In an action-packed episode 20, Jack goes through 10 tips that every fitness business can action today to improve the effectiveness of their Instagram account.
Instagram is arguably the primary social media channel for fitness businesses now so make sure that your account is doing your brand justice, not dragging it down.
In today’s episode:
- First impressions for your account
- The importance of good photography
- Why you should post regularly
- Planning content is pivotal
- Instagram stories
- How to use highlights and why they’re important
- How to use hashtags and why you should use them
- Instagram likes it when you engage with your followers
- Consider the tone of your brand and the copy you use
- Get your whole team involved for max returns
CONTACT / CONSULTANCY ENQUIRIES
Welcome back to the FBA podcast. My name is Jack Thomas and before we kick off, I’m excited to announce that I will be featuring on a panel at the first ever FIT Summit which is taking place in Singapore on March 20th. The FIT Summit is really the first fitness industry b2b event of this size in Asia so I’m proud to be involved and to be taking part. I’ll be joined by some very established figures in the region’s industry and we’ll be discussing Optimising the customer experience, engagement, loyalty and acquisition. I’m a big fan of the FIT Summit’s vision to improve collaboration in Asia’s fitness scene and to work together to raise the standards of the industry so we all benefit. This is very much in line with my personal mission and that of both BASE and this podcast so I’m excited and proud to be involved. I’d love to see you there so if you’d like to find out more about the summit visit thefitsummit.com – the link is in this episodes shownotes.
Onto today’s topic, and in this episode we are looking at 10 tips for improving your fitness business Instagram account.
I think Instagram has become the primary social media channel in terms of brand building for the fitness industry and if you’re not using Instagram well, you’re losing out.
This episode is a quick fire podcast and I’ll be throwing out a ton of ideas, so have a pen and paper ready, make notes on the points that sound relevant and then start working on them one by one.
Since I set up the fitnessbusinessasia Instagram account I’ve followed hundreds of gyms from all around Asia and the world to get an idea of what’s being put out there. Some are doing a fantastic job, some are fine and perform the basic functions of what you might expect from an Instagram account but don’t really set the world on fire, and some I would say are actually damaging their brand with their Instagram activity.
Today I’m going to go through ten tips or things you should be thinking about and by the end of it you should have some ideas for your account that you can action soon.
Set up your Instagram account for the person who is visiting for the first time.
Many people will hear about your gym and then find you on Instagram so you need to make sure that your page is talking to that person.
Firstly, make your profile pic your logo.
For your bio, current clients won’t read this very often, but new clients will – so it should sum up your business in a few words. It could be your tagline, or it could be a quick description of what you are and what you do.
You should have your full address on there so people can find you.
Consider the top 6-9 pictures you have on your Instagram feed at any one time. These are the first images that a newcomer to your fitness business will see so they should represent what you do and get them excited.
Use decent photography. I went through this in episode 5 but it’s worth another mention now. I see many fitness businesses using iphone pics that have just been taken without a moment’s thought. Invest in a photographer to come in and take a bunch of photos that you can use for a few months at least. Getting someone to come in for a few hours and take photos of the facilities, the team, some posed shots, some shots of the sessions should give you tons of content.
Post regularly. I would recommend once per day but at the very least once every two days. Fitness and wellness businesses should be inspiring places and they should change people’s lives. This provides you with so many opportunities for content.
That being said, don’t just post for the sake of posting. When you start doing that, the quality will inevitably go down and you could end up dong more harm than good. Which leads us to tip four:
Plan your content in advance. To keep things structured I recommend having a content schedule which you should plan in advance and different days can have different types of content, to keep some level of consistency. For example:
Monday could be motivational quote day (and for this, I recommend getting your own quotes done in your branding, not reposting other images)
Tuesday can be client success story. It could be a before/after shot, a quick testimonial video after a session or a photo of them with instructor or coach.
Wednesday could be a profile of one of your staff members which is a chance to get them out there and build them up…
And so on…
Having this level of structure makes it much easier to plan your content for weeks or months in advance and if you need to add any other posts in with new stories or messages that pop up, you can just slot them in.
Use Instagram stories. Stories are typically more candid content that disappears within 24 hours, so you don’t necessarily need to worry about the quality of the images and content being as high as your feed, where the content stays forever. That being said, still make sure it’s genuinely engaging and again – you’re not just putting things up for the sake of it. Make your stories succinct and to the point and I’d say don’t go too crazy with them. Sometimes I see businesses with so many stories that no one except for their biggest fans are going to go through all that content.
