How do you utilize social media to market/network your business?
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogs, Tout, Fitness Connect, YouTube etc. are all great tools to market and network your business. How do you utilize them? Which social media tool has brought you the most success (new clients, new business opportunities, new professional connections, etc).
I only use IDEA Fitness Connect and with great success!
Fuel the Movement,
1. Pick the tool based on what you want to achieve.
If you want to expand your professional network, perhaps Twitter or LinkedIn might be a good starting point. If you want to educate and inform clients/perspective clients, you might gain more traction with a blog.
2. Decide how much time you want to spend.
Successful social media strategies may come from the combination of the tools. Can you gain new clients from Facebook - eh, maybe. But you may have to craft your messages in a way that targets your audience effectively.
3. Do something different with your social media.
Everyone is on Twitter/Facebook, etc. these days. If you want people to 'get to know your brand' these are all great places to be present. But if you want people to come through your doors... well, you might consider spending your ad dollars more effectively.
Check out this article: http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/the-group-advantage
That certainly answers the question of whether I use it to market my business: I don't.
However, I recently made the discovery how to posts events, and it is my plan to put classes and courses up there and just see what happens. And some friends have been on me for being more active in that field.
In the meantime, I rely on different modes of communication.
I believe whatever platform one decides to utilize, it is wise to never forget that you what you write and send out in cyberspace is there forever. Hence, it is always a good idea to put your best foot forward.
Then set aside a realistic time a day or a week. And stick to it. With social media often the key is regular and consistent presence. You can't hit and miss and expect to get any results. (does that sound familiar?)
Pick one "next thing" you want to do. If you aren't using facebook regularly, start. Grow your friends. Read the papers and when a newsy fitness item is worthwhile, tie it to what's going on in your facility or business.
Rotate the kind of items you include. Articles just FYI. An offer: respond with the contents of your breakfast - the first 10 to respond will be eligible to win a complimentary personal training session. (from which you will upsell them!) and then rank the best to worst breakfasts and tell them why....or how to improve...and use statistics and expert comments- that alone will give you content for a long while!
Start using video. Upload it to your facebook and twitter posts. use it in your blog. Tell them "how" to do something to benefit more.
Last- but most important...find a way to evaluate whether the time, energy, and money (are you paying someone else or is your time worth anything) is worth it.
A previous answer I agree with is to be on the social networking cite A LOT! That way your friends will come to depend on your accessibility.
Good luck! Please post if you find something awesome that we don't know about!
I am constantly updating, posting and tagging
It does capture attention but is very time consuming