As a new business–specifically in the health and fitness industry– resources and budget tend to be limited. Social media is an inexpensive way to both attract and retain clients. Follow these steps to start crafting a successful social media strategy to grow your business.
1. Identify your audience
With any social media/marketing campaign, knowing your target audience is the key to success. How does one identify their target audience? As a small business, look at your local neighborhood. Is the facility located in a baby boomer community? Middle class? Or is most of the population between the ages of 20-35? Different images and messages should be marketed to each segment.
When marketing to Generation Y and/or younger age groups, social media is woven into every aspect of life, making it possible to reach them through various channels. This generation is all about doing research before committing to something new. So, pay attention to the fitness trends! A recent study from Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) indicated a rising interest in group classes among this segment. Highlight group programs by posting videos of your kickboxing, aerobics or group Zumba classes. Use hashtags to make content more searchable!
2. Engage and Build Relationships
It’s not enough to strive for “likes” on posts; the conversation must continue. Actively engage with customers and require actions. Ask them to like a post, retweet, add a comment, subscribe, or share a video. Use these opportunities to offer promotions. Maybe a certain number of “likes” or shares will result in a free group class. This opens the conversation to your client’s friends, and social circles.
Social media creates constant communication between you and clients. Strive to build a relationship through feedback. Feedback is a two-way street; it’s important to respond to both negative and positive feedback-whether on Twitter, Facebook or your own personal website. Post client success stories to demonstrate your brand’s personal relationship with clients and programs with REAL results. If clients feel heard and respected, they’ll WANT to share your content and message, often times resulting in new lead and member acquisition.
3. Develop a strategy
Develop a schedule for posting content and be consistent. Encourage clients to get an early workout in Sunday Mornings at 8am to start the day off with a bang. Or, post “free” information once a week such as, “10 steps to a healthier heart”. Remind clients that your facility cares about them even outside the gym walls.
4. Measure the effectiveness of your social media strategy:
Social Media platforms measure your reach (followers), traffic (visitors), leads from referral sites, customers, and conversion rates. Utilize these metrics to identify what is working and what isn’t. For example, you can determine if promotions offered on Tuesdays at 12pm are more effective than Fridays at 12pm.
Identify, Engage, Develop and Measure to begin growing your small business. These days, you would be hard-pressed to find a successful business NOT using social media to expand their client base.