Category: Social Media

Strategies, tips, tricks, and other helpful information about growing your business on social media.

  • Why Your Gym Needs 10x Better Social Media Images

    If you want to acquire new gym members, you need to get in front of more people. In 2022, the best way to reach those people is with social media images.

    Your gym members are spending 2.5 hours per day on social media. And more than ever, they’re not using it to post selfies and memes, they’re using social media to:

    • Be inspired
    • Be entertained
    • Get recommendations from friends
    • Find help
    • Learn ways to improve their lives

    As a gym owner, you can fulfill those needs. And you can do it in a way that will do more than pass the time for them. You have the potential to change their lives for the better.

    And what will that lead to? More members, better member retention, and organic growth for your business.

    So what’s the best way to become a go-to source of inspiration, entertainment, help, and learning for your current and potential members?

    You do it with visual social media posts that speak to them right where they’re at. Create beautiful images as a regular part of your social media marketing strategy.

    We’re not talking about uploading images from stock photo websites. We mean engaging images that compel people to participate, propelling your content strategy with viral marketing.

    Your social media images need to be powerful enough to stop the scroll, make them pay attention, and leave them hungry more.

    And if social media is one of the channels you use to market your fitness brand, pay attention. In this post, we’ll show you why social media images matter and how to use them to defeat the competition.

    You’ll also catch a few extra social media tips along the way.

    Let’s get to work!

    Images Make Your Social Media More Memorable

    woman in gym taking photo on cell phone

    On average, people retain 10-20% of the information they read and hear online.

    But add images, and that percentage climbs to a whopping 65%. Engaging the visual cortex of the brain with imagery gives you 550% more memorability.

    It’s the difference between claiming that you’re fit to be a personal trainer and showing your workout routine.

    People love seeing proof, and they retain what you tell them with visuals. This is why you’re seeing so many fitness pros posting pictures of their bodies on social media, and not pictures of sample workout plans.

    It’s more motivating to your members to show and tell. It drives them to recognize you as an authority.

    Social Media Images Get More Reach

    gym barbells lined up with photo and infographics statistic

    Content with photos or infographics receives 94% more views on social media, as opposed to content without it.

    You’ll do better with visual content that that is engaging than with long blog posts. People don’t have time to read about all the health benefits of going to the gym. So give it to them in an image post (or several).

    Study after study has proven that adding an image to a social media post gives you more reach than plain text. And with limited time and resources, why wouldn’t you want to get the most bang for every social media post?

    Oh, and did I mention that visual content on social media is more than 40x more likely to be shared?

    man in gym with jump rope with visual content stat

    In other words–your audience is more willing to spread your marketing for you.

    Additionally, great images have proven to get higher Click-through rates, especially on social media networks such as Pinterest or Facebook.

    Each social media platform is different in its results. Far and wide, images perform better than any other type of social media post (apart from video).

    Visually Engaging Content Tells Better Stories

    In addition to visual content working better for gyms because it’s just plain fun, you should also consider storytelling.

    The best storytelling utilizes as many sensory elements as possible. If you can engage multiple senses, you can tell a better story.

    Think about it: why do so many more people enjoy watching a movie than reading a book? Because it engages their senses of:

    • sight
    • hearing
    • touch (vibrations of the sound)

    This is why video is one of the most dominant forms of social media content. And also why text and images will always be better than plain text.

    And think about what you actually do. You do more than help people reach their weight goals. It’s not about numbers on a scale, right?

    You help people live a better story.

    If your member lost 20 pounds, the dial on the weighing scale isn’t the only thing that has changed.

    They got the opportunity to reimagine themselves, to feel better in their bodies, and that has an effect on every person in their life.

    That’s a lot of change and a lot of emotions.

    fatgirlfedup photo from instagram

    Or as Lexi Reed, the wife in the duo whose weight loss pictures went viral, says:

    “I made that person on the inside match my outside. …we gained a whole new life together and evolved together instead of apart.”

    This kind of story is what ultimately makes your visual content powerful. It drives the emotions behind the purchasing decision, which will help you sell more memberships.

    Your Competitors Are Already Using Social Media Images

    Fitness is one of the most crowded niches. If you take a look at fitness hashtags on any social network, you’ll see that plenty of gyms are vying for attention.

    From blurry photos to visuals you swear need a whole team of graphic designers, everyone’s upping their social media image game. They have to find their next customer.

