Facebook groups are a fantastic option for online personal trainers looking to create a strong sense of community among their clients and provide support and accountability at scale.
A thriving Facebook group can be a big reason someone wants to stay inside your personal training business, aside from the outstanding results you help them get. But running a Facebook group takes work, and when the community isn't engaged, it can be frustrating and can even feel like a waste of time.
Running a dynamic and engaged Facebook group can be a real selling point in your online business, particularly if you're able to explain the value in being around like minded and supportive people on a similar journey to your client. Today we'll discuss 5 ways to boost engagement in your Facebook group.
Crucial Decision: Public Vs. Private Groups
One of the things you should know about Facebook groups before you set one up is that you can always make them more private, but you can't make them less private once people have joined. That means you have to decide early on whether to have a public or private group.
Having a public group, which is a shop-front of your business that everyone can access, allows you to showcase your coaching's community aspect. It could be something that people follow before they become clients, and which could influence their decision on whether or not to join your coaching programme.
Having a private group, which is not visible to non-members, may create a sense of exclusivity and promote open and honest support between members of the group. There is a powerful psychological drive to be part of an "in group" that private closed Facebook groups can cultivate.
Depending on how you use the group as a coaching tool, it may be important for people to feel they can be candid in asking for help and offering support to others inside the group.
#1. Welcoming New Clients Into The Group
One of the simplest ways to encourage engagement in your Facebook group is formally welcoming new clients with a welcome post or video. Asking new clients to introduce themselves in this post can set the tone for your clients' expectations to use the Facebook group as the first point of contact. It will also allow existing clients to provide a warm welcome and to foster supportive friendships.
#2. Themed Days
While there is no right or wrong way to do a themed day in your Facebook group, the purpose of themed days promote engagement and to create some predictability throughout the week about how you expect your clients to use the Facebook group.
Some popular options could be Motivation Monday, where you encourage people to set weekly goals for themselves; Workout Wednesdays, where a community workout is posted or completed live together; and Takeaway Fridays, where you share recipes.
In your group, they are your rules, so figuring out a theme that works for your clients will be different for each trainer. You can boost engagement by using a thumb-stopping image in the themed posts so that people notice them in their feed and participate.
#3. Monthly Challenges
One of the most potent ways to create a sense of community in your Facebook group is to have monthly challenges and to encourage your members to get involved.
This could be something habit-based, like drinking 2L of water daily. It could be movement-based, such as hitting 10,000 steps every day. It could even be gratitude based, where clients post daily inside the group, explaining what they're grateful for each day.
This creates an inspiring atmosphere that supports the regular training and goal setting you'll be doing. You might even do this to raise money for a charity close to your heart.
#4. Video Content
Going live in your group will encourage people to tune in, particularly if they expect a live video on a particular topic that interests them. Live videos can be compelling if you're running a group coaching program or a free challenge, for example.
You can also include pre-recorded videos and archive them in the group by creating educational content inside the Facebook group. You'll need to use a desktop computer to change your Facebook group type to "social learning" by clicking the "Edit group settings" so that adding educational units can become an option. This is where you can add units into your group features. Once you've got at least one unit saved, you can change your group back at any time, and this feature will remain.
#5. Tagging Members
You can tag members of your Facebook group by adding the "@" symbol before their name. This will give them a notification, and they will be more likely to see your post. You might use this feature if there's something, in particular, you would like them to read or watch in the group.
Regularly celebrating client wins inside the group by creating a post about what they have achieved and tagging them is also a great way to generate engagement. Create a culture inside your group where everyone will cheer for each other's success. This can also create a sense of friendly competition, which is sometimes lacking online.
By encouraging clients to share in the group as the first point of contact, not only does that create a fantastic community inside your coaching programme, but it also teaches your clients to use that group to look for answers before asking you for help. This can promote independence among your clients, which will be essential for long term success with their goals.
Running an engaging Facebook group is meant to be fun and social, so don't worry too much if there are people "lurking" and not participating in your posts. They will read much of it, and if you tag them in the post, they'll almost definitely see it. The most significant benefit of a fully engaged Facebook group is the community spirit you're creating. That extends the amount of time people want to stay inside your coaching programme.