Your Best Friend or Your Worst Enemy: Social Media Marketing

The days are flying by and everyone around the HQ is cranking up the power as the 2015 Fitness Business Summit approaches faster and faster every day. We’re all feeling the pressure around here and I’m sure you are too as you get ready for the tidal wave of information you’ll be digesting at the conference.

With preparations well underway and the crew just about ready to slam the shifter into high gear, I wanted to give you a small preview of the kind of awesome tips we’ll be sharing.

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 2.37.47 PMI always strive to make sure that any content I produce is not only extremely helpful and value adding but that it is practical enough to be understood and applied right away. That’s how everything at the Summit is going to be in March and it’s how this post is going to be for your social media marketing.

I love teaching social media marketing because new tips and strategies are easily applied and tested. While hugely significant results still take some time, it’s easy for all of us to practice our marketing techniques on social media, right? It usually doesn’t cost anything and it allows you to try out new ideas without getting majorly punished for small mistakes.

But all this informality doesn’t mean that social media content marketing is in any way unimportant. You can bring yourself some massive success if you get things just right.

That’s what today’s tips are all about, guidelines that should help you avoid major mistakes and maybe even score some big wins with your Facebook, Twitter, and other social marketing efforts.

Tip #1 – Caution: Feed the Blaze but Don’t Get Burned

Social media marketing is like a voracious wildfire. If you can put out just the right post, with the right content and message, at the right time, it could go viral. It could spread like wildfire, explode all over the Internet, and drive a huge influx of short-term traffic to all your sites.

This is the Holy Grail of social media marketing, right? And even if your posts aren’t blowing up the all-time highest records of Internet fandom, (ain’t nobody got time for that) a decent amount of your clients spreading a picture or post around their pages is a win as far as I’m concerned.

But that flaming unpaid marketing blaze can get caught in an unexpected wind and come straight back to burn you right down to the ground. Internet hate is one of the most powerful forces of nature this universe has ever seen, and if you bring it down upon yourself, you might find that your free fame has turned to infamy.

And, again, you probably won’t be operating at the level of Congressman Weiner, but a few dozen angry clients all deciding to unfollow you at once can be pretty devastating for the marketing efforts of a small training business. (The “all publicity is good publicity” saying doesn’t really apply here.)

So how do you avoid this? Well, besides the painfully obvious (keep it classy, people) there is a certain way you can think about your social media content marketing that should keep you from incurring the wrath of the web.

It’s a way of thinking similar to how I described the content we’ll be sharing at Fitness Business Summit 15. When making a post, always ask yourself: “What value am I adding to people’s lives?” If there isn’t much, or none at all, odds are, it isn’t a good post.

We teach the same thing when it comes to Email marketing: if you want people to let your posts and emails into their lives they’ve got to see the content as value adding. The moment you get annoying or irrelevant, you’re going to get ignored or erased.

Posting too many ads is one of the best ways to drive an audience away. If you’re just posting advertisements without any other content, people will stop checking to see what you have to say.

Bury those offer posts among healthy amounts of content posts. Again, it’s a lot like emails: grow that know, like, trust factor with the content people appreciate then occasionally make them an offer or sell them a product.

When they recognize you as a value adder they will see your low-barrier ebooksoffers or info products as value adding. Make sense?

So keep an eye out for those things your clients really want or need. Find the fitness articles that will help them with their fitness journeys, send along the recipes they will love to try, show them new workouts they can use today— keep adding value over and over again.

They won’t just stick with you, they’ll love you for it.

Tip #2 – Don’t Be Afraid to Get Real

Sometimes our perception of social media gets caught in a dichotomy, pitting personal and business content on opposite polls. You might not realize that the Instagram picture of your breakfast can get you just as many new clients as your latest case study article.

Don’t let faulty thinking force you to forget the platform you’re working on.

This is Facebook we’re talking about here, right? Personal expression is what it’s all about. And you are PERSONAL fitness professionals, you work with clients who get to know you, want to know you, and need to know you if they are going to buy from you. So don’t be afraid to mix some of your personal stories, thoughts or anecdotes into your social media marketing strategy.

But, there’s still a right and wrong way to go about this. Keep your business page business. You can post with a fun or businesslike tone, whatever you prefer, but keep the content focused on the business.

However, you can use your business page (with sharing, commenting, posting, etc.) to drive traffic to your personal page.

Now, everything we said about attracting followers and driving them away still matters, but the value you will be adding on your personal page can be much more emotional. This is where you are going to use your charm, your personality and your humor to make people see you as the kind, helpful, approachable trainer that you are.

Show your clients the happy, fun, important, and moving events that happen throughout your day-to-day life. It’s all about know, like, trust, right? Let the content on your personal page allow followers to get to know and like you, then let the value from your business page teach them to trust you.

It’s the combination of these two resources that will really make your social media marketing efforts a huge success.

Tip #3 – Stay Active and Interactive

What makes social media special and different from other marketing is the power to genuinely connect with real individuals, clients, customers, whatever you want to call them. But it is possible to miss out on this opportunity.

If all you do on your sites is make ‘fire-and-forget’ posts, without any follow-up attention, you are missing a huge opportunity to build the know, like, trust factor.

What does this mean? It means you should be commenting, partaking in conversations, liking, and making efforts to show your active presence on these sites.

If you are someone’s favorite trainer, imagine how awesome they will feel if you like or comment on one of their posts? If someone takes the time to leave an encouraging or thankful message on one of your posts, get back to them and show them your appreciation with a comment or a shout-out.

commentsEasy, simple interaction goes a long way.

Now, this comes with a warning as well. Don’t be mean, angry or negative to a client or prospect, and never, ever partake in internet bashings or large, impassioned debates. Keep your presence positive and professional and you will be making the most of your social media marketing resources.

These are some rough guidelines that should go a long way toward making your social media impact even bigger and better than it already is.

Committed to your success,