I’ve provided you with plenty of ways to use social media correctly, shown you companies who have mastered it, and even given you steps for how to start using it for your fitness (or any) business if you’ve never used it before… but now it’s time for me to address the ways you might be using social media incorrectly. There are many mistakes that can be made when it comes to social media and if you haven’t done your research, you might be making them too. Here are a couple of the most common mistakes from my experience and an article in Social Media Today.
Know why you have it
Like Gary Vaynerchuck pointed out in my previous blog post, a lot of companies can’t identify exactly why they have social media. They simply think everyone is supposed to have it, and if you’ve managed to stay on top of the trend then you are doing great. Well, this is definitely not true. If you don’t know why your company uses social media and it has become a blur between advertising and hunting for followers, you are definitely far from having any social media impact with any of your customers. You should have social media to connect with them.
Don’t send me your advertisements
Sending all your advertisements to all of your followers isn’t social media… it’s an updated version of email spamming. Advertising on social media should be limited to promotions and specials catered to them for being followers, but other than that any kind of brand marketing should be limited. Your use of social media should be mainly for giving to your followers.
Learn what to measure
One of the most common mistakes companies make is measuring the wrong metrics. The number of followers, fans, or connections you have does not actually matter… The reality is that it doesn’t matter how large your social footprint is if others aren’t talking about your company and sharing it with their friends. Companies need to be monitoring and measuring things like brand sentiment, speed and quality of customer service resolution, and engagement (comments, shares, interactions, etc.) with customers.
Take baby steps
Don’t stretch yourself too thin with social media sites. Rather than using every single platform poorly, hold back by only joining a few of those platforms. Then you can work only on making those ones great. Once you have mastered these by keeping them fresh, engaging, and very consumer interactive, you can move on to the next big social media thing! Remember that it is better to do a couple things great than to be everywhere and not really doing anything.
It’s not you, it’s me
Companies need to realize that social media is not all about them. It’s actually about the customer, how you can help them, and how you can become an everyday part of their lives. Companies should focus on being interesting and keeping customers interested. How do you do this? Get to know your target market really well through their social platforms, follow the people who follow you, respond to questions they have, figure out what they use your product for, cater your products to them, and ask them how your products can be improved.
It’s not only for the marketing department
While social media seems like it gets left to the marketers, it should actually be incorporated throughout the whole company. Customers like transparent companies at all levels, and social media has made this a very easy thing to do. The marketing department should use it for promotions are showing off new products, customer service should use it to help customers and answer questions, and human resources should use it to offer jobs to the people who love the company enough to follow it already. Social media should be a love that is shared across the company.
Have a plan
Every single company should know where they are planning to go with their social media. While this may seem like a shot in the dark, an effective social media road map should assign a purpose to every social media platform you have and should create an escalation process for its future.
Ok so now that you know that you might have done some things wrong, what do you do? The beauty of social media is that you can fix your errors immediately and continue to trek on. Turn your mistakes into learning opportunities that will put you ahead of your competitors, realize that you are in the customer service business, and never stop listening to your customers.
Here’s to you and your social media journey.
Social media is a big deal, but did you know it was reshaping your business? We all have our strengths and expertise in different industries (fitness, food, shoes, etc. ) but thanks to social media, we are now all in the exact same industry whether we realize it or not… Customer Service.
Don’t believe me? Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk has had a large impact in the social media world, and I think this is one of his best social media speeches so far.
No matter what you think you do, every person in this room will be in the customer service business.
People listen to you… Recognize how special that is.
How are you going to scale those interactions? I’m going to TRY.
We loved them because they loved us first.
With sites like Yelp!, Trip Advisor, Urban Spoon and customers “whipping out their phones with purpose,” reviews can make or break a business and the businesses that are making it are the ones that have realized it is all about the customer. As customers, we LOVE companies that show they love us too (Lululemon recalling pants that don’t meet customer expectations, Nike catering its gear to you, Zappos excellent customer service, etc.). Notice how these are the brands and companies that have some of the most loyal and devoted customers? They didn’t get this love simply with luck though. They put in the love first by never spamming their online followers and having a transparent/open company. They also built this relationship by using social media only as a way to connect with their customers.
Too often, companies are only interested in things they can measure…. How many people clicked on your Facebook link, how many followers do you have, did sales increase when we promoted that product… but as Gary points out, customers don’t care about your numbers and you can’t measure connections. They care about how much REAL effort you put into the relationship with them and if you are giving more than you get. Companies are underestimating caring.
We are living in a word of mouth world, and companies need to start caring or they are going to lose.
