Growing Your Fitness Business with Facebook and Twitter
By Amanda Vogel, MA human kinetics, canfitpro FIS
I’ve known for at least a decade that I needed a website to be taken seriously as a fitness businessperson – and I’ve had one for about that long – but today’s Internet is quite different than it was a decade ago, thanks to social media.
Sharing, Liking, Recommending
The Internet is much more social (think Facebook), and so much of its content is now being created by Internet users like you and me. Through social media, we’re communicating with each other, sharing links and recommending everything from websites and video clips to articles and products or services.
Considering that, I recommend that any fitness professional with an interest in growing their business should be marketing with social media – on Facebook, definitely, and probably on Twitter, too.
The Value of Twitter
I say “probably on Twitter” because a lot of people don’t “get” Twitter, and I appreciate that. Whether you like Twitter or not, though, the reality is, lots of fitness clients and prospects do “get” it. And they might want to connect with you and/or be talking about you on Twitter. As a Twitter user, I certainly seek out tweets from the people, brands and companies I like.
Facebook for Fitness Pros
Then there’s Facebook: A fitness-marketing must. With more than 800 million people on Facebook (at the time of this post), it’s undeniable that many of your clients and prospects spend time on this popular site, probably every day.
Marketing your fitness business on Facebook goes like this: Being present on Facebook and joining conversations there helps you stay at the top of clients’ minds. They will see your name and picture and will be more likely to think of you often if you spend a few minutes, a couple of times a day, interacting on Facebook. And your tidbits of fitness advice and encouragement on Facebook may help them tremendously.
Facebook’s Overlooked Marketing Advantage
Then there’s this often-overlooked Facebook advantage: You can do market research about clients and prospects who are Facebook “friends” or fans on your Page simply by interacting with them. Seeing what clients/prospects post and respond to on Facebook provides insight about what they want, need, like and, perhaps most importantly, what resonates the most with them.
For example, ask your Facebook friends and Page fans questions that are relevant to their daily lives, health habits and exercise behaviour, then compare how different posts garner different response rates. You’ll begin to get a sense of what really matters to your clients and prospects.
Social Media, What Have You Done for Me Lately?
Here are just some of the ways in which being on Facebook and Twitter has helped me grow my fitness business:
- Attracting more traffic to my website and blogs.
- Gaining customers for the fitness-writing resources I sell on my website.
- Connecting with journalists and magazines, which has led to publicity opportunities.
- Finding sources to quote or feature in the fitness articles I write.
- Helped me become a consultant with BOSU®.
- Strengthening my professional relationships with companies, such as Lolë activewear, canfitpro and ACSM. I’m able to help promote these companies and their events through Facebook and Twitter.
- Helping me build a platform for myself as a fitness writer, expert and presenter.
- Creating connections and networks with colleagues, clients and friends in the fitness industry.
Amanda Vogel, MA human kinetics, canfitpro FIS, owns ActiveVoice.ca, a writing, editing and consulting service for the fitness industry. She’s a Lolë activewear ambassador, communications consultant at BOSU® and the co-author of Baby Boot Camp: The New Mom’s 9-Minute Fitness Solution. Her blog www.FitnessTestDrive.com was a finalist in Best Health Magazine’s 2011 Blog Awards. Amanda writes for popular women’s magazines, including Oxygen, Best Health, Women’s Health and SELF.