Social media started out as a fun way to stay connected with far-flung friends and family. Today, social platforms like Facebook and Instagram have grown into powerful promotional tools. They award advertisers access to hundreds of thousands of people. Personal trainers can use Facebook as a way of attracting more clients in the area that you practise or from further afield if you have an online training business.
Let’s take a look at how personal trainers can promote themselves on Facebook, how to leverage other social media channels simultaneously for greater reach, and how you can learn all there is to know about managing social media as a fitness professional in South Africa:
Ways to Promote Yourself on Facebook
Successfully reaching and obtaining clients is critical for any fitness professional. Personal trainers and other professionals still use traditional media channels to promote their services, like newspaper ads and flyers, but the majority has moved their efforts into the digital sphere. They leverage social media to find, secure and manage clients in their communities.
One of the most popular social platforms that personal trainers use to promote their businesses is Facebook. This is because it offers the opportunity for fitness professionals to showcase their work visually. For example, trainers can show before and after pictures of their clients so that other prospective clients can see how they can transform people’s bodies.
Facebook offers two options that personal trainers can use to showcase their fitness successes.
Paid Facebook Advertising
This involves putting a budget behind promoting a promotional image, video or event on Facebook. Any personal trainer will find it easy to choose one as they will have hundreds of fitness successes.
With nothing more than a Facebook profile and a credit card, you can get your advert in front of thousands of people in an instant. You’ll want to check out Facebook’s advertising policies before getting started. Their ad guide shares more about the types of promotions you can run, best practices for each ad type, and suggestions to optimally use your advertising budget.
These are the most common paid advert types available on Facebook:
- Video ads
- Single-image ads
- Carousel Ads
- Event promotions
- How to get more Facebook likes
- Post boosts
Organic Facebook Promotion
This variety of Facebook promotion requires no monetary spend and is often called the ‘long game’. Organic promotion on Facebook involves growing and nurturing your following over time. Keep in mind that today’s consumer environment is predominantly relationship-oriented. People want to connect with their service providers in meaningful ways and not just click on adverts.
Here are a few ways fitness professionals can leverage the power of Facebook without having to spend a cent:
- Establish a sharing schedule (2 – 5 posts a week is recommended)
- Share interesting content (self-help, hints and tips, free resources)
- Experiment with different types of content (image, video, live stream, third-party sharing)
- Gather interaction wherever possible (respond to comments, start interesting discussions)
- Offer specials and discounts (30% off in January, free towel and bottle whenclients signup)
- Host the occasional giveaway (encourage people to like and share your posts/page to win a month’s free training)
Benefits of Advertising a Fitness Business on Facebook
Newspaper classifieds and handing out flyers at robots are still great ways to reach people in your community but are limited in terms of reach and the ability to track ROI. Here are a few reasons to use Facebook Advertising alongside other promotional methods:
- Gain access to a much larger audience (every Facebook user on the planet)
- Track your return on investment with real-time insights
- Increase website traffic with links to pages/blog articles in paid and organic adverts
- Establish a fan base who promotes you by telling their friends and family about what you offer
- Connect on a personal level with more people at once
Facebook is primarily a way to establish deeper connections with people. It’s not solely a platform for advertising. In fact, we know of many people who actively switch off from people on Facebook who constantly share advertisements – especially about their fitness business. This means that if you – as a personal trainer – do decide to use Facebook as a way of promoting your business, you need to be very strategic about how you go about these so that you don’t alienate your audience that you’ve worked so hard to develop.