There is no denying it. Social media has taken over our lives in the last decade.
And you can see its influence all over. Just take a look around you.
I bet that if you are in a room of people, a good percentage of them will be fiddling with their phones. Most of them that are doing so are probably busy checking out their Facebook feed, reading a few tweets, watching a video on Instagram or seeing the latest post from an Instamodel.
The is no getting away from it. Social media is going nowhere and if you aren’t going to use it as a personal trainer, well, then you are going to be left behind.
Hey everyone, I hope you are well. Coach Tyler here and today, I want to look into how we as personal trainers can use social media.
This is going to be a pretty broad look at three social media platforms that I think should not be ignored – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I also have a seperate article that looks at Youtube, which you can read here.
So if you are a personal trainer and want to get more out of your social media accounts, read on.
Facebook for Personal Trainers
The first social media platform we are going to look at is the most popular around the world. And that’s Facebook.
In fact, Facebook has around 2.45 billion users! Unbelievable, right?
Incredibly, around 79% of the population of the United States make use of Facebook. So you can see why it’s not something you can simply ignore. Not utilizing Facebook in the best way possible is going to put you far behind your competition, that’s for sure.
But how do you go about doing that?
Well, I would like to cover a very general strategy that you can employ to make use of the awesome marketing opportunities that Facebook presents, especially if you are just setting out on your social media marketing journey.
You Need A Personal Or Business Page
While you might already have a Facebook profile, you probably want to start a separate one for your personal trainer page. Alternatively, if you run your own personal trainer business, this could be a Facebook business page instead.
Having one of these two options means the following:
- You now can be found by potential clients who are looking for personal trainers. This makes you discoverable.
- Once a potential client finds your personal trainer profile or your business profile, they can get into contact with you using a number of Facebook tools. This can lead to connections that become new client conversions. This makes you connectable.
- As your profile/business page grows, you can reach large groups of people quickly and easily. You can even design messages for specific groups.
When setting up a page, complete it in full with a decent profile image and Facebook cover page picture which relates to your brand and connects you with it.
Photos should include your logo, an image of you working out or perhaps assisting a client. For example, a photo of you working out could be your profile image, while your cover image could be you with a client which includes your branding and logo.
Don’t forget to add your contact numbers, address and email so prospective clients have multiple ways of connecting with you.
Post Meaningful Content
Having a Facebook profile is one thing but not being active on it is not going to bring the clients in. That’s a fact!
Once you have set up your page, your first take would be to send out invites to other members of the Facebook community to ‘like’ your page. There are a number of reasons for this.
- Having others like your page is the start of building up a fitness community connected to you
- When others ‘like’ your page, their connections will see that action and in turn, may investigate what you are all about.
BUT before you do that, it’s important that you post some content. You don’t want people following your page and finding nothing to have a look at, do you?
And the content is important in building your brand identity. It’s a way of showing just what it is you offer as a personal training brand. Remember, there are lots of personal trainers just like you, so it’s important to use social media like Facebook to give you an edge of the rest.
But how do you do that? And what should your posts cover? Here are a few examples of what you should post.
Incredible client transformations
As a personal trainer, your main task it helping people turn their lives around. And when you do, make sure you post these success stories on your social media feeds, especially Facebook. Just always make sure you get their permission first.
These posts not only show your prowess and motivational abilities as a personal trainer but they also provide a look into the dedication it takes to achieve fitness goals.
And that’s important. Why? Well, nobody should ever be under the impression that turning your life around is simple. It’s hard work!
Posts like this give your social media followers an insight into what it is you do, how you can help people achieve their overall goals. It also shows your dedication to your clients, how professional you are and that you remain accessible at all times.
As a personal trainer, you can talk from experience about what it takes to get fit, healthy and what it’s like to make your body a top priority in your life. It’s important that you share those personal experiences on your social media accounts.
This helps people connect with you before they have even met you.
Post fitness-related and other health-related content
Remember to continually share any fitness and health-related articles and content that you find interesting. Of course, they don’t need to be too technical but something people would enjoy reading.
By sharing content like this, you help educate your followers. Passing on information about health and fitness might be exactly what someone needs to see who still might not be sure why they should make a change in their lives.
Include lots of visual posts
Posting content is important but remember to keep it visual as well. While all posts should include images, you should also post pictures and videos that contain a small description, so the visual aspect does the talking for you.
These could include pictures of you working with your clients or perhaps you working out. Let your imagination run wild but always keep your brand image in mind and if you use clients in these visuals, get their consent to post them.
Videos are also increasingly popular. In fact, studies have revealed that over 40% of Facebook users polled said that they would watch even more video content than they currently do of things that interest them.
Facebook is a great platform to use competitions to promote your personal training business. Running an effective Facebook competition had three distinct advantages.
- It will help to raise engagement with people who already like your page
- It will help to raise brand exposure with people that are prospective fans or even clients
- It helps to generate leads which can be followed up
Setting up competitions or contests might seem a little daunting but here are some easy options to consider.
- Click like to participate: All this requires is for someone to use the Facebook like button on your competition post. You can then choose the winner from those people who have done so
- Comment to participate: Instead of liking the post, you can ask users to comment on a question to have a chance to win
- Post on your wall: This works well with photo contests. Here you ask someone to post a photo, perhaps of them working out – to keep it theme rated – on the wall of your Facebook page.
Call To Action: You Going To Need One
Posting regularly on your social media account is all good and well but you need to remember that your Facebook presence always needs one crucial component.
And that is a call to action. But what is that exactly?
Well, a call to action is exactly as the name suggests. It is trying to get people, most notably prospective clients to act on what they have seen on your feeds.
Simply put, you want them to contact you if they see that you can help them lose weight, build muscle, get fit and healthy or whatever their unique fitness need is.
On your Facebook page, your individual posts can include calls to action but there also should be an easy way for people to get into contact with you. And while your contact numbers and email address is available, Facebook allows a call to action button which allows someone to send a message to you which you can then act upon.
A call to action button generates leads that you must follow up. And as quickly as possible.
As for the call to action that you choose, well that’s up to you. Facebook offers a range of possibilities, including a ‘contact me’ and ‘learn more’ as an example.
Know When To Post
When it comes to Facebook posts, multiple research programs have shown that posting at certain times of the day not only means more people see your content but it also drives far better engagement.
So what are the best times to post content pieces that we have already described above? Well, the breakdown is as follows:
- To generate clickthroughs, post at 9 am, 1 pm and 4 pm.
- The best midweek days to post are Thursday and Friday. This sees up to 18% more engagement on posts than other days of the week.
- Finally, weekends generate the highest engagement of all the days of the week. In fact, Saturday and Sunday posts generate 32% more engagement than midweek posts.
These are good guidelines to follow but you should also monitor your posts and make use of the various tools Facebook provides you to be able to see the engagement that they create.
Those tools can also show you which content your followers interact most with as well and of course, if they like a certain types of content, you should be posting it more often.
Consider Facebook Ads
While Facebook advertising is going to cost money, it is something you can consider from time to time, especially to reach prospective clients and generate leads.
The good thing about Facebook advertising is that you can use it whenever you feel the need and even just to promote a single post, for example.
Facebook advertising also allows you to select the audience for your add based on a number of factors including their gender, age, locations as well as their interest. And this means that you can target very specific demographics if need be.
Thanks to its popularity, there is no denying that every personal trainer should use Facebook to their advantage to drive engagement, connect with current and prospective clients and increase the overall reach of your brand.
Now let’s move onto Twitter.
Twitter for Personal Trainers
Without a doubt, Twitter is one of the biggest social media platforms out there and something every personal trainer can make use of.
In this section, I want to outline a general strategy and approach that personal trainers can use when it comes to Twitter. It’s important to note, however, that Twitter seems to be a far faster marketing medium than Facebook or Instagram, for example.
Well, think about it. If someone follows you on Twitter along with say 1,000 other people, it’s easy for a tweet to get lost down the feed in a matter of minutes. And yes, depending on individual settings, someone might see your tweet still come up in their feed but it certainly seems more immediate than any other form of social media.
So let’s look at a few things that a personal trainer should consider when running their Twitter account.
Set up your account professionally
When starting out your Twitter account, there are a few crucial things that you need to do. These include:
Setup your Twitter name
While calling yourself ‘Big Muscles’ or something similar might seem like a great idea for a personal trainer, just keep it plain and simple and use your name. Remember, it’s about coming across as professional and trustworthy. A silly name certainly doesn’t convey professionalism.
Even the name that follows your Twitter @ shouldn’t be anything strange, although something like @personaltrainer (which is probably taken) or something else that indicates what it is you do is fine.
Use an awesome biopic
One of the first things people will notice about your account is your biopic. This should convey that you are professional, easy to approach, friendly and an expert at what you do. Sounds like a lot but a smiling shot of you in the gym should do the job! While you may have a business logo, you can rather incorporate that into the Twitter header.
