Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms, second only to Facebook and YouTube. And according to Hootsuite, of Instagram’s 1 billion monthly active users, “more than 500 million of them use the platform every day.”
Due to its wide reach and high levels of user engagement, Instagram is a great platform for health clubs to consider having a presence on. And for inspiration, look no further than Brick Bodies, which boasts an Instagram page with 5,000+ followers.
According to Vicki Brick, the CEO of Brick Bodies, the goal of the brand’s Instagram page is to create content that inspires its community to live their best lives and that empowers people to achieve their dreams.
“We look to position ourselves as experts in the fitness community,” explained Brick. “We want to be a fun, inspiring and informative profile that Marylanders who are interested in health and wellness follow — not just a resource for our current members. Every grid post or story is aimed at increasing our number of followers and the engagement with our current followers.”
Concerning best practices for Instagram marketing, Brick Bodies’ marketing coordinator Hailey DeBoer explained consistency is key. “This can mean consistency when scheduling posts or in the voice of your Instagram page,” she explained.
In addition, in line with the brand’s emphasis on community, Brick Bodies reposts content from its trainers, groups exercise instructors and members of the fitness community to its Stories and feed. It also utilizes polls and questions, or creates a quiz or countdown to an event, to further boost engagement.
“We want our platform to be a place for everyone, which is why we are constantly thinking of ways to engage the community,” added DeBoer. “Also, people love GIF stickers. We always make sure to include one in our Stories that give us an opportunity to engage viewers.”
According to Rebecca Bute, the marketing director for Brick Bodies, another best practice for Instagram is empowering leaders in the organization to use the platform to promote their personal brands, as well as Brick Bodies’ brand.
“Every manager and a few key members of their team have access to our Instagram to post organic content when in the clubs to our Stories,” explained Bute. “We create a marketing toolbox for members in our organization to use on their personal social media accounts. This toolbox can be used for program launches or events — we include the what, when, and where, branded imagery, suggested text, and relevant hashtags. We also have a general toolbox that consists of updated branded imagery. The goal is to provide our team with content to promote classes, personal training sessions, happy hours or events.”
Lastly, Brick Bodies has found it beneficial to leverage partnerships and cross promotion to build brand relevance on all social media platforms, including Instagram.
“We host influencer events and takeovers with organizations like GalPals and BeMoreBabes — local brands with tangible ties to the community,” added Bute. “We understand our market increasingly expects brands to be involved in their communities. This means partnering with local brands and businesses that align with our values, and sharing the word about our charity involvement.”
Of course, one of the most unique features of Instagram is the Stories function, which allows brands and influencers to showcase videos and pictures for a span of 24 hours before disappearing.
According to DeBoer, Brick Bodies uses the Stories function to give a behind-the-scenes look during photo shoots, community events, and to highlight new programs at the clubs.
“When you do this, it is important to hashtag your business and tag your location in Stories to allow accounts to come across your profile organically,” advised DeBoer. “Another tip for Stories is to use it to promote your business website. You can do this successfully by first adding a URL to your bio, then directing accounts from your story to your profile page with simple ‘link in bio’ text.”
In addition, Brick stressed the positive benefits of showcasing team members via the Stories function. “We are excited to give our team the opportunity to do an Instagram takeover on our account through our Instagram Stories,” she said. “This gives our followers a sneak peek into the life of a fitness professional, and allows us to promote our talented fitness family. We are their biggest fans and are proud to watch them change lives for the better.”
An additional piece to consider when marketing on Instagram is how to measure success. According to Bute, this will depend on your goals for the platform. Brick Bodies measures success via its follower count — looking for upward trends.
“Among our followers, we aim for diversity, including followers of all ages, genders and backgrounds,” added Bute. “We review the top performing posts to see what content our followers engage with, and by noting when our followers are most active on Instagram.”
In addition, DeBoer has also found it helpful to utilize technology to ensure consistency. “It’s extremely helpful to have a tool for social media that allows you to organize your content and keep your voice and theme consistent,” she explained. “My favorite app is UNUM. It helps me create a visual storyline for our Instagram accounts and sends reminders on when to post.”
Another technology tool Brick Bodies has found useful is UPshow, which transforms a gym’s TVs into an engagement platform via hashtags.
“We use UPshow as a way to empower our members to tag Brick Bodies on Instagram when they are at the club,” explained Brick. “Our clubs that have UPshow use TVs dedicated to showcasing our members who use #BrickBodies on their personal Instagram posts. The back-end of UPshow allows us to see who is engaging with our brand the most on Instagram, which is a useful tool for discovering influencers or raving fans.”
As you evaluate your social media strategy, keep these best practices for Instagram marketing in mind. The end result may be a wider reach, and a more engaged audience.