Fitness Industry Sux @ Facebook!

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OK! OK! That is unfair on the whole fitness industry. The majority of the fitness industry as MOST small businesses suck at Facebook!

I believe there are 2 main things that annoy Facebook fans and friends:

  • Status updates that are crap; and
  • Selling stuff when we have no relationship or trust.

What do I mean?

Firstly, if you wake up and think “I need to update my Facebook status” there is a fair chance that you will put some rubbish up about what you are doing. People are friends of you, in any social media, or a fan of your brand because you add value to their life.

Generally telling me the sun is out or that you are having toast for breaky is not adding value. You are sending your fans and followers crap.  So please . . . pretty please . . . pretty please with sugar on top . . . only put posts up that are on brand – your company brand or your personal brand. If you are a fitness centre put posts up that relate to fitness, exercise, nutrition, sleep and so on. Stay on brand and people will stay fans.

But before you start posting, decide why are you are on Facebook (or on any social media platform). What are you trying to do – Drive sales? Drive leads? Drive relationships with current and or potential customers? Be the font of information? Be a connector?

The strategy behind why you are entering this medium will help determine your style of posts. Then combine your brand promise in your posts and not only will you keep your friends and fans but they will spread the word. You will then exponentially grow your social reach.

Your new Insights reporting will tell you what resonates with your fans, if you have a Facebook Page. These numbers will tell you categorically what people like seeing as your posts. Keep doing ones that people like. For example, you may post an exercise video one day and a healthy recipe another and there is 5 times more traffic for the recipe. This means people dig your recipe updates, so potentially do a couple more.

My other gripe on status updates is please make them authentic. I have recently read ‘scripted’ updates that are outsourced to a non-fitness business.  They are posted through Hootsuite (which we use too) and are not creating any engagement with the brand,as they post and never respond to their members engagement with their brand. But more importantly, I can tell they are American owing to the spelling and the imperial measurements. What message does this send to your fans in Australia?

Again, check out your Insights page and you may well find you can save money by doing your own posts every few days but those posts are better directed to your fans and more authentic. The scripted updates are a lazy way of trying to create fans. There is a place for them but ensure you add your own updates too.

Finally, if you think just because I am your fan you have the right to start ramming your product and services down my throat, you are mistaken! Seriously, if you try to sell me something on every post I will not follow you and you will NEVER get me back!

Facebook is a not a direct marketing tool. It is a relationship building mechanism.

Your posts show me you are an expert. You know what you are doing. Your posts build my trust in you. Your posts build or strengthen our relationship. Once we have that rapport and trust, then you can market to me but subtly.

This could be called bread crumb marketing.

Direct me to your website. Combine education with an offer but try to stay clear of just offers as your post. I believe it is ratio of 10 education or value adding posts to one sales post. Get this mix right and your fans will then share your sales post.

Seriously, fitness/small businesses get your act together and consider what Michael Donnelly, Coca-Cola Group Director for Worldwide Interactive Marketing said, “Being a fan, friend follower does not mean they have opted in to have advertising blasted at them.”


FYI – I am doing a presentation at Filex in Sydney on the 28th April on Social Media, feel free to come along!

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