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How To Set up Facebook and Instagram for Your Fitness Studio

Friday, October 23, 2020
Run Your Fitness Business

With a captive audience of new and existing customers cooped up at home and craving ways to workout, your fitness business has a tremendous opportunity to connect and grow through social media. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are also valuable tools to ensure mission-critical messages about the status of your studio, classes and community reach your customers in a timely, transparent manner.

Now is no time to go silent: In a study of over 25,000 consumers across 30 different markets in the later stages of the pandemic, engagement on social media saw an increase of 61 percent over regular usage rates. In countries hardest hit by the virus, messages on Facebook and other social media platforms shot up by 50%. For many, social media has become a lifeline to the outside world.

If your fitness studio doesn’t have a Facebook or Instagram account, you’re not posting regularly, or you're confused about how, what and when to post, we’ve got you covered.

We're going to walk you through how to set up and optimize your Facebook and Instagram accounts, including how to make the most of your profile and “bio” sections.

If you're looking for more on the topic, we've got more to share!  This article is part of a multi-part series by Punchpass on social media marketing for fitness business owners. Other topics we’ll cover that will set you up for social media marketing success will be linked below as we wrap them up...

  • How to use Facebook and Instagram as a fitness business to build your community and increase class participation and pass and membership sales.
  • What types of content to include in your posts and how to optimize them for engagement (likes, shares and clicks).
  • What Stories are and how to best use them as a fitness studio owner or instructor.
  • How to actively participate in social media for your business without it becoming a total time-waster
  • How to use the client information stored in your Punchpass fitness business software to instantly amplify your social media audience size.

But let's get started with the basics! 😀

5 Simple Steps to Set up and Optimize Facebook & Instagram for Your Fitness Studio

First, make sure that you have separate business accounts set up in both Facebook and Instagram in addition to your personal social media accounts.

You can still use your personal pages to cross-promote. In fact it’s a good idea to do so. But you want to take advantage of the special features only available to businesses on both platforms. In the case of Instagram, it’s frowned upon to use your personal account primarily to promote your business.

Each platform has its own style and nuanced algorithm in terms of how it favors and displays posts and how users interact. For now, we’re going to focus on the basics, and some key best practices for businesses that both Facebook and Instagram have in common.

1. Make the Most of Your Profile and Bio

For Facebook, the profile image is a large banner (get specifics on sizing and rules from Facebook here) where you have the opportunity to showcase the personality of your business and promote current promotions, special events, and trainings. It’s worth making an extra effort to get a high-resolution image that features real people having a great time in class or smiling together with your or your team right after class.

The intention is to convey your special vibe and instantly show anyone who sees your page that you’re friendly, inviting and a place others love to go. You can use simple online editing tools to overlay your logo and any timely calls to action – like your latest intro offer or training program on top of the photo.

2. Upload a Crisp, Clear Logo.

Remember that the image will be cropped into a circle, even if you upload a square, so you want to make sure you’ve got large enough margins in the image so your logo isn’t cut off on the corners. These images are the ones that people see in the Stories area, and when you interact and post. So you want to make sure that the image is appropriately sized and isn’t blurry or cropped strangely.

On Facebook: You have a smaller, inset image that’s the place to put your logo.
On Instagram: This image is your one and only for your profile.

3. Make the most of the short description in each profile

Think one to two impactful sentences that tell people who you are, what you offer that can make their lives better and what distinguishes you from the competition.

On Facebook: you’re able to list links to your website and other social platforms in your About section. You can also feature videos, photos, events and even a link to your online store if you have one. Be sure to fill in all the information on your business location or locations, (you can include a searchable map), hours of operation and prefer method of contact.

On Instagram: you can list your website, or even better, a Link Tree link, and the “about” section of your profile is called your “bio.” If you have a hashtag associated with your fitness business, or want to create one, this is the place to feature it. Then, make sure to include your hashtag with your list of industry leading hashtags (this is how users find you when searching topics) in posts to your feed. Think Equinox’s #itsnotfitnessitslife and Lululemon’s “#thesweatlife.”

4. Know Posting Style and Etiquette

One of the biggest stylistic differences between Facebook and Instagram is that:

On Facebook: Posts tend to be longer and you can include links in your posts. On your business page, you can create Events, which are perfect for featuring and getting reservations for workshops, trainings, challenges, fundraisers and other special events. You can also set up an online store where users can purchase right inside Facebook, or be directed to your website to buy.

Instagram was designed to be much more visual with short, sweet and more casual post descriptions (with lots more emojis), and, for organic posts you can’t put a link into the post. To be able to supply a link for users to click, you’ll need to sign up for a free service like LinkTree or FeedLink which allows you to include a list of links in your bio. That’s why you frequently see Instagrammers direct users to the “link in bio” to get more information.

5. Create a Strong Call-To-Action with a Button (Facebook) or Link in Bio (Instagram)

On Facebook: At the top of your Page you can add a call-to-action (CTA) button that directs your Page visitors to do something, like visit your website or call you or your studio. You can also customize your CTA button to be “Watch Video,” “Sign Up” or “Book Now.” This is a great way to drive more traffic to your website, or to get customers to take a desired action.

A smart way to optimize your CTA is to link the button to the page on your website where you tell people how to get started with their first class and/or join your studio. Make sure there’s a link to buy your intro offer or a class pass (through Punchpass, of course!)

On Instagram: You can feature the same CTA, but you’ll need to place your link in your LinkTree or FeedLink. These services allow you to “pin” important, evergreen links to the top of the link list. Make sure to put your “getting started” or “intro offer” landing page link at the top of your list. The added bonus is that every time you add the “link in bio” CTA to any of your Instagram posts,your target audience will see this link.

You may be tempted to rush through the set up of your accounts or skip over optimizing your existing accounts to “get to the good stuff” of posting. But remember, with most social media users following hundreds or thousands of accounts, first impressions are everything. In the split second that someone is viewing your page, you want to draw them in and make it super easy and simple for them to click through to continue engaging with your business.

As the smart business owner that you are, you know it’s not just about likes and follows. It’s about actively engaging real people who will get into your class and become loyal customers and longtime members.

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