Monday, January 31, 2011

Fitness Professionals and Social Media, Part 2

 I am so glad that everyone enjoyed Part 1.  The topic has really sparked a great conversation (on and offline).  Hey, that is what social media is all about, after all (there is the PR girl again :).

In Part 2, I am going to dig into a few more tools that will help you connect with your clients and build your network.  

When you are trying to build your brand and promote your business, you need to go where the people are.  How many people do you know who use Facebook?  Almost everyone, right?  About 50% of my blog traffic comes from FacebookIt is a great platform that has the potential to reach a very large audience.  

A few Facebook tips:
  • Create a Page.  Most of you have a personal profile page, but I would suggest creating a page for your business. It is easy to do, people can 'like' your page and it allows you to focus your links, updates and questions solely on your brand.  You can also link this page to your website or blog.
  • Ask Questions.  Remember that social media is all about discussion.  Ask your followers health and fitness-related questions to get the conversation started.  The results could make a great blog post, where you can feature some of the answers.
  • Be Active.  Get people "liking" your page.  Invite your friends, family and fellow bloggers. Always respond to all comments and questions. Don't forget to visit other pages and get involved, remember it is not all about you.
  • Be Patient.  This tip applies to everything :) Creating a brand and building your readership doesn't happen overnight.  It takes time to get your name out there, so keep at it and don't give up.  
  • Proceed with Caution.  See Part 1

In my humble opinion, LinkedIn is one of the most under utilized tools in the social media world.  For those of you not familiar, it is essentially an online resume.  You can highlight your qualifications, describe your work experiences and get recommendations from colleagues and clients.  It is a great way to network with like-minded professionals.

Things to think about:
  • Give Details.  Your profile represents your professional experiences, so make sure you give adequate details about your skills, certifications and work experiences.  That being said, be strategic and concise.  No one has time time to read a novel about your life.
  • Personalize Connection Requests.  Do not use the generic form to invite people to join your network.  This is especially important if you are inviting people you do not already have a personal relationship with.
  • Join Groups.  A fantastic way to engage in conversation (there is that word, again) with other fitness pros, stay up to date on what is happening in the industry and to network.  Be selective about the groups you join.  It may be better to participate in a few groups with an active voice, rather than many groups with no time to get involved.
  • Proceed with Caution.  See Part 1

Do you use Facebook and LinkedIn?  What other social media platforms do you use and why?

Stay Healthy, 

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