One of the most commonly asked questions by personal trainers in fitpro communities is about how to keep a Facebook Group engaged and how to find new members to increase the size of their audience, which will generate more quality leads.
Facebook Groups have been around for quite a while; by now, they've become the go-to tools fitness coaches, and businesses use to grow their online following. There are over 1.8 billion people who use Facebook Groups every month, and Facebook is investing in building better communities. That means you'll need to stay in the loop about the best ways to run a thriving Facebook Group.
So, in this article, we'll look at how you can create and grow a vibrant online fitness community, keep them engaged and generate new leads for your in-person or online fitness business.
1. Set Your Expectations and Goals For Running the Facebook Group and What It Will TakeBefore launching a Facebook Group, or if you've already got one but are not sure how to manage it, think about why you want to do it. What would be the point where you'd consider it a success, and what kind of expectations do you have about it?
So, is the goal to help as many people with advice or share the latest research, or is your plan to create a safe space for your members to share their stories and journey and ask for support when they're faced with challenges? Or do you expect to gain new clients from that group every month? If so, how many?
You can use the same SMART goal-setting principles you teach your clients to determine how you want to measure the success of your group. Then the content you publish will also need to be aligned with those goals. We're not suggesting spamming your audience with service offerings all the time; far from it. But now and then, the group can be the first to learn about new service launches, exclusive offers, and everything you do in your business.
You'll also need to be realistic about how much work and time investment your Facebook Group will require. Posting multiple times a day, coming up with content ideas while running your business, taking care of clients, and trying to live life might become too much. If that's the case, you might want to surround yourself with a few admins you trust.
2. Create Clear and Concise Rules and Enforce ThemSo, now that you know what it takes to run your group and what kind of atmosphere you'd like within the community, it's time to create a set of rules everybody in your group must consider before posting or commenting. Again, Facebook is pretty helpful as they will give you suggestions; all you need to do is re-word and add extras if you'd like.
Regarding adherence, you can also set rules about dealing with offenders. For example, do they get a warning first, muted second, and then removed, or will you not give any notices? Again, the idea is that you'd like to keep your community safe and protect the members who trust you, so anybody giving unsolicited advice, misbehaving, or not aligning with your values will not fit in your community.
3. Provide People with an Attractive Reason to JoinThere are many ways potential new members can find your group. Whether they join depends on their impression when interacting with your group the first time. So, there are a few areas where you'd like to provide concise and attractive information about why it's worth it for them to join. At the same time, you want to filter out people who are not the right fit.
The name you give to your Facebook Group will matter a fair amount. First, you want to be as specific as possible, so people will instantly know if it's the right group for them. Then a more detailed description in the About section will also make a huge difference, especially if your group has a specific theme like 'how to stay fit and lean over 50' or 'fitness support for IT professionals for strength, mobility, and correct posture.'
When inviting new people to join, the incentives you present will also play a role. But, again, we'll discuss this in more detail in the next step.
4. Promote Your Group to Your Existing AudienceThat's the best place to start. The people who already know, like, and trust you will more likely join your group to find answers to their issues. Then they can bring their friends too if they find your group beneficial.
In your email marketing, you can bring them Facebook group discussions they can join. On social media, you can publish advice nuggets as teasers and mention you go into detail on these topics within your group. If you write blogs, you can also include links to your Facebook Group to invite people to join the discussion on the topic at hand.
5. Find New AudiencesThe next step is to go out and promote your group to people who have never heard of you before. The best way to do it is to build meaningful connections with whichever marketing channel you choose. You can seek out guest blogging opportunities with other professionals in the fitness and health sector where. For instance, a wellness platform for women with a vast following might find an article on how nutrition, sleep, and training affect the skin, hair, and nails. So you can do some research, put a piece together, and then in your About info, you can link to your Facebook group.
You can also network with podcasters and get invited on a topic that will undoubtedly spike the interest of your ideal clients. The key again is to ensure you share the info where they can find you and your support group. Other ways you can attract new people are to network in your local and online communities, be helpful in other groups where it's allowed, and make sure your group's link is in your Facebook profile. You can also host community events within the group and promote them ahead of time everywhere.
6. Go LIVE RegularlyVideo is the top content because it's quicker to consume more information than reading articles and lengthy posts. Stats show that people watch LIVE videos 3x longer than a video that's not live, just like people will more likely join a LIVE remote session than watching a workout video-on-demand.
So, if you'd like to spark more engagement, you want to go LIVE. You can do so in your group and provide exclusive content to group members, then drive the hype with promotions on your social media profiles ahead of the LIVE session. You might ask what content you should focus on when LIVE. You can hold live Q&A sessions, a seminar on a topic important to your client, interview an expert in a specific field or even chat with a successful client and let them share what they think is key to their success. The limit is the sky.