Stay Ahead of the Herd
Social Media promises to play an increasingly important role in marketing in the coming year. For small business owners and service providers, understanding how to market on social media can mean the difference between success and failure. Marketing strategies have evolved from aggressive in-your-face ads and manipulative sales tactics to a more engaging and customer-centric approach. Social media provides the ideal platform to reach your client base in a way that is agile and responsive to individual needs. However, despite its groundswell of success, only a tiny fraction of businesses understand how to make social media marketing work for them.
Give Instant Gratification
Not only are social media platforms like FaceBook and Pinterest aware of the rising tide of marketing on their sites, they are developing tools to facilitate it. One thing you will see emerge in the new year is a “Buy” button positioned next to “Like” and “Share.” Now, rather than having to send an email or FB message to contact you, clients will be able to purchase session packages or memberships with a single click, without having to leave the SM site. The challenge is to create brief engaging memes and video clips that provide a lot of information in a nutshell.
One of the hottest upcoming SM marketing trends will be real-time video that reaches followers at times of peak usage. Platforms like Periscope and Meerkat allow live streaming that provides in-the-moment glimpses into your world. Broadcast a new exercise mashup or send the world a real-time testimonial from a satisfied client. Give a tutorial on good exercise technique, or keep your audience up to date on the latest fitness trends. The key is to keep it fun, entertaining and brief.
Keep It Social
Not everyone who attempts to market on social media will have success. Blatant ads that mimic old-school marketing tactics will be ignored as users scroll on to more engaging posts. Social media is popular because it provides a platform that meets users’ needs for social interaction. Creative posts that speak to the user on an emotional level are more likely to grab the attention of prospective clients. Use the same tools you would in a casual social setting: Tact, focused engagement, warmth and a friendly approach will draw in users who will listen to your message and share it with their friends.
Marketing, whether through social media or other formats, can seem overwhelming. W.I.T.S. offers guidance and solutions through our Fitness Business Institute, with dozens of courses on sales and marketing geared specifically to the fitness industry.
References and Credits
Brafton: 4 Social Media Trends You Need to Know Going into 2016
Forbes: The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2016
Fortune: Virtual Reality Takes Off and 4 Other Social Media Trends in 2016
*Images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.