Workout gurus and yoga influencers are found in all corners of Instagram. While individuals build up followings and influence their audience, what are brands doing to stay relevant? It takes a mix of constant posting endurance, flexible strategy and tenacity to reach new heights in the fitness world. Let’s take a look at how five fitness brands are winning at social media.
This powerhouse fitness clothing brand brings a multi-pronged approach to their social media and digital marketing efforts. Lululemon is known for their leggings but the company makes a variety of fitness clothing and takes the time to engage with their audience. The feel of the online experience matches the in-store one and it’s clear a lot of thought goes into their social media planning.
Their Instagram account is by far the most popular of their social media accounts. The company frequently features stories from the community. These highlights serve a few different functions. In the below example, it showcases the company’s social impact program.
View this post on Instagram
"One breath is all it takes to create space between reaction and response. One breath can save a life." Quentin Mables grew up in one of Chicago’s toughest neighbourhoods, an area where youth are exposed to gun violence every day. His experiences inspired him and his co-founders to create @igrowchicago. Their organization helps children and young adults go from “surviving to thriving,” by hosting yoga classes, mindfulness experiences, job readiness programs, tutoring and community dialogue. Through #heretobe we get to provide yoga teacher training and financial support to @igrowchicago. Learn more about the work of our social impact program—link in bio. #internationalyogaday #idy2018 #lululemon
Additional benefits from highlighting members from the community include cross-promotion of the members’ efforts and providing inspiration for Lululemon’s audience. Their audience is a mix of people and among them are potential yoga teachers. Giving examples of community members who are succeeding in their careers while wearing Lululemon clothing provides further inspiration and encouragement to an audience that is likely to be highly engaged with their products.
On Twitter, Lululemon likes to serve up short, tongue-in-cheek Tweets right alongside engaging conversation. The company also frequently retweets Lululemon Men, their local city accounts and other causes they support.
Treat goals like coconuts. Hit them hard, crack them open, celebrate. #lululemon
— lululemon (@lululemon) September 17, 2018
You don’t need to carry it all.
— lululemon (@lululemon) June 14, 2018
Don't worry—we'll always be here for you, Sabrina.
— lululemon (@lululemon) September 25, 2018
In between the one-liners, customer service is performed with Direct Message links and customer engagement is maintained with conversational questions. While their Twitter account is used in many ways, it’s consistently apparent is that they listen to their customers and respond, both of which reinforce brand loyalty.
- Highlight community members who have inspirational stories to share with your customers.
- Inspirational Tweets can be short and sweet.
With over 265 franchise locations across the world, Crunch Gym is known for its no-judgment, varied offerings and services. While franchise locations can have their own social media accounts, the Crunch corporate account provides plenty of content to get inspired by.
On Instagram, a frequent topic is one exercise that’s presented by a Crunch personal trainer. Each video has bold text overlaid so they’re easy to find and includes the #CrunchGetsPersonal hashtag.
View this post on Instagram
It's time for some Medicine Ball Slams! This is both a strength training and cardio exercise that is guaranteed to get your heart rate up and stress levels down. Allow your hips to finish behind you to ensure you're using your full body. Aim for sets of 10 and have fun slammin’ it! #CrunchGetsPersonal
View this post on Instagram
Check out these Elevated Suspended Lunges with Personal Trainer @bellesfitness. Start by grabbing some weights, kettlebells and dumbbells work great. Position yourself on a suspended pad or bench, and elevate one leg. Stand up tall. Slightly hinge forward while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Find a spot on the floor to focus on for balance. Lunge all the way down to a pad. Push up through the heels of the stabilizing leg, and squeeze your glute. Take a deep breath in and lunge. Exhale when you stand up tall, always keeping your gaze focused on the same spot on the floor. #CrunchGetsPersonal
These videos serve as quick tips for those who are looking to add to their gym workout routine and highlight their personal training program. Personal training is an add-on to the membership fee so this free information sharing is a great bonus for those who can’t afford the add-on or are still undecided on it.
To go a step further, their Instagram account also includes Story Highlights for gym newbies. Topics like “Planks 101” and “Foam roll” provide basic, easy-to-follow tips from their gym trainers.
