I’ve addressed this area before, but I cannot stress enough how crucial social media is to your fitness or sports business. Last time in my blog, 8 Best Practices For Promoting Your Business On Social Media, I spoke about all the tactics you SHOULD be using with your various social media platforms. But, what is also, if not more important, is what you should be making sure NOT to do.
The following is a list of major “DON’Ts” to abide by in the digital space.
1. Sending automated twitter messages to new followers.
I know it’s hard to avoid the siren call of “automated” anything. Let’s face it, we don’t want to waste time individualizing each reply, but, believe me when I tell you it goes a long way. I can’t even tell you how many times I have received an automated reply that goes something like this:
“Thanks for the follow! Get my free e-book here!” or, “Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc., or my favorite, “How have you stayed motivated this week, download my blah blah blah.”
The point is, automated messages–no matter how witty and clever you think they are– give the impression that 1. I am just a number 2. You just want to clog my inbox with promotional materials instead of get to know me and my specific needs and 3. I am just not intelligent enough to realize this is an automated message and you don’t really care how motivated I was this week.
Key Takeaway: Automated messages are no beuno.
2. Grammatical Errors.
You may think it’s no big deal to make a mistake here or there, but if you think your followers aren’t judging you for each wrong use of “there”, “their”, and “they’re”, you’re dead wrong. Also consider your client demographic. Do you work in a high-end gym or boutique? If you do, grammatical errors can be extremely off-putting.
3. Responding to public negative feedback in a condescending or defensive manner.
Even if the feedback is completely untrue, responding in a kind, gracious manner makes you look really good. Getting into long-winded debates over what did or didn’t happen and what is or isn’t true not only leaves a sour taste in this complaintant’s mouth but also for your other followers and potential clients. Be the bigger man (or woman) and take this feedback as constructive criticism. It helps to think of complaints as gifts. For every person that voices a complaint, there are probably at least a dozen others with the same complaint who would rather leave than voice their concerns. Use this negative feedback as constructive criticism to improve on and build your brand and business.
4. Not having a “like” or “follow” button on your business website.
Do we even need to explain?
5. Not taking interview requests.
Interviews are a fantastic way to promote your business! Always say yes and always respond in a timely fashion. Even if the publication asking for an interview isn’t industry-specific, you are still reaching a variety of audiences and the more your brand is out there circulating, the more publicity and attention your business will get. Plus, while the interviewer may be from a smaller publication now, that doesn’t mean they will stay that way forever! And, on the same note, when the press publishes nice things about you, make sure to acknowledge them in a gracious manner. Keep that positive rapport going to capitalize on possible future feature pieces.
6. Not responding to tweets/posts/comments from people who are NOT followers.
This an opportunity to build a relationship with non-clients. Interact with these users, educate them about your brand and mission (without shoving it in their face) and eventually they just may become clients.
7. Failure to acknowledge bloggers/publications in your local area.
Follow them, repost their relevant content, like the heck out of their posts and invite them to participate in events and social functions at your facility. Start small and target local channels before attempting to step into the big leagues.
8. Having no social media presence at all.
This should go without saying—especially in a world where almost everyone is online and on some form of digital platform. The benefits of promoting your brand on these different channels is astronomical and should NOT be ignored. This is the easiest way to tap into a myriad of audiences from different demographics. While you’re at it, start up a blog too and develop a consistent schedule so subscribers know what to expect each week.