For the rest of the summer, the Go! Agency blog will focus on the social media habits of different industries. For each week in August, our first blog will explain common mistakes made by an industry; our second blog will explain how to fix those mistakes.
As we discussed in our previous blog, the fitness industry has some work to do when it comes to social media marketing. Thankfully, the common issues have easy fixes. Let’s take a look at one fitness studio that needs some more coaching on their marketing techniques! (Note: The following example is a hypothetical case study that combines features from several different situations. Names, locations, and other details have been changed to protect the privacy and anonymity of source examples.)
Ferris Fitness is a small boutique fitness studio that specializes in spinning and pilates. CEO Carol Ferris wants her studio to be a space where people can feel comfortable and get healthy. She is busy enough with the day to day operations (and keeping head trainer Hal from throttling Guy, a spin instructor), so she leaves the social media operations to Kyle, the receptionist and de facto office manager. Kyle likes that this duty enables him to flex his creative muscles (his degree is in graphic design), but he doesn’t know a lot about marketing.
Carol wants to show off their gorgeous layout, so she’s taken lots of pictures of the studio. Always when it’s empty, of course–why would you want people in the way? Pilates teachers Jessica and Simon will frequently snap candid pics during workouts, and sometimes even take (admittedly shaky) videos of group classes.
Solution: Polish your image.
We’re not saying that you need to make your trainers wear full make up so that you can take pictures of the class, but you need to look polished. Pay attention to lighting and composition of your shots. Take time to actually set up your photos. And enough with those sad pictures of empty gyms: people won’t be impressed by the space, they’ll be confused by your lack of clients.
Spin instructor John wants to take before and after photos of clients, but Carol worries that asking would offend or embarrass them. Right now, their photos are mostly shots of the trainers during their own workouts.
Solution: Embrace reality!
You need to show the “before” picture if you want the “after” picture to have any impact. People want to see what your gym could do for them, and the best way to do that is to show a person who is at the beginning of his/her fitness journey. More than that, people want to to relate to others. Ask your clients if any of them would be comfortable sharing before and after photos. Ideally, you should present a mixture of all different ages, sizes, and body types.
Ferris Fitness has an eclectic bunch of employees. Guy volunteers with the Special Olympics. Jess and Simon co-emcee a popular karaoke night at a nearby bar. The staff includes two retired veterans: Hal (USAF) and John (USMC). Sadly, no one would know any of this by looking at any of the gym’s social media channels.
Solution: Get personal.
Show off your staff! No one who’s seen Guy yelling at cyclists in his lunchtime spin class would ever think that he’d be great with children, much less children with special needs. Jess is so quiet during classes, but she’s effervescent on stage. Happy-go-lucky karaoke night Simon likewise bears little resemblance to stern trainer Simon. Hal and John don’t like to flaunt their military service, but they wouldn’t mind being mentioned on Veterans’ Day. By showing the human side of your trainers, you allow your audience to connect.
Ferris Fitness has one advantage that too many businesses lack: an owner who was willing to learn. After Kyle mentioned their social media issues, Carol did some research on her own. She had thought that her fitness studio was average in terms of social media, but she quickly saw how much she was missing. Carol decided to contact a small social media management firm. She felt doing so would be the best for herself and her staff–and the results have been great!
Don’t do all the heavy lifting of digital marketing by yourself! We can help you optimize your marketing strategies. Contact us today for a free consultation!