Can half an hour on social media really enhance your reputation and supply you with prospective clients?
One of the most common complaints I hear from small business owners is that they can’t justify spending time on social media because there isn’t a clear and measurable return on investment. Owning a fitness business, whether you’re a sole trader PT or manager of a club, means constantly juggling priorities, and social media often seems to lack the urgency to make it to the top of the To-do list.
I’m here to convince you otherwise. By spending around half an hour a day on your social media presence, you not only actively generate PR on a daily basis, but also kick-start the process of attracting quality leads. Of course, there are now countless social media avenues you can go down, but due to its sheer size and reach, we’ll focus here on that goliath of social media, Facebook.
While the process of attracting quality leads can take time, it’s time well spent. There are a number of factors that can improve your position on social media, and subsequently help you gain quality leads, including:
Social media has become a hugely important tool for marketers, and users have become sceptical. In order to gain trust and respect, you need to show authenticity in your posts. Don’t use marketing lingo, don’t push the sales process, and try to avoid using the term ‘we’. By using personable, almost colloquial, language, you and your brand not only become easier to relate to, you also create room for a genuine connection – something that isn’t possible when there’s too much cold, corporate lingo. Once this positive relationship has been established, it is much easier to encourage a transaction with your business.
Facebook has developed an algorithm to help distinguish between high quality and low quality content. The more engaging your posts are (the more likes, comments, and shares a post has), the more they will be shown to your fans. This means that you should be creating posts that are valuable, interesting, and incite an emotion or a reaction, with the goal of having more likes, comments, and shares. Ask yourself, ‘What would I respond to? What do I see on Facebook that ignites a response in me?’ Ask questions, share content that appeals to your fans’ interests, and continue to be authentic.
By regularly sharing high quality content that is interesting, authentic and incites a response, you establish yourself as an authority figure in your industry, and on the topics that you post about. When creating a content calendar, I recommend using the 70-20-10 rule. That is, 70 per cent of your content should be internal value-add (interesting and relevant blog posts, pictures, and videos created by your business), 20 per cent should be external value-add (interesting and relevant articles, pictures and videos created by others), and 10 per cent hard sell (posts that encourage a transaction with your business).
It is much better to focus on establishing trust by providing high-quality content, than to only focus on sales. Too often, people make the mistake of thinking only about what their fans on social media can bring them, whereas in actual fact they should be focusing on what they can bring their fans. There is an infinite amount of information available on Facebook, and by standing out from the crowd and giving valuable content to your fans, you start to separate yourself from being ‘just another corporate’ and establish yourself as a personable and trustworthy brand. With this trust, comes an increased likelihood of fans making a business transaction.
Remember to Like Network on facebook – our daily doses of fitness news, views and inspiration supply you with great content to Share with your clients and members! fb.me/ozfitnetwork
Another factor in generating high quality leads on Facebook is targeting the people you really want to reach. Starting with a small budget, you can either promote (sponsor) existing posts, or create ads. Sponsored posts can be used to increase fan numbers, and promote a certain content piece. Facebook ads can be used to promote a product, service, or event. Unlike older methods of marketing, with Facebook ads and sponsored posts you control the budget, the reach, and exactly who sees your post. You can tailor your content based on age, gender, location and, most importantly, interests. By matching the targeting of your ads/posts directly to your business’ target market, you get to show the right people your content, without wasting your budget on the wrong demographic. Another benefit of reaching out to the right people is that you improve the chances of increased engagement, which means that Facebook’s algorithm will serve your content to more fans.
So, yes, just half an hour a day spent on your fitness business’ social media presence can progressively enhance your reputation as an expert and help you reach more prospective clients and members.
Kalinda Atkinson is a social media and digital marketer, with over five years’ industry experience in Europe and Australia. atkinson-communications.com