The Crunch Facebook Page includes several points of sales for potential customers at varying levels of commitment.
The call-to-action button says, “Sign Up” and a tab is labeled “Crunch Guest Pass.” The one-day free trial is a nice offer for those who are still deciding if it’s worth it to join.
In addition to offering the permanent guest pass, Crunch also runs location-targeted ads that feature a 7-day pass offer. This extended offer is certainly more appealing and then geographic targeting helps them narrow their audience down. A narrower audience also creates an opportunity to add on interests and topics specific to that region. Perhaps the gym wants to target vegetarians in the Los Angeles area but not New York. Running the same offer in different areas to different people gives them space to customize.
- Give small doses of helpful information to educate your audience.
- Create different opportunities for signing up.
It would be remiss to not mention Nike in a list of fitness brands who are dominating on social media. This clothing and accessories brand has a well-known slogan, logo and brand presence. Their efforts at storytelling in ads and videos have been studied by marketers around the world.
On social media, Nike has a main account and several offshoots with more specific topics. The main account mostly features professional athletes wearing Nike-branded clothing with a sprinkling of product-forward posts.
When the posts are videos, they dive into the athlete’s background and sources of inspiration. Usually, the brand is only visible through logos on a shirt or a flash of a shoe. You might be able to watch the whole video without realizing you’re watching a Nike ad. It’s only at the end with a logo or slogan that you realize it’s for a company.
Sneaker fans are in love with limited releases and are sure to follow news closely on social media. This collaboration sneaker was first released in-store at Humidity and then later at skate shops. This sort of release drives up demand and creates an urgent atmosphere for fans. Even better, pairing up with a local shop gives a little more focused credibility to a global brand.
On Twitter, the brand engages a little more than it Tweets. Several of the photos and videos that are featured in their Instagram account also make showings on Twitter. They also take some time to respond to customer questions and issues.
Great question. The Structure 21 would be a great shoe to use for your marathon. It features a firmer foam on the arch and a softer foam on the outer side, which creates the right amount of stability and protection. Let us know if we can answer any additional questions.
— Nike (@Nike) August 25, 2018
Earlier this year, Nike chose Colin Kaepernick as the face of their 30th anniversary ad. This controversial campaign led to a lot of brand chatter and put them at the top of trending topics. Despite calls for boycotts, the company’s market value rose $6 billion since the campaign was released.
This isn’t surprising considering the data around how brands taking a stand pays off. In a Sprout report, 44% of consumers who agree with a brand taking a stand on social or political issues will purchase more from a brand and 52% will show greater brand loyalty.
- Use storytelling as a way to inconspicuously promote your brand.
- Take a stand on a social or political issue that is important to your company.
This nutrition app company puts together customized workout and meal plans. The brand appeals to a wide range of people: travelers, beginner fitness enthusiasts and healthy eaters. Their approach is a little different between Instagram and Pinterest but it’s clear that image-forward is the way to go for their marketing strategy.
On Instagram, the brand posts a mixture of cheeky, relatable jokes, workout tips and healthy eating recipes. The recipes are well produced, easy to make and tie in the app at the end. Even if you weren’t an app user, you could still make the meals.
View this post on Instagram
This is a satisfying salad you NEED to make for #meal prep this week! It's packed full of avocado, tomato, sweet corn, and warm Latin vibes. 🍅🌽🥑💃⠀ ⠀ Ingredients (500 cal):⠀ 2 tsp olive oil (extra virgin)⠀ 1 tomato⠀ ½ avocado⠀ ½ cup black beans (cooked and drained)⠀ ¼ cup Greek yogurt, plain (low-fat) ⠀ ¼ cup sweet corn (cooked) ⠀ 1 cup mixed leaf salad⠀ a bit of cumin (dry)⠀ a bit of garlic powder⠀ a bit of black pepper⠀ a tiny bit of salt⠀ ⠀ Directions:⠀ 1. Wash and chop tomato. Peel, remove pit, and chop avocado. Set aside.⠀ 2. Make yogurt dressing: In a small bowl, mix yogurt with oil, salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic powder.⠀ 3. Place mixed leaf salad on a plate and top with tomato, avocado, drained black beans, drained corn, and yogurt dressing.⠀ ⠀ Tip: If taking to go, keep yogurt dressing in a separate container.
