Read Part 1 HERE.
At the behest of my friends at Inbound Fit, I’ll expand a bit on what my social media strategy actually entails. Right off the bat, I want to clarify — I invest separately in my Inbound platform and my social media platform, and I do not feel that one would be anywhere near as effective as it is without the other.
For City Fitness Philadelphia, my Inbound platform is the passive arm of my overall marketing strategy. This encompasses website optimization (user interface, copy, promotion placement, SEO optimization, etc.), content generation (blogs, eBooks, posters), and social media management, with the back-end nurturing process happening in HubSpot.
It’s important to note that I listed “social media management” above. What I mean by social media management is; when we publish a blog, it gets posted to City Fitness’ Facebook page. We post press we get. When we run a promotion, we post the promotion, probably buying some ad space. This is not a social media strategy. This is posting on social media because, well, we might as well.
This gets me into the active arm of my marketing strategy; what makes City Fitness’ marketing perform at the level it does:
- Create and execute truly remarkable campaigns
- Look for ways to be heavily involved with brand/values-aligned projects in Philadelphia
- Focus on engaging our market through social media, primarily Instagram
All of these things require an enormous amount of work, sophistication, and certainly a financial investment. I have almost entirely foregone traditional forms of advertising (I don’t use direct mail, I rarely use print, and our commercials (Same Time Tomorrow, #MYCITYMOVES) are ridiculous so we buy TV ad space ONLY WHEN I’m anticipating us getting a lot of press, thus making it seem like City Fitness is basically everywhere all at once.
The point I’m trying to hammer home is that an investment in an Inbound platform does not mean you have a comprehensive digital strategy. My investment of money, time, and talent is what City Fitness performing near the very top of all companies (in all industries, not just fitness) that use HubSpot. Our results are on point because we embrace social media as a genuine marketplace for our goods and services, not a thing we post on because conventional wisdom tells us we have to.
Because of our ability to meet our potential customers where they’re at, a well developed (and not cheap) social media presence becomes the most effective way for us to communicate with people. And if we’re communicating with people regularly and effectively… that means we have a ready audience when we’re ready to put something on sale.
What does this mean for you?
Before I pose two questions you need to consider before investing in a real social media strategy, I want to reiterate – posting to Facebook does not constitute investing in social media. Please refer to my previous blog for a refresher there.
- What do you want to get out of social media? Why are you looking into a social media strategy in the first place? You should only invest in a marketing strategy because you feel you’re missing an opportunity, or can accomplish higher ROI. Figure out what your goals are – whether that’s more relevance to your marketplace, a new marketing channel, some combination therein, etc. – and then find an agency (or hire someone, or both) that can help you make that happen.
- What are your goals? It might seem like this is the same question as above, but that’s just me not being creative. I use social media as my digital promotion megaphone and a way to interact with prospective customers every day. I use my Inbound platform to generate leads consistently and tie my promotions to the rest of my marketing platform. If you’re looking to triple your lead gen, sorry that’s not how this works. Because of how I’ve set things up, I can turn on the faucet with social media, while generating leads consistently (and with increasing consistency over time).
There’s also the whole, running promotions consistently and at times that make sense thing, but that’s just general marketing good sense.
And that’s how you should be thinking about social media marketing in the fitness industry.