    In fact, 80% of marketers and business owners use visual content.

    barbell and man doing handstand with visual content quote

    That’s a lot of competition in the space–especially when you consider that gym owners and personal trainers are competitive by nature.

    This gives you the perfect opportunity to stay ahead of the curve.

    Although a lot of gyms are using social media images, only a few of them are doing it right. Most of them are using generic stock photography from photo websites.

    Even worse than cheesy stock imagery, they’re using Low res photos from their phones that they took haphazardly and look amateur.

    There may be thousands of pages providing visual content, but the majority of them lack the skill to be effective. Stock images are not going to cut it–you need to produce organic-looking, visually engaging posts.

    Make a Difference with Exceptional Visuals

    At the same time, people are used to seeing images on social media, so it’s easy to get drowned out. Your social media images need to be extraordinary.

    Your members want authentic stories from people like them. They want encouragement packed with emotion in a few quick lines. They want to be compelled to participate in an active conversation.

    Most importantly, they want to be inspired to stop scrolling and start working out.

    On top of all of that, our attention spans are shrinking. You have less than 5 seconds to grab people’s attention as they scroll on their phones.

    Once you grab their attention with your social media images, you want to make sure you keep it. Regular posting is imperative as much as 2-3 times a day should be your goal.

    Being a fitness professional while making sure that your brand is on point isn’t as easy as it seems.

    Seriously, who has the time to learn the different social media image sizes or fiddle with graphic design apps?

    Coming up with something motivating and engaging for your audience every day can take its toll.

    Oh, and you’re supposed to be doing all of this while running an entire gym.This is all on top of managing the intricacies of your day-to-day business.

    It sounds impossible.

    But if you work smart in marketing, you’ll be able to create social media content your customers need (and want).

    Get Help with Done-for-You Social Media Images

    Your clients crave exceptional content packed with emotions that will drive them towards success.

    But you shouldn’t let the fact that you’re not a graphic designer stop you.

    SoVisual.co was created to help fitness professionals like you attract and retain more customers with social media images.

    No image editing software needed. You get access to our expert-crafted collection of images templates to instantly boost your social media strategy.

    When you create an image with our web app it automatically creates the most recommended sizes. So forget about Googling Instagram image sizes.

    After signing up you’ll get instant, unlimited access to every single template in our library! Add your logo, customize the caption if you want to, and just share.

    Your social media campaigns have never looked better.

    It’s as simple as that!

    For as low as $9/month, you’re going to be:

    • Saving time
    • Getting the graphic design team you deserve
    • Wowing your new and existing members alike

    Focus on doing great work. We’ll take care of your visual social marketing content.

    SoVisual.co will take care of everything else.

  • Instagram Hashtags for Gym Owners

    Since it was launched in 2010, Instagram hashtags have been one of the best ways to reach more people. Increasing your Instagram reach means more eyes on your business, and that’s a good thing.

    Knowing how to use Instagram Hashtags takes a bit of insight to get right.

    Instagram’s popularity continues to grow, and so has the number of people using hashtags for fun and for business.

    If you’re a gym owner, Instagram hashtags are going to be your number one source of free traffic to your profile. It’s also one of the best ways to drive awareness for your brand.

    Doing Instagram hashtags right means you will be discovered by people who haven’t followed you. And if they haven’t followed you, odds are they’re a new membership opportunity for your box.

    However, not every Instagram hashtag is created equal. Using one over the other will bring you different results. Knowing how and when to use specific hashtags will impact the way you get new members through the platform.

    That’s why I’ve prepared the ultimate guide to Instagram hashtags for you. It contains everything you need to successfully market your gym on the most popular social platforms in the world.

    Let’s take a look!

    Creating an Instagram Hashtag Strategy

    The first thing you should take a look at is your business goals: What are you hoping to achieve with Instagram hashtags?

    • Do you want to increase the number of your followers and potential members?
    • Do you want to grow brand awareness and get more people to know about your business?
    • Do you want to communicate with your existing members and followers?

    All of these reasons are valid. Maybe your best members have been coming from a different source, and you want another channel to communicate with them.

    Why does this matter?

    There are different Instagram hashtags for everything. If you want to become a known name in the fitness space, you’ll want to go for high-populated hashtags. Popular hashtags all you to brush shoulders with accounts that have millions of followers.

    Conversely, if you want to get more people in your local box, employ hashtags that are used by people looking for motivation. These people are looking for life-change, and that’s precisely what you can give them.

    Knowing your goals helps to determine the Instagram hashtags you use.

