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Column Marketing & Sales

Marketing: The Power of Your Club’s Digital Story


Change, adapt and keep up. It’s what everyone is doing in a world that’s updating something every week. Seems Instagram caught that memo too. Rivaled by Facebook Live and Snapchat Stories, Instagram recently launched Instagram Stories. Hey, one stop shop, right? Right or wrong, better or not, Instagram Stories are a hot topic right now as they take some heat for “stealing” from Snapchat. Have you taken the time to utilize either of these tools for your club? Don’t even know the difference? Though very similar, I’ve broken down a few components of the two.

Who are your friends?

Similar to Facebook learning more and more about you every day (and proving as much by what they choose to show in your Newsfeed), Instagram is also paying attention! Improving upon the chronological feed that is Snapchat Stories, Instagram implemented an algorithm that determines the order in which stories show up at the top of your screen, based on how “close” you are with that friend (think number of times liking each other’s posts, amount of time spent stalking looking at their profile, etc.).

Drawing never gets old

Everyone likes to doodle on that spontaneous picture they just took of their cat, latte, or something they saw on their commute (if we’re being honest). Again, Instagram hears you (as did Snapchat), and that’s exactly why they not only included that in their app, but cleaned up the user interface for drawing! Admittedly, no matter who came up with this first (cough Snapchat cough), Instagram really did step up their game on this. Cleaner, more intuitive, more choices, and easier to use, drawing on your picture will be less irritating and more what you intended on Instagram. However, Snapchat still leads the race in layering in emojis in specific parts of the video using motion tracking, and that is pretty cool!

Focus on content

One major difference in the interface for Instagram and Snapchat is the focus when you immediately enter the app. Snapchat prompts you to create content, as it opens directly to the camera and you have to move away from the camera to see what everyone’s posting. However, Instagram has the complete opposite approach, which I personally think is smarter, and that’s to focus on content consumption instead. You’ll notice when you open Instagram that you’re taken directly to your feed. You can see what everyone else is posting before you post your own take on cats taking a nap (or staring at you).

Numbers, numbers, numbers

It always comes down to numbers. One huge aspect to boast about for Instagram is how they present their data to you for stories viewed, followers, likes, etc. Whereas Snapchat gives you a vague Snapscore that many people don’t entirely understand. Instagram, however, gives you numbers pretty transparently (just look across anyone’s profile to see their number of posts, number of followers, number they’re following). You can more easily see who is viewing your stories by just swiping up. Maneuvering to find the data is so simple that it’s just intuitive.

Snapchat did start a huge movement; they created the language. FastCo breaks this down pretty simply for us:

“Snapchat did something Instagram didn’t. It laid the foundation for a new kind of user behavior, not just a new kind of content. It didn’t just invent snaps, it taught everyone how to “snap.” But now that behavior is commonplace. It’s the vernacular. So Instagram is taking that basic language — which now everybody speaks — and tinkering with the grammar, adding new expressions, polishing up the prose.”

Play around with them both, and start getting your stories online! Have the staff do stories throughout the day. Use these tools to connect with your members on a whole other level. You’ll be glad you did! Understanding these tools will help you determine where is best to focus your marketing efforts.


Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2O or check out her website www.linseyrainh2o.com.

Lindsey Rainwater

Lindsey Rainwater is an experienced business advisor, executive coach and the founder of The Women in Fitness Association (WIFA). WIFA is the global association supporting women in their career trajectory helping them rise to their fullest potential in business and life.

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