With everything that social media has to offer, it's the perfect platform to build your brand as a fitness instructor and encourage people to join your classes. Here are 12 rapid-fire ideas for promoting your fitness classes on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
1. Play Up Your Persona
Match your social persona to whatever students expect to see in class. When you step on stage to teach, do you highlight specific aspects of your personality? Are you known for creating a particular class experience? For example, participants might describe your classes as a fun, party atmosphere, or an athletic, crush-it-style workout. Be sure the social posts meant to promote your classes convey that same vibe.
2. Request Follows
Actively request that participants follow you on social. How to do it? Perhaps work the invitation into your post-class send-off, letting participants know where to find you (share just one handle that matters most to you). Requesting a follow after class means participants can pick up their phones and follow you right away. For a visual cue that people see in every class, search "Instagram handle decal" on Etsy to find eye-catching stickers, you can attach to your water bottle! And don't forget to explain why participants might want to follow you—what's in it for them? Read on for ideas about what to tell them.
3. Share Helpful How-to Videos
Post quick exercise tutorials on Facebook, Instagram, or in Stories designed to help participants perform better in class. For example, post a video showing a new or familiar exercise, providing a few, and perhaps lesser-known, technique tips, so participants have a head start on the move before class even happens.
4. Make It About the Music
Good music is a hallmark of a good fitness class, and you can play up that idea on social. Select the music feature in Instagram Stories or create a 15-second TikTok using a song that'll be on your class playlist. Name the class with text overlay in Stories or on your TikTok video.
5. Poll People
Speaking of music, allow participants to choose between two favorite playlists or a new hit song you'll debut in class. To do this, use the "poll" sticker in either Instagram or Facebook Stories. Or publish a Facebook or Instagram feed post with a relevant, eye-catching image and fun caption, inviting people to cast their "vote" in the comments.
6. Poll People Some More
Leveraging the same tactics as above, encourage people to choose between two pieces of equipment they want to use in class (e.g., medicine balls versus weighted bars) or an exercise to focus on (e.g., squat jumps versus burpees). Inspiring people to "vote" for their favorite of two items is an easy way to boost engagement across multiple platforms and create buzz about your class. Be creative with this technique!
7. Prime Participants for What's to Come
"Tease" the details of a new or special-occasion class on social. If you'll be teaching new choreography, a themed class or a limited-time program, get people excited with behind-the-scenes Stories. Use it to illustrate how you're busy prepping for the class, planning new moves, and/or choosing a "costume" or draw prizes to go along with a particular theme. By the time the class arrives, people will have been primed for a good time!
8. Strategize Story Vignettes
Think of Story vignettes as glimpses into your #instructorlife via Instagram or Facebook Stories. But instead of posting one-off Stories that are seemingly unrelated, these vignettes ultimately create an ongoing social narrative about who you are as a fitness instructor, what formats you teach, and what teaching means to you. For example, you might create a series of Instagram Stories that offer a peek into your world as an instructor. The first Story might be a selfie with your energizing pre-workout breakfast or a screenshot of the playlist you've chosen. The second Story might be a Boomerang (short, looping video) showing the equipment you're setting up for class, a new exercise in the day's program, or a few uninhibited participants in action (with their permission). Subsequent Stories might include a look at what you do for exercise recovery later in the day.
Each Story helps promote your class; together, they create a fun narrative that says something about you as an instructor. If you don't use Instagram Stories, you could still do something similar in Facebook's newsfeed, perhaps as a day-in-the-life series all in one post.
9. Ask a Question
Write a Facebook or Instagram post asking participants a fun or exciting question about themselves that would be quick and easy to answer (e.g., "What is your dream vacation?" or "What movie have you seen more than any other?"). Such an approach works best when everyone can read the comments (versus Stories where comments are between you and the commenter only). This way, participants can discuss the results when they see each other in class, which helps boost bonding and connectedness. A technique like this might work exceptionally well within a Facebook Group.
10. Repost Participants' Content
When possible, you'll want to follow participants who take the time to come to your classes and follow you on social. But you can go a step further in terms of reciprocity by reposting positive or fun content people post about your classes—which, of course, is an excellent word of mouth promotion on its own.
To get the ball rolling, you might need to hint at how participants can post about your classes if they want to. Some people will do it naturally; some need inspiration. Make sure you ask participants to tag both you and the gym, so you get a notification about the post. Tags also make it a lot easier for you to repost content within Instagram Stories since you have to be tagged to share someone else's content to your own Stories.
11. Connect with Hashtags
Related to the above strategy, you might also drop in a fun, identifiable branded hashtag that everyone can use in their posts, including you. For example, visible hashtags that easily communicate something about the workout—such as #sweatwithsusan or #TamarasTabata—help you find participants' content and brand yourself as an instructor. They also allow social users to quickly understand more context behind the post (which serves the purpose of word-of-mouth promotion).
12. Snap After-class Group Shots
If you've been to a fitness conference lately, you might have noticed that it's common to take a post-session group photo—there's no reason why you can't occasionally borrow this tactic in your classes! Perhaps you make it a tradition to take a sweaty group selfie, photo, Boomerang, or TikTok (the possibilities are endless) after the first or last class of the month, which you'd then post to social. If you teach numerous classes, pick one format to feature as a "here we are!" post each month.
Your social posts must be appealing to participants, even if your ultimate goal is to build up your instructor brand and classes. Plan content that entertains motivates and educates. And stay alert to how the in-person conversations you have with students about health and fitness might lead to exciting and informative social content, too.