There’s no denying that Snapchat has taken the marketing world by storm. The app that rose to fame on its “here today, gone tomorrow” style of posting launched a system that will allow third parties to sell ads on it, giving Snapchat more credibility than ever.
Even if you can’t jump into the advertising side of things yet, Snapchat is still a perfect platform for fitness studios to establish themselves and gain a following. You may be skeptical of its staying power, but trust us — this social channel is going places.
Why use Snapchat?
The tricky thing about Snapchat is that any content you produce disappears within hours. So between running a business, teaching classes and training students, and maintaining a personal life, it’s hard for some fitness studio owners to justify the time spent creating content with such a short shelf life.
But don’t be fooled by Snapchat’s disappearing act. It has perks that you can’t get from Facebook, Twitter or Instagram:
1. More consistent engagement
The very thing that makes a ton of gym owners hesitant to use the platform is what makes it so valuable: your content’s expiration date. Anyone who has used Snapchat will mention their addiction to it. Snapchat users are some of the most loyal audiences because they don’t want to miss any posts. So content that’s here today, gone tomorrow goes a long way toward building a committed, engaged following. Use it for your WODs or even a challenge that ends at midnight.
2. Easy to repurpose content
If you post the same thing today as you did last month, chances are that nobody remembers … and as you grow your audience, you’ll have new followers who didn’t see the first post anyway.
This is good because you don’t constantly have to come up with new ideas of what to snap — you can stick with a few topics that get a good response and recycle them. So if you end up demonstrating the proper form for doing lunges once a week, nobody will mind.
3. Share more frequently
With Snapchat, frequent posting is encouraged. Users have the option to share photos and videos either with individual friends or to their “Story” (Snapchat’s equivalent of your Facebook Timeline). This lets you create a narrative of your day — or of a class, or meal prep session — that actually offers value. And because photos and videos only play for up to 10 seconds, your story moves at a fast pace and keeps your viewers engaged.
Now let’s dive into what fitness studio owners should post to get the most traction with their Snapchat audience.
Snapchat is great for connecting with your audience on a very personal level, and one of the best ways to do this is with behind-the-scenes glimpses into what makes you a great trainer (or what makes your fitness studio a great studio). Behind-the-scenes photos and videos feel like a privilege, and your viewers will feel like they have a VIP backstage pass to the inner workings of your life.
This is where you show people what goes into your meal prep and why you choose certain foods over others, or the work you put in at the gym outside of class. It’s a good way to add a human element to your marketing plan and use your own lifestyle as an example to keep your students and studio members motivated.
Photo credit: Snapchat user anadeliafitness, IFBB competitor
Class is in session
Want to expand your coaching business to include an online element? Snapchat kills it when it comes to online coaching. You can take advantage of its short videos to demonstrate new workouts or take your viewers through a quick routine … then direct them to your website for the full workout.
Photo Credit: Snapchat user menshealth, Fitness and nutrition magazine
What’s really cool is that as people watch, they can chat you straight from your story with any questions. So if you post a snap to your story that shows what goes into your meal prep, that allows someone to send you a message directly from that snap to ask why you went with chicken instead of fish. You can reply with text, a photo or video, or you can even chat with them through live video similar to Skype or FaceTime. It’s an easy and really effective way to interact with your audience on a personal level and share your fitness knowledge.
Talk up your students
One of our favorite ways fitness studios use Snapchat is to talk up their members and celebrate awesome results. If your student is OK with it, take videos of them nailing a move they’ve struggled with – like their first pullup – or get a veteran student to demonstrate a more advanced exercise.
And for your members who are also active on Snapchat, talk them up and capitalize on the following they’ve built. Ask them to take over your account for the day and snap as they go through their workouts and recovery, or offer to trade accounts for a day. You can even have a different studio member take over your account for a day each week.
Photo credit: Snapchat user lyzabethlopez, personal trainer
If your fitness studio is new to Snapchat , learn it. It’s an awesome way to grow your fitness studio’s audience and get your brand out there. And if you want to see the other awesome strategies our fitness studios use to build their brand, bring in an insane amount of leads, and kill it … we’ll show you how: Contact us to book a demo.
Mike Arce is the CEO and founder of Loud Rumor, a lead generation company for fitness studios and independent gyms that supports their customers with sales training and techniques to grow and scale.
Mike has spoken for companies like Infusionsoft, the Better Business Bureau, ASBA, and Local First – all on the topic of Local Business Internet Marketing. He has a passion for local businesses and helping them grow. You can get fresh, updated tips from Mike here.