Your Twitter header is just as important
Always make sure you keep your Twitter header to 1500 x 500. Anything bigger and parts of it won’t be displayed and anything smaller might lead to a pixelated header. Your Twitter header should be visual as well, but as mentioned before, if you have a logo for your personal trainer business, work it in here as it’s a way to promote your overall brand.
And because most people interact with Twitter on their smartphones, make sure your header is mobile compatible. What should you have for your header image? Again, it should be something that shows who you are and presents you as an expert in your field. For a personal trainer, an image of you working with clients is always a great choice. Remember to get their permission to do so, always!
Don’t forget your Twitter bio
Once you have set up the visual aspect of your Twitter account, it’s time to move onto your bio. Now, this can be tough because you only have 160 characters.
While you could include a call to action, it’s easier to include that in your Twitter header to save some space. If you can fit it in, along with all the other information you need then you at least you have options.
So what should appear in your Twitter bio? Well, you need to tell people what it is you do. Twitter makes use of hashtags and so can you. You don’t need to put your name in the bio, as that’s obviously covered by your Twitter name.
Well consider the following examples for you bio (if they are applicable, of course):
- #acecertifiedpersonaltrainer (or whatever certification you have)
- Fitness professional and #nasmcertifiedfitnesstrainer
These are just ideas but always put your fitness accomplishments and certifications in your bio. Just remember you have 160 characters. Try not to be too cute or clever either.
Add links to your website/other social media
Twitter allows you to add a link that appears below your bio. In most cases, this will be a link to your website. If you don’t have a website, use this link to promote other social media like Facebook and Instagram or perhaps a blog if you have one.
Follow Interesting People
As a personal trainer, you should be following organizations and prominent people in the fitness industry, those that enshrine the values you want to promote on your social media feed.
When setting up your account, pick out a few of these that you should follow from the start and then you can always add as you that as you go along.
One of the reasons to follow other fitness trainers and those organizations in the health and fitness world is because you can use their content to your advantage. But more on that later.
When it comes to Twitter, let’s look at a breakdown of what you can tweet on your feed.
Remember, much like Facebook’s share option, Twitter allows you to retweet interesting content that you may come across. Let’s look at other content.
I want to first talk about pinned posts.
If someone accesses your profile, if you opt to pin a post, that’s the first one they will see when they begin to scroll down your tweets. Pinned posts are useful to:
- Promote your most recent blog post (if you have one)
- Make followers aware of an interesting article, video link or another post you think they should take the time to engage with.
- Alert followers to an important post of your own, for example, a promotion you are running
There are plenty of other ideas that you will come up with pinned posts. It really is a useful tool.
Keep it short
While Twitter has increased its overall character limit, it is still a platform where brevity is key. Your tweets should be short, so say what you need to in the least words possible.
People like visuals
Like Facebook, a post that includes visuals or a video is going to engage more with your followers. Often, if you are retweeting something, it may already have an image, so no worry there.
But if you are generating your own content regarding health and fitness, always remember to add a picture or video. Without a doubt, posts with visuals of some kind are more likely to be retweeted, liked or opened.
People will often click on links you post
Using links in your tweets is a great strategy to get people to look at content. For example, you could link to your latest blog post, a landing page for a special you are offering or anything else you think your followers need to see.
Twitter marketing experts suggest that you place the link about a quarter of the way into the tweet.
Use a URL shortener
Although this is not as much of a problem as it was before Twitter increased their character limit, it still makes sense to use a URL shortener for any links that post.
Why? Well, it just makes the post look far neater. There are plenty of URL shorteners that you could use for example Tiny URL.
Retweets can help build your followers
Building Twitter followers is a tough job. Obviously, you should ask your clients, suppliers, fellow personal trainers and others in the fitness industry to follow you.
To build more followers, retweets are crucial. And that uses existing followers to retweet your content. there is a definite strategy that you need to follow to achieve this.
So how do you go about getting your content retweeted?
- Ask: The first step is to ask followers to retweet one of your tweets. And while most people use the abbreviation RT for a retweet, actually spelling the word greatly increases the chances of someone acting upon your request.
- Clarity: Make sure your retweet requests are clear and concise. A long-winded request will probably result in very little retweet action.
- Links: We have already mentioned the fact that links are important but without a doubt, they generate more retweets than a regular tweet with just text in it.
Research hashtags and use them
We have already talked about hashtags and placing them in your bio but they are most important when you tweet. Every one of your tweets should include hashtags.