Social media can make or break any business in today’s society, especially when it comes to new businesses figuring out how to get customers in the door and talking about your business. This is especially true for the fitness industry, specifically gyms. There are so many of them within driving distance, and in theory they all offer the same thing, so how do you distinguish yourself when you aren’t a large franchise but you still have a ton to offer? I’m going to provide some tips from a recent article I found, along with my social media knowledge, that can help any new gym or existing gym that is taking the necessary social media plunge.
1. Its all about the greeting
The very first thing your customers should see is what you can offer them! Post pictures of your gym, classes you offer, and some of your amazing trainers using the equipment right on the top so it is the first thing customers see. Also, remember to keep everything inspirational and motivational because your customers want to work out at a place that makes them feel inspired and capable of accomplishing their fitness dreams.
2. Don’t forget to write
Even though you’re starting your journey in the fitness industry, a major portion of the social media world is blogging so there is no getting out of it. Blogs will allow people to follow you, see your extensive fitness knowledge, and share your information with their friends via the RSS feature. When you blog about your fitness secrets, nutrition rules, great healthy recipes, and keep your followers updated on the fitness industry news, you are sure to give them everything they want and show them how invested you are.
3. Show ’em what you’ve got
Use social media to show your customers every single thing your gym has to offer. From the machines, to the group training rooms, to the showers, to the trainers and their specialties. Make sure that your customers can see all of these photos in one place and they are inspired by them. If your gym looks fun in pictures, it will definitely bring in more customers.
4. Rope them in
Give your customers directions from their door to yours. Google maps will allow you to star your location on a map for your website, and it will give customers the opportunity to type in their location for exact directions from their door to yours.
5. Check your status
Bad reviews on sites like Yelp! can absolutely destroy your business if you don’t stay on top of them, so read them! Respond to the those that give you poor reviews (yes, it will happen), apologize, and fix whatever was done wrong. You could also consider giving them some sort of free pass so they can come back and have a better experience with your gym.
6. Listen closely
Through social media and online reviews, customers will ALWAYS tell you what they want, you just have to look for it. In order to succeed, you need to give them what they want and know that ignoring them is never the option.
7. U P D A T E
Probably the most important tip is keeping your social media updated. It will allow your customers to grow with you and it will show that you care about your online appearance. Your social media needs to be updated just like your gym!
Social Media has completely reshaped our lives, but would you believe that it has also reshaped how we lose weight and stick with our fitness goals?
Well, it has!
A study from the University of South Carolina recently revealed that using Twitter could actually help you lose weight because it gives you a support group and accountability system, and I couldn’t agree more! Social media gives us the opportunity to always be connected and share our lives, even if we are alone. Now, we have the opportunity to check in at the gym, tweet about our workouts, post progress pictures, and be part of an online fitness community that will support us in our journey. Don’t believe me? Here are just a few examples of people talking about Anytime Fitness on a Monday night:
In just 5 hours, you can see tweeted articles from Anytime Fitness, people beginning their fitness journeys, motivational tweets, and people looking for workout partners. This motivation is not limited to gyms and Twitter though. With the use of hash tags and social media, fitness moves and motivation are becoming global.
On Instagram, you can document your progress through pictures, follow inspirational companies and personal trainers who are constantly posting motivational pictures and clean recipes, and find people with goals similar to yours all over the world. Like Twitter, Instagram also uses hash tags to globally expand fitness trends. Below you will see a picture from Instagram Fitness that was hash tagged with the popular “partner stunt” trend.
As the study pointed out, this motivation is contagious. Since it shows up right on our phones, it makes it personal and it feels like it’s for everyone. So not only are you receiving the kind of support from followers that you need to keep going and an accountability system so you don’t slip up, but you are also constantly seeing inspirational people doing things that you can do too.
Whether we want to accept it or not, the world is changing. In the past 10 years, America has gone from marketing through television commercials and billboards to marketing directly in our pockets through social media. While the pop-up and undesired marketing seems invasive, I’m talking about Social Media… the internet marketing that actually works.
Effective social media marketing is done through things like reviews with a hash tag, an Instagram picture of a new product, and a promotional tweet/photo/post aimed at only those who follow the brand. This way, the brand isn’t out there searching for people who might like it. It is simply existing for those who actually care enough about the brand to follow it or at least check up on it every once and a while.
As a 22-year-old female, I can honestly say I respond very well to this type of marketing, especially when it comes to the fitness industry. I love seeing what new fitness products my friends are using through pictures, reviews of apparel and local gyms through tweets, where my friends are taking fitness classes, and I search for those promotions that are only available to that specific online community.
