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Wendy’s engages in rapid-fire banter with its customers and competitors. Old Spice is refreshingly weird. Target’s twitter feed is full of self-aware humor. These are just a few examples. For the most part, social media marketing appears to be light-hearted and fun.

But, what happens when that isn’t possible? After all, content marketing is used by marketers in a variety of industries. Not all of these are prime for cute or funny content. In spite of this, people still turn to social media for information and insights into these brands. Imagine being a brand that:

  • Sells a product to help people with a sensitive medical issue
  • Is called upon when there is a tragedy
  • Has made its name on being serious or discreet

Humorous banter, funny videos, and inspirational quotes may not be the best approach.

Even if your industry matches well with creative and funny social media content, this issue could still impact you. All it takes is a tragedy, embarrassing PR issue, or just a devastating event that impacts your team or your customers. When that happens, you’re going to have to respond on social media, and you’re going to have to do so responsibly.

Every business should be prepared to create and publish content of a sensitive nature. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Identify The Scenarios You Might Deal With And Appropriate Ways to Approach Each

Not every serious incident or tragedy can be predicted. Still, most companies can identify areas of high risk. Do so, then make a plan. Here are some questions to consider:

  • How would your company handle a #MeToo incident or accusation?
  • What if someone was injured using one of your products?
  • How would you handle the abrupt firing or exit of a C-level employee?
  • What if a politician called out your practices as being unfair to workers or bad for the environment?
  • How would you respond to a tragedy that impacted a local business? What about a competitor?
  • What if a beloved member of your local community died or fell ill?

It may help to brush up on the ways in which other brands have dealt with tragedy or other challenges. You can learn both what you should and what you should not do.

Remember That Dealing With Sensitive Content Doesn’t Mean That Everything is Tragic

Many companies sell products and services that require discretion and sensitivity. This doesn’t mean that all of their content has to have a somber tone. It’s possible to sell products of this nature, but also create and share content that is uplifting and positive. Here are some examples:

  • A company that sells supplies to people with a disability or medical condition can share user-generated content from customers who are happy and thriving in the face of their issues.
  • A funeral home can tell stories of their involvement in community projects.
  • A hospice facility can share content that shows that even in their last months, people can engage in enjoyable activities with their loved ones.

Even if your business is forced to address a sensitive or controversial topic on social media, there are ways to do so that put some focus on the positive. This might include:

  • Acknowledging a mistake or error, but focusing on the steps you have taken to fix the issue.
  • Expressing sorrow over the loss of a community member or employee, then paying tribute to their life and accomplishments.
  • Making a show of support and solidarity with customers and others who are going through a tragedy, but also sharing information about helpful resources.

Straightforward And Honest Communication is Vital

Many companies would do very well by using the beloved children’s show ‘Sesame Street’ as a working example of dealing with sensitive content. Over the years, the show has dealt with a variety of sensitive topics. This includes the death of a beloved cast member, homelessness, food insecurity, disabilities, and military deployment. What’s most notable is the show’s ability to communicate with their audience about sensitive issues in ways that are helpful, sensitive, and appropriate. No, companies shouldn’t communicate with customers as if they are children, but they can:

  • Use accurate and appropriate terminology
  • Provide clear explanations
  • Answer questions honestly
  • Avoid euphemisms and doublespeak
  • Share helpful information
  • Acknowledge and validate feelings
Ensure That Information is Clear And Accurate

It’s also important that any information you share on sensitive topics are clear and accurate. One of your goals should be to disseminate accurate information and to ensure that your audience understands your message.

That last part can be challenging if you have audience members who are from different cultures, or who speak different languages. You must ensure that what you say makes sense to them, and is respectful of their culture and values. It may be necessary to use translation and localization specialists from agencies like The Word Point, to communicate with your audience on sensitive topics.

You can also take the following steps to be certain that all the information you share on social media is clear and accurate by:

  • Fact checking any information that you share.
  • Communicating with subject matter experts.
  • Encouraging audience members to ask questions.
  • ‘Passing the mic’ to people who may be more qualified to share information.
Moderate Comments And Other Responses Appropriately

When you address sensitive topics on social media, you can expect some strong responses. Depending on the topic at hand, and your reasons for addressing it, you may find yourself dealing with audience members that are upset or angry. Some may be accusatory. Others may misinterpret your intentions. There may be well-intentioned people who unknowingly share misinformation. Of course, there are also people who use sensitive content as an excuse to troll, share inappropriate comments, or otherwise derail discussions.

This is why it is imperative to implement effective comment moderation. Here, you want to balance the goals of encouraging helpful and productive engagement, and eliminating inappropriate or abusive behavior.

For example, if one of your products has failed in some way, it’s probably a good idea to allow customers to express frustration about that and to address those comments. On the other hand, you still want to take down comments that are profane or threatening.

Fortunately, there are several options for managing social media comments. However, in addition to finding a technical solution, it’s important to establish policies for dealing with customer responses when you’re sharing sensitive information. This might include, appointing one person to address social media commentary to ensure consistency and establishing how you will deal with abusive engagement.

Final Thoughts

If you have to create and share social sensitive, media content for any reason, keep the above guidelines in mind. It’s important to be accurate, kind, and responsive to your audience when you deal with difficult topics. Taking the steps above will help you ensure that your approach is spot on.

Things to Remember While Creating Sensitive Social Media Content

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If you are an entrepreneur, personal branding is right for you. It is a marketing tool that allows you not only to build a real bond of trust with customers but also to differentiate yourself from competitors. Social media platforms are one of the best ways to build one. As they represent a huge potential for the company to increase its reputation, its traffic, to get new prospects and customers. But it is a double-edged sword that can harm if it is misused.

What mistakes to avoid?

Mistake #1: Start without any strategy or understanding what you do and why

You can not tell everything, everyone, as it would have no sense. It is important to set the target audience you work with. And then to show that you are also a person who has interests, problems and solutions for them. In other words, you need to have a clear understanding of who you are writing and how you can help them. At this step, you build an emotional connection with your potential customers.

Mistake #2: Incomplete description

If your goal is to gain notoriety or traffic, it’s important for people to understand who you are and what’s your point. This involves including a profile image, a way to contact you. The more complete your profile, the better! Your biography should not look like the list of what you sell, but rather have good reasons to follow your page.

Mistake #3: Publish rinky-dink content

There is a lot of people publishing cut-and-dried content on their pages. Showing the same types of content over and over again can make your page look boring, unpromising, or even irrelevant. Instead of posting the same link or quote, change things by displaying a wider variety of content. For example, share your positive/negative experience or your thoughts. But notice that you should not muddle up personal and professional. It takes time, but it’s also the best way to test what works with your audience and what makes you more interactive.

Mistake #4: Post constant promotion

Social networks are not an advertising channel. Or in any case, they are not only for that aim! If your post is 100% dedicated to the promotion, your audience will get tired and leave. The strength of social networks is in interactivity with customers. Invite them, ask them about their tastes and desires. Your relationship between your customers and your brand has to go far beyond just buying a product. It is at this price that you will build a true brand image.

Mistake #5: Do not answer questions, comments, criticisms

This type of negligence could be loss-making: you can even lose customers. Many people are now going through networks for technical support. And they will be very unhappy not to find help. It is important to answer anyway, to explain a minimum.

As a result of using social media in the right way, you will show the human side of your company. And this is important. Because people find it easier to turn to the person who trusts them and with whom they have an emotional connection. Besides, target customers will identify you with the personal brand. Thus use the services or products of your company.

How to build strong social media strategies?

As far as social networks are an integral part of our lives, they play an important role in our development. A company has many ways to promote its values to a wide audience. Social networks are among those that convey information quickly and efficiently. Indeed, companies have their account on social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.

Here are 10 things every business should know:

#1 Analyze your audience

While social media facilitates dialogue with the audience, it is the key to understanding its needs. To get the most out of social networks, start by focusing on your target audience.

  • Who are they? Gender, local origin, trades.
  • What need does your product or service meet for them? Identify at least 3 relevant to your audience topics.
  • Why spend time online, on which social networks?

When posting on your social media channels, consider who you are talking to.

Analyze followers’ demographic, for example in the Sotrender app

#2 Choose The Right Networks: Be Where Your Audience Is

Your target audience may be large depending on the products or services you offer.

Of course, every social network has the same goal: to communicate. But some of them are more suitable than others. For example, Pinterest is perfect for arts and crafts; Facebook for showcasing your activities; Instagram for the best photos of your events; Twitter for your news and Linkedin for your recruitments or pros tips.

Note: it is useless to share the same information on all the channels.

#3 Determine your Mission, Vision and Brand Values

Mission, vision, and values are the pillars of any strategic planning. Studies on the subject tend to show that companies that spend time on this “essential trio” succeed better. This is the step towards effective internal communication. In brief, you should:

  • define your values: you must have other goals than making profits. Make a list of the core values your brand can offer and think about how to relate them to your voice
  • develop your story and vision: people love beautiful stories. Building your brand identity around a story will help interact with your audience. It’s not about creative writing. Describe it so clearly that future customers will be able to understand what you expect from them.
#4 Don’t Overlook Visual Branding

Want to look professional, creative or dynamic? Enhance this by creating quality visuals. The choice of colors, fonts, shapes, and photos, nothing should be left to chance. If you do not have one of the elements, you can always create. In this purpose, you can call a group of designers or make it by yourself. For example, there are lots of free online logo generators as Logaster where you can create an image of your company in a few minutes. This set of elements plays a crucial role in the perception of your company with your target customers.

Your presence on social media should be a direct representation of who you are. Keep a kissing-kin visual identity on all social media. A strong brand makes it easy for your followers to recognize your business. To be effective, respect the image formats and the lengths of texts specific to each social network.

#5 Develop Brand Voice and Tone

The branding goes so far beyond a neat profile, a nice logo, and a nice profile picture. It also depends on how you use the words. When you meet someone for the first time, you may learn a lot more about him from the way he talks. So, whether it is an update of a status, a tweet or an article, try to maintain a specific and recognizable tone. You can not imagine that a professional brand sends emails that greet customers with “Hey, what’s up?” Similarly, you can not build a fun, casual and friendly identity by using a tone too much formal.

If you are unsure of the tone that suits your brand, write examples of tweets, emails or messages. Adjust them until you get what you think is right in everyday life.

#6 Be Consistent With Your Topics

The first impression must be good. Whether on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, take the time to check and reread the texts you publish. Nothing is worse than inconsistency! You should be clear with what you think and what you say and know how to hold the same speech on different platforms. Being coherent means translating the same identity and behavior. You can not afford to miss this quality with the monitoring that is exercised on social networks. Being consistent with the information you publish is appreciated by the people. If they like the information you’re showing, they’ll regularly check for updates to your profile.

#7 Post Regularly

For your social media presence to be effective, you need to regularly post content. This increases your chances of being seen by followers, as well as your chances of getting new likes. Of course, we all know how complicated it can be, when we are caught up in our work, to post frequently. So do not forget, think about developing a monthly calendar of publications to be held. You can even set a day or two during which you write all your publications. After that plan them on the agreed day (there are, in fact, tools that allow you to schedule your publications).

#8 Connect With Influencers

On blogs, YouTube, Instagram … influencers are everywhere. Social networks have the particularity of broadcasting content quickly and easily. Instagram still remains the most widely used by media influencers. This seems logical: a photo or a short video has a lot of impact for a fashion and beauty blogger for example. Notice that good influencers are those who are in phase – as well as their followers – with your brand and its values. Focus on the most relevant and not the ones with the highest audience.

#9 Promote Your Profiles

Paid ads on social media are not different from regular ads. It’s always about targeting a specific segment via messaging. The only difference is that you can use the data collected on social media to build 100% personalized target audiences.

Take some time to examine each platform in detail. They all work in a different way, and their costs are different. In any case, they are an excellent approach to attract the attention of a new audience.

#10 Turn Loyal Customers into Brand Advocates

As you know, the customer is at the heart of your business. Without him, your business would not exist. To satisfy him is, therefore, the least thing; exceed his expectations is better. From social media messages to traditional word of mouth, happy customers can quickly become true brand ambassadors. Needless to say, these customers are critical to the success of the business and, properly engaged, they can play a key role in future growth and create great customer experiences. But like any customer, these fans need recognition and ongoing commitment to cultivating their advocacy.

With the Community ranking in Sotrender, you can find your brand advocates

Conclusion

Personal branding allows you to appear when your contact needs you. And that makes all the difference. Building it is not a sprint. This is not done in a day. Do not aim for perfection from the beginning. Instead, let your brand evolve over time and focus on the value of the content you deliver to your target audience.

Finally, take care of this image at all times. Your personal marketing is not what you say about yourself. Your personal brand, your reputation, is especially what others say about you when you’re not here!

Social media branding strategies: how to sell more?

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Just like we mentioned in our last post about the state of the AI industry in Poland, here at Sotrender we have our own Research and Development (R&D) Team. Should you have your own? Why not? What are the benefits of having an R&D team? How can you ensure R&D will contribute to the company’s growth? We’re here to answer all these questions and more.

Why we decided to create a separate R&D Team

Since the founding of Sotrender, we engaged in R&D activities. Because we were a much smaller company back then, we didn’t have a dedicated team. Some employees from Tech Teams (Analytics, Data Processing) were engaging in research, but no one except for Dominik Batorski, PhD, who served as Chief Scientist at the time, was occupied by R&D activities full time. We eventually decided to create a separate R&D Team. The new team combined new employees experienced in bringing science results to business as a part of industrial R&D teams, enriched with members from other teams who knew a lot about the Sotrender product. It was important for us to mix the two – scientists and people who know our organisation best. Hiring experienced researchers, respected in their fields is also an incentive for candidates to apply to work for Sotrender.

While building this team, another important push for us was a grant given by The National Centre for Research and Development (pl. Narodowe Centrum Badań i Rozwoju (NCBiR)). Just like in other similar teams in other companies, its members have the freedom to work on projects that will come to fruition in the (not so distant, but not so near) future. For Sotrender, it’s important to stay within the top companies involved in data processing and to do what’s necessary to expand in the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) fields.

What our R&D Team works on

We were awarded a grant for creating advanced AI algorithms that help users, mainly employees of digital marketing agencies and e-commerce, in social media communication and content creation. This will serve as an upgrade to the tips solution we implemented in Sotrender some time ago. The new solution will comprise of natural language processing, image recognition, as well as a forecasting mechanism. To put it simply, it’s one of the best methods to automate mundane and boring tasks performed by social media specialists.

Synergy of Business and Science

As a company founded by academic researchers, Sotrender maintains strong ties to the scientific community. We operate in a very promising and interesting place – between science and business. One of the biggest problems that data researchers and scientists face while working in the academic environment is a lack of data. The quality of data can be an issue, too. Universities normally don’t have the capacity to gather as much data as companies. We have the data and we know how to gather it: it’s our business. That’s why our R&D Team can test their frameworks and models using our vast database, putting this vast data to work.

Collaboration between R&D and other teams

The crucial aspect of R&D and other teams working smoothly together is having and synchronising an integrated roadmap. It allows R&D to have a sufficient degree of autonomy and gives them the opportunity to develop new solutions and experiment with new models while coordinating their activities with those working closely on solutions for clients. This way it’s easier to have a timeline of implementation solutions developed by R&D to our main product: the social media analytics web app. In the end, this approach brings more value to the business of our clients.

The other important factor is transparency. The effects of R&D work aren’t visible immediately. That’s why other teams have to know which stage their projects are on, what they’re working on at the moment and how this effort will be useful in the future. R&D is a vital part of your organisation and they have to be aware of that. The rest of the organisation also needs to know what they do and why. It just keeps people more engaged and happy with their work if they know where it’s leading. That’s why we introduced Tech Talks, where R&D (as well as other tech teams) share their knowledge with the rest of the company.

Do you have any more questions about Research and Development in the AI industry? Do you think we should cover a specific topic? Let us know in the comments!

R&D Team – Why is it important for your company?

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A massive social media following doesn’t offer much benefit if you only have followers. Businesses with Facebook accounts learned this lesson a few years ago when Facebook moved to a model where pages must now pay to show content to some of their followers. A better strategy for social media utilizes the platform to drive new leads to your mailing list. With your list, you maintain complete control and gain the ability of marketing to those leads whenever you’d like.

Around 53 percent of marketers indicate they use at least half of their budgets on lead generation. When spending half your budget on something, you’d like a good return on investment (ROI).

One way of ensuring you receive the most possible from social media marketing involves collecting leads through a variety of campaigns. Utilize your social media accounts for lead generation with these eight tips.

1. Focus on LinkedIn

If you haven’t yet looked to LinkedIn as a lead generation tool, you may miss out on valuable connections. About 80 percent of leads via social media occur on LinkedIn. It far surpasses sites such as Twitter and Pinterest for lead generation.

Can you use your free LinkedIn account or should you upgrade to a Premium account? The answer depends upon how much of a marketing budget you hold. It’s probably a good idea to invest in a Premium Professional (versus Premium Career) account. Over time, LinkedIn removed some of its free features, such as Notes & Tags or advanced search. It’s a lot harder to generate leads with a free account, but not impossible.

With a Premium account, you’ll gain the ability to conduct lead generation campaigns, use InMail to reach out to potential B2B clients and see who’s viewed your profile. Knowing who is already interested in your profile allows you to customize your campaigns for the network.

2. Keep Sign-Up Simple

Put yourself in the shoes of your typical lead. They see something interesting on Facebook or Twitter and click on a link to sign up for a free report or your newsletter. They arrive on your landing page and have to fill in 20 form fields to get the free report. More than likely, this user bounces away. Keep your sign-up process as simple as possible. You can use lead generation campaigns on Facebook and sign up users directly from your FB page or via an ad rather than forcing them to head to a different website.

Add a sign-up button on your page where the social media network allows it. A call to action (CTA) button makes signing up for more information simple for visitors. Add a link to a simple form and make sure everything works so the user gets whatever was promised instantly upon sharing their information.

3. Incentivize Leads

Want to grab the attention of potential customers on social media networks? Offer something of value for free to entice users. However, you can’t just offer the same thing everyone else provides. Find something that stands out from all those other offers shouting for attention on social media feeds.

One of the most popular incentives is a free e-book. The key here involves figuring out what topics your competitors covered and how you can offer something different that still solves a problem for your target audience. Perhaps you can’t find something different — in that case, your e-book needs to offer more material and insider secrets than the e-books of your competition.

Other incentives include contests with a prize or gift certificate, free webinars, partnering up with a like-minded business or creating a coupon offer. Try a variety of lead generation offers and see which ones attract your typical customer. Don’t overlook tactics such as utilizing a hashtag at a live event to drive traffic on your social media pages.

4. Create an Amazing Landing Page

In one case study, J.Crew discovered that people who engaged with their brand on social media before clicking through to a landing page spent double the average purchase. Gear your landing pages for the specific social media site the user clicks through from. Each platform is a bit different. You might even mention the platform and thank the user for visiting you on that platform and include a feed from your page there, so they quickly find their way back.

Create symmetry between the social media platform and your website by using similar colors, images and phrasing. The user shouldn’t doubt they landed on the right page. Everything should feel familiar.

Your goal is to drive leads to your site and not purely traffic from social media. From the minute the social media follower lands on your website, the headline should grab them, and the offer should closely match what was on your social media page.

5. Getting the Most from Ads

Like most forms of advertising, you can throw a lot of money at social media ads without seeing any real return. Know when to utilize advertising on social media and the goal of your ad — in this case, lead generation.

Schedule your advertising, so you consistently have lead-generating ads on social media without any lulls in timing. Tell a story that followers see unfold through a series of posts.

The best type of ad depends on your goals. If you want to build slow influence over time, then content marketing on social media builds backlinks and drives growing traffic. On the other hand, if you want more immediate results and additional followers and leads, then influencer campaigns may be the right choice. Think about your goals and choose the ad most likely to drive those types of leads.

6. Post at the Right Time

Understanding the timing of advertising involves studying when most of your target audience frequents the site you advertise on and reviewing your analytics for your page. If you use a scheduling platform such as Buffer, you’ll see what the premium times are for posting and when users engage with your posts. Adjust your schedule accordingly.

Research shows there are some time frames which work best for posting on popular social media platforms. Time is in the timezone for your typical audience.

  • Facebook: 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. every weekday but Tuesday and weekend days between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.
  • Twitter: 3 p.m. weekdays
  • Instagram: Weekdays 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
  • LinkedIn: 7:45 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. every weekday but Friday

Your experience may vary slightly, depending on your audience, so track your internal data. For a more customized time that represents your exact users, use a social media analytics tool such as Sotrender. The tool creates charts based on when your engaged fans are active and averages out the interactions to find the perfect time for posting.

Interactivity Index at Sotrender

7. Focus on Mobile Users

In the most recent set of figures, mobile devices made up 47.2 percent of global internet traffic. The number may be even higher for social media browsers.

Make sure your posts are mobile friendly by creating short sentences and bullet points, which are easy to scan. You also want to develop a relationship with page visitors, so think about their intent in hunting for a business like yours on social media and solve that problem for them.

Think about the layout of ads and images. Do they translate well to a smaller screen held upright or will the user be forced to turn their phone sideways?

8. Add Visual Assets

Visual assets are one of the essential elements of a successful social media page. More than 50 percent of business-to-business marketers make creating visual assets a priority in their content marketing strategies.

If you want to drive traffic to your page and turn people into leads, you must first grab their attention. Photos and videos say more without any words than you can say with text, especially limited character count text.

An image also shows who you are as a brand. Use consistent visuals, and you’ll gain consumer trust. If the consumer doesn’t trust you, they won’t share their contact info with you, so increasing their confidence puts you a step closer to generating a quality lead.

Increase Conversion Rates

When it comes to increasing conversion rates, you must first know your goal for advertising campaigns, social media posts and the intent of your social media pages. If your goal is lead generation, think through what would make you share your contact information with a company via social media. Sprinkle in the elements above and watch the percentage of conversions soar.

Lead Generation Tips Using Your Social Media Accounts

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AI is one of the fastest growing industries and Sotrender is a part of it. Thanks to the grant from NCBR (The National Centre for Research and Development) we have created a Research & Development Team led by experienced scientists – Jakub Nowacki, PhD and Dominik Batorski, PhD (co-founder and Chief Scientist at Sotrender). We create innovative solutions for natural language processing, image recognition and social media analytics. That’s why our company was included in the State of AI in Poland report prepared by Digital Poland.

The State of AI industry in Poland

The ecosystem of AI industry in Poland is promising. 85% of all Polish AI companies are based in six biggest metropolitan areas. The leader is Warsaw, a home for 43% of AI companies. 23% have received VC funding, 70% have some clients from abroad. Two services most frequently provided by Polish AI companies are analytics, big data and business intelligence (43%), together with sales, marketing and advertising (37%). Polish AI companies use various technologies: the most popular  language is Python, with 87% of companies using it. 38% use R language, but its popularity is low among companies which introduced AI over the last two years (we use both of them). You can learn more about the Map of AI in Poland here.

Sotrender’s position in AI industry in Poland

Sotrender is a company founded by academic researchers from Warsaw University – Jan Zając, PhD, specializing in psychology of the internet an Dominik Batorski, PhD, whose fields of expertise include social networks. Since the early days, Sotrender maintains strong ties with the academic community – we have special discounts for scientists, frequently work with the best specialists in their fields (in Poland and abroad), teach at various courses at the best universities in Poland (which is, surprisingly, quite uncommon).

Our R&D Team consists of experienced researchers specializing in deep learning, text mining, image recognition, transfer learning and natural language processing. They work closely with our Data Processing and Analytics Teams providing them with the innovative solutions.

We also welcome in our company students and graduates. Some of our employees started here as interns and by now they are important part of our Team, becoming key employees or even Team Leaders.

If you’re a member of scientific community and want to employ at your research our social media and internet discourse analytics, write us at: support@sotrender.com, we’ll be more than happy to help you!

The State of AI Industry in Poland [REPORT]

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As a millennial female from Los Angeles, I know my Instagram game through and through. I know when to post my pictures to get the most likes. I know which of my followers I can count on to hype me in comments. I can probably guess how many viewers all of my stories will have.

Why?

Because I am insane.

But like many others who fit my profile or interests, we are insane because we are products of the hyper-connected digital environment we live in.

While my personal use for Instagram is purely for entertainment and probably narcissism, the stark reality is that in terms of evaluating worth in the business world, social media power holds a lot of weight.

One of the largest benefactors of the omnipotence of social media has undoubtedly been the fitness industry.

Social Media’s Glorification of Fitness

The internet revolution catapulted public health consciousness to unprecedented heights, but social media is directly responsible for making fitness “popular”.

Living an active lifestyle, regularly exercising, and healthy eating have become “trendy”, and accordingly, sharing fitness related content has a massive digital following and engagement around the world.

The dominance of Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube consequently added to the overall clout of the industry. Fitness influencers have used these platforms to become international celebrities, nutrition and athletic clothing companies have created armies of loyal followers, and fitness clubs have rapidly grown in specialties and numbers every year.

The effect is contagious: aspiring fitness model is an extremely common side job, athleisure clothing is trendier than high fashion lines, and fitness clubs are flooded with users taking more mirror selfies on their stories than actually working out.

Given how saturated the fitness market has become on any level, the leaders of the industry, both people and businesses, did not get there on accident: they earned their respective notoriety through expertly manipulating their digital presence and social media image to engage users and create a devout following.

Intelligently using social media to build your fitness brand has evolved past just relying on business mission and intuition. In order to even be competitive, using analytics to apply fact-based knowledge to leverage social media outreach for fitness brands has proven to be crucial.

In fact, using analytics is by no means a secret any more. Famed fitness Youtubers, like Tammy Hembrow, Christian Guzman, and Heidi Somers, commonly discuss consulting metrics before making any social media postings about their own brands or endorsed products.

While many spheres of the fitness industry have clearly taken advantage of analytic tools, the gym and fitness club subcategory has still yet to fully capitalize off the potential data-based social media marketing can have.

How Social Media Metrics Can Revolutionize Fitness Clubs

The fitness club industry has grown immensely to include gyms of all makes, sizes, prices, and themes. Given this diversity, different social media strategies will benefit different types of gyms.

Many fitness clubs are also familiar with analytic platforms through their elite club management software systems.

The data is used to predict retention and churn rates from their current client bases so fitness clubs can stay a step ahead to keep their user satisfaction high.

Most importantly, the data is used to identify your most profitable demographics, which can be used for customer acquisition on social media.

Combining information from this BI unit with similar analytic measures for social media like Sotrender will allow clubs to gain invaluable insight as to who their most engaged and frequent users.

For example, you can see if your most engaged demographics on social media reflect your most loyal demographics in your club.

Reach demographics at Sotrender

Gauging Customer Activity and Outreach

Sotrender allows users to access data regarding follower demographics, level of engagement, and trends associated with popular posts. These data points alone will encourage fitness clubs to tailor social media posts to specific audiences, strategically post at optimal times and days to have the furthest outreach, and syndicate the most relevant content to earn likes and shares.

In terms of customer acquisition across any type of gym, gauging viral impressions is a vital resource. Sotrender allows users to go outside the scope of follower impressions to categorize views earned from paid campaigns, organic followers, or viral posts.

Impressions, Sotrender

Total reach, Sotrender

This viral metric, which specifies viewers who organically found the post without actively following or marketing tactics, is an invaluable resource for analyzing margins of prospective interested new clients. Therefore, the style of posts that engage higher viral metrics should be mass produced to target these new potential leads.

