I recently caught up with co-owner and marketing mastermind behind Boston co-retail space For Now, Kaity Cimo. She runs the space with friend and business partner Katharine ReQua. They opened a year ago and have played home to over 80 brands in that time.
8 Tips (with Examples) to Grow Your Fitness Social Media in 2019
For aspiring coaches, personal trainers, or gym owners looking to get some new clients, it’s no secret having a fitness social media account is a great way to get exposure.
But hey, it’s 2019 and you already knew that.
The tricky part is putting that knowledge into practice. Easier said than done, right? Managing a fitness social media account for your business is a lot different than posting sporadically or sharing memes on your personal account (although come on, who doesn’t love animals doing people stuff?).
Plus, between keeping up with your own training, working with existing clients, and managing your business and home life – adding “Social Media Manager” to your list of responsibilities just seems like one more thing to juggle.
Fortunately, with a little bit of planning and knowledge of Instagram best practices, you’ll have a go-to strategy that’ll gain you followers in no time!
So let’s dive in with an actionable plan of attack you can use right now to plan a social media marketing strategy for your fitness account!
Fitness social media tips
Plan fitness posts ahead of time using a content calendar
First of all, what’s a content calendar?
It’s the tool that’s going to save you hours of pain and time filling out your Instagram with awesome click-worthy fitness content. There’s no need to go crazy racking your brain for new content every day, or worse – failing to post because you were too busy or forgot.
Instead, you’ll save time by coming up with batches of content ideas at once. You can plan a week or a whole month ahead – whatever rate works for your schedule.
By brainstorming ahead of time you ensure that you’re always putting out consistent quality content and aren’t interrupting your daily activities to do it. Check out Hootsuite’s comprehensive guide to creating a social media content calendar for some tips to get started on yours.
The best part is that the initial build is a one-time deal if you create a repeatable calendar. Just plug in your new ideas each month (or whatever frequency you’ve created your calendar to reset)!
So now that you have your fitness calendar template created, what sort of content should you fill it with?
Use daily fitness activities as posts
Do you have a daily fitness routine that you already stick to? Kill two birds with one stone and repurpose your workouts into fitness content you can use for your social media account. Think about your lifestyle, activities, and common questions from your clients, and then turn those into posts.
We’ve got a few ideas to get you started:
You probably get asked a lot of questions about health, routines, equipment, and general fitness all the time. Compile the most common ones and turn your answers into posts to share with your audience, who likely have the same questions. We love the idea of recording quick videos, but you can also use attractive text-based images.
Related: Our Favorite Instagram Edit Apps
Offering professional insight is a great way to provide value to your audience. It also has the added benefit of establishing your brand as an education source and a thought leader in your industry – both of which will help you inspire trust with your followers.
Nutrition and diet
Turn your diet or nutrition program into fitness content, too! Share your meal prep steps, your favorite healthy recipes, and images of the types of food and snacks you eat on a regular basis.
Sometimes people struggle coming up with ideas for their own meals, so seeing exactly how their social media fitness guru handles nutrition may be just the inspiration they need! Plus, if you’re taking the time to make the meal it’s easy to snap a pic for some ready-made content!
You’re working out on a regular basis anyway! Why not get a friend to take a few action shots or record of quick video to share with your followers? Try showing off a particular routine or providing a demonstration of the correct technique that people often get wrong.
Share your fitness journey
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Do as I say, not as I do”. And all of us also know that almost never works as well as it’s intended to. That’s because people model behavior they see. Use your fitness social media account to both SHOW and TELL your followers how your program works and what you can do for them.
Whether you’re in the beginning stages or you’ve been a pro for years, it’s never too late to start chronicling your fitness journey. Working on a new routine to get more ab definition in one month? Post a before picture, and a new pic every week until the routine is complete.
Not only does that SHOW your followers that your plan works, but it’s also an easy way to get four days’ worth of fitness posts for your calendar!
Crowdsource fitness content from clients
Expand on that show-and-tell content. Do you have clients who’ve seen brag-worthy results from your workout or nutrition plans? If they track fitness progression on social media using your regimens, share their pictures (with proper attribution and consent, of course) with your followers.
Even if they don’t have their own pages, see if you can snag some before, during, and after pictures while you’re training them to show their progress. Bonus points for showing your audience that your plans can work for a variety of body types and fitness levels for people other than just you.
Getting your clients or followers involved is also a great opportunity to inspire some quality engagement, which is a metric you should be tracking on your account anyway. Set up a challenge, get your followers to tag you, and choose one person’s image to feature every week or month on your page.
