Making a balanced fitness social media marketing strategy

Social media remains one of the most powerful tools in the modern marketer’s toolbox, no matter the industry.

If you’re based in the fitness field, you have your own unique challenges. But you also have plenty of opportunities - and the best way to take advantage of these is to use your social channels the right way.

This means crafting a solid fitness social media strategy. To accomplish this, you’ll need to build your marketing approach from the ground up, use the proper tools, and even get some inspiration from established fitness brands that dominate with awesome, engaging content. 

That might sound like a lot, but we’ve developed a guide to help make it easier for you. So let’s jump in.

4 steps to create your fitness social media marketing strategy

If you want to have the best social media presence for your gym, health spa, community center, sports company, or other fitness-based business, start from the beginning with this four-step process.

1. Build a brand identity with differentiation 

Branding is everything to your social media profiles. Over two thirds of viewers will make a purchase after viewing branded social content. Even growing businesses competing against chains know this, because about three quarters plan to invest more in social media. 

Your brand identity helps make your social profiles stand out. More importantly, branding helps accurately reflect your business and what it has to offer. 

Are you a gym with enough equipment to work out every muscle? Are you a fitness spa that offers every therapeutic treatment? Maybe your gym is an inclusive environment with exercise classes for people of all age groups and all body types. Or maybe your business is focused on bringing in a more youthful audience. 

Regardless of what your specialty is, you need to emphasize your business’s differentiating factor so your customers know exactly what makes you different from other companies in your industry. 

And your social profiles should reflect the core of your business in the copywriting, the artwork, and the calls to action.


2. Get the right tools

When you’re creating a fitness social media marketing strategy, make sure you have the right tools. There are a few simple solutions to getting you to the professional, polished presence you want on your platforms of choice. Consider:

  • Grammarly: One typo can make a serious dent to your social presence. Grammarly makes sure those pesky typos don’t cause your profiles to damage your professional reputation. You won’t have to worry about using the wrong “there” - your comments can be focused on your product, not correcting your copywriting.

  • Canva: An all-in-one design platform with plenty of free materials, Canva is a perfect place to start when you need sleek images to match your copy. You can also make social headers for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other popular platforms. This tool gives you pre-sized templates so nothing looks distorted or stretched.

  • KWFinder: While keyword rankings for social profiles don’t work exactly as search engines, it’s good to have some direction. The benefit of using this tool is that it provides information on search volume, competition, and pay-per-click competition. While the latter is used for Google AdWords, it gives words you can try for sponsored social campaigns.

Any tool that helps you improve your copy or get better insight is worth considering for your social media strategy. 

3. Provide great content and interaction incentives

Once you have the tools, the next step is creating content your audience loves. As a fitness company, you have tons of options.

Provide actionable lists of dos and don’ts, covering some of the most common topics in fitness. You could reinforce good habits or even debunk common misconceptions. Write seasonal fitness tips, like staying in shape during winter, or exercises for a sunny day.

Dietary tips and nutritional information are also broad topics. This is where you can talk about meal plans, recipes, and guides on how to get essential vitamins and minerals. 

Great content isn’t enough - you’ll want to build a thriving community. This helps people feel more connected and more comfortable. Know that your social profiles aren’t just a reflection of your brand. They’re also a reflection of your facility. 

When people share their struggles, progress, or questions on your platform, they’re more likely to show up at your facility. 

This brings us to the last point. 

4. Encourage sharing and gather feedback

When you have your content schedule planned out and you’re producing high-quality material, the final step is to encourage two-way conversation.

You’re mainly looking for two things, and the first is sharing. You want people to share their own stories, but you also want them to share your posts. How many people are more likely to visit a gym or fitness facility if their friends or family go? If people share your content, they’re doing part of your marketing for you. 

The next thing to ask for is feedback - this is crucial for making sure you’re going in the right direction.

Does your social presence lack anything? What would your audience like to see more of? Does your profile provide all the information they’re looking for about your business? Encourage feedback often.

Make asking for feedback a habit, and do it on posts. You don’t even need to ask directly. Try, “what do you think of this recipe?” or, “have you experienced a similar fitness journey?”

These questions help you get people talking regularly. Remember, feedback is a tool for constant learning. This creates a loop that involves building more content from your feedback, and maybe even improving your brand or finding better tools to help you reach your goals.  

Fitness social media examples we love

Don’t just plan out your own fitness social media marketing strategy. Learn from those already doing it. Here are some great examples, and the reasons we love them.

Planet Fitness points you in the right direction

Feedback matters, always. But sometimes people are skeptical about how their response will come off alongside everyone else’s on your social profile. Check out how Planet Fitness lightens the mood on Instagram. 

Planet Fitness example

Source: Planet Fitness, via FitnessMarketing101

This is a basic request. The post is asking users how they feel after a workout. The choices give the post a friendly, upbeat, quirky edge to it. By tying all three options to feeling awesome, they automatically lighten the mood.

Even someone who struggled a little through a workout, had questions, or even failed to reach their goals may be inclined to look on the bright side in their response. They can still be honest, but they’ll be less worried about how their response will stack up to others.

What we love about it: Posts don’t have to be complex. The simplicity of this one is great, especially since the goal is so clear. It aims to make users feel good, and it accomplishes that. 

Anytime Fitness encourages sharing via incentives

Getting people to share your content and information about your business is important. Anytime Fitness encourages this behavior by offering rewards for referrals.

Anytime fitness example

Source: Anytime Fitness (York)

This post provides users a reward for referring a friend. It also uses creative graphics and font choices to grab your attention.

What we love about it: This is a post that says a lot. Using an attractive graphic is a great way to get users to stop scrolling and take notice. Just look at how the “1 Month Off” and “Last Chance” parts are emphasized.

Luluemon shares a personal story

Everyone’s fitness journey is unique. For some people, exercise and fitness are their way of escaping the tougher aspects of life - and so they try to create an environment to help others escape their own struggles.

lululemon instagram example

Source: Instagram via Luluemon 

In this post, the picture is relatable, while the testimony describes the meaning behind the class. This is a great example of how to produce outstanding content, and build a sense of community all social profiles (and fitness businesses) need.

What we love about it: The copywriting is sharp, the lesson is clear, and the sentiment screams “share me.” This is the type of post social profiles thrive on.

Wrap up

Fitness social media marketing is a complex topic, but there are plenty of rewards for doing it right. You could strengthen the relationship with your followers, increase the number of members at your facility, and boost word-of-mouth referrals through social shares. Remember:

  • Think about your brand and what makes you stand out from the competition

  • Use the right tools to produce great content and create a community for engagement

  • See how the professionals do it for inspiration

When you’re planning to create a fitness social media marketing strategy, don’t forget about building customer relationships on other channels - like email. Check out four ways you can win the inbox

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