In recent years, the use of social media platforms for business growth has grown immensely — namely Instagram. For anyone who may not know what Instagram is… it’s an app which allows its’ users to share their photo and video content with their followers and other “Instagrammers”.
People who use Instagram generally want to be inspired or maybe discover more of the things they care about. For businesses however, it’s a platform to engage with potential customers and a fantastic opportunity to connect with their brands’ community.
As of June 2018, Instagram reached the 1 billion monthly active users mark 😲 (TechCrunch, 2018). As of now, it’s one of the most popular social media networks worldwide. 71% of this billion are under the age of 35 (Statista, 2019), therefore understanding your social media demographics is key to ensure your content is reaching the right target market. With the fitness industry evolving rapidly, and people becoming ever more health conscience, Millennials and Gen-Zers alike can take up a big percentage of your target market.
Instagram can be a bit of a mind field for someone who hasn’t used it before for business purposes! Here at Legit Fit, we’ve decided to come up with some key tips and tricks so you can increase the growth of your fitness business. Whether you’re a newbie to the fitness industry or an established fitness professional, we can guarantee there is something you will learn from these tips!
#1. Identifying goals and objectives
Just like anything in life, setting out your goals and plans is essential to ensure accountability. Do you already have an Instagram account set up but feel you’re not achieving any gain from it? Or are you back in the stone ages and don’t have Instagram and unsure how it works? Either way, to ensure you’re maximizing your work efforts, identifying your goals and objectives is the starting point!
To identify these goals, you need to ask yourself some challenging questions to truly understand what benefits Instagram can bring to your fitness business. A few examples of these questions may include….
- Who are my target market? Ensure you keep your customer personas at the core of this. Is Instagram where you will find your target market? Are your competitors on Instagram? If so, what are they doing? Checking out your competition is key to ensure you are keeping up to date with the fitness industry trends and staying ahead of the curve.
- What are you hoping to achieve from marketing your fitness business on Instagram? Are your current customers on Instagram? Are you looking to grow your fitness business by using Instagram as a platform to find potential customers? Or are you using it to connect with current clients and use it as a communication platform? Clearly identifying this when setting up/revamping your Instagram account will tell you the direction you need to go in. As a fitness professional you know the industry is ever changing and with more competition, maximizing your presence is essential.
- Do you want to display your services? Eye grabbing graphics and visuals are essential to display your service. People are drawn in by graphics; ones that are easy and quick to read, therefore professional, good quality graphics is essential. In 2018, Instagram users’ spent an average of 53 minutes per day online (Recode 2018), therefore providing concise, appealing information for your followers to quickly engage with is essential to gain business growth.
- Are you trying to create an engaged community? Do you want to use it as a place for your current clients to network and bond? On Facebook you can create private pages or group chats which may be more of a benefit if this is one of the reasons.
#2. Switch to Business profile / Join Instagram on a Business account
Are you switching from a personal account to a business account to grow your business? Or are you joining Instagram on a new business account? Instagram has features for business accounts to ensure people can use their platform as a means of communication as well as a means to analyse their business. These features include:
Instagram provides you with key insights to analyse how your profile and content is performing week-to-week. It allows you to access weekly performance statistics such as followers, number of impressions, total reach, website clicks and much more. Instagram offers comprehensive demographics of your followers including data on their location or when they’re active. These insights provide key information on your audience and how to maximize your content.
Instagram has a feature on the business accounts to make it easier for your followers to contact you. You can have it set to email, call or to display your location of business on a map so you can customize it to your preferred form of contact.
The main benefit to having your profile set as a business profile is to have the ability to advertise. Instagram allows you to promote your posts for a small fee which would enable you to grow reach and increase engagement.
#3. Reach your target audience with Ads.
As mentioned above, on Instagram you have the ability to advertise your content on a business profile. The platform ads is driven by Facebook’s powerful targeting options and can be sent across both platforms. These powerful algorithms allow you to make your ad reach specific detailed criteria that you can select yourself. Ensure to use quality images and videos for an ad campaign to keep users engaged for longer.
#4. Provide value to your followers
So now you know what you want to achieve from using Instagram. Next you need to keep your followers engaged and get them to transition to clients — added value is the key here! It’s important to drive home the message that you will be a huge benefit to their life if they purchase your services.
Not sure where to start? First thing you can do is to check out what your target market want to see. Secondly, you need to research what competitors are posting on their accounts. What can you do better? Why should your followers choose your service/product over your competitors? Brainstorm ideas and look up comments and analyse what content your followers are liking.
