How To Start Facebook Marketing For Gyms
For gyms, the best way to gain new members is to make a connection with your target audience, and Facebook provides a way for you to do this. Facebook is a powerful platform for growing fitness businesses and its user-friendly interface makes getting started a breeze.
The social media platform allows users to build a business profile and fill it with free organic content for its followers. There is also the option to use the paid marketing features to generate new leads, this can come in the form of post ‘Boosting’ and the Ads Manager feature through which businesses can launch paid campaigns.
Setting Up Your Gym’s Page
Step one is to make sure you create a comprehensive business page for your gym, providing followers with all the key information they might be seeking as well as a little extra. The first important distinction is to ensure that you are setting up a Facebook Business Page and not a personal profile, there is a few key differences, mainly that a personal profile requires people to send you a friend request. Rather, you should start with a Business Page where users can openly view your content and choose to Like/Follow.
When setting up your page, try to be thorough and provide all the information you have available. Begin with the key visual elements such as your Profile Picture and Cover Photo, make sure that they feature your logo and are recognisable as your brand. Complete the ‘About’ section and include your business address, website, company story and any other important information such as pricing. Finally, set up the ‘Call to Action’ button that appears front and centre on your page – depending on where you want to drive potential members you can direct this to a phone number, email address or website.
Next, you will want to focus on filling out your Business Page with some content. When doing this, try to make sure that the content is thought out and delivered with purpose, this will aid in boosting engagement and ensure that each item you publish adds value to your customers. Mix it up with a combination of text, photo, and video posts and over time you will learn what your audience prefers. You will also gain an indication of when your audience are online the most and can publish your content accordingly to provide the optimal chance for engagement.
If you have important content that you want to be easily accessible, you can use Facebook’s ‘Pin’ feature to pin a particular post to the top of your page. This could be a class timetable, a promotion for a current 8-week challenge, or anything else you want to highlight!
The great thing about Facebook is that it offers a platform where businesses can engage in a conversation with their audience, instead of a one-way communication strategy. This means that your gym can utilise features like Facebook Messenger to enable their following to reach out directly. This is nice and easy to set-up: you simply have to enable the feature under the ‘General’ settings on your Business page. But make sure that you have the manpower to monitor and respond to incoming messages, otherwise this could damage your customer service levels. You can also set-up auto replies for frequently asked questions, this can include things such as your opening hours and address.
Promoting Your Gym’s Page
Now that you have everything set-up, the next step is to think about how you want to proceed in promoting your Business Page. This can be done using Organic (free) methods or Paid features. A combination of both is a great way to feed content to your existing followers whilst still growing your audience.
Organic promotion methods involve publishing content to your page and encouraging members engagement through Likes, Comments and Shares. The more engagement on your posts, the more likely they are to reach a bigger audience, which means more exposure for your business. As well as original content you can also share third-party posts such as blog articles and photos of your members.
Paid promotion is done through the Facebook Ads Manager platform, where business owners to build campaigns tailored to specific audience segments and create ads to be displayed. There is also the option to ‘Boost’ content published to your Business Page, however this is not as targeted or impactful as the campaigns you can build through Ads Manager and we recommend the latter. The Ads Manager platform is highly intuitive and helps create campaigns designed to meet the goals of your business. The first step is the identify your marketing objective: awareness, consideration, and conversion – based upon this you will be able to choose appropriate ad formats.
Next up, you define your target audience. This can be based upon a broad range of factors including demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioural traits. Spend some time at this stage and explore all of your targeting options to find the best fit for you, however don’t make an audience that is to narrow and specific as this can impact on your campaigns reach.
Once you have decided on your audience, you can build the actual ads you want to display. This involves creating a headline, copy, selecting what images or videos you want to use, and choosing a call-to-action. All of this can be tailored to your gym’s promotional needs, however there is a trend towards video content on Facebook, so we suggest trying to include this in your campaign. Studies show that video content gets much higher engagement and has better recall rates among consumers, meaning they are more likely to watch and remember your ad if it is a video.
Finally, you can launch your campaign and monitor its performance. You may select to run your campaign for a specific time frame, on a particular budget, or just ongoing until you decide to switch it off. It is important to monitor your campaign as you may want to alter poorly performing ads or boost the budget if it is not reaching as many people as you hoped.
What To Do Next
Once you have set up your gym’s page and created your first ad campaign, you may be asking what to do next? Well, continue to use that platform and take note of what is working for your business and what is not. As you run campaigns you will become better and better at defining your audience, picking the right photos and videos, and nailing the engaging copy that will draw new members in.
We recommend planning a content calendar and even scheduling organic posts and paid campaigns to save you time down the line. This also provide you with a holistic view of your Facebook marketing efforts, so you can ensure that your content is varied and not repetitive.