And not something that you just come up with, either! Make sure they are well researched and are hashtags that are popular. This can take time but is well worth the effort to expose your services to larger groups of people.
Tweets with hashtags are also retweeted more often as well.
Followers like quotes and numbers
Looking for something relevant to tweet? Well, use quotes from respected members of the fitness industry. Also, include numbers in your tweets if you can.
The likely hood of a follower retweeting a tweet with a quote or numbers in it is extremely high.
Use other Twitter user addresses in your tweets
Holding an information session at a local business during their health and wellness week? Tweet the details using the appropriate hashtag as well as the Twitter handle of the organization. They will, in all likelihood, retweet it to their followers, giving you even more exposure.
In summing up, there is no denying that Twitter is an excellent marketing tool for personal trainers to use. It offers a different approach to Facebook and reaches a different audience.
Let’s move onto another social media platform popular with personal trainers, Instagram.
Instagram for Personal Trainers
The final social media platform that I want to look at in this blog is Instagram.
And it’s huge!
In fact, Instagram has passed 1 billion users in 2019 and if used correctly, can form an important part of your overall marketing strategy as a personal trainer. It’s also extremely visual, certainly more so than Twitter and Facebook.
So let’s look at a general strategy that you can employ if you want to start using Instagram as part of your marketing strategy.
Complete your Instagram profile
Whether you are starting out with your Instagram profile or already have one, it goes without saying that you should complete it properly.
You are going to need a profile picture. To keep your brand image constant throughout, you could use the same picture as you used for Twitter or Facebook, just make sure it falls within the parameters as set out by Instagram.
Perfect your bio
Much like Twitter, you are limited to the number of characters that can appear in your Instagram bio. And it’s 10 characters less than Twitter, so that’s only 150.
Get across what you need to here in terms of a message as along with your profile picture, this is the first thing someone who accesses your Instagram profile will see. Of course, you need to keep it short and sweet and make sure it:
- Says what it is you do
- Catches the attention of potential Instagram followers
- Keeps with your brand image and tone established on other social media platforms
Don’t forget the link!
Again, like Twitter, you should include a link in your Instagram bio. This can be to your website, blog or perhaps your other social media efforts that you think people might want to see or follow you on.
Links can also be used to move traffic through to a landing page, for example signing up to become a client or part of a mail list.
Keep your brand image constant throughout
It’s important to keep your brand identity the same across social network platforms.
If Instagram is the last one you begin to use as a marketing tool, make sure your brand identity and the tone you use are consistent with the other social media networks you make use of.
By keeping everything the same, you help build up brand loyalty especially as people might be following you on multiple platforms.
Instagram posting strategy
Let’s take a brief look at some Instagram posting strategy ideas. Again, this is very general and will differ for everyone but it’s sure to give you a good idea of what you must and mustn’t do.
Keep it visual but don’t forget the captions
We have already mentioned that Instagram is a very visual platform. And while a fitness quote or meme without a picture every now and again is ok, it should never become the norm.
Posts on Instagram should include:
- Instagram stories, especially to hype specials or upcoming events (last for a period of 24-hours)
- Inspiration quotes with visuals
- Client transformations with before and after photos (with their consent)
- Clients working out (with their consent)
- Images of you in ation
- Fitness polls
These are just some easy examples. Every personal trainer will have the best ideas as to what it is they need to post. But remember, don’t forget that you can also caption each picture and you have a character limit of 2,200 to do this which is pretty substantial.
You don’t need to write a long story here but get across what needs to be said.
Use tags and hashtags
Like Twitter, tag the relevant people in Instagram posts. These can include suppliers, clients, fellow personal trainers and more.
Instagram also makes use of hashtags, so take the time to see which you can use to your advantage for each post and use them accordingly. Not sure which hashtags to use? Do a little snooping and see what your competitors or fellow personal trainers are using.
Draw up a schedule
A posting schedule for Instagram is a great idea. It helps you find and share meaningful content that your followers get used to expecting on certain days of the week.
For example, on a Monday, you could post a transformation story while on a Friday, you could use a motivational quote as people face a tempting weekend ahead where they forget about eating healthy or exercising.
A posting schedule can work on Twitter and Facebook as well.
Thanks for taking the time to read through this post on social media. Hopefully, you have learned a few new tricks that you can use to your advantage.
Just remember, social media can make a real difference to your personal trainer business when used correctly. So make sure you look into how you currently make use of it or if you haven’t started yet social media accounts, it’s never too late.