Health and wellness is at the forefront of peoples mind lately with increasing awareness of health issues. As Instagram can be used as an escape from everyday life, a fun and relatable approach to raise awareness of your brand and your values can be effective. A good example of promoting your business whilst also creating valuable content for your followers is by posting client testimonials. These testimonials allows your followers to see what genuine clients of your services are saying about you and your brand. The power of word-of-mouth is still extremely powerful in today’s world.
Whether you are providing a 1-to-1 personal training service or a yoga class for beginners, having past and present clients provide feedback on your service will break the barrier and make your content relatable — it creates a community. For many people, having exercise in their routine can be a big challenge for them to overcome. Highlighting that your past clients may also felt like this can make your content relatable.
Todays’ consumer has very different buying trends from times in the past. Bridging the gap between advertising a service and making a client feeling comfortable on their fitness journey can easily be achieved using Instagram. Content such as client testimonials and progress photos of genuine, relatable people can portray your brand vision and a sense of community with very little digital media expertise.
#5. Make a content calendar
A very important aspect of using social media platforms for business purposes is to maintain consistency. Content showing up frequently on your followers feed will definitely increase your brand awareness. Posting content on social media can be quite a timely task, therefore to utilize your time more, it’s important to create a content calendar. This allows you to organize your content to ensure your posts appear the same time every week which provides uniformity. Instagram users do not like to see the same content over and over again, therefore variety is key. We have come up with a schedule example for you to adapt to your fitness business and your use of social media.
- Monday — Motivational Monday: Quote & Graphic
- Tuesday — Transformation Tuesday: Client Testimonial
- Wednesday — Workout Wednesday: Video Content
- Thursday — Networking Day: Outreach
- Friday — Healthy meal/recipe: Video/Blog
- Saturday — Interaction with followers: Share customers post/Ask questions
- Sunday — Sunday Funday: Fun post with Graphic
#6. Choose your Hashtags
On Instagram, hashtags are used as a discovery tool. You can add up to 30 hashtags to posts and Instagram stories. Instagram users are able to search for specific hashtags on Instagram and most recently, be able to follow specific hashtags. This allows them to see content on their feed which has the hashtags they follow without having to follow the account. To utilize this function efficiently for your business, you need to use the relevant hashtags to boost visibility and reach new customers. To find relevant hashtags, search for trending hashtags or check out what hashtags your competitors are using. Think about what you are promoting in your post and hashtag the key words! Be specific also… use #CorkFitness over #Fitness. This will lead to actual customers… not just random people (or bots) engaging from anywhere.
#7. Build a community
Besides creating relatable content for your followers, using Instagram as a platform to engage with your followers will build your business community. Ensure you interact with followers by liking/commenting/sharing their posts or by simply sending them a direct message to open the conversation floor will help create a community and build trust around your brand. Host competitions which will ensure followers to engage with your profile by liking, tagging other Instagram users in your posts and sharing your content on their profiles. Engage with followers by utilizing Call to Actions such as asking them for an answer to a question or by reposting clients content. All of these Call to Actions keep followers engaged while also increasing your follower base.
#8. Instagram Stories
One of Instagram’s key features, is Instagram stories. Instagram stories allows users to post photo and video content to appear as a time reel on their account for just 24 hours. Much like Snapchat, the Instagram stories feature was added to the platform in 2013 and has since taken over as the most used photo and video sharing platform, with an 80% increase in time spent watching videos on Instagram. The photos and videos posted on your Instagram stories should be exciting and amusing content, being somewhat different to the content you post on your page. Video content can be edited using features such as Boomerangs or Hyperlapse videos. Instagram also allows you to add in geographic location tagging on stories, add up to 30 hashtags, create a poll, add a GIF or stickers to your story. All these features boosts followers and simplifies brand engagement organically. Instagram stories is a key feature every business should be using to get more visibility for their products and also enhance their overall content.
#9. Create Quality Content
As mentioned above, Instagram users’ spent an average of 53 minutes per day online in 2018 (Recode 2018), therefore it is essential for you to create high quality content for your followers to be able to compete in the fitness industry. Following a few of these tips will be sure to make your followers engage with your content…..
- High-Quality Photos: Using your smartphone is perfect for everyday Instagram stories content, however to create high quality photo content for your profile, use a high quality camera to get the best results.
- Research ready-to-use templates: To get high quality images for your account, you don’t necessarily need to hire a top-notch graphic designer. Using apps such as Spark Post from Adobe or Canva are great inexpensive alternatives that everyone can use.
- Bring variety to your content by using different formats: Creating video tutorials/demonstrations or simply creating photo album style posts can bring variety to your page and helping your content appeal to a wider audience.
Remember, Instagram and all other social media platforms does not need to be a mind field for businesses to promote themselves. Starting with these simple steps can guarantee a benefit in growing your fitness business!
Get in contact with us today at Legit Fit to help us help YOU grow your fitness business!!!!