Let's Review: Are You Using Social Media to Grow Your Fitness Business?
Think your fitness business has social media covered because you have a Facebook page? Think again. Facebook is just one small piece of the social media puzzle. And, without the other pieces, you’re falling far short of achieving “big picture” results when it comes to leveraging the power of social media to maximize fitness business growth. Here’s a closer look at what all fitness businesses should know about the critical role of strategic planning in social media. Why You Need a Strategy
“Social media is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal. If you use it correctly, you can create a strong personal connection with your prospective customers. However, marketers often make the mistake of diving into social media without a clear plan. At best, this is a waste of time – and at worst, it can lead to a PR disaster. To benefit from social media, you need to build a clear strategy that takes into account what you’re trying to achieve, who your customers are and what your competition is doing.”
In other words, employ a savvy social media approach, and you’ve got plenty to gain. Employ an inadequate, insufficient, or ill-conceived approach, however, and you may end up doing more harm than good. Enter your social media strategy. Clearly delineating what you want to achieve with your social media and how you plan to achieve it, lays the groundwork for success.
Deliver the Right Message
Strategies don’t exist in a vacuum. Rather, strategies are a direct response to your goals. The takeaway? How can you possibly use social media to its fullest advantage when you fail to acknowledge where your fitness business goals fit into the equation? Whether you’re looking to build membership, increase brand awareness, or boost enrollments for particular programs or services, identifying these goals can help you devise and implement the most appropriate social media tactics toward achieving them.
Inherent in this? Understanding your target market and crafting messages aimed at reaching your desired audience in the most compelling way. These may fall into several overarching categories. For brand awareness, for example, considering highlighting a particular fitness class or personal trainer. To keep members engaged, meanwhile, consider a motivational or inspirational quote. Other categories may include video blogs of exercises, product advertisements, fitness tips, and client testimonials.
Each of these types of content can help your gym business get closer to its goals. But keep in mind that it’s not just about conveying the right message, but also about conveying that message at the right time. Consistency is key. While keeping up with social media across multiple channels (we’ll get to that later), can seem overwhelming, committing to a weekly content posting schedule can help you stay ahead of the game. Adopting an organized approach not only helps you from an organizational perspective, but it also establishes your fitness business as an authoritative and reliable entity.
Make It Multichannel
Your members aren’t just on Facebook. They’re not just on Twitter or Instagram or LinkedIn either. Rather, they’re using a breadth and depth of social media channels. If you restrict your social media efforts to one platform, you’re likely falling short on reaching a large portion of your target audience.
Says analytics leader SAS, “Multichannel marketing refers to the practice of interacting with customers using a combination of indirect and direct communication channels – websites, retail stores, mail order catalogs, direct mail, email, mobile, etc. – and enabling customers to take action in response – preferably to buy your product or service – using the channel of their choice. In the most simplistic terms, multichannel marketing is all about choice.”
In this sense, adopting a multichannel social marketing strategy empowers comprehensive engagement. But there’s a catch here, too: Although the means through which you’re delivering your messages may differ, your brand message must remain in alignment across every each channel.
One last thing to remember? Social media is not a one-way street. In addition to using social media to convey your message, it can also be a forum for members of your fitness business community, if done correctly. The more your members interact with you (and with each other) on your fitness business social media, the more engaged they become -- with each other and with your fitness business.
For more fitness business advice on social media, be sure to check out our blog, “Using Social Media to Grow Your Fitness Business.” Looking for other ways to boost your business, meanwhile? Learn more about the Accurofit System.