is Placements for your targeted ad. You want to make sure you have manual placements checked and to deselect all platforms EXCEPT the Facebook News Feed. If you try to branch out with other placements, you will usually be wasting a lot of your budget, and you want to maximize your ROI.
That’s it! the next steps are to create the ad, but if you copy the ad we showed you earlier in the blog it should work out perfectly, remember to include the link to your landing page, and have a similar image with your offer. When you are ready to run the ad, just click publish!
⦁ Follow Up
“80% of Sales Require 5 follow-up calls after a meeting. 44% Of salespeople give up after 1 follow-up.” – Jim Thomas
Following up with the generated leads with specified emails or phone calls is necessary to bridge the gap into a closed deal. A good tip when sending these emails is to include the big promotional attention-grabbing “FREE” in the subject line of the email.
By emailing out these promotions with examples such as “FREE 7 DAY TRIAL”, include a digital coupon in the body for the customers to use, but remember to use the scarcity marketing tactic to drive people to want to redeem the coupon in the gym!
It is important to ensure that the email address you’re using to send out these promotional emails is checked frequently to be able to respond to any questions, comments or concerns. You want to be there for people and meet their needs! Customized follow-ups and promotion deals being sent out to users on a mailing list is an A+ strategy.
Through these steps and best practices, the leads have a high chance of converting into more clientele for your business! You want to stay proactive, so call and follow up with potential customers. Never let an opportunity pass you!
As you can see, the world of social media is far more vast than just a selfie between friends and it is full of potential to help your business grow further. Utilizing our complete guide will help you take command and dominate the world of Social Media Marketing. Over time, social media will become natural to you. Until then, feel free to reach out to us and we can help you like your own personal trainer!