    Know your audience

    The second thing you’ll need is a deep understanding of who your target audience is. A successful marketing campaign doesn’t just reach the most people, it reaches the right people.

    Reaching the right people means knowing a few basic things about your target market:

    • How old are they?
    • Where do they live?
    • What is their gender?
    • What problems are you solving for them?
    • Do they lack the motivation or the expertise to start training on their own?

    It also means knowing some other marketing details you can use:

    • How do they find you on Instagram?
    • What are the Instagram hashtags they follow?
    • What content do they interact with?

    You can find out these details by visiting your members’ (or followers’) profiles and analyzing them.

    What do they post about? What hashtags do they use?

    And if you want to see what kind of content they’re engaging with, do this:

    1. Open up your Instagram app
    2. Click on the heart icon at the bottom
    3. Swipe right to the Following tab
    steps to see your followers' activity on instagram

    In this tab, you will see the activities of the people you are following. This is one reason you should only be following people who are your members or potential members.

    If you’re just following anyone and everyone, it will be much harder to research your target audience. (And it makes your account look spammy.)

    All of this can help you pinpoint what will make people click on your post and follow-through by visiting your profile.

    Create a customer avatar (or persona)

    The more you know about your customers, the better. You can organize it into a list of your typical member characteristics (you can give them a perfunctory name like Joe or Mary).

    Let’s say your member is Joe. Answer the following questions about him:

    1. How old is Joe? (For example, 30)
    2. Where does Joe live? (Your local area)
    3. What’s Joe interested in? (Getting back his high-school/college athletic body)
    4. What brands does he like? (Nike, Adidas)
    5. Which social media platform(s) does Joe use? (Instagram, Reddit, and LinkedIn)
    6. Why does Joe like your product? (Because he loves the group training environment and camaraderie that he gets there.)
    7. What Instagram hashtags does Joe use? (#MondayMotivation, #PushThrough, #FitnessJourney)
    8. What Instagram hashtags does Joe interact with? (#MondayMotivation, #FitnessMemes, #FitnessTips)

    Once you’ve created an ideal member profile (a.k.a. Avatar or Persona), you can begin building your list of strategic Instagram hashtags.

    What Are the Right Instagram Hashtags?

    Firstly, you should know that using the most popular, generic hashtags on Instagram is not a good idea. I’m referring to hashtags with millions of posts under them.

    Why? Because when an Instagram hashtag is really popular, that means there is a lot of competition, and you’re likely to get drowned out faster. You want to find the right balance between popular and unsaturated hashtags.

    Additionally, popular Instagram hashtags are often the target of shadowbans because users upload explicit content to them. This means that you’ve used up your hashtag space for nothing, and you could risk the rest of your hashtags being useless.

    And if you’re using hashtags that are not popular enough, that means there’s probably not a massive demand for them. Your Instagram content is not going to be seen by many (if anyone at all).

    Which obviously leads to the next question…

    How popular should my hashtags be?

    The golden middle is hashtags from 10,000 to 1 million posts.

    You can see the number of posts in each hashtag when you search for them inside the Instagram app.

    instagram tag search with number of posts

    There are also a handful of tools and apps which will give you this information which we’ll talk about later in this article.

    Instagram hashtags that have less than 1 million posts (but more than 10k) are the best. This volume ensures that it stays visible for longer than a minute.

    How many Instagram hashtags should I use?

    man holding phone on instagram with hashtags quote

    According to a recent study from Agorapulse, you want to be using the maximum of 30 hashtags per post.

    According to the study:

    Compared to previous data, we find that 30 hashtags had 135% more Likes on average!

    Let’s be clear, Likes are nothing more than a vanity metric. However, they are one signal that the Instagram algorithm uses to determine who sees your post. The more Likes you get, the more likely Instagram will show it to more people.

    This means that you’re reaching plenty of people who could be interested in your business.

    Posting hashtags: caption or comment?

    Some people post hashtags in the initial photo caption, others post them in the first comment below the post. But which is better?

    Both strategies are valid and will result in your post showing up for the hashtags you selected. Based on another recent study from Agorapulse, your reach may be better when you add the hashtags in the initial caption.

    “Reach [was] 29.41% higher when simply putting the hashtags in the original posts… There is no reason to go through the hassle of trying to add them to the comments…”

    Scott Ayres

    Since the nature of this study was limited, I think it’s mostly a matter of personal preference.

