How to effectively use social media for fitness (or to promote you or your brand!)
The first thing you should know about social media is that likes, follows, and tap-taps are not king.
Just because someone likes your ass doesn't mean they are going to buy your products or services. Brand ambassadors are able to give their sponsor more visibility (in theory) with a larger community or "following". If you own a business, are a personal trainer, or are trying to sell your product or service, however, quantity in your network, pales in comparision to the quality of your network.
The key to converting fans to clients is threefold: relatability, reliability, accessibility
Chances are your followers follow you because of a shared interest. While Breakfast at TIffany's is a good starting point, it is going to take more than the fact you have both seen the movie for them to truly identify with you. If you are a personal trainer trying to get clients, you need to identify with your followers on a personal level, ie. make an instagram video of your struggles to get out of bed for a morning workout, tweet a picture of your failed attempt to say no to cheesecake (without calling it a "cheat day"), and create a Snapchat of ensuing DOM's that makes it painful to lower your buttcheeks to the toilet-boil. The point is, we all experience these things, but if you present yourself as an unattainable demigod, your fans will always keep you at an arm's length.
Post with regularity (notice I didn't see frequency). Users who post every 30 minutes aren't necessarily more successful than those who post once a day. Rather, the stats show that posting at a regular interval (ie. at the same time each day), creates a stronger, more engaged following, than at random intervals.
Responsiveness is also paramount to building credibility and reliability with your followers. Respond to their questions and respond to comments, likes and shares, even if they aren't asking anything of you. Thanking someone for sharing your content not only rewards them for the proliferation of your brand, but it makes you more visible and relevant to both their followers and your own! Try to respond to everyone's comments and questions within a standard 24 hour period so that you are still top-of-mind.
Give your fans, who want to be clients, a next step. I'm talking about a call-to-action! If you have done the unthinkable and peaked their interest enough to make them want to buy your product, service, or brand, you should have somewhere for them to go to complete the sale! Make it easy for them to get to a landing page by putting a link in your profile or blog. At the same time, don't try to sell your audience with every post. In fact, you should really only try to make a pitch 1 out of every 10 posts MAXIMUM.
Generosity cannot be overrated. Yes, people may follow you because you have established yourself as an expert on body building, vegan recipes, yoga, or twerking, but sharing, liking, and commenting on other people's content illustrates your engagement and your willingness to grow as part of a community. Be a go-giver, not a go-getter.
WIthout a doubt, social media has had a major influence on the fitness industry and how we market ourselves. Effective community growth, and converting fans to clients, should be the focus of your social media activities to maximize your return on investment. For more helpful tips and fun pics, follow me on Twitter and Instagram @BrendanRolfe and subcribe to my blog!