Basic Social Media Tips For Studios and Trainers
Special Topics // July 10, 2015
If you are not already using some sort of social media tool it’s time to get on board. I know, who has the time, right? Well, this is one time commitment that has become a necessity for small businesses.
People connect online, find businesses and services online, look for places to go and things to do online, handle all their personal affairs online, decide what’s cool and not by looking online. In fact, where did you see this post you are reading right now? Yep, that’s right. We’re all online.
So, making sure you, as a small business owner, have the appropriate tools to connect with your audience online is essential for the success of your outreach. If someone looks up GYROTONIC® or GYROKINESIS® in your area you want to be sure that your studio or service pops up in their search.
Where To Start
If you are a bit overwhelmed by where to start first identify your audience and find out what they are using most. If you are already using social media and are using multiple platforms find out where you are seeing the most engagement. Below is a list of some of the most popular social media outlets.
7 Popular Social Media Outlets
Each one of these has a great tutorial on how to use them effectively. Don’t be afraid to go the “Help” sections. Often, if you simply follow their instructions on how to use their tools you will find it easier than you imagined. Also, Google and YouTube are your friends. You can find a tutorial or information about nearly anything out there. Search for your exact questions and I can almost promise you are not alone.
Identify the purposes for which you would like to use social networks. Each outlet has it’s own special qualities and best uses. Here is an article with a short summary of each of the networks and how they are generally used most effectively: https://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/advisor/social-media-channels-business-223554094.html
Create a Strategy
Using social media for your studio, or yourself as a trainer, is an imperative business model. However, strategy can make or break your ability to connect with people. Look at your time and capabilities, decide what is realistic for you to keep up with and focus on that. You do not need to use every social media tool out there. That would be a full time job!
If you are currently active on social networks, review your post history and note what types of posts are getting the most likes and especially, “shares.” If you are just getting started, be sure to track that information from the get-go. It will help you identify how to direct your focus.
Make a schedule! I can hardly emphasize this enough. Planning your posts will not only help keep you on track with your goals but will also eliminate anxiety about what and when you will post next. When you have a great idea for a post or find a great article schedule it or put it in a document for later reference. If you are trying to manage multiple social media accounts and schedules check out organizing apps like Hootsuite https://hootsuite.com/ to help keep things sorted.
Share Engaging and Relevant Content
In an ever cluttered social media world it’s hard to capture the attention of an audience. It is a tough competition. Utilize visual content like pictures or articles that are shareable with a compelling image. You want your audience to like it enough to click on it and find out more. Be sure those images are linked to where you want your audience to go. These images can drive traffic to your website, youtube channel, blog, studio site, anywhere. Where ever you want more engagement from your audience, drive traffic there.
If you are using your own pictures be sure they are good quality. Nowadays people associate the quality of a company, studio, trainer, etc… with the quality of their visual presence online. It’s just a fact.
Your content is your message. Make it the most interesting and valuable for your audience. Is your audience interested in what you had for dinner and a picture of your plate? Would you click on that? Well, then…
You can even re-post articles and useful information that you’ve found. Let your audience know that you are a source for good, reputable information.
Be Sure You Have Rights To All of Your Content
Speaking of quality photos, let’s talk about why you should only use photos, and/or any digital content, that you have created yourself or that you have the rights to use. Whether it’s music, photos, infographics, videos, etc… copyright, trademark and licensing laws must be respected. It is illegal to use another party’s photos to represent your personal, or professional identity in marketing materials. This rule applies to all photos, even those that do not expressly contain copyright statement.
Unfortunately, giving credit to the person who has created the content you are using does not qualify as permission. For more information on how to keep yourself safe and not break the law go to: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/break-the-law-marketing/
“Stock” content is material that has been created for the general masses to use, usually for a fee. However, be sure to read the usage rights and make sure it is royalty-free. Some content requires you to pay royalties for ongoing use of certain material. If you see “Royalty Free” you are safe to continue using so long as you have purchased the appropriate license. I know it sounds complicated but the information you need will be clearly stated on most any digital stock library you browse. If you would like to peruse a kajillion stock images there are at least a million sites to choose from. Not really. But it sure seems that way when sifting through the pages and pages of them on Google.
Here http://www.creativebloq.com/photography/photo-libraries-12121413 is a place where you can find a nice easy list of 18 stock content libraries. You can also read a bit about each company.
Regarding the content put out by GYROTONIC® Headquarters, I would like to clarify what can be used when, where and how.
As we produce more and more content our goal is to create material that will support you in your professional marketing efforts and help you connect with your audiences by making that content easy to share. The key is sharing.
Trainers are free to share Gyrotonic HQ posts and other digital content (i.e. photos, video) so long as that content is not altered and that it is clear the content is coming from Gyrotonic Headquarters, and not produced by, or a part of, the identity of any particular studio or trainer. In other words, content should only be shared as we’ve created it. Don’t crop photos, or add words or graphics to them.
The content we produce is intended to represent the Gyrotonic community as a whole. We want to keep the branding and identity consistent. Use of Gyrotonic Headquarters’ photos, & other digital content in the marketing or identity materials of individual trainers, or studios creates confusion, and is in violation of the photo owner’s copyrights.
The best practice when using someone else’s digital content is to play it safe. Check with the party that owns the rights to a photo, or other digital content & get permission to use that content before publishing, or just create great content yourself!
Again, identify a realistic plan for yourself and how often you will be able to post. Stick to that schedule so your audience will know when to expect something from you. If you do more, great. However, deciding your doable minimum and scheduling it will help keep you on track.
If your audience knows that you only post once a week or two they won’t think you’ve closed up shop when they haven’t heard from you from in a while. If you post several times a week and then are silent for a couple of weeks they may begin to question the stability of your business.
The Social Media Examiner is one of the leading sources for the latest and most relevant information on how to use social media. They are also one of the best places on the internet to find other great resources and expert advice in the industry.
Interested in knowing how to take better pictures? You don’t have to have a big, expensive camera. Remember, content is what matters. Here are some tips on how to get great pictures from your smartphone.
Cina Canada is a GYROTONIC® Trainer and the Media Coordinator for GYROTONIC® International Headquarters.