    Although you should be aware that if you’re adding hashtags in the initial caption, you get the auto-suggest feature while typing out hashtags. This gives you the ability to see the popularity of the hashtags while you’re writing them.

    You also get to see other related hashtags you may not have thought of.

    If you write hashtags in a comment, you don’t get the auto-suggest feature.

    Hiding hashtags in captions and comments

    If you post hashtags in the first comment, they won’t appear in your caption. If you want to post them in the caption, you can use the following method.

    Once you’ve finished typing your caption, hit the Enter (or Return) key to start a brand new line of text. Make sure you haven’t left a space at the end of the previous line, or this won’t work.

    Add a hyphen on this new line. Repeat this 3-5 times, so you have a wall of hyphens below your caption like this:

    screenshot of instagram hashtags placement

    Then on a new line, begin entering your Instagram hashtags. This separates them from the main picture and text caption, making it easier to read. People get turned off by big blocks of text, so you want to keep your hashtags away from crowding the caption and photo.

    How to Create Instagram Hashtags List

    Having a list of go-to Instagram hashtags is a great idea! It saves you time on re-typing or trying to remember what hashtags to use every time you post. Plus, you’re going to have a few favorites that always bring in new people.

    The question is: Where can you find the right Instagram hashtags?

    You have a few options.

    Option 1: Instagram hashtags auto-complete and Related

    Whenever you start typing a hashtag on Instagram, the platform will automatically supply you with all the related hashtags. It will also show you the number of posts using that hashtag.

    For example, if you started out writing #fitness, you’ll see hashtags like #fitnessmotivation (66.3m posts), #fitnessgirl (29.2m posts), #fitnesstransformation (944k posts).

    Out of all these hashtags, only #fitnesstransformation suits our 10k-1m formula.

    What do we do? We add it to our Instagram hashtag list!

    This list can be a spreadsheet or a plain text note. Personally, I like to keep a spreadsheet. This allows me to store more information and even categorize hashtags quickly and easily.

    Wait… categorize? What do you mean, Dustin?

    Be patient, skipper. We’ll address this mega-sauce strategy in the final section below. Until then, keep reading.

    Additionally, you can use Instagram’s Discover tab (the little magnifying glass icon next to the Home icon) to search for a hashtag. When you do that, Instagram will give you a list of Related Instagram hashtags at the top. Use these related hashtags to get more ideas.

    Pro-tip: If you’re looking for hashtag ideas, try using popular prefixes and suffixes, such as:

    • Insta- (e.g. #Instafitness)
    • -life (e.g. #fitnesslife)
    • IG (e.g., #IGfitness)

    Add one of those prefixes or suffixes to your target word/phrase and see what pops up. You may discover a new set of hashtags you wouldn’t have thought up otherwise.

    Option 2: Learn from your followers

    Again, it’s essential to see what kind of hashtags your existing followers and members are using.

    These aren’t necessarily hashtags with a lot of posts, which means that they’re meaningful to a small community. People in them often post, participate, and engage with one another.

    And there’s nothing like attracting the attention of a community that’s full of your potential members.

    Option 3: Learn from your competitors

    If your competitors’ Instagram hashtag game is on point, why not learn something from them?

    Take a look at what kind of hashtags they use, and use the ones that aren’t connected to their brand.

    However, don’t rely too much on their wisdom. They may not have a clear social media strategy in place.

    Option 4: Use tools to help you

    There are a lot of social media marketing tools out there. For our intents and purposes, I’ve gathered a set of hashtag tools out there that can help you reach the right people.

    Display Purposes

    screenshot of display purposes website

    For example, Display Purposes recommends Instagram hashtags based on relevance and popularity. You can also see the most popular hashtags in a given location (especially handy if you’re local).

    It’s free, as well.

    Hashtagify

    screenshot of hashtagify web app

    Another tool you can use is Hashtagify. It comes with free and paid plans. It is also very efficient at helping you understand the Instagram hashtags you should be using to get more members.

    In addition to related hashtags, you can also see if the hashtag you chose is rising in popularity or not. You can even see the primary influencers in the hashtag!

    Tailwind

    screenshot of tailwind app

    Tailwind (affiliate link) is excellent at going one step further and using contextual hashtags.

    What does this mean?

    Instead of finishing your #fitness seed hashtag with additions like -life and -motivation, Tailwind understands the context of your posts.

    If you’re posting about nutrition in fitness, Tailwind will suggest appropriate hashtags.

