With a whopping 1.44 billion monthly active users (as of April 2015), Facebook is the most popular social network in the world. The average user spends 21 minutes on the social giant every day, sifting through photos and videos on their newsfeed. With more than 300 million monthly active users, Instagram is the most popular photo-sharing network in the world.
HubSpot reports that 77 percent B2C establishments have acquired customers using Facebook. And what makes Instagram special is its reach. According to Forrester research, Instagram is the network with the highest percentage of brand engagement. Yes, you read that right – brand engagement for Instagram is higher than it is for even Facebook! Also, Instagram is the preferred network of young and affluent users who have enough disposable income to spend freely on health and lifestyle related pursuits.
The question is, how do you tap the immense potential of Facebook and Instagram successfully to drive leads to your fitness center. Here are our top 7 strategies to make the most of these social powerhouses:
- Give a peek inside your establishment – Offering behind-the-scenes feed of your business is an easy way to generate interest in your fitness center among prospects. Use Facebook and Instagram to share photos of trainers and support staff in action. Share photos of events hosted by your gym, and remember to include a couple of ‘exclusive’ photos from the preparation phase of any events you are planning to run in the near future. These photos humanize your gym and paint a positive, happy picture in the minds of prospects, encouraging them to stay engaged and potentially join the culture you are establishing within your business.
- Showcase your community initiatives – People love going to responsible businesses that give back to the community in which they operate. Since local customers are the backbone of your fitness business, it is a good idea to demonstrate your gym’s care and concern for the welfare of the local community. From planting trees or going green in the gym to donating time or money for charity or outreach programs in the community – every act of kindness has a strong appeal. And there’s no harm in showcasing the appeal on Instagram and Facebook.
- Show off your space and gym equipment –Use Facebook and Instagram as an exhibition platform for the tools you’re most proud of. You’ll be surprised at how little time they take to build you a huge fan following!
- Show off clients using your facility – Happy customers are your biggest advocates. And few things make them as happy as being the face of your brand. Share photos of clients sweating it out (with their permission of course) on your Facebook and Instagram accounts. Virgin America, Starbucks, and every other internet marketing giant have adopted the approach and with great success.
- Leverage hashtags to stay current and relevant – See what’s trending in your circle and engage prospects and customers in conversations on those topics. This is an excellent way to position your business as a gym that knows the pulse of its audience.
- Host photo contests – Photo contests are a great lead generation tool because they do not appear ‘salesy’ at all. The entire focus in these contests is about your clients, who are sure to enjoy it. Create special hashtags related to health and fitness and ask followers to share photos or videos related to the hashtag. Offer cash or non-cash prizes to three winners. Keep the contest registration process simple to maximize participation. Name and email address should be enough.
- Network with other fitness establishments – Like, comment on, and share the photos or videos posted by your peers. Commenting is especially beneficial from a lead-generation perspective as it expands your visibility. People who haven’t followed you (but have followed the peer in question) can see your comment, and if interested, visit your profile. Once they’ve landed on your page, you can win them over with your own set of interesting content.
And finally, remember to have a plan for correctly nurturing and converting the leads you generate through Facebook and Instagram.
Remember, it is vital to employ gym software that includes a branded brochure website and offers functionality such as customized member and prospect tracking, automatic scheduling, attendance tracking, payment processing and so on, to ensure your lead generation efforts ultimately produce the results you want – higher revenue through increased gym membership.