Facebook is one of the most powerful tools you can use to advertise for your fitness business. On average, there are 1.32 billion daily users, which means you can get the attention of tons of different people.
To maximize the results your fitness studio or gym gets from Facebook, you want to use all of the various tools and features it has as effectively as possible. Small changes can make a huge difference when it comes to reach and engagement.
These are the most common mistakes that we see businesses make and how to avoid them:
MISTAKE #1: POSTING NON-NATIVE VIDEO
It’s easy to share video links straight from sites like YouTube, Vimeo, or Wistia, but those actually get less views and engagement than videos you upload natively. That’s because Facebook actually prioritizes native video.
When you scroll through your news feed, native videos play automatically, whereas links require you to click on them and load on an external page. Here’s an example of a native video that autoplays (with subtitles, which are really important! We’ll get into that more later):
Here’s an example of how YouTube links appear:
But just how much of a difference does this make? The numbers are staggering. A study found that native videos had a 1055% higher share rate and 186% higher interaction rate than YouTube videos.
If there’s a video you want to share from YouTube or Vimeo, there’s a lot of great tools like savefrom.net that allow you to download videos as an mp4 file. Once you download it, you can upload it to Facebook as a native video and get more engagement.
MISTAKE #2: NOT ADDING SUBTITLES TO VIDEOS
Facebook’s internal tests found that when you add captions to your videos, it increases view time by 12%. If people are in a public place and don’t want to watch a video with sound, subtitles prevent them from skipping past it.
You can generate the subtitles directly through Facebook, or you can add them directly to your video with a service called Rev. We explain exactly how to add captions to your videos in this blog post.
MISTAKE #3: NOT USING FACEBOOK LIVE
Just like native videos, Facebook also prioritizes live videos. It sends out notifications to your followers when you go live, and your video appears higher in their news feed. People spend 3X more time watching a live video than previously broadcasted ones, so take advantage of this.
Here are some Facebook Live video ideas to increase engagement with your followers:
A Q&A with trainers
Show a workout class
Talk about nutrition
A how-to video
Explain special events or offers that are going on
Facebook Live videos are just 1 of 20 things that can seriously help supercharge your fitness studio’s Facebook page …
MISTAKE #4: NOT BUILDING A RETARGETING AUDIENCE
When you push Facebook ads, choose your target audience carefully. You can get really specific with gender, age, location, interests, income, and more. While these options are great (and part of our secret sauce!), something that’s really important is a retargeting audience.
To track the people who previously visited your website or specific landing pages and build a retargeting audience, you’ll need to use a Facebook pixel. This allows you to push out Facebook ads to people who have already become familiar with your brand so that you constantly stay in front of them. And since 80% of sales are made on the 5th contact, it’s important that your target audience continues to see your ad and proven offer.
This Facebook article explains exactly how to create a pixel and add it to your website so that you can track these people and serve ads to them.
MISTAKE #5: NOT A/B TESTING
Especially when it comes to Facebook ads, some strategies work better than others, so don’t make the mistake of not A/B testing. Test out 2 new things at the same time, track your analytics, and see which one works best.
You want to test a variety of options and find out what gets you the best results. This allows you to spend your marketing budget efficiently. Here are some aspects you can test:
Video ads vs. image ads
We tested 2 ads with the same audience and budget, but different images and CTAs. The 1st ad got 55 clicks, whereas the 2nd only got 5. Take a look:
As you can see, if we hadn’t tested two different images and CTAs, we wouldn’t have known that one would perform so much better than the other. This helps you figure out where to spend more of your marketing budget so you get the most bang for your buck.
Your Facebook ads should always take your visitors to a landing page, not your website.
What’s the difference? Your homepage is the first page that people see when they type your website’s URL into their browser. It usually provides basic information about your business and has links to other pages on your site. There’s TONS of distractors. A landing page focuses on one CTA.
Your ad should prompt people to take a certain action, such as claim an offer for a free week of classes at your fitness studio. When they click on the ad, they’ll be taken to a landing page where they enter their name and contact information to claim the offer. If your ad takes them to your homepage, they might get distracted and you’ll lost a prospect.
Don’t run Facebook ads without a proven offer to go along with it. Offers provide value and give potential customers an incentive to come in. These are some of the best ones we found work for our customers:
1 free week
3 for $33
20% off lifetime membership
5 sessions for $99
The one that we found gets the most results is the 1 free week offer. We ran this offer for a barre studio and it generated 411 leads in the first month with a cost per lead (CPL) of $1.18. After 5 months, this studio received 1,504 leads and signed over 150 new members!
When you use these strategies on Facebook, your studio or gym will see better engagement on your Facebook page and get more leads and members. Let us know how they work for you!
Mike Arce is the CEO and founder of Loud Rumor, a marketing agency for fitness studios and independent gyms. Mike is also the host of The GSD Show, a top video podcast that brings on renowned guests like Grant Cardone, Lisa Nichols, Jay Baer, and more.