Instagram is a social networking app that is used to share photos and short videos. Although there is space to write captions and a comments section, Instagram is a mostly visually based social network. It’s the newest of the Big Five (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Yelp), but it already has more than 400 million monthly active users.
As a health club your goal on Instagram should be to use your great photos to gain followers (who hopefully are your members), engage with them and build a club community online. Whether you’re a social media novice not sure how to get started or an experienced pro looking to increase your follower count, we’ve got you covered.
Here are 5 Instagram marketing tips for gyms.
1. How often should I post?
Don’t post more than one photo per day. Although you’ll see individual users posting photos many times per day, the reality of being a company account is that your followers will consider multiple posts a day from you as spam. There are obviously some exceptions to this rule (multiple contest winners you want to highlight or breaking news you need to share), but for the most part you should try to keep your posting frequency at one picture per day.
2. When should I post?
Although the post ordering algorithm is continually updated, most Instagram users only see the most recently posted photos on their feed. Therefore your club should strategically post at times that will maximize views. Schedule your pictures to go up at the beginning of the day (morning commuters), noon (lunch time) or around 6 PM for when your members are getting off of work.
3. Who should post the photos?
There are two ways your club can organize this. You could have a dedicated iPod touch or another photo-taking device that is permanently logged into your social media accounts. The other option is for your employees to login to your club’s Instagram account from their own smartphones. There are pros and cons for each option. Having your employees login from their own smartphones provides a lot more flexibility, but also opens up the possibility of them mistakenly posting personal pictures on the company account.
A dedicated device removes the human error from the equation, but also makes it more difficult to post pictures, especially if your club has many locations. Work with your employees to develop your own social media login policy.
4. How should I get my members involved?
Take photos of them! One of the best ways to get your members engaged with you on Instagram is to feature them in a photo. Ask them for permission and their username first, and then you can tag your members in the Instagram photos they appear in. They’ll be notified and hopefully will share your photo with their family and friends. You can also hold photo contests where your members can submit their own photos of them working out or enjoying your club.
5. Anything else I should know?
Yes. Some quick hits:
There’s no escaping hashtags, no matter what social media platform you’re on. Keyhole is a good tool for researching what is currently trending. Using hashtags can get a lot more eyeballs on your post, but you should carefully choose which hashtag you use. You can use extremely general hashtags that will get you many views, but they may not be the viewers you’re interested in (prospective or current members). Research hashtags ahead of time to ensure you’re getting qualified viewers.
Connect your Instagram account to your other social media accounts so you can easily share posts between them. Many Instagram pictures can also easily be Facebook posts.
Want to gain more followers on your social media accounts. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Social Media for fitness-specific knowledge on how to supercharge your online member engagement: