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Build an Online Following Worth Fitness Influencer Status
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Social media marketing exposes fitness professionals to a wider audience. If you train in person, it connects you with people in your city or town whom you’ve not yet met and, therefore, may be unaware of your services. If you have an online fitness business, social media extends your digital presence. It gives you another platform on which you can engage with your target audience.
Either way, increasing your social media presence can make your fitness business stronger. Every time your page or post is shared, you are exposed to another potential follower (or ten). This can help you grow your brand faster. Especially if you reach influencer status.
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What It Means to Be an Influencer
If you are an influencer on a social media platform, it means that you:
- have a large online following;
- are considered an expert in your industry or niche; and
- that you have a high level of trust with your followers.
Being an influencer means your audience listens to your advice. If you say a particular diet or exercise works, they’re going to believe you. This gives you some influence over their actions and their buying decisions. It puts you in a better position to promote your services and products.
But does influencer marketing carry any weight with consumers? According to data collected by the Digital Marketing Institute, the answer is yes. Seventy percent of teens trust influencers more than they do celebrity endorsers and more than half of women make purchases as a result of influencer posts. The return on investment is also high with influencer marketing as every dollar spent has a $6.50 return.
How to Build an Online Following to Influencer Status
Now that you understand the value of being an influencer, you’re probably wondering how to attain this status. What can you do to increase the number of followers on your social account? How do you get the most from this digital marketing effort? Here are a few suggestions.
Check Out Other Influencers
It is often said that if you want to reach the same goal as someone else, learn what they did, and do the same. Check out top influencers in your social channel. Read their business profile and see what they post. Also pay attention to which of their posts get the most engagement and how they interact with their social media audience. This gives you insight into which strategies provide the best results.
But Stay True to Your Brand
Remember that you can follow other people’s strategies while still being yourself. Use the same methodologies, but share your unique qualities and traits. This helps your audience get to know the real you. It is what sets you apart from all the other fitness professionals out there. If you are just like everyone else, there is no need to follow you too. So, be yourself and grow your own brand.
Keep Brand Consistency Across All Social Media Channels
If you have more than one social media account, they should all reflect your brand. You want your audience to instantly recognize that it’s you whether they find you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, or any other platform. Some influencers do this by using the same profile picture or cover photo on all their social media pages.
Make it Super Easy to Follow You
Every social media site offers the ability to press a follow button to connect with your business. Don’t forget to put this same type of button on your website. This helps you capture followers who find you directly, yet are active on one of the social media accounts. Place this follow button on your home page and at the bottom of each blog post. The more people see it, the more likely they’ll push it and join all your other followers.
Create Engaging Posts
What makes social media more, well, social, is that it is all about engagement. It is about interacting with potential clients so they get to know, like, and trust you. The more they do these three things, the more likely it is you will become an influencer. This requires that you create engaging posts, or posts that your followers feel compelled to like, comment on, or share.
One way to create an engagement-worthy post is to encourage motivation and progress. Be a cheerleader for your audience by providing a motivational quote they’ll want to share. You can also increase engagement by posting questions. Ask your audience where they struggle most and get them to interact with you. This gives you some ideas of what to address in your future posts.
Hashtags enable you to enter a conversation that is already occurring. When people search for a particular hash, your social media post comes up. If they like what they see, they may be inspired to follow your business directly.
Making this strategy work involves finding some of the most popular fitness hashtags and using them. You can also create a branded hashtag. For example, if you own a gym called “Fit4You,” use #fit4you in all your posts. Hold a drawing and require your social media followers to tag their post with your branded hashtag to enter and win. Get them to promote your business for you.
The one thing to remember when using hashtags is that they have to be relevant. If you don’t use a relevant hashtag in your posts, you’ll lose credibility with your followers. They’ll know that you’re only using that tag to promote your business, as more of a bait and switch.
Monitor Your Analytics & Make Adjustments
How do you know if your influencer marketing strategy is working? You pay attention to your analytics. Monitor how many followers you gain (or lose) after implementing a specific strategy. This tells you what works and what doesn’t. It also provides insight as to the changes that need to be made to get better results.
Analytics is also one more reason you want to create a business account or social media page. You can’t monitor analytics on a personal page whereas a professional page offers these insights. A business page also allows you to keep your personal posts private. Not to mention that you won’t overwhelm family and friends with all your business posts.
Social Media Tips for Each Platform
Every social media site is different. So, what gets you followers on one won’t necessarily get you followers on another. Here are a few tips for increasing your social media followers on some of the most popular platforms.
Growing Your Followers on Facebook
You can promote your fitness business with a Facebook ad. These ads allow you to target a specific audience. For instance, if you specialize in youth fitness programs, you could target parents with kids involved in youth sports. You also get to set a budget for your ad, so you control how much you spend.
If you don’t have a lot of money to spare, at least make sure your business Facebook page is complete. Fill out your bio and don’t leave any section blank. That way, if someone wants to know more about you, they can find the information they seek.
Boost Your Instagram Account Followers
Using Instagram stories is a great way to draw more followers in. They help you grow your brand awareness with short video and picture posts. Since they disappear after 24 hours, you’re able to swap them out often, leaving your Instagram follower waiting for the next story to be posted.
Instagram insights also provide valuable information about your brand and followers. They help you gauge the performance of each Instagram post, from how many interactions it had to how many people it reached.
To Increase Your Presence on Twitter
Because Twitter is real-time, you want to post often. Using hashtags is probably the most important on this social media platform. It leads potential followers to you. From there, you can promote engagement and make them want to keep you in their feed.
Start a conversation with your Twitter followers and ask them to weigh in. Encourage them to reach out to their followers for input. Get everyone involved.
Multiplying Your Followers on YouTube
Sometimes fitness trainers forget that YouTube is a good social media option. In some ways, it is better than the others because it is video-focused. What better way to get to know you than to see you in action?
When posting videos on your YouTube channel, brand your thumbnails. This helps followers easily recognize you. Additionally, at the end of each video, talk about your next video. Tell viewers to subscribe so they never miss a post.
If your business is entirely online, the ISSA offers the Online Coach certification. This course shares even more digital marketing tips. It also covers pricing and how to get hired as an online personal trainer.
Online Coaching Certification
Online fitness isn't just for right now, it's the future of the fitness industry. Personal trainers who transition to training virtually can make more money, reach more people, and create more financial and personal freedom. That is why ISSA has developed the Online Coaching Certification -the fastest way to start your online fitness coaching business.