We all know that social media is a powerful tool to build a business.
However, it seems that many trainers use it haphazardly with little strategy behind it, this reflects in their results.
Most are unsure of what to post, when to post and even how to post in order to get the best out of the various social media outlets.
In this guide our social media expert Kelly-Marie West walks you through the fundamentals that will help you become a master of Instagram.
First things first;
First of all it is crucial when you branch out to a new social media platform, you MUST ascertain whether your ideal client is using it.
There is no point putting awesome content on to a platform that your potential clients don't even use.
There are over 400 Million active Instagram users.
80 Million photos are posted per day and 17,000 hearts per second!
Women outnumber men in usage at 55% to 45% of men.
34% of users are 18-24 years old and 33% of users are 25 -34 years old.
If your ideal clients are over 34 years old I would suggest a different platform!
There is a 20% usage of 12-17 yea olds; if you work with the teenage population it might be worth using Instagram.
So where do you start?
Start with a Plan
Seems logical right?
Have a plan as to why you are posting and what your brand wants to say.
What is it you want to achieve? How will you measure its success?
It's crucial to have a purpose when posting on Instagram, in broad terms you want to increase your brand awareness, engage with your followers and in turn create more leads to convert to sales.
You need a posting strategy.
This means each time you post something you are confident that it is in line with your brand and it's relevant to your followers.
How often are you going to post?
What are you going to post?
When are you going to post?
What tools are you going to use to get the most out of your time?
These are all questions that need to be answered in order to outline your strategy.
Here are some posting ideas you can use:
- Video exercise demonstration (Instagram recently increased the video length time to 60 from 15 seconds)
- Before and after pictures of your clients
- Behind the scenes type pictures – this could be you putting together training plans, planning out your week or what you do between clients.
- What you eat on a daily basis – Instagram is full of pictures of food! Check out @TheBodyCoach if you need some inspiration
- Things that make you laugh – be you! Sharing humour with your following makes you more real and making others laugh is always good
- A helpful tip on healthy living, training and lifestyle hacks –what’s common sense to you isn’t to your following. So help them out!
- Pictures of you in action with your clients – what better way to preview what you do than to show them
- Questions – these are great for interaction. These are also great for insight into your followers struggles so you can help them even better.
- Inspirational quotes to motivate and inspire your followers to take action
- Memes which your followers will relate too
Which tools should I use?
Unlike other social media platforms Instagram doesn’t allow you to use a third party tool which automatically post for you.
What is does allow you to do is, schedule them in advance and then you physically hit the post button to publish it on Instagram.
I would still recommend using a tool even though you have to do this.
Batching your work goes a long way to helping you be more time efficient and systemised. Hootsuite
– allows you to manage multiple networks, schedule posts and engage your audience, all in one place. There is a free trial for 30 days and various options depending on the size of your business. Later.com
(formerly Latergramme) – The simpler way to plan your visual content marketing. The Free Plan comes with 30 photo posts/month, Search & Repost, 1 User, and 2 Social Profiles. Prices start from ¢19 per monthSchedugram
- Schedugram features web uploading of images or video, scheduling for later, and supports multiple accounts. Offers a 7 day free trial and then prices vary. This is for the more professional user.
If you are on a budget and Instagram is a part of your marketing strategy but not your main platform then Later.com is probably your best bet.
However, if you are already using Hootsuite, it would make sense to use that!
Spending 60 minutes to create a weeks worth of content in one go is a great way to get it all done in a time efficient manner. Trying to create one post at a time will likely take you twice as long.
How do I get more followers?
NEVER BUY FOLLOWERS
This goes across all social media platforms.
You don’t want to waste your reach on people that will never buy from you and possibly don’t even exist.
Ideally you want targeted followers that are interested in your service.
On a daily basis use tools like Crowdfire
to increase your following with people that are likely to buy from you.
Crowdfire allows you to “CopyFollowers’ of accounts that have the same ideal customers as you. You can then unfollow all those that don’t follow back if you wish.
TargetGrow allows you to ‘Fav’ posts, which contain a particular hashtag or keyword that your ideal customers would use in their bio or in their posts.
The best way to ensure you get the highest conversion (you follow they follow back or you Fav a post and they follow you) is to ensure your bio is used effectively.
Your bio should include a link to your opt in/ free download or a link you want your followers to go to (you could change this weekly to a blog post you publish)
Ensure your bio tells people EXACTLY what you do and what problem you solve then add a CTA (call to action).
What is the deal with hashtags?
Hashtags aren’t just for Twitter, they work on Instagram too!
I would suggest you compile a list of 10-15 hashtags that are relevant to your business. You can copy and paste in to captions on later or save it in a notepad on your smartphone.
They key is to put the hashtags in the comments box straight after posting and NOT in the image caption.
Find out what are the top hashtags in your niche and type them in daily to connect with people using those hashtags.
Spending 10 minutes per day liking and commenting on pages that use these hashtags will grow your following and increase your engagement.
You can use hashtagify.me
to find out what the most popular hashtags are and use them in your posts.
I would not just use a popular hashtag for the sake of it, ensure they are relevant otherwise it will confuse your followers.
Confused people don’t buy!
Here are some example hashtags #diet #healthy #weightloss #fitness #motivation #fit #health #exercise #workout #training #fitfam #gym
What can I use to create content?
There are a few tools you can use to create awesome graphics to share. Canva
– allows you to create graphics for all the social media platforms. You can brand them and add text, upload your own images and add filters too. This is a great tool for those that are a little savvier. You can use it on your desktop and your iPad.Wordswag
– An app which can be used on your smartphone to generate cool texts so you can add text to your photos. Typorama
– A simple app to create amazing graphics on your iPhone or iPad.
A couple of quick hacks that will not take you any extra time.
Set up an IFTTT.com
recipe to share Instagram posts natively to Twitter (as an image).
Link your Facebook business page to your Instagram and share your best post each day to your Facebook page. Facebook and Instagram are owned by the same people so it does quite well on the algorithm.
Use Geotags to increase brand awareness of your business and increase engagement.
Manage filters and reorder so that the filters you mostly use are at the beginning and hide the ones you never use. It's just a quick time saving tip which can save you time in the long run.
Always give value!
Your clients and followers are the lifeline of your business.
Having great social media proof and giving value means you can convert followers in to clients and entice your ex clients to return to you.
Connect and build relationships with your followers.
If someone asks a question, answer them.
If someone tags your business page and if it's relevant. Repost it.
If someone has taken the time to connect with you don’t ignore them.
Check in at certain times of day to go through your notifications and get back to people.
No one likes to be ignored.
You don’t need to beg for followers or ask people to turn your notifications on if you are giving good value.
Provide to your following and they will become raving fans.
If your target market is on Instagram then follow this advice and you should be getting online personal training
clients from Instagram very soon!