I recently stumbled across an article on Mashable that laid out how hard some of these fitness oriented companies are working to be the front runners in social media, and their success is not going unnoticed. The leaders in athletic apparel are not just selling clothing and gear, they are selling their whole company and a lifestyle through social media.
Lululemon Athletica and Under Armour
While these 2 are direct competitors in the athletic apparel industry, they are actually taking 2 very different standpoints to social media and the goals they are trying to achieve through it. Below you’ll find some brief information about each company and their social media strategy.
Lululemon is a Canadian-made yoga brand that specializes in yoga apparel, yoga gear, and workout apparel in general. From my research, they have a presence on every social media site you could imagine but they aren’t just there to sell the brand. Through each social media site, Lululemon aims to inspire, educate, and challenge its customers to achieve a healthier version of themselves. According to the director of internet marketing, almost everything Lululemon posts is meant to encourage healthier lifestyles, create new fitness goals, or create conversation around the Lululemon community (Strategy online article).
Lululemon’s social media strategy is literally an extension of the brand’s philosophy. On Instagram, you’ll find pictures of yoga poses, classes, and new clothing items. On Twitter and Facebook, you’ll find health and fitness tips, quotes, self-mocking fitness humor, and motivational posts. Lululemon has also segmented its Facebook customer base by the customer’s nearest store. Through this segmentation, customers can discuss local fitness events, local store events, and even view job postings for positions from yoga instructors to store managers.
Under Armour is a college football star’s American-made brand. Unlike Lululemon’s yogi-centered focus, Under Armour positions itself as the gym apparel for everyone, with the trust of athletes everywhere. Through social media, Under Armour asks its fans to participate in the brand directly. The brand has hired interns through social media competitions and hosted high school competitions for new team gear because it wants it customers to feel like the brand is theirs. Under Armour also uses platforms such as Facebook and Youtube to showcase its athletes working out in the gear in hopes that after watching, you will be inspired to do the same.
On Instagram, Under Armour has created an account for all Under Armour customers. On this account they post motivational pictures, pictures of the gear, and provide promotional codes in order to encourage purchases. Under Armour has also recently added a new Instagram account for the women of Under Armour. Under this account, they post images of strong women working out in the clothing. Their campaign, “What’s Beautiful,” aims to help customers see that strong women are beautiful and that society’s views of beauty are changing to incorporate that.
Clearly, Lululemon and Under Armour have very different social media goals, but they are both using social media to gain brand awareness. Now what we really want to know, which one has a better marketing presence? To compare the 2 brands on the same scale, I used Hubspot’s Marketing Grader. Lululemon received an overall score of 93 since it has such a strong presence on its social media sites. The few areas that Lululemon could improve on include getting more people to tweet about the content and adding tags to its images. Despite its social media presence, Under Armour received an overall score of only 75. The company does not have a blog or an RSS feed, so this greatly hurt their score. By adding these 2 elements, customers would be able to follow the brand directly and the brand would receive more web traffic.
While these grades would lead one to believe that Lululemon has more going for it regarding social media, I don’t feel that is the case. Both companies have managed to successfully reach their target markets in very different ways. Lululemon aims to constantly inspire and go along the fitness journey with its customers, and Under Armour aims to make its customers and even whole high school teams part of its brand. Through inspirational posts and motivating tweets, both companies are redefining beauty and encouraging healthy lifestyles.
(Images sourced from Google)
“Live today. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Just today. Inhabit your moments. Don’t rent them out to tomorrow.”
Someone sent me this quote today and it really stood out to me. Too often, I find myself planning and questioning the moves I make in life… I think we are all guilty of this. We have this unrealistic expectation that we will live forever so we continue to put things off.
This planning, questioning, and procrastination we have adopted is not really living though. We always put things off. In particular, we put off life itself. We tell ourselves that our lives will be better later… we can live when we graduate, have a family, send the kids to college, retire, etc. That is not living!
We need to stop all of that! This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t prepare for the future or have goals that we are working towards; It means we shouldn’t stress out about the future. We are all guilty of living far too cautiously. The future will get here when it gets here, but in the mean time what are you doing to live for today?
We need to learn to live one day at a time.
Below is a video of a man who was on the plane that landed on the Hudson River. While his plane descended, he was mentally preparing himself for death, but he realized it wasn’t death he was afraid of… it was all of the things he didn’t do while he was alive. After surviving this horrific experience, his life changed for the better.
Live for today…
Carpe the hell out of this Diem.