Social Media Advertising Must-Knows

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Social media ads can be a powerful tool for your business, but they can also be a detriment.

Markus Gerszi, the head gym growth specialist at Gymwright, explained when a gym is first getting things off the ground, advertising on social media is great. But if it continues to be the only means a gym owner uses to get in leads, it can mean bad news down the road.

Instead, organic content and the day-to-day aspects of your customer experience must be at the foundation. When Gerszi gets asked about ad shortcuts by gyms with no organic content, he explained it’s like an athlete walking into your gym with no fitness background and requesting to learn how to do a muscle up. “Advertising should be used as a force multiplier, not as a replacement for the organic stuff,” said Gerszi. “The organic stuff and all you’re doing day to day should be the backbone of what you’re doing.”

Organic content includes regular Facebook Live posts, engaging or commenting on posts, and asking people to post their favorite meme in the comments. 

Once you’ve established your ability to do organic content, you can better ask about your application. What are you trying to accomplish with your ads? The two main buckets of campaigns are brand building and lead generation. Gerszi gave three tips on the latter:

  1. Know your audience. Look at your existing client base, pick at least four of your favorite clients that you’d clone if you could. Interview them, asking about their fitness journey, what they like about the gym, etc. 
  2. Speak to that audience using exact language. In your client interviews, you can get the language you’re looking for. “Get to know where they were, what their journey has been like and what they might say to someone new. Write down their answers verbatim. Record them so you can hear the exact language they are using because that’s the exact language you’re going to use in your copy in your ads,” said Gerszi.
  3. Use imagery and video. Whether you’re using one or the other, you must paint the image of the target demographic you’re trying to reach. Gerszi did mention video is outperforming imagery by a landslide.

However, advertising doesn’t come without cost, and gym owners are often not setting aside enough funds. “One of the biggest challenges, I would say, would be a wild underestimation of what it costs to do advertising well,” said Gerszi. “[You need to have a] little bit more realistic expectation. You’re literally buying more business.”

He explained the days of spending $30 on ads and getting incredible leads are over. Now, if he could spend $100 and get a new member, Gerszi said he’d do that exchange all day. It comes down to understanding your lifetime client value. If a client will hang around for 18 months at $100 a month, they are worth $1,800 to you. So, the question becomes how much would you be willing to spend on the client?

Ultimately, it’s key to remember you are not just trying to get them to sign up, but to sign up and stay. An ad campaign is not a silver bullet, as Gerszi pointed out. If added to a business that’s shaky at its core, you’re just adding rocket fuel and amplifying the problem. Get your business right, take care of your people, and then work on the ad campaign.

“If you’re struggling in your business, the ad campaign is not the problem; or the lack of an ad campaign is not the problem,” he said. “The problem is you; fix the fundamentals of your business first.”

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at