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4 ways to make your small fitness business go viral

Social media can do great things for small businesses but knowing which strategies to use that are affordable and provide a return on investment is challenging. Regular Facebook or Instagram ads have very little impact unless you have the knowledge and budget to play big and often result in a low return on your advertising budget.

A more effective and financially viable approach is to utilise the fans you already have by providing them with opportunities to share information about your business with their friends. Of course, to get your existing followers to share, you have to make sure that the content you provide is something that they want to share.

Three main reasons that people share posts on social media is to make social connections with a like-minded group, to demonstrate their social currency (or awesomeness) and to help friends and loved ones. When creating content that you want to be shared, you need to carefully think about how the post you create will fulfil one or more of these desires.

Three main reasons that people share posts on social media is to make social connections with a like-minded group, to demonstrate their social currency (or awesomeness) and to help friends and loved ones.

Here are four ideas for creating social media posts that meet these three desires and have the potential to go viral because your followers will want to share them.

1. Make booking a class easy to share with friends

When participants book a class, provide social share links in your booking confirmation so that they can share the class they have just booked with their friends and encourage them to workout with them.

Not only does this make it easy for people to invite their friends, it also taps into individuals desires to be seen to have great social currency while connecting with like-minded people and helping their family and friends to get in the loop as well.

You can do this by sending an email confirmation with a prompt to share or use a social media booking tool. Our online class booking tool also does this automatically for you when someone makes a booking.

2. Give your participants the spotlight

Now that we know our followers like social currency, and sharing what makes them uniquely awesome, it's important that we move away from sharing the same shots of fitness instructors, employees and equipment and share photos of participants instead.

Participants want photos of themselves. Take photos and videos during class. At the end of the session, encourage participants to go online to see how amazing they were in class and share their photo with their friends. Be sure to add a comment to the post that has information about the class and a hashtag that you encourage your participants to use.

Be aware that when you are using this strategy, you'll need to make sure that all of your participants have signed a photo/video release. This can be included in the waiver they complete when first joining your class. Just in case you have any participants that don't want to be in the shot, remind participants at the beginning of each class that you are going to capture them in action and to let you know if they don't want to be included.

3. Ask for reviews

People believe the opinions of friends, family and the general public more than any advertisement or promotion you could ever create. For this reason, it's crucial to ask for and collect reviews on a regular basis. This is a strategy that isn't used nearly enough and because of that, it can really make you stand out in a crowd.

After class, send participants a link requesting a review. As reviews come in, share them on social media and tag the reviewer so that they can also receive social currency and feel the positivity of helping both a business they love and helping their friends to find a great class.

This is an excellent strategy for getting authentic shares and likes and because you have your target market that is sharing their recommendation, you are more likely to connect with new participants within your target market.

There are many tools for collecting and sharing reviews. Make sure that the tool you choose to use has structured data that uses review schema so that you get those little yellow star ratings to appear in Google when someone searches for you. Our booking tool automatically asks participants for a review after their booking and uses review schema to give your business increased visibility online.

4. Run online competitions

There is no other strategy quite as effective as online competitions for creating viral advertising for your business.

The trick is to keep the competition simple, link entry to liking and sharing and have a prize that people want. If you are new or relatively unknown the best prize might not be solely related to your business. Connect with another business to offer a highly sort after prize such as active wears plus passes to your class.

Allow participants to enter as many times as they want and be sure to include links and hashtags relevant to your business. When choosing a winner, be transparent and share the winner on the post so that all people who entered can see who won and build trust in your process ready for your next competition.

The wrap up

Before spending big on social media advertising, implement some of these strategies into your marketing tool kit. Without a doubt, spending a little on a post that focuses on the benefits for potential sharers will have a much greater impact than promoting your brand directly.

If your business is on HealthyGirl HQ, be sure to give us a shout out on social and use #healthygirlhq so that we can share your posts. We love spreading the love. If your not on our marketplace yet, add your business now.