Many personal trainers and PT Distinction members find social media marketing hard to crack. While I'm not saying it's easy like Sunday morning, the key to its success is the same as to any other marketing channel: value, engagement, consistency.
If you're new to using social media marketing, start where your strength is; the platform you use the most often, so long as your ideal clients hang out too. Start posting valuable information, ask for feedback and shares, do it multiple times a day, every day AND engage with people who comment. This last step is just as important as putting out useful content.
Why? First, if you always share but never interact, people will eventually stop commenting. Second, the more engagement any social media post gets, the more likely the algorithm will find it useful and show it to more people. So, always reply, even if it's with a thank you or welcome!
Once you have one social media account under control and on a consistent schedule, you may want to venture into an additional one, repeat the above steps, and then move onto the next. You don't have to be present on ALL platforms, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, SnapChat and the list goes on. Focus on the ones your ideal clients use for hanging out online or researching information.
How to Keep A Consistent Social Media Schedule
At the start, while creating your content on the go, you may find it OK to spend 5-10 minutes 4-6 times a day to post about something valuable. Eventually, you will discuss similar topics but from another angle, because there are only so many things to talk about when it comes to general fitness and nutrition.
In an attempt to stop yourself losing consistency or from repeating yourself too often, you can create your core content and pre set it on a regular and recurring posting schedule. Then, you can enjoy posting news around your business, new client successes and other exciting news. Your evergreen advice can run on autopilot with the occasional updates. Now all you need is a system that helps you become efficient in delivery on your schedule.
Option 1 - DIY
This method requires the most time investment but the least financial commitment. It's ideal when you're starting, and you'd like to keep your business expenses low.
Some social media platforms allow you to schedule business posts in advance rather than share them straight away. For example, you can pre schedule posts to a Facebook Group or Facebook page. You may need to set aside time every week to do your scheduling but you only have to set it up once and it's done for the week.
Other platforms won't allow this due to their terms and conditions, like Instagram or Twitter. You'll have to take time out each day; as many times as you'd like to post something. In the long term, it can become disruptive, so eventually, you'll want to look at other options, at least a semi-managed solution can do the job.
Option 2 - Semi-Managed System
Once you have a budget for it, you may want to look into scheduling systems to help you manage your time better.
Meet Edgar - Meet Edgar is an efficient social media scheduling tool that can connect to Facebook pages, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram accounts. You can create libraries and set them on a schedule, review and amend it as needed. It usually starts from $49/month but currently has an offer for $29 per month for the first 4 months.
Recurpost - Recurpost's features are very similar to those of Meet Edgar, without the video upload option. The platform, however, is more basic but also more affordable. If you only need it for 3 social media accounts, one of each kind, you can have it for free with limited posts per day.
Hootsuite - Hootsuite is the most popular social media management tool out there and receives excellent reviews. Their plans come with a 30-day trial and start from $19 per month for professionals. You get unlimited scheduling and can set-up 10 social media profiles.
Option 3 - Done for You
This option will cost you more money, whether you still want to be in charge of the strategy or not. You can hire an admin to execute your plan for you via one of the above systems, or you go all in and hire a social media marketing management company or professional to take care of it all.
If you opt for hiring someone to be in full charge of your social media marketing, ensure you research the market. Check reviews and credentials so you can trust they know the ins and outs of social media marketing, understand the latest trends and keep up with most recent updates to the algorithms.