Like your mother used to hang photos and artwork on your fridge growing up, CrossFit Fringe uses Instagram as their giant refrigerator.
“Instagram in particular is the best way – we’ve found – to connect to the larger CrossFit community and to tell our story,” said Jessica Kohler, a business development consultant at CrossFit Fringe in Columbia, Missouri.
Deciding what to post starts with instinct. Michelle Manskie, the owner of Little CrossFit in Brisbane, Australia, said they try to step in their audience’s shoes, asking what they would like to see, learn about and solve – all while painting a picture of their brand. “We also want our audience to have an insight into our values and what makes us different, so we post quirky and inspirational quotes, along with links to our blog posts so they can further understand what we’re about,” she explained. Plus, Little CrossFit has a theme on their Instagram of black, white and yellow images to go with their brand. The aim was to create a feed that stood out.
Theming, explained Cullen Griffin, the media director of Elevate St. Pete in St. Petersburg, Florida, is a way to take your gym’s personality and make it stand apart from the other social media feeds out there. “If you see our Instagram theme, you’ll see that the teals and oranges and the grays pop a little more, and we lowered the intensity,” he said. “It made all the images softer, which is almost the opposite of CrossFit.”
Beyond images, Griffin explained copy is also key. He tries to ask questions or share calls to action. Remembering Gary Vanerchuck’s idea of ‘give, give, give, ask,’ Griffin said he tries not to sell people, instead aiming to give them useful information.
He will also pay attention to Chase’s Calendar of Events to plan posts around holidays or even special recognition days, like National Pancake Day. In fact, on April 1 this year Elevate posted a joke about a new class: a full body naked yoga program. It got a lot of engagement, said Griffin.
When it comes to meme creation, Manskie said they use Canva to apply filters and logos. She explained it’s better to create their own content versus relying on reposts or sharing content from other websites.
But ultimately, posting isn’t enough. Engaging with people through likes, comments and shares is key. Griffin said he tries to treat Instagram like a person, and you wouldn’t leave a person hanging mid-conversation, would you?
Beyond communicating with members, Instagram can be used as a tool for referrals. In a single week alone, Griffin said he received 14 leads from the platform. And by broadening your social media network, you could see the same.
“Instagram is also a great way to connect with complementary businesses,” said Manskie, noting beauty salons and massage therapists as some examples. “These businesses often share the same target audience, so Instagram can be a useful networking and referral tool between businesses.”