View this post on Instagram
💎 Polish that diamond push-up with Coach Alba's demo and tips… ⠀ What muscles are you working?⠀ – chest⠀ – upper back⠀ – shoulders⠀ – triceps⠀ – abs⠀ ⠀ How do you do it? ⠀ 1. Place hands on the floor with fingers touching to form a diamond shape⠀ 2. Step legs behind with feet together and toes curled under⠀ 3. Tense every muscle to form a straight line from head to heels throughout⠀ 4. Lower chest to touch the floor with elbows tight to the body ⠀ 5. Straighten arms to push the body back to start position⠀ ⠀ More tips!⠀ – Keep neck long, shoulders back and down away from ears⠀ – Keep neck in line with spine⠀ – To make it easier: place hands on a higher surface⠀ – To make it harder: place feet on a higher surface
In addition to keeping consistent with their post topics, their website link leads straight to a website landing page. The page features a simple 7-question quiz at the end of which takes you to a personalized training program. It’s an easy introduction into their service and isn’t a big commitment for the user.
On Pinterest, 8fit organizes their boards into different types of meals, like “Healthy Smoothie Recipes” and “Healthy Breakfast Recipes.” The Pins are branded, optimized for Pinterest and easy to understand at a glance. Pinterest is an excellent network for the company as the food & drink category is one of the most popular. Pins in this category grew 46% in 2017 from the previous year and there’s no sign of stopping.
8fit’s target audience is big on Pinterest, so it made the network an ideal place to try out Promoted App Pins. With the ad campaign, the brand was able to receive up to 5% higher signup rates and up to 50% higher subscription rates than other platforms. The Pinners that signed up through the Promoted App Pins were found to be more valuable, as they used “the app more frequently and show stronger intent to subscribe to a paid membership.”
- Don’t be afraid to mix a little fun into your posts. Jokes and memes can have a place in your brand.
- Consider Pinterest as an advertising option if your target audience is there.
A company that is based on the world’s largest obstacle race, Spartan also specializes in nutrition programs, wellness products and clothing. The main account focuses on the lifestyle component of the brand while Spartan Race covers the races and World Championship.
On Instagram, Spartan posts race videos, inspirational quotes and conversational questions. They’re also not afraid to sprinkle a meme or two in there.
View this post on Instagram
Today at #SpartanKillington, 78-year-old Johanne Di Cori of Montréal, Québec, became the oldest athlete to compete at this venue. – “My main goal is to start and then finish,” says Di Cori. – The fellow Spartan started competing 6 years ago with her daughter Leyla Di Cori, who became one of the Top 10 Spartan World Elite Women in 2012. – Drop Johanne a big #AROO below! 💪👏
The races take place all over the world and their mix of posts serve as encouragement to any future participant. There’s a feeling of kinship and community in the comments. If you’re not participating in a race, you’re either preparing for one or ready to watch one.
Spartan’s Facebook Page heavily favors videos. Their races are streamed Live and have their own Show section that you can subscribe to. The Facebook Watch feature is similar to a TV program, except you watch the show on Facebook and you’re notified whenever there’s a new episode.
With a combination of the streamed races and Live video posts of the athletes and course, the content is constantly updated and engaging. To extend the engagement, Spartan also takes advantage of topical groups.
They have over a dozen specialized groups, ranging from geographic communities to various brand ambassadors. These serve as more community-driven hubs and offer up a chance for fellow Spartans to connect to each other.
- Ask questions and post inspirational videos to encourage community engagement.
- Use features like Facebook Live, Groups and Watch to enhance your brand’s experience.
As these five examples illustrate, there are a variety of routes for fitness brands to find their audience on Instagram. Nationwide brands can tap into social as a way to reinforce and promote their unique brand voice and values. Brands with a local component can target and build community among local groups on social, while also getting out their message on an overarching primary account.