Chain Gyms

Gym brands with extensive networks or locations can manipulate their social media channels to make their clubs impress a more personal touch. By cross-referencing demographics and responses to social media posts from various club locations, these larger gyms can tailor their social media campaigns to their most engaged customers, resulting in higher probabilities of positive feedback.

Top cities and top languages, Sotrender

Additionally, cross-referencing data from different club locations will allow fitness clubs to identify patterns or specified trends between clientele.

If responses are mixed depending on location, then clubs can launch localized campaigns based off those unique preferences. That personal introspection enables club management to treat each location like the unique unit it is as opposed to grouping all client preferences together on a macro level.

One larger scale fitness club that has brilliantly gauged its metrics to create a strong social media community is the popular high-end gym Equinox. Equinox has publicly aligned their brand with an all-encompassing luxurious fitness lifestyle, using images of lavish facilities, designer workout outfits, gourmet healthy recipes, and high profile events like fashion shows and cocktail parties.

Accordingly, not only are Equinox’s engagement on posts consistently high, but its reputation as an elite fitness club is commonly known by members and non-members alike. This identity branding has helped Equinox both retain old members while attracting new like-minded ones who want a more extensive experience from their fitness club.

While creating campaigns and brand identities is essential for fitness club marketing, being able to comprehensively track their impact and continuously revise or improve these strategies is what makes them successful. Sotrender provides consistent aggregated data reports in order to make sure campaigns maintain the same positive public response that they launched with.

Boutique Fitness Clubs on Social Media

Excluding the massive chains, most fitness clubs fit the bill as a prime example of a small business. Where small businesses tend to have the upper hand on corporate giants is their ability to create a cult-like following with customer loyalty.

However, to gain this type of following, fitness clubs need to deliver on the promise of elite personal experience: growth and survival of boutique clubs is completely dependent upon customer service and developing personal relationships with members.

A boutique fitness club is characterized by a class-based structure that offers a specific fitness experience that would be difficult to replicate at a traditional club. They have skyrocketed in popularity due to the exceptional and intimate environment they provide.

Fitness expert Pete McCall describes the consumer appeal as,

A fitting analogy is fast food vs. fine dining — the former provides basic food needs while the latter may be much more expensive, but provides a unique, hard-to-match experience.”

Famed examples of these passionate followings to fitness clubs belong to CrossFit, Orangetheory, and Soulcycle. All three of these clubs have masterfully crafted their social media images to be extremely interactive, allowing these fan bases to provide most of their visual content for them. They have similarly produced merchandise and apparel that mirrors their social media campaigns, encouraging their customers to truly fit the mold of the community.

Social media for these small-scale clubs serves as the highway that connects branding to client allegiance. Often times, customer loyalty to this boutique fitness experience can be their most effective, and free, form of advertising. Knowing which campaigns will be the most successful can rely off which specific campaigns earned the highest Impressions with viewers:

Reach, Sotrender

Highest impressions and responses can indicate which marketing ideas will translate to community-building opportunities.

However, building a reputable brand and experience may not be enough. Since boutique clubs have expanded dramatically, competition within their fields is at an all-time high.

Think about how many specialty yoga, pilates, interval training, barre method studios you can think of within your neighborhood alone. Not only do these studios have to validate their worth compared to large traditional gyms, but they have to stand out against competition down the street that offers similar services and experiences.

In order to beat the competition, you have to know your competition. Sotrender permits users to compare their social media statistics, outreach, and strategies with competitor businesses, which will put them ahead of the game in terms of surveying the client landscape and deploying their own strategies.

Conclusion

The Fitness Industry as a whole would not be where it is today without different aspects of social media getting it there. As the “popularity” of fitness shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon, related businesses need to stay current with every digital opportunity.

Social Media analytics have a wealth of untapped potential in terms of helping fitness clubs distinguish themselves in their increasingly competitive market.

How Social Media Has Redefined the Fitness Industry

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