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Top 5 Ways the Fitness Industry is Screwing up Social Media

Top 5 Ways the Fitness Industry is Screwing up Social Media

I’ve been watching a ton of Gary Vaynerchuk’s videos recently and have been really inspired.  If you don’t know Gary, he is the boss at Wine Library TV, a best-selling author, a dynamic keynote speaker and the future owner of the JETS.

In Gary’s new book, The Thank You Economy, and in his recent keynote speeches, he has talked a great deal about the benefits of social media (sorry Gary, I know you hate that term).

How we use Facebook…

How we use Twtter…

How we use Tumblr…

and other social media sites…

Fortunately, it seems, I have been doing a bunch of stuff right.  I wanted to share my thoughts with you today about how we, as fitness professionals, use and misuse social media.

1.  The Hard Sell on the First Date

When you log onto Twitter, you’ll see this immediately – the hard sell.  The hard sell is when a fit pro creates a Twitter account and all they do is push their products.

Sell, sell, sell…

Gary likens this to a “19 year old’s perspective of Twitter, trying to get lucky on the first date.” (paraphrasing)

The Dom

This is the absolute worst thing you can do.  It shows insincerity, disinterest in your followers and that you are an asshole.  You don’t give a crap about them or what they have to say, you are just trying to make a quick buck.

Twitter and social media is a party.  Go hang out.  Talk with people.  Help them with their fitness questions. (#fitnesslives)

Really make a difference and give them RESULTS.  And then, they will be loyal to you and they will support you.  You are in it for the legacy, not the quick buck.

Sure you can send them to one of your posts or pages that would help them with a question, but that is different than posting a link everyday to a product.

2.  The Silent Treament

You don’t have to break out the glow sticks, but you know what I’m saying

Why even tweet (damn I hate that word) if you’re never going to respond to people who answered your question or statement.  Remember, it is a party, a social “gathering” where you are building relationships and helping people.  THAT IS OUR JOB.

Get in their and show people you appreciate their support.

3.  Building Your Social Equity

You can think of social equity as your reputation online.  Your company and business will live or die by your social equity.  You have bad customer service?  You’re done.  It will be all over Twitter, Facebook and every other site in about 1 minute after you slam the phone down in your customer’s ear.

Gary talks about how everything has come full circle.  The people who are building their social equity off the charts are the ones who are thinking about being a “mom and pop” store and NOT the ones who have an automated robot voice taking your customer service calls.

You better have a GREAT product and BETTER customer service AND make your customers lifelong customers.

4.  Inactivity vs. Proactive

How often do you check your Twitter?

Do you know what your customers are saying about you, your company, your brand on Twitter?  How about on Facebook?

Do you know what your customers are talking about on a day-to-day basis?  Do you know what their concerns are, or how you can better help them?  Remember, we are in the helping dept and your ultimate goal is to:

1.  Educate yourself to be able to provide a better service

2.  Help others achieve the fitness goals they have set for themselves

and D.  Maybe help them to feel better about themselves and inspire them to help others reach their goals

Start logging in to see what’s going on!  And you better be hitting that search button.

5.  No Integration or Automation

You might have a Twitter account?

You might have a Facebook account?

You might have a newsletter? (Yes Tony Gentilcore, I know you still don’t)

But, are they integrated together?  Do you have your posting automated?  When I send out a newsletter, it is:

Newsletter => Linked to my Twitter => Linked to My Facebook

Is yours?  Or are you having to repost the same link three times in three different locations.  You’re busy, so you better start automating your processes.

As a fitness professional, it is your job to care about people.  If you don’t, get out of the business.  I love people and want them to believe in themselves and achieve great things.  That is why I’m successful.  Build relationships and customers for life and don’t try to close on the first date.

By on January 6th, 2012


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Comments (7)

  1. Posted by - Lisa Shaughnessy on January 6, 2012

    Great post! I agree with what you’re saying, but I think a big reason that people in the fitness industry don’t use social media or don’t use it “right” is because there’s so many options out there. Many people I’ve talked to say that they simply don’t have the time to figure out what’s useful and what isn’t, as well as *how* they should be using it.

    I’m actually in the process of building a website specifically for those in the fitness/strength/conditioning/trainer business so they can understand what social media tools to use and how to use them. My goal is to aggregate information from a variety of sources as a one stop shop for social media and marketing strategies.

    Your post is spot on – do you mind if I link to it once my website is operational?

  2. Posted by - Ann Olson on January 6, 2012

    I cannot agree MORE with this post. I use Twitter to engage with people — not as another promotional avenue. I don’t follow anyone whose only purpose is to spam links to their website or blog.

  3. Posted by - Jonathan on January 6, 2012

    I still find it funny Tony doesn’t have a newsletter. Great article Smitty. To the point and honest. Very few people use social media well. I like to think I use it decently well and would never had the opportunity to connect with you if I didn’t. Take notes people and follow these simple rules. It isn’t hard but you have to care.

  4. Posted by - David on January 6, 2012

    I truly believe we are all in this industry to help people. I’ve had a few clients and friends ask about getting into this business and my first point is always the same, I tell them that unless they are getting into this industry to help people then they should rethink it. We are here to inspire, and bring out the best in people through exercise. Anything less is just a scam. I back Diesel Crew and their heartfelt culture.

  5. Posted by - Laree Draper on January 8, 2012

    Absolutely agreed. Would you hard sell someone in person? Some people would, but they’re not our favorite people, and it’s just the same online.

    • Posted by - Smitty on January 8, 2012


      Thanks for stopping by and checking out the new post and site. Also, thanks for the great feedback!

  6. Posted by - Neghar on January 10, 2012

    Great post! It absolutely drives me crazy when people use twitter and Facebook purely as a means for self promotion-especially when these sites were initially created to CONNECT people. Social media allows us to connect to people across the globe, to make an impact or gain inspiration to/from people you’ve never met.

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