Instagram is so much more than filters and hashtags. This fast-growing platform is a prime location to not only connect with existing members, but also bring more people into your studio. From content to connecting, check out these 4 ways you can use Instagram to generate leads.


1. Optimize your profile

Before you even get started with content, there are some easy ways to ensure your Instagram profile is optimized for lead generation. First, keep your username the same or close