On a Tuesday evening, after a long day at work, the last thing I want to do is go workout. I would much rather sit on the couch and mindlessly scroll through my social media feeds to catch up on all of the latest gossip, news, and events I missed today. Except when you follow as many fitness and health food accounts as I do, you really can’t avoid feeling bad about sitting on the couch all night. Before you know it, I’m tying my tennis shoes and literally running out the door.
With the American cultural health kick still roundhouse kicking us all into shape, social media has become a virtual gym for the health crazed on a budget. Before social media revolutionized the way fitness experts communicated with potential and current clients, people who wanted to get in shape had to pay big bucks to either join a gym, hire a personal trainer, or buy the latest fad workout video. None of which were 100% guaranteed to sculpt your body into the perfect beach bod you dreamed of. For those of us not looking to spend every last dollar of our disposable income on the latest annual spring break fit fad, working out on our own had become a giant game of guess and check. Now with the help of social media users can easily access fitness and nutrition advice via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WordPress.
Instagram in particular has become a resource for both fitness and nutrition advice. Many of the industry’s top personal trainers have accounts that they use to promote their own products and offer free advice to their followers. For example, famous Transformation Specialists on Extreme Weight Loss, Chris and Heidi Powell have instagramed a combined 4,000 posts to more than 400,000 followers. Instagram, and other social media platforms, allow clients to ask questions directly to personal trainers in either a public or person setting, by commenting on a post or sending a direct message, respectively. Now the famous personal trainers we see on shows like Biggest Loser and Extreme Weight Loss are available to connect with potential clients on a more personal level via social media.
Instagram offers personal trainers a platform on which to give the public a taste of their workout regimen before they financially invest in their products. Many personal trainers have begun posting mini workout videos and quick tips and tricks to healthy eating on their social media sites daily. These snippets of the trainer’s full product line helps followers decipher which products might be the most useful for them to reach their fitness goals, and then directs them to their full fledged website for further information. Personal trainers who use these posts effectively, ultimately entice potential clients to buy their full line of products by demonstrating its value before they even buy it. In this way, Instagram has become a venue for a sort of trial run of a trainer’s product offering. This especially benefits the consumers who are unsure which type of fitness regimen will work best for them. They can basically try them all before making a financial commitment.
Likewise many amateur personal trainers use social media to raise awareness about their fitness philosophy and workout regimen. For example, Karena and Katrina of @ToneItUp have posted almost 2,000 instagrams to their 512,000 followers. Instagram allows them to gain a following by posting the visual effects their workout program has had on either themselves or their current group of clients. Many of them use “before” and “after” photos paired with client quotes about their product experience to entice potential clients to try their products.
Both professional and amateur trainers alike use their social media to entice customers to buy their products. They also post various inspirational quotes or photos to encourage clients to get off the couch even when they would rather call it quits. Finally, they engage followers in discussions about the fitness and nutrition choices they are making in order to set them on a path towards reaching their ultimate fitness goals.