What’s up Box Pro readers? Welcome to my first article. Much like a lot of you, I call it how I see it based on my own experiences. I don’t sugarcoat the way I talk … if I did, I’d have a lot more clients, but they’d only be temporary ones. And while I do have formal training (college and post-grad), the most valuable lessons I’ve learned have been through doing.
I’ll start by telling you what I’m not. I’m most likely not a better athlete than you and I’m definitely not the most dedicated gym member out there. Later in life I did start taking my training and fitness more seriously, but it really took more than two years before something clicked in my head that led me to getting some real, tangible results. It wasn’t enough to just go. I needed a plan if I wanted to see results. Just showing up wasn’t enough. That last part is what I had to focus on.
Strong results in the gym take more than just showing up. And they won’t happen overnight either. This applies to your social media programs too.
For me, with my personal training, it took some real trial and error and also a lot of self-realization as to what I wanted to accomplish. Experimenting with when and how I ate, which sessions I attended, how I motivated myself and when I decided to rest. Lastly, it involved setting goals. The same thought process should occur as you develop your social media plan.
Plans and goals. If you want a modern social media program that’s successful, you need them. Even if they’re not written down (which they should be), you should have a plan to help you achieve your goals and results you want.
Why? Because results matter. They matter to your members and to your social program too. Why? Because members will come and go for various reasons beyond your control. Competitors will open and fads will entice fringe members to leave. You can’t stop members from moving out of town or fads from rising. What you can do is have a social plan in place so these things aren’t as big of a problem as they could be.
When I first saw a kettlebell, I had no idea what to do with it. Yes, I knew I could lift it, but how to do it so that I would receive the results I want was beyond me.
You have a wealth of social media tools at your disposal, but do you really know how to use them? Everyone gets how to use social media. Or so they say. I’m sure that your facility has accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Meerkat, Vine, whatever. Hopefully your accounts all have similar names too.
Your reading my blog here because you want to get results from your social media programs. Just like your members and their training, you want to want to grow as a brand.
This won’t be an overnight process, despite what other marketing case studies will tell you. It was easier to grow on social media when it was newer and the competition was less. That was then. Now not so much.
First, start with the basics. We need to work on form, identify our strengths and isolate our weaknesses. Focus on the short and long term. This applies to marketing as well, for both new facilities and those that have been in this game for years.
Your members set goals. You need to do the same. What are your social media goals? Really think about what you want from your social program and make those your goals. I’ll tell you they’re not just getting likes or shares. Post a picture of a puppy dog in the arms of an attractive woman drinking a craft beer and you’ll get 100 likes. But does that help you achieve your goals?
Dwell on that. Think about what you want to achieve. An increase in membership could be a goal, or it could be more members breaking personal records. It could be selling more shirts. There’s a lot to choose from and while I won’t tell you what goals matter and don’t, I encourage you to really think about what will matter and focus on that. Those goals may change regularly and you should have multiple goals, some minor and some major. Some you’ll achieve next week, some will take quite a bit of time.
Once we have goals, we have direction and then we can build plans to take us there as quickly as possible.
In my next post, I’ll talk about tailoring your training to meet those goals and figuring out what works best for your facility.
Bill Byrne is a director at San Diego’s Remedy Communications, a PR and social media firm with clients ranging from action sports brands to leaders in finance, technology and business-to-business solutions. His short term goals for the year include getting a new headshot for work and increasing his max pull-ups to 21. More info on Bill and Remedy Communications can be found online at www.RemedyPR.com.