As you probably already know, Instagram is a social media app for sharing photos and short videos. Although there is space for captions and comments, Instagram is mostly visually based. It’s one of the newest, but already has more than 400 million monthly active users. As a health club, you can use Instagram to gain followers (ideally your members), engage with them and build an online community. Here are 6 Instagram marketing tips for gyms.
1. How often should I post?
About once a day is the best frequency. Although some users post photos many times per day, a business account with multiple posts a day will look like spam. There are a couple exceptions to the rule (such as urgent updates), but in general try to keep it to one post per day.
2. When should I post?
With the new post ordering algorithm, Instagram users no longer only see the most recently posted photos on their feed. Similarly to Facebook, users now see content Instgram believes is most relevant to them. With this in mind your club should strategically post at times that will maximize views and likes. If possible schedule posts early for morning commuters, midday for lunch break, or evening when most people have left work.
3. Who should post the photos?
There are multiple ways your club can organize this. You could have a dedicated iPhone, iPad or another photo-taking device that is permanently logged into your social media accounts. Another option is for your employees to login to your club’s Instagram account from their own devices. There are pros and cons for each option. The benefit of having your employees login from their own smartphones is it provides a lot more flexibility, but the drawback is the possibility of them mistakenly posting personal pictures on the company account. If this happens they can always be deleted so it's not the end of the world, just make sure someone monitors the account.
A dedicated device reduces the possibility of errors, but also is much less flexible, especially if your club has many locations. Work with your employees to figure out which system works best for your businsess.
4. How can I connect with my members?
Take photos of them! The easiest way to get your members engaged with you on Instagram is to tag them in a photo. Always ask for permission and their username (so you can tag them!) first. Hopefully they will share your photo with their friends and followers and give you a shout out on their account. Another promotional idea is to hold a regular photo contest where your members can submit photos of them working out or enjoying your club and win a small prize in return, such as some of your branded gear.
5. What hashtags should I use?
Hashtags are a must, no matter what social media platform you’re on. Hash At It is a useful tool for monitoring what hastags others are using. Hashtags can get more people to notice your post, but you there are a couple things to consider when choosing them. More general hashtags will likely get more views, but will not necessarily reach your target audience. More specific hastags can help attract a local audience. Do your research in advance to ensure you’re getting qualified viewers.
6. Maximize your content.
Connect your Instagram account to your other social media accounts so you can easily share posts across platforms. Many Instagram pictures can also easily be Twitter and/or Facebook posts.
Check out OrangeTheory Mission Viejo’s Instagram account for how to drive engagement at an individual location.