When it comes to social media advertising, Facebook is king. Plain and simple. No other platform provides you the tools to market like a pro, snipe your specific demographic and interpret your ad’s performance data without having an MBA. Oh, and did I mention that it’s ridiculously inexpensive compared to hiring a marketing agency?
If you plan on handling the marketing for your business’s Facebook page, here are two suggestions:
Facebook is well aware that 99 percent of the small businesses utilizing their services have very little education when it comes to advertising on its platform. So they created an entire series of free, self-guided courses to help educate you on how to become your own marketing department.
Facebook Blueprint has an array of different courses based on the marketing goals of your business. Never run “A/B testing” ads before to determine which piece of creative or headline is going to give you the best return? Facebook Blueprint has an entire course dedicated to this topic. Not sure how to target a specific market in your town? There’s a course on that as well.
Each course is concluded by an exam that covers the material presented in that module to ensure that you are taking away the key points. What makes this perfect for the average Affiliate owner is that you can level up your Facebook advertising knowledge from your couch on a Sunday if you choose.
There are also live webinars, on-site courses and certifications you can earn to distinguish yourself as a Facebook Certified Professional.
The beauty of your Facebook page is that almost everyone is familiar with how to navigate it and find the information they are looking for. This is not so true when it comes to your website. Websites are a dime a dozen and their aesthetics and navigation can be sketchy — especially when consumed from a mobile device.
However, Facebook is optimized for mobile. The majority of your prospects are probably not going to your website on a desktop — their workplace may block website access or they are living in a busy, mobile-based life. This is why it’s so important to make sure your Facebook page presents a better version of your gym’s website.
Your posts, photos and the message you want to send to prospects must be accurately conveyed. Here are my three criteria for posting on your business page:
Are your prospects finding your business page and instantly being greeted with a photo of a one-rep max snatch? Or how about some grainy, poorly shot video of a class where everyone is dropping barbells and grunting in what appears to be complete, unorganized chaos? Though we know the benefits of Olympic weightlifting and the awesome camaraderie that is developed through misery in group training — that is not the carrot on the stick you should be waving in front of your potential new members.
Highlight inclusive fitness and that your facility excels at administering it. Beyond being one of Glassman’s original truths regarding the CrossFit model, it’s the appropriate carrot to dangle in front of the general population that want to increase health, aesthetics and have fun while doing it. Photos of your “everyday” client and articles based on nutrition are a great place to start. You can get fancy with videos that may explain what a typical workout looks like at your gym or how you on-board new members to your program.
To piggyback the previous tip, make sure you understand that WHO you use and WHAT they are doing in the image or video is massively important. If your target demo is 26-year-old Sally who is a single, young-professional looking to fit into a smaller bikini, then you need to be showing other Sallys in your photos and Facebook posts. Pictures of shirtless bros performing legless rope climbs is not going to show Sally you can help her.
Hire or barter with a local photographer to come in and take some photos with this exact agenda in mind and capture your demographic performing exercises that will allow the prospect to immediately visualize themselves as a part of your gym. Remember, CrossFit already has enough intimidation tied to it for your average prospect. Don’t add to it by placing misaligned photos and videos all over your gym’s Facebook page.
This is the one feature that most CrossFit Affiliate owners are the most proud of, but this is where I want to create a mindset switch.
Community, at least for your prospects, is not the “community” that you and I think of when talking about our gyms. For potential members, community needs to be emphasized as the Coach-to-member relationship and how your staff will create an environment that is not found at the local globo-gym.
Community needs to be re-thought when marketing on your Facebook page. Create posts and videos that show the hands-on, quality coaching that you charge for at the Box. Display your monthly nutritional seminars and in-person education that comes with attending your group classes. Capture the beauty of the coach-to-member relationship when that “ah-ha!” moment happens during squat instruction.
This is the community that your prospects have heard about and use to justify premium price points. Cheerleading and screaming “GO! GO! GO!” to that last person in the workout to finish is an amazing element in our model, but it’s not what will get someone in the door. In fact, if you really polled your prospects, you’d find the thought of that scenario is actually fearful and embarrassing for most.
Stuart Brauer is a 15-year student of strength and conditioning, and he was fortunate to find CrossFit in 2006. Since then he’s dedicated his life to building a fitness business simply based on the pursuit of excellence. From humble beginnings making three figures and running park workouts to owning a million dollar gym, he’s now ventured into business consulting for gym owners looking to chase their dream. You can find his content on Facebook and Instagram @wtfgymtalk.