We love the idea of a “Monday Motivation” post showing the progress of an existing client and a, “Friday Feature” showing the progress of one of your followers. Two pieces of fitness content down for your social media calendar just like that!
Use content templates
Remember when we mentioned that running your fitness social media business page would be different than posting to your regular account? One of the things you need to keep in mind with running a brand is, well, branding. It helps you build trust and credibility with your audienceand also differentiates you from the pack.
When creating your fitness posts, make sure all the branding points back to you. You’ll want to use the same fonts, colors, layouts, and general style with all of your posts to create a cohesive feel throughout your feed. The other benefit is that when people recognize your brand, they’ll be able to identify your content even when it’s shared someplace other than your account!
Don’t feel like you need to be a photoshop pro to create visually appealing images (although if you are, go for it!). There’s plenty of easy design tools like Canva that can help you create stunning layouts in minutes.
Stick with core hashtags relevant to fitness posts
Hashtags are an awesome tool to use for any social media marketing campaign, including fitness. The key to taking advantage of them is knowing which ones to use and using them appropriately.
Take the time to do some hashtag research. Find which ones are popular in your niche and are achievable to rank for (it may seem intuitive to always use the hashtags with the highest number of posts, but unless you’re a huge brand, it’s easy to get buried in the crowd).
Steer clear of hashtags that don’t directly relate back to your content regardless of how fun or whimsical they seem. They’re not doing you any favors if they’re not leading the right type of people back to your account. Remember, you want people who are looking for fitness content.
And when doing your research, make sure to pick a variety of fitness hashtags to choose from. Using the same few over and over on each post is considered spammy to Instagram. They’ll actually punish your account and lower your reach if it seems like you’re trying to spam your followers.
Leverage fitness social media influencers
Ok, ok, we know “social media influencers” is kind of the buzz phrase right now. But that’s because they work. Influencers have built-in followers with brand loyalty and getting someone with a really engaged or big following to vouch for your brand exposes you to a wider audience.
Reaching out cold can seem a little intimidating, so check out our cheat sheet on working with Instagram influencers. Just keep in mind that it’s going to be a quid-pro-quo deal. Often times (and almost always for people with larger followings), influencers expect to be paid or receive some sort of compensation for sharing their audience with you. They’re providing you value with marketing, so they may expect value back to them in return.
Schedule batches of content at a time
You’re on a roll! You’ve got a content calendar created, awesome health and fitness posts planned, and a solid understanding of what your branding needs to look like. But don’t forget that one of our main focuses of this post is helping you SAVE TIME with your social media marketing.
If you can plan out your calendar in advance and have any content templates set up, you’re ready to post! Take one or two hours each week, gather your content, and schedule it all to post throughout the remainder of the week. A little time now saves A TON of time later.
With your posts on autopilot, you can go about the rest of your week knowing your awesome content is getting posted regularly. Plus, it helps you stay on track with high-quality content without the fear of forgetting to post or throwing out mediocre stuff.
Who to learn from when it comes to fitness social media marketing
Remember how we said we prefer to show rather than tell? Check out a few fitness social media accounts killing it on Instagram using the same tips we shared above.
What we love: Sarah is a holistic coach and personal trainer. It’s clear that she’s taken the time to create a cohesive brand that shows in her images and on her page itself. Her fitness posts regularly use a mix of workout and progress pics, images of healthy meals she eats, and a combination of text-based inspiration and workout tips.
What we love: Steven is a body coach, nutritionist, and online personal trainer. He uses his platform to share fitness content like before and after pics of clients, images of himself and his clients working out, pictures of healthy meals, and text-based inspirational and work out tips and statistics. He also consistently shares branded images.
What we love: Yogaclubbox is a subscription box company that sells yoga and fitness gear. They found that their content performed best when it was customer-sourced as their audience wanted to see “real” people wearing the gear. So, the majority of Yogaclubbox’s is customers working out in the brand’s gear, with a healthy mix of branded inspirational or lighthearted text-based posts.
What’s next for your fitness marketing?
Marketing your fitness social media account is a great way to get more eyes on your content and land some new customers. While managing a social media account for any industry can definitely be a full-time job, anyone can use these time-saving tips to get started today. You’ll maintain a regular fitness posting schedule, grow your audience, and maybe even move on to influencer status yourself in no time!
Any existing readers already using social media marketing for fitness? Tell us what tips work best for you!
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