    It’ll also show you how competitive Instagram hashtags are. Do they have millions of posts or thousands? You can then modify them to make sure people are seeing them, and that you’re growing your followers post by post.

    Other features Tailwind offers are:

    • Competitor hashtag research
    • Finding the right-in-the-middle hashtags (between 10k and 10m) that get you the best results
    • Creating hashtag lists, you can reference whenever you post
    • Create formatting templates, so your hashtags aren’t displayed right with your caption but hidden

    Once you’ve got some tools to help you with your Instagram hashtags, it’s time to get strategic.

    Get strategic with your Instagram hashtags

    So you’ve done your hashtag research, you’ve got a list of dozens and dozens of great hashtags. But you don’t want to just throw together any 30 and paste them in.

    Remember how we talked about picking hashtags with the right level of popularity? Not too popular to get drowned out by the noise, yet popular enough that people will actually see it?

    Well here’s how you can strategically combine hashtags in a way that allows you to hit the best balance of visibility.

    First, you’ll need to categorize your hashtags into 3 volume tiers:

    • High: Hashtags with 100k-1m posts
    • Medium: Hashtags with 10k-100k posts
    • Low (niche): Hashtags with 1k-10k posts

    When adding hashtags to your post, you want to pull a mix of all 3 categories–most of them coming from the Medium tier.

    Think of it like putting together a great WOD–you don’t want to do too much of one thing. You want the right balance and variation to maximize your results.

    But why, though?

    Higher volume (popularity) hashtags are harder to rank at the top for. You’ll notice when you search for these hashtags the posts often have hundreds of likes and comments. It’s more competitive to gain a top spot there.

    Lower volume hashtags are easier to rank high in, and therefore will help you gain more engagement than the higher popularity hashtags. Doing this consistently can build momentum, and thereby help you begin to rank for more popular hashtags down the road.

    By having a good spread, you widen your chances for discovery.

    Instagram Hashtags FTW!

    Now that you understand the strategy behind using Instagram hashtags for your gym business, you can go out and start putting it to work.

    Just like your physical fitness, it will be challenging at first. Stick to it, though. Be consistent and do the work.

    Now, if you want an easy shortcut to the research side of putting together the right Instagram hashtags, we’ve done the research for you.

    SoVisual.co members have access to our Hashtag Generator. It automatically puts together 30 optimal fitness hashtags with a perfect blend of high, medium, and low volume. These hashtag groups are engineered for maximum reach.

    social media graphics for gyms

    Optimized Fitness Hashtags Generator

    Our members have access to our instant optimized fitness hashtag generator built into every download page.

    You’ll get access to our hashtag generator plus our vast library of fitness photos and graphics. These graphics are hand-crafted to grab attention.

    Consider this you’re “done-for-you” Instagram strategy for gym owners who don’t have time to post on social media every single day.

    Has this crash course on Instagram hashtags given you a few ideas? Let us know in the comments below!

  • Social Media Strategy for Personal Trainers: A Crash Course

    Gaining more clients is on the top of every personal trainers mind in 2022. A social media strategy is exactly what you need–but where do you even start?

    As a personal trainer, you’re working tirelessly to find new business and to satisfy your current clients. You’re also training hard and eating right so that you’re practicing what you preach.

    Nobody said it would be easy.

    If you aren’t using social media to grow your business, you may just be working harder–not smarter. Instagram and Facebook, in particular, lend themselves to personal trainers looking to gain more exposure and grow their client base.

    In this post I’m going to give you a crash course in social media strategy. We’ll cover all the basics, and even an added bonus at the end.

    Why Plateauing Personal Trainers Need Social Media

    Before we get started with the what of social media strategy, I want to make sure you understand why social media is such a powerful vessel to grow your client base.

    Expressing Your Expertise

    Nobody’s going to know that you’re a highly knowledgeable, dedicated, results-oriented personal trainer if you can’t show them.

    Social media platforms provide the canvas to establish yourself as a top fitness expert in the industry. More importantly, it can put you on the map (so-to-speak) in your local marketplace.

    It’s not necessarily about selling a product directly.

    Because nobody likes being “selly” on social media.

    By sharing tips, articles, videos, and workout motivation, you’ll spread your reputation amongst your social network and stay top-of-mind.

    Branding yourself as a fitness guru will ensure that when people think of fitness, exercise, or nutrition, they think of you.

    Fitness-based groups and communities are all over social media–particularly Facebook–with an audience that is eagarly awaiting your expertise.

