The fitness industry has taken over Instagram, which is exactly why studios and gyms should use it to their advantage. This is where you’ll find a huge majority of current members, potential members, partners, and so on. So if you don’t have a strong social media presence, you’ll find it more difficult to create a strong community where you can engage with your fitness members. You also miss out on opportunities to stay in front of leads and to encourage a healthy lifestyle to both potential and current members.
1) Hashtag Resources
Posts with 11 or more hashtags received nearly 80% interaction compared to just 22% when using 10. There are a few different tools that’ll help optimize your use of hashtags. Websta shows you the top 100 hashtags that are currently being used. This’ll help your posts trend and get more exposure. It looks like this:
Post a picture of one of your top members working out in your studio and tag it with #photooftheday. You know this hashtag is the #3 most popular hashtag and has been used over 386M times. Websta constantly updates these hashtags so you know which are most commonly/ most frequently searched.
Another cool resource is this Daily Hashtag article. Reference this on any day of the week to see which hashtags are trending.
If you want to show a “before and after” photo of one of your most successful members, post it on a Tuesday and use the hashtag #TransformationTuesday. Other great ones for fitness studio owners, trainers, and gym owners include #HealthyHumpDay, #SelfieSunday, and so on.
2) Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories launched August, 2016. Since then, it’s already gained 300 million daily users. Here are a few Instagram Stories hacks you should know about:
Keep Track of Who Watches Your Stories and Engage With Them
Keep in mind that people voluntarily choose to watch your Instagram Story – it doesn’t automatically play in their feed. So look at the people who are watching your story. If your story consists of your studio’s workouts for the day, or meal prep, reach out to people who repeatedly watch your content. They’re interested in what you have to offer.
So directly message them through Instagram and ask what they liked about your story, what their fitness/ health goals are, etc. And since Instagram messaging is the 2nd highest-used messaging app for millennials at 47%, this is huge.
Stay In Front of Your Members and Leads
Connect with your leads and clients on Instagram. If they use Instagram Stories, be sure you stay up to date on their content.
You may notice that a lot of them actually include their workouts and lifestyle, so write messages on their story to stay in front of them, offer support, and show appreciation. While you’re watching their story, click “Send message” in the bottom left to write them something.
Control Who Sees Your Story
If you want to create an Instagram story that features a free week offer for new students only, you can hide your content from specific people that you don’t want to expose that offer to (existing members, etc.). Go to your main profile > Click the 3 circle button in the top right > Choose Story Settings > Hide Story From.
Save Your Photos
You can save the pictures in your Instagram Story before and after it’s published. If you want to save your photo beforehand, click the “save” button in the bottom left hand corner. If you want to save it after it’s published, click the 3 buttons on the bottom right and choose to either save the photo or share it through your feed.
3) Apps to Enhance Your Posts
Despite the power and popularity that video has gained over the last few years, photos still get higher engagement on Instagram:Image via SimplyMeasured
That being said, here are a few Instagram apps that are designed to enhance your photos on Instagram -and the way you post them.
Layout – This is a great app to make collages for both iOS and Android. Combine a few of your fitness studio’s favorite photos to make one unique picture:
Repost – Not only does this app save you time when it comes to posting on your Instagram, but it increases the exposure of both your images and the person’s you share. So if you’re the owner of a fitness studio, repost your fitness business’ posts so that your personal followers get exposed to your business’ account. Reposts have a small black rectangle in the corner of the image with the original Instagram account’s username like this:
Our team spent the weekend at #ideaworld by @ideafit learning a TON of new things about the #fitnessindustry. We can't wait to tell you what we learned! Stay tuned. A photo posted by Loud Rumor (@loudrumor) on
Boomerang – Boomerang creates GIFs, which in this case are real-life 1 second videos that people love. There are tons of ways fitness studios can use Boomerang to show a quick workout, the final result of food prep, feature a member of the day, highlight your exercise equipment or product, etc. Here’s an example of what Boomerang can do:
4) The Best Times to Post Video & Photos
Monday and Tuesday at 2am, 8-9am, and 5pm have been proven to get the highest rates of engagement. For videos specifically, post at 9pm if possible. This has been proven to get the best results with 34% more interactions.
Think about the hours that people tend to be at work (8am – 5pm). If you post during off-work hours (5pm, 9pm, etc.), there’s a higher chance that your target audience will be able to look at their phone and engage on Instagram.
5) Location Tag
As simple as it is to add a location tag to your posts, it makes a huge difference. So if you’re a personal trainer, studio owner, instructor, etc., always add your facility’s location. Even if you post on your business’ page, add the location.
“Posts that include both a hashtag and a location tag over-index engagement, averaging 43,061 likes and comments each” – SimplyMeasured
When you tag your posts with a location, they tend to get 79% more engagement than when you publish posts without a location.
If you want to start creating awesome video content for your social media, check out our free guide for 25 tools that’ll help you make video on any budget:
Do you have any Instagram hacks that you use for your fitness studio? Share them with us in the comments below!
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.