Bear this in mind – if you put very weak content up on your stories regularly people will skip through it or past it. This will tell the Instagram algorhythms that you’re not posting interesting content and you’ll be penalized. Once this starts to happen, it’s hard to reverse, so when posting stories, use the litmus test question of ‘would someone who doesn’t know me or my business be interested in consuming this?’.
Although stories disappear within 24 hours, you can save stories onto your highlights which stay on your page forever and can be seen and viewed easily from your Instagram homepage. This brings us to tip six:
Use the highlights to your advantage
I think having your first highlight as something like ‘what we do’ or ‘about us’ is a good idea as it talks to that first time visitor to your business, so they can find out what you’re about and what you offer. Make sure the first few stories on the highlights are informative and to the point. If you can give viewers a good idea of what you offer in the first 1,2 or perhaps 3 videos, which are 15 seconds each, then that will be effective for someone who quickly wants to find out more about your business.
Some ideas for The rest of the highlights can be perhaps profiling your team members, your different offerings, events you’ve had or promos. All these highlights are prime real estate on your Instagram page so consider carefully what you put up there.
I think 4-5 highlights is a good number as if you have more than this it’s unlikely people are going to scroll along and look at all of them. Like tabs on your website, less is more – so keep the options lean and on the big, important things about your business.
Use hashtags. Overusing or misusing hashtags is not a good look so I’d recommend keeping a few key ones on your main post and then using your first comment to add a few more, without overdoing it. Hashtags are quite important as they enable people to find your page and posts if they’re searching for a relevant hashtag and they also help IG’s algorhythms identify what your posts are about, so they can show them to people that may be interested.
Do not use non-relevant hashtags such as #louisvuitton or #picoftheday as it looks cheap and tacky and won’t actually help any of the right people find your page or business.
Engage with your clients. When they comment on your posts, always comment back and thank them or continue the conversation, or need be you can just leave an emoji. Instagram likes accounts that engage with their followers so if you do this they’ll reward you with more exposure
When designing content, Aim to create posts that would inspire or prompt them to comment, like and share. This could be as simple as asking a question such as ‘what’s your favourite cheat meal’ or you could invite them to tag someone who might benefit from a tip you put out. These requests need to be coupled with a quality post that someone will genuinely be happy to share with their friends.
For stories, when someone tags you, send them a little message saying thanks for dropping by, glad you had fun or whatever’s relevant.
Again, Instagram likes active accounts that are having conversations with their followers and rewards you for this.
Consider copy. I see many copywriting nightmares on social media accounts that are unclear or littered with spelling mistakes.
Another common mistake I see is no consideration being given to tone of voice. Sometimes I see posts are written with a very informal and jokey tone – almost like how you’d talk to your mates at the pub, but when you look at the business they’re trying to position themselves as high-end, professional and exclusive. That won’t work and can be very damaging to your brand so take some time to consider what your voice should be or get a professional to help you with this. This shouldn’t be underestimated.
That leads us to the final tip, tip number 10:
Get your whole team to engage with your profile by liking posts, commenting and also do the same to their accounts. Hopefully your staff are inspired and proud to be working at your fitness business and they’re posting a lot of their own content. If they’re not, there is a root problem that needs to be addressed. Once you have this three-way engagement between clients, staff and the business, it helps to creates a real sense of community amongst the team and it also shows Instagram that you have an active account.
My football team is Spurs, and they do an incredible job on their social media which is quite inspiring. They engage with all their players and the fans and it looks very natural, but I have no doubt it’s all very carefully crafted by a top marketing agency or a big internal team. You may not have this but you can do a lot to encourage everyone in the company to be a part of your online presence.
That wraps up our top 10 instagram tips for fitness businesses. I hope you found these useful and they’ve given you some fresh ideas. If you gained something from this podcast please do give us a 5 star review on whatever platform you’re listening on. It really is a big help in getting this out to more people, so we’d appreciate it greatly.
In the meantime please do visit our Instagram page at fitnessbusinessasia and If there are any big tips or ideas I’ve missed out please do comment on one of our photos to let us know your thoughts.
As always, thanks for tuning in and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so you get notified each Monday when we provide you with a fresh new episode.
Have a great week and I’ll catch you soon….