For personal trainers and other fitness professionals, your ability to be a top-notch fitness leader in the field can no longer be established solely on your ability to help clients see results. In addition to being able to inspire people to get off the couch and get moving, educating client’s on the latest fitness trends and research findings, and possessing the knowledge to develop fun, innovative and effective fitness programs, it is now a necessity to incorporate social media into your business plan.
To say the competition is fierce is an understatement – a quick Google search of ‘personal trainer Ontario’ yields well over a million results. So how is a privately owned studio or personal trainer to get a lead on the pack? Social media. Not just engaging in social media but using metrics to ensure that you are getting value for your efforts.
In preparing for her participation in the 2013 ITU World Championships, Amy Moss-Archambault, a dedicated triathlete and personal trainer faced a quick learning curve to fulfill social media contractual obligations with sponsors.
“Six years ago Twitter was really successful for my goals,” she said noting the model of stream of consciousness and earlier use of hashtags allowed for unique and powerful posts. Today, the Twitter climate has changed and so has Ms. Moss-Archambault’s business focus. The busy mom of 3 is no longer focused on sponsorships but now operates the very popular TriMom Fitness Studio in Millgrove, Ontario. She uses her earlier leap into social media to engage with her clients and further develop the Tri-Mom community primarily through the use of Facebook and Instagram.
Social media metrics have played a tremendous role in directing Ms. Moss-Archambault to focus on these two social media platforms and to continually improve upon her social media engagement.
“It (social media) really is based on your business and what the conversation is about your business,” said Ms. Moss-Archambault. While Youtube is a tremendous resource, Ms. Moss-Archambault notes that this platform is really not going to serve you as a standalone social media presence anymore because it will simply get lost the thousands of fitness related channels. She has used metrics to help determine this.
That’s not to say YouTube isn’t an extremely useful tool because it is. But organic hits are no longer as common so many businesses are using Instagram to lead their followers to their YouTube account. She said if you look at a lot of the Instagram business websites listed, it is a YouTube channel versus their regular site because companies know Instagram is a younger demographic that wants information in short easily digestible photos. It makes sense then to share additional information through short videos instead of lengthy website posts.
Her understanding of metrics and how to utilize what she can track to improve her future social media interactions have set her fitness studio apart from other fitness professionals because the in-person motivational instructor and encouraging vibe is the exact same as what her clients can expect to receive at the studio, and she works hard to keep it that way. Clients know that the information she shares is genuine and helpful.
Facebook Pros & Cons
Facebook is where TriMom’s presence is most heavily felt through competitions, photos, instructional videos, etc. However, Ms. Moss-Archambault noted one of the most important things to keep in mind when utilizing Facebook for social media business performance is the algorithm which can be a huge roadblock for businesses.
Facebook’s algorithm can weigh heavily on a business’s use of social media as it determines what stories appear in each user’s newsfeed. The better the interaction between a Facebook user and a person or business, the more likelihood there is that your post will show up in his or her newsfeed.
“You really need to use all of the Facebook options available to ensure people actually see your posts,” Ms. Moss-Archambault says. And further, that they interact or become engaged with a post on some level. “The analytics Facebook provides is quite good.” She says you get prompts based on certain posts to encourage further action, or to boost a post through paid advertising. She says you can also use it to follow other pages to see how they are interacting with users and what works for them.
Metrics can be a fantastic tool for companies to really understand the success of a company’s social media efforts and as Ms. Moss-Archambault puts it:
“It allows me to see what is working and what isn’t.”
Unlike many businesses focused on using tools such as google analytics to get people to their website, Ms. Moss-Archambault knows that her clients are looking for direct engagement via social media and the in-house tools provided meet her needs to understand her client’s needs and address them accordingly.
Quality vs Quantity
Monitoring your community for the number of likes or followers can be of interest but it is not always a solid way to monitor a company’s social media success.
Lauren Seaton, a Marketing Strategist with Bluespark in North Carolina, echoes the importance of engagement versus simply a following.
“I don’t have a target or goal surrounding how many (page likes/followers) because I don’t gauge our success by the quantity of interest but rather of the quality of interest.”
Basic social media stats such as number of likes and followers may at first glance appear to portray a successful business but in reality, those numbers are not informative. As Ms. Seaton says, “I do ‘keep an eye’ on the quantity of likes/followers. I want the number to go up (not down) but I also don’t spend time tracking it specifically.”
When a company starts compiling data from social media activities, it could easily become overwhelming. It’s important not only to study the metrics, but then to know how to respond to the information in order to reach your business’s goals. As Google Analytics suggests in the attached tutorial video, you need to measure, learn and take action.
As companies begin to expand on monitoring metrics for marketing purposes, there has been a growing trend to focus on what Ms. Seaton described – customer engagement.
“Engagement is way more important than likes,” says Amy Moss-Archambault. “A ton of people may like your page but if it doesn’t cause people to like your posts or view your articles, then what’s the point?”
TriMom Fitness Studio is all about being fun and accessible. Ms. Moss-Archambault’s main clientele is local moms who enjoy the motivation and encouragement of small group training classes and running groups.
She says, “The women that come to me are looking for more than just a workout.” Many of her clients are looking for something fundamentally different than any gym experience they may have had previously. They want the relationships, the challenge, the support. “I often need to be the person that believes in them before they do.”
Social media has provided an extension of the personal support offered in the studio, and it enables Ms. Moss-Archambault to serve a larger audience while metrics allow her to ensure that clients are finding value in her social media posts, and what is most popular.
For TriMom’s community, her most popular posts are usually those related to client achievement and success stories. For a business that aims to provide encouragement and a sense of community support within the fitness studio, that says a lot about her overall goals of creating not just an experience but a supportive community.
Bluespark’s Ms. Seaton sums it up well stating, “At the end of the day, I believe social media is social – a digital way to connect with people. So, I look for opportunities where metrics become human. What I mean by this is, it’s helpful to see the level of engagement in number or graphs. I can see what kind of contact is working. But then I want to make sure I take it to the next step where I interact with the people who are engaging with Bluespark. If someone comments, I respond. I ask them questions and see what kind of relationship – if any – we develop.”
Lessons for Others
In the end, the most important aspect of metrics is that the data compiled needs to be put to work. On its own, the data doesn’t mean much and it is the responsibility of the company to delve into the data, understand what it means, look for areas of current success and expand on that as well as look for areas needing improvement. For companies starting out in social media, or looking for direction, customer engagement is a great starting place so start gathering information and start interacting. The more you explore, the more you will learn and prosper.
TriMom Fitness Studio for Women
Name of Organization Contact: Amy Moss-Archambault, Owner/Trainer
Authored by: SBirett
If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.
Bluespark (n.d.). Retrieved October 28, 2016, from http://www.bluespark.com/
Jeff, EdgeRank Home Page (n.d.). Retrieved October 31, 2016 from http://edgerank.net/
Facebook, TriMom (n.d.). Retrieved October 28, 2016 from https://www.facebook.com/TriMom-407828485997215/
Google Small Business (August 24, 2014). Retrieved October 31, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WC3ONXJn9FQ
TriMom Home Page, About Page (n.d.). TriMom. Retrieved October 28, 2016, from http:trimom.ca