    Unlike a classic television commercial, a social media post allows you to directly communicate with your target audience. Answer fitness questions and take part in meaningful conversations–painting yourself as even more of an industry expert.

    By growing relationships in these groups, you’ll be afforded a variety of opportunities–whether it’s acquiring new clients or reataining current ones.

    Keep in mind, each post you make is a reflection of your brand and should depict you as the leading fitness expert you are.

    Customer Service = More Income

    Harvard Business Review says unresponsive businesses on social media adversely hinder their bottom line. Conversely, the customers who receive a prompt response are generally far happier to spend more money with the brand–even if the initial comment was a complaint.

    It’s a two-pronged approach. You’re both marketing yourself and providing customer service.

    Since customer service is one of the best ways to keep clients satisfied, a social media presence is a means to retain current clients and further increase their impact on your business.

    What’s more important is that having a consistent dialogue with your clients over social media deepens their relationship with you. And while people initially sign up with you for the results, they stay because of your relationship with them.

    With an established loyal client-base, you won’t be continuously worried about acquiring new business.

    piece of paper with graph and social media stat

    In fact, a 5% increase in customer retention boosts a company’s profitability by 75%, according to Brain & Company.

    Networking for Exponential Growth

    Part of your audience should be other fitness and health-based businesses. Building a network of closely aligned brands can be mutually beneficial. Meaning you won’t be stuck doing everything alone while getting more eyes on your brand.

    man helping woman bench press

    Nutritionists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and supplement stores are ideal partnerships for you. Start by simply liking and sharing each other’s content, post positive reviews, tag one another in posts, or interact in comment threads.

    You can co-promote a social media campaign with a local supplement store offering a free consultation with a purchase of a protein bar, for instance.

    african american woman in sports bra

    Ideally, you’ll make connections with social media influencers with large followings who’ll help to vastly grow your business. The positive words of a social media heavyweight will do plenty to sway potential clients in your direction.

    This type of social “networking” has an exponential growth effect. Instead of growing your audience by your own effort, you’re leveraging the efforts of others who have your target audience’s attention.

    Make sense? Great, let’s dive deeper.

    Platforms That’ll Grow Your Social Media Muscle

    Now, there are a lot of social media platforms out there. The most popular social networks are where people tend to start, but I want to break them down for you one-by-one.

    Instagram

    A strong personal training marketing strategy rests upon impressive visual content. In the world of social media, visual content is king.

    The human eye processes information incredibly fast. As people are furiously scrolling through their social feeds, you need to have something that grabs their eyes and makes them stop dead in their tracks. This is what I call thumb-stopping power. (Because they’re scrolling with their thumbs while on their smartphones…)

    On top of that, people need to see with their own eyes that you’re a proven commodity that can promise the results they want.

    android phone scrolling photo feed

    Instagram, as a visually driven platform, is a boon to personal trainers.

    One thing you need to be aware of:

    While 80% of Instagram users follow one or more businesses online, 70% of Instagram posts aren’t seen.

    smartphone with blank instagram logo

    Posting awesome content is what feeds the Instagram algorithm, encouraging shares, likes, comments, and other activities that’ll land your posts at the top of user feeds.

    Excellent execution achieves the best results–starting with the quality of your images. The graphics and photographs you post have to meet a high standard set by the other hundreds of thousands of personal trainers posting captivating visuals.

    Showcase what’s unique about your personal training business with your eye-catching photographs.

    man stretching in yoga class

    Highlight your facility or workout space, equipment, and methods used with clients. Design graphics with motivational quotes as well as health and nutrition tips. Videos are optimal for exercise demos and client testimonials.

    Bonus: Get 10 free social media graphics that you can use today to grow you followers and make your account look like one worth engaging with!

    Instagram Hashtags are Crucial

    One of the keys with Instagram is optimizing your hashtags. It’s a science in itself with a delicate balance. You have to find hashtags that are both trending and relevant to your brand.

    Market research is the best way to find the most suitable and effective hashtags. Visit other personal trainers’ pages with a lot of followers. See what hashtags they’re using; probably stuff like:

    • #NoPainNoGain
    • #InstaRunners
    • #WorkOutMotivation
    • #FitFam

    Enter hashtags in Instagram’s search field to assess its popularity and relevance.

    Hashtags will help you build your following. They categorize your posts into subsets so people outside of your current followers can see what you’re posting.

