Getting fit used to mean coming face to face with an intimidating bodybuilder or sales rep pushing the latest diet trend. Today, people are staying healthy with virtual personal trainers, quick video tips and hundreds of supporters only a few taps away. As such, the fitness community is thriving in a digitally driven world—especially on Instagram.
Many brands use Instagram to showcase the lifestyle their product or service makes possible. One of the best ways to achieve this is through the lens of your customers via user-generated content. Not only does user-generated content help humanize your brand, but it also can make your brand seem more trustworthy. In fact, according to a Clickz.com study, 55% of consumers trust user-generated content over other forms of marketing.
To start building deeper connections with your followers, give credit where credit is due. For instance, when resharing content, include the original poster’s handle in your description. Not only does this give the poster a notification, it also highlights the important contributions of your community. But don’t stop there: Go the extra mile by adding the reason you shared the photo too.
This is something that Tone It Up does remarkably well, reposting, for example, incredible body transformations. Every reshared post includes a detailed description (and in some cases, a testimonial), the original poster’s name and words of encouragement from the Tone It Up team.
- Number of followers: 487K
- Avg. number of posts/week: 24
- Avg. number of likes/week: 105,828
- Avg. number of comments/week: 3,163
To keep you motivated all week long, we’re sharing Laura’s transformation story on ToneItUp.com! Just looking at her gorgeous figure gives us a huge a motivational boost! ?? Find more about how she completely transformed her body in the latest post on www.ToneItUp.com! So proud of you @lauralikestiu! If you have a success story you want to share, go to ToneItUp.com/Transformation!!! We can't wait to see your #TIUtransformation! @karenakatrina #TIUteam #TIUtransformation #MotivationMonday #TIUmom
A common fitness goal is to get outside of your comfort zone. The human body is wired to adapt to routine; but as the body gets used to the routine, most people hit a plateau.
The same applies to your social media strategy. If you stick to publishing the same content day in and day out, your outreach will grow stagnant and likely result in lower engagement. Challenge yourself and your followers to step outside of their comfort zone.
CrossFit’s Instagram feed is full of images of people pushing their limits. The brand doesn’t rely on kitschy captions or lofty mantras. Instead, it publishes powerful photos that capture the determination, dedication and amazing strength of its subjects.
If that weren’t enough to empower its 900,000+ followers, CrossFit regularly includes fitness recipes along with its photos, challenging followers to push beyond the places where they usually stop.
- Number of followers: 903K
- Avg. number of posts/week: 19
- Avg. number of likes/week: 285,075
- Avg. number of comments/week: 7,081
Another fun way to challenge your followers is through a little friendly competition. Erin Motz, Cofounder of Bad Yogi, regularly posts challenges on her Instagram account. This year, she held a series of #badyogisdoit challenges. Some of these challenges prompted participants to do a specific yoga pose, while others were a bit more subjective.
Motz encourages her followers to post pictures of their daily poses, tagged #badyogisdoit. To date, the hashtag has been used more than 16,100 times. Motz also features some of her favorite posts on her blog as well as on Instagram, giving participants a little shoutout and encouragement.
- Number of followers: 20.6K
- Avg. number of posts/week: 8
- Avg. number of likes/week: 5,163
- Avg. number of comments/week: 236
A big challenge that the fitness industry faces is getting people to do something that they haven’t wanted to do. For some, the idea of taking a spinning class is more exciting than actually taking a spinning class.
With that in mind, your social media content can’t be all sales all the time. You’re building a community, and that means developing relationships with everyone. A well-balanced content strategy will appeal to both your power customers and those individuals who are still on the fence.
SoulCycle does an excellent job of mixing inspirational content with product-driven posts. When you scroll through the brand’s Instagram feed, you’re not overwhelmed by images of people simply tapping it back on a bike. Instead, you’re introduced to a company that stops to celebrate life’s important moments and help its community members stand—and ride—in their truth.
- Number of followers: 104K
- Avg. number of posts/week: 5
- Avg. number of likes/week: 9,501
- Avg. number of comments/week: 587
This week we’re celebrating the most dedicated fellas we know… our SOUL DADS! Send us a photo of your favorite dad in his SOUL gear, and you'll have the chance to win 5 classes for dad! Post your photo to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #1SoulDad, or email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. So what are you waiting for? Tell us what makes your dad #1. http://bit.ly/1liXb8y
That’s not to say that your product can’t ever be included in your posts. Nike Women’s Instagram feed masterfully works in sales-oriented content through product placements that speak to an experience.
- Number of followers: 2.6M
- Avg. number of posts/week: 5
- Avg. number of likes/week: 354,900
- Avg. number of comments/week: 819
The decision to lead a more healthy lifestyle represents a major shift in a person’s routine. Social media content, when done well, will honor that decision. Don’t cheapen your efforts by focusing only on your brand and your product. Take time to build meaningful relationships with diverse content that resonates with your community rather than just chasing numbers.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.