Marketing in all its forms is crucial if you want to make an impact in the fitness world. Advertising and marketing are no longer about talking at people, selling yourself and shouting into a black hole. Social media lets you truly engage with your clients, customers and prospects, listening to them and delivering exactly what they want. Do you blog, have a Facebook business page or fan page, use Twitter or have a youtube account? Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to using social media for marketing.
Choose Your Tools Wisely
There’s no need to use every form of social media out there. In fact, you’ll waste a lot of precious time and effort if you try to do it all. Start by thinking about what you want to achieve, who you want to engage with and how much time you have to dedicate to social media. Where do your target markets hang out? What do they like? Would you prefer to blog longer articles, Tweet more regularly or engage on Facebook? Do you have a flipcam or video phone? How can you tie your chosen social media platforms together? Time spent researching and planning now will save time and increase your success in the long term.
The key to social media success is not in how much you do, but how consistent you are. You need to push content out through your chosen channels on a consistent basis, you need to use a consistent voice and your message must be consistent.
Listen, Don’t Shout
Social media is all about having a conversation. Unlike traditional forms of advertising, social media shouldn’t be used for talking at people. Instead, listen, engage, strike up conversations, ask for feedback and involve your followers and fans.
Engage and Respond
When people start engaging with you on social media, always take time to respond. This builds trust and credibility and, in time, will help you construct a little community who will see you as their go-to expert in your field.
Give your followers reasons to get stuck in rather than sitting back and just reading. Ask questions, ask opinions, use polls and even competitions. Share news items, articles and resources which you find interesting, and become seen as a curator of truly useful information.
Build a Community
The ultimate aim of social media for marketing is to build a loyal community who will hold you at the front of their mind when they think of an expert in your field or local area. By consistently giving out useful information, engaging with your followers and creating a warm and trustworthy online persona, your band of followers will become your most useful champions, doing the job of selling your services to their friends, families and social networking contacts.
In later articles, we’ll dig deeper into social media for fitness professionals, spelling out how you can make a success of Facebook pages, blogs, Twitter and even Pinterest.