We’ll just go ahead and say it… It seems like we all have that one Facebook friend who uses his or her personal profile solely for schilling protein shakes or exercise programs. When you get notification after notification about how a supplement or workout routine can change your life, you start to feel like, “Where did my friend go? Was she kidnapped and replaced by a robot brand rep?” Nope, just poorly executed health coach social media marketing.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though. While the coming of age of social media means there are more avenues for those very single-minded marketing folk, it also means that there is a shared place where people can speak about topics they’re truly passionate about.
With that perspective in mind, here are 7 ways health and fitness coaches can up their social media game, build their brands online, and drive more business:
1. Understand the marketing funnel.
Fact: Very few people are going to become customers straight from a social media platform.
Instead of trying to get all your customers directly from Facebook or Instagram, use social media as a channel to move people along to the next step toward signing up for your products or services. Maybe that’s becoming part of a private group (see number 7), submitting an email for a newsletter, or scheduling a time for a consultation call.
Craft and strategize your social media posts toward moving potential clients to the consideration stage and then use that middle stage* (whatever it is for you) to nudge users toward the sale. Using tools like MeetEdgar can also help you determine which social media posts are driving the most movement to that middle stage of the funnel by tracking clicks.
*Note: There might be more than one step in the middle stages depending on your business!
2. Tailor your posts to your platform.
Users go to different social media platforms for different reasons. Think about why you, personally, go to Facebook versus Twitter versus Instagram. What do you interact with on each channel? Why and how? Here are some basic tips for each platform:
Facebook is best for short videos (think things like food prep, simple exercise routines, recipes, motivation, etc.), photos, and other curated content. Facebook has a wide audience, but their algorithm prioritizes staying onsite as opposed to linking to outside sources–so think about ways you can bring your content to Facebook for engagement (like summarizing a blog post on video or an easy infographic). And don’t forget about Facebook Live!
For Instagram, high-res photos are a requirement. However, you can take these with a newer iPhone and edit with free apps like Snapseed. This is also a great platform for user-generated content (maybe user photos of a recipe you created), inspirational quotes, yummy food photos, and more. Instagram Stories is another great tool for health and fitness coaches to take advantage of to keep followers engaged.
Want a deeper dive into how to take your branding to the next level on Instagram? Check out our post here on how other small businesses use Instagram to grow.
Users come to Twitter for the latest news, curated blog content, and, of course, GIFS! Think about news topics that would be relevant to your audience on Twitter–and be quick in sharing them before they become old news. Set Google News notifications for yourself about health and fitness topics that interest you and your client base–and make sure to share them with a sentence or two to showcase your thoughts.
Pinterest is all visual search, but the descriptions help users find what they’re looking for. Use tools like Canva to create infographics and other “pinnable” images that people curate to find your site. Images should include some text that explains what the image is. And don’t forget to write a description that includes phrases people would search for, and link back to your site when creating a pin!
3. Get personal.
A lot of times entrepreneurs and small business owners think that the brand has to take over everything on social media (and in all marketing efforts). We’re here to tell you that’s just not true. It’s ok–and even better–when you can let a little bit (or a lotta bit) of yourself shine through.
This all goes back to people being attracted to the passion they see coming through your social media posts. We suggest you use your name (not just a brand or business name) in your Instagram handle as it helps personalize you. Remember that life isn’t always Instagram-glam. Yes, we just told you to take good, high-res photos. What we mean is stay attainable and relatable. Health and fitness coaching comes down to the fact that we all start somewhere and have goals. This post by health coach Leah Case shows her real, personal journey and the emotions associated with that journey. Show people that the social media account is managed by a real person–just like them.
4) Prioritize engagement–not just likes.
A lot of times measuring social media can come down to likes. But haven’t we all just liked something in passing and moved along? Instead, focus on engagement. Ask questions (the Instagram Stories polling and questions features are great for this!) and respond to people’s answers.
This also means engaging with other people just to do it and not expecting anything in return. Go check out your followers and those who like your posts. Like their posts, follow them back, comment and start a conversation with them (that’s about regular people stuff–not just buying your product or service).
5) Boost some of your best posts.
If you notice one of your posts is performing really well–or even if you think more people should see it–consider boosting it. Something as simple as a great image with a good story can be a powerful brand builder on Instagram or Facebook and a step toward more followers and potential customers.
It can be intimidating to think about paying for social media likes and follows when you haven’t before, so start with a small budget and see where that gets you. If it doesn’t work as well as you hoped, reformulate the kinds of post you boost or the targeting of those posts. It may take a few tries to get it right and feel comfortable with it.
6. Take well-lit, thoughtfully composed pictures.
You don’t have to be a professional selfie-er or food photographer to take Insta-worthy images. Good lighting (like this food blogger, who just uses a good window) goes a long way. Experiment with composition, and have fun with it. Not everything has to look like it belongs in a magazine, but it should look like it belongs on Instagram. Explore negative space, perspective (shoot from the ground or from overhead, etc.), and posing. And we’ll just say it–it’s ok to be that person who takes 30 shots to get the perfect one.
7. Think about going private.
If you have enough follower interest in a topic, consider creating a private group on Facebook for like-minded people. Offer exclusives (discounts, early access, etc.) to that group before you offer it to the world. Simi Botic, author of Letting Go of Leo and intuitive eating life coach, did this with her Beautifully Imperfect Facebook group.
Group members have a close-knit community in which to ask questions, share stories, and engage with one another. Botic does a great job of hosting regular Facebook lives to the group, engaging on comments, and offering exclusives to group members.
Social media can be fun, creative, and strategic while driving business and building brand identity for online health and fitness coaches. It doesn’t have to be like that one Facebook friend we all unfollow because we feel bad for never buying her green smoothie mix.
MeetEdgar can take the hassle out of the administrative part of social media marketing with features like color-coded organization, our intuitive content composer, and link tracking analytics. Use these tips with Edgar to help grow your online health coaching business. Did we forget anything? Tell us other useful tips in the comments below.
And check out more ways Edgar can help grow your health and fitness coaching business through social media marketing.
*Note: People/brands mentioned in this post are not affiliated with MeetEdgar, we just think they’re doing a really awesome job and deserved a shout-out.