Could you use a fitness message makeover? If you’re not effectively working out your social media fitness marketing strategy, your awesome content might miss the target. This post is full of proven ways to positively influence the next action of your social media viewer.
Questions I answer in this post:
- What difference does it make if you use a positive or negative social media message?
- When do negative messages work?
- How can you makeover your social media fitness message and improve reach?
- How much can a positive spin can help you relay a negative message?
Positive or Negative Social Media Fitness Messages: Does It Really Matter?
It depends who you’re trying to reach. The more someone is highly invested in the topic, the more a negative post may resonate. Less involved consumers – those prospects and leads you want to reach but haven’t – who aren’t yet sure about you, personal training, or fitness, respond better to positive messages and a clear actionable step.
So, while the first version of examples below might be just fine for your “never miss Monday” or already dedicated gym-goers in the weight room religiously, they may be preventing you from reaching your next customer.
The second version is the way to change the minds and give hope to those who are already intimidated.
If a positive outcome is certain (proven) use a gain-framed message. If a negative outcome is absolute, a loss-framed message works best.
Evoking fear doesn’t work. Creating a shock just to get attention doesn’t work. Positive messages are far more likely to help the general public adopt a new health behavior. Below is a random selection of 10 social media posts. The copy that appears below may have been over an image or just a quote card.
- You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in daily routine. ~John C. Maxwell
- Alcohol is poison. Would you drink poison in moderation?
- Tomorrow won’t be any better until you take action.
- Don’t undo the progress you made last week.
- Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.
- Suffering is not holding you, you are holding suffering. (Buddha)
- Its easy to blame others for your situation. It’s much more productive to search your own past and find what caused your faults.
- Eat to fuel your body not to feed your emotions.
- Go hard or go home.
- Sore as hell and back for more.
If you read them carefully you noticed a pattern. Most of them are negative. Even if subtle, a negative message sounds the same way scolding did when you were a kid. If that’s what Mom was doing, you’d go ask Dad. Try flipping some of those messages. You can usually flip a negative positive pretty easily.
In the first example, you can’t change Mr. Maxwell’s quote. But you can include a positive interpretation of his quote in your text above the post. Something as simple as:
“You can unlock a success secret today. What part of your daily routine will you change?”
In the second example, explaining a bit more why alcohol is poison makes it more factual than opinion. Then if you add something that makes you seem concerned rather than judgmental. The strength of the post may be lessened and you might choose not to do that. But there’s a risk you take with a negative post. Just because you have strong opinions about something doesn’t mean you should always post about them.
“Alcohol has toxic affects on the liver. It acts on it the same way poison would act on it. Alcohol is legal but is it what you want to do?”
Try modifying the other eight in the list with your target audience in mind.
Negative posts generate 63% fewer comments. You might have guessed. What’s baffling is why good trainers use them. Regularly. My guess is that they don’t realize they do it. What you might feel is teaching is perceived as preaching. Occasional use of a disruptive message is a good idea. Regular use of negativity is probably limiting you.
The human brain has a predisposition to anticipate the future in the positive. It doesn’t accept negative messages well. They certainly aren’t shared, liked, or commented on frequently. Negative messages that start with “don’t” obviously deviate. You can dissect any statement from the perspective of the average American and you’ll have a good filter for posting anything, better.
The 70% of adults who don’t exercise enough to influence better health list these reasons:
- Lack of time
- Fear of injury
- Don’t like the discomfort
- Don’t want to be sore
They don’t visit a nutritionist even when they know they need to improve their diet because:
- They don’t want to be judged
- They don’t want to be told what they can’t have
- They don’t want to be deprived or starve
- They feel they won’t be able to socialize or enjoy foods they like
Your litmus test for posting is this:
Does it make someone smile, laugh, nod their head wholeheartedly, or does it evoke strong sentimental emotions? Then post it.
If not, don’t.
Simply positive posts generate 25% fewer likes. Joy, on the other hand generates 37% percent more than a neutral post.
Talking about a negative subject with a positive spin gets WAY more likes, comments, and shares.
You can have the same effect if you inspire anger but that’s more risky. If there’s something controversial going on in your community regarding cutting physical education or school lunch quality, for instance, you may want to take caution before jumping in. On the other hand, if you’re already involved in something and it’s in the paper, getting the engagement of your page up but asking the public what they think could be smarter than sweeping it under the rug and ignoring it on social.
Social Media Fitness Message Makeover
Here’s an example of how to take a topic like inability to lose weight and spin it positively.
Change this headline: Weight Loss Mistakes You’re Making in the Gym
To: How To Lose Weight By Avoiding 10 Common Weight Loss Mistakes
In the second example instead of just pointing out flaws, I promise the fix for them.
Hint: If you’ve created videos in Youtube.com or blogs on your site with titles that don’t give hope, you can always go back and change them! It’s worth it. Conduct a social media audit regularly or have someone else do it.
Mistakes You’re Making That You Can Easily Fix
If the above was the subject line of an email, the full article/blog should be linked to rather than in the email. Remember you want traffic to your website. You want to train subscribers to click to something for more information. This time a blog, next time a sales page. Get the idea?
If you’re not doing this, it is costing you time and money.
If you don’t have a marketing expert on your team pointing this out, you want to get help. It’s not their fault if they’re wearing multiple hats. Marketing is becoming a full time job. Even a brief audit to provide a list of what you could be doing better and how social, blogging, and email work together to bring you customers is worth the investment if that’s all your budget will afford. If you’re isolating… and not integrating in the gym, what happens? If you miss a few days training isolated body parts… you’re going to lose a lot of ground right? On the other hand if you miss an integrated full body workout, not a problem to pull it all together again a day or two later.
The question isn’t whether you can afford a marketing audit. Can you afford not to? If you spend 70% of your marketing budget more wisely, what would happen?
Posts that contain headlines that put the reader in control, inspire, and or allow admiration of someone else do best. Spark happiness and you’ll increase shares via comments. Research has found this true to the extent positive (gain-framed) and negative (loss-framed) messaging is being tested for every health habit from smoking cessation and use of sleep apnea breathing machines to eating more vegetables.
More isn’t always better. You’re allowed 30 hashtags. Posts with one hashtag do better than those without, but the optimum number of hashtags is 11 or fewer at the time of this writing. Follow Sprout Social or Google regular updates if you’re the social media manager because it matters. Your social media fitness marketing strategy can’t win if you don’t know the rules.
Feature images with faces for 38% more likes. Social media fitness posts of you or your clients will do better than stock images.
IG posts with locations get 79% more engagement at the time of writing so include it!
Like most social media, IG posts are getting fewer views overall. Up to 70% aren’t seen. Use the hashtags correctly, use (short) video to draw attention to your page, and be different. If you’re doing what you’ve seen done or playing it “professional” you may lose the IG game. Your goal on IG is a different, unique, brand that captures attention, with beautiful images.