Facebook, Flakebook, Friend book. Many names and many uses.
For business you can't really ignore social media if you want to keep growing.
But it's far to easy to invest too much time into a platform like Facebook without being able to get a good return on investment.
Professionals in the fitness industry are probably the most likely to over invest their time into getting likes and shares.
Some typical posts from fitness pros;
- Selfie of me looking awesome in the mirror at the gym
- Photo of a scenic bike ride in the middle of the day on a Wednesday "My office for the day"
- Photo of my dinner, completely devoid of anything unhealthy
- Before and after shots of a client I've been working with
And what you are unlikely to ever see from fitness pros;
- Selfie of me at home in the front of the mirror looking a bit chubby because I've been focusing on my business more than training
- Photo of me working my ass off in front of my computer trying to get new clients
- Photo of me sneaking a donut without anyone knowing (we all do it, don't we?)
- Before and after shots of my clients who look exactly the same because they were looking for a magic bullet so never bothered to do what I told them.
What's my point? Well my point is Facebook is the home of bullsh*t, Facebook is where people post about their ideal life and experiences not their sometimes boring, frustrating and difficult real lives.
It's not restricted to posting either, it's the same with likes and shares.
An example might be that you post an inspirational quote about living in the moment and making the most of each and everyday. You'll get a ton of likes and loads of shares. But you know what you won't get much of? sales.
The reason you won't get as many sales as you'd like is because the majority of people that like and share do so because that's how they want to portray themselves to others. But they won't act on it. They won't wake up the next day and make the most of it by signing up to your life changing coaching service. They'll live their life as they always do and maybe like and share some more posts just to make themselves feel better.
Cynical I know, but totally true.
The other thing you'll get along with lots of likes and shares is a ton of free loaders. If you're a health or fitness pro you'll know exactly what I mean. Facebook has bred a community of people that expect everything for free, including professional advice.
You've probably had a bunch of messages from your Facebook followers asking for advice. You've done the right thing and offered some quick advice with some options and after a couple of messages you've suggested they book in for a consultation. You can't solve real problems with a couple of Facebook messages.
Then as soon as it comes to the point where they need to get their wallet out to get the help they need. Silence....
Couple of weeks later... another message for advice. Free of course.
How to combat it?
There are few strategies you can use to make the most of your Facebook audience
Keep it real
Every now and then post something that is more authentic. If you've had a personal struggle and have made some mistakes or let yourself down in some way then don't be afraid to share it with your audience. People will relate to you if they see you are human and make the same mistakes they do. Here is an example from Training Tilt customer Rob Dallimore from Foottraffic Coachingwho recently had a bad experience racing Challenge Wanaka and suffered a panic attack during the swim but had the courage to write about it and share it with his Facebook audience. He got a great response
Don't neglect your website content
I've seen so many static health and fitness business websites with no new content. A health and fitness blog where the last post was 6 months ago.
If people make it to your website you have their full attention, unlike on Facebook where they are distracted by the dozens of other posts and ads your posts are competing with.
If you don't have current, engaging and relevant content they won't bother getting past the first few pages.
Check out our "Website" plan over Training Tilt if your current website doesn't allow you to easily create content like articles, recipes and blog posts. We can help with transferring your data from your existing site. It's free to set up and at $14/month it's great value.
Use email as well as social media
Studies show email is still up to 40 times more effective for generating sales than social media posts. Old fashioned I know, but still as powerful as ever.
Create an email list using something like Mail Chimp or a new tool we've just started using called Drip to add in some marketing automation. Then promote it to get as many of your Facebook audience onto your list as possible.
A good way to do this is to use the little known "Call to action" feature on your Facebook page to send people to your email lists signup page.
Then create regular, useful engaging content and share it using your email list not just social media. At the end of each email add a call to action that sends the reader to a specific product or service.
One of the main advantages of email over social media is that there are much less distractions inside someone's email inbox compared to Facebook. On Facebook you are competing with hundreds of other posts, videos and images. It's distracting for your audience. They will have time to like and share but are less likely to click away from Facebook and get out their credit card.
Over at Training Tilt we've got a bunch of tools that can help you create health and fitness products and services as well as generating and sharing engaging online content. Sign up for a free trial or get in touch to find out more.
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