    Be creative with Instagram hashtags. Don’t pigeonhole yourself into only posting exercise and motivational hashtags. As a fitness professional, you can pivot toward nutrition, lifestyle, or even life advice.

    You want to make sure you’re adding between 15-30 hashtags per post. Yes, you read that right… between fifteen to thirty hashtags.

    The maximum amount of hashtags Instagram will allow is 30, and studies have shown that a minimum of 11 hashtags can have a significant increase in engagement (likes and comments). And our friends over at Agorapulse have found that using the maximum of 30 hashtags can increase post likes by up to 135%!

    man scrolling through instagram on smartphone

    Tag Others to Boost Visibility

    Tag popular fitness and lifestyle influencers in your posts. If you do this sparringly, and with tact, they will appreciate you mentioning them.

    One shout out from them could mean the world to your reach. 70% of millennials worldwide depend on peer recommendations before reaching purchasing decisions, making them very open to online influencers.

    millennial woman talking with friend

    That’s not to say spamming influencers with tags and messages is a good idea. Instead, take part in these popular Instagrammer’s contests and promotions while engaging with their content. When you scratch somebody’s back, they’ll be more inclined to scratch yours.

    Get Your Bio in Shape

    Your Instagram bio and profile picture are the first two things your audience will see on your page. You have 150 characters to let people know your purpose and personality.

    If you have a website, you definitely want to link to it in the appropriate place in your bio.

    Pro-tip: Add a call to action in your bio, where visitors can use a hashtag (specific to you) to be featured on your page.

    iphone x with instagram profile

    Instagram Posting Frequency

    Buffer claims that brands see the most success when posting on average 1.5 times per day on Instagram. That’s basically posting daily with the occasional double-day.

    Daily posts jive well with Instagram’s algorithms and place your content at the top of followers’ feeds. Additionally, the goal is to stay “top-of-mind” for your audience—you want to keep your visibility consistent so as to solidify your place in their minds as a go-to fitness and health resource.

    Facebook

    On Facebook, it’s best practice to make a separate brand page with a detailed profile allowing audiences to learn about you, your qualifications, and your core values. There’s no character limit on your bio or ‘story’ so you have room to tell a captivating and expanded story.

    Also, hammering out all the details in your profile lets people know other relevant information such as hours of operation, address, phone number, e-mail, and any external links. This should be business related information only, not personal information.

    Video Content is Fire on Facebook

    Video content tends to get the most engagement on Facebook. According to Social Bakers, videos can promote a 135% increase in organic reach for your page.

    man using smartphone video app

    It’s a perfect platform for success stories/testimonials and routines while showing off your personality–after all, people want to work with personal trainers whom they actually like.

    Even if you can’t produce your own, sharing another fitness or nutrition professional’s video is both a great way to cross promote and promote engagement on your page.

    Facebook Groups Build Community

    Facebook has a group feature that drastically enhances your reach. You can make a post on your brand page and share it with an unlimited number of groups. These groups frown upon spamming and poor content, so be thoughtful about your posts.

    Groups and communities are usually private on Facebook and membership regularly need to be approved by an admin. These groups share commonalities with hashtags in that they open your page up to an audience outside of your friends and followers.

    Be sure you only join groups whose topics are relevant to fitness, nutrition, lifestyle, and bodybuilding. Posting your fitness content in a group about power tools is a one-way ticket to getting kicked out.

    Joining local marketing groups on Facebook connects you with a whole host of nearby businesses. Even if you connect with employees of a bank or law firm, many workplaces embark on company-wide wellness initiatives. You’d be surprised at what kind of opportunities can be presented in these networking groups.

    Posting Frequency for Facebook

    While consistency is essential to posting efforts, according to Ahalogy, one Facebook post a day is enough. Posting more might cause your audience to ignore you, unfollow your posts, or unlike your page.

    Once you start to gain some traction on Facebook—meaning your audience is growing consistently, and you’re getting high amounts of Likes and Comments on each post—then you can increase your posting frequency.

    When starting out, just stick to one post per day.

    Twitter

    The average Twitter user follows five businesses. Over 80% of those users have mentioned a brand in a Tweet, while 54% of them have taken some kind of action when a brand was mentioned in a Tweet, as per a survey performed by Twitter.

    When your business has a Twitter account, focus more on engagement instead of hawking your services. Provide customer support in the form of nutritional or exercise advice.

    Twitter acts as a search engine for relevant, industry-related conversations. Find those hot-button issues and humanize yourself to an audience that can help build your business.

    One of the best ways to start a conversation is by using the “Retweet with a Comment” feature when you see great fitness-related tweets. The more enticing and engaging the tweet, the more engagement you’ll receive.

    iphone x scrolling through twitter

    Brandwatch reports that Tweets containing images get retweeted 150% more—so again using images in your social media posts is vitally important.

    Pumping Up Your Profile

    Just as with Instagram and Facebook you want to craft a great bio on Twitter. Don’t be affraid to add a hashtag or two to help surface your profile in search.

    On top of your bio, your profile picture is an essential facet of a comprehensive Twitter profile. Don’t use a logo with a tagline. Twitter’s a much more personal platform, so followers want to see a photo of you instead of a brand representation.

    bodybuilder smiling while lifting weights

    Twitter Posting Frequency

    Twitter is what I refer to as a “high-volume” network. People tweet a lot throughout the day, and it’s culturally acceptable on that platform.

    Retweets mainly happen within an hour of posting. After that crucial first hour, the tweet is most likely never to be seen again as it will be drowned out by the millions of other tweets happening every day. As such, it’s suggested to post on Twitter around 15 times a day.

    man using phone and laptop

    It’s no easy task to post that much. So, if you’re dead set on a Twitter presence even with your busy schedule, take a day and pre-schedule your posts for the month using a social media management tool.

    Keep in mind, though, that you have to be reactive on Twitter because it moves at a mile per minute. To capitalize on the immediacy of a given trend or hashtag, you’ll always want to keep an ear in the pipeline–even with scheduled posts.

    LinkedIn

    If you’re privy to your audience’s professional side on LinkedIn, you can really key in on prospective clients in a multitude of industries.

    There are plenty of lucrative marketing opportunities. For example, you can target a specific workout routine to CEOs. Or, if you used to be a Real Estate Agent, you can cater niche workouts towards that industry.

    You’ll have firsthand knowledge of the challenges faced when combining fitness with their career and they’ll trust you as an expert.

    Again with the Bio

    An effective LinkedIn profile starts with your summary–because that’s what potential clients first see when they visit your profile. You’re telling your story and highlighting your most significant professional qualifications and achievements.

    Your profile picture is of the utmost importance. Unlike Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, where you can be a bit more adventurous, LinkedIn requires a professional headshot. Investing in a photographer is a good idea. Only 9% of LinkedIn headshots are selfies, according to Forbes.

    LinkedIn Posting Frequency

    The LinkedIn audience is busy, and you shouldn’t exceed one post per day, says LocalVox.

    You’ll also want to make sure that you’re posting items early in the day (pre-work hours) to get the maximum potential for exposure throughout the day.

    Other Social Media Platforms

    There are many other social networks that you could potentially use to grow your audience and reach new clients.

    We’ve covered the most popular ones, but here are a couple more notworthy platforms.

    Pinterest

    87% of Pinterest’s 250 million monthly users have purchased a product or service through the platform.

    Similar to Instagram, Pinterest as a visual medium offers plenty of ‘proof is in the pudding’ marketing benefits as a personal trainer.

    However, you may be a bit too busy for Pinterest as you’re growing your business. Ahalogy suggests up to 30 posts or “pins” per day to get the best results.

    That’s a 9-5 job in itself!

    YouTube

    Youtube has 1.9 billion active monthly users and is the most popular social media site for teens. If you’re looking to train high school athletes, YouTube video content may be the avenue for you.

    That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of adults (myself included) searching for great workout videos on YouTube daily. So if you’re comfortable creating video content, YouTube may be a great place to build your audience.

    If you’re not able to create your own videos, you can always share Youtube videos across your other social media accounts.

    Bonus: Jump-start You Social Media Content

    Trying to learn how to be great at social media marketing can be overwhelming. This is especially true if you’re already juggling clients on a daily basis.

    To help you get a jump on posting attractive social media content, we’ve packaged together 10 high-quality graphics for you to use! Just add your name and email and we’ll send you the download link.

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    10 Free Social Media Graphics

    Every month we send out ten hand-crafted fitness graphics that you can post on your social media profiles.

    Conclusion

    There are plenty of advantages social media can offer you as a personal trainer. You just have to follow the right practices, and your business will grow beyond your wildest dreams!

    P.S. Pin this post to reveal the top-secret Social Media Tips Infographic!

    Featured image courtesy of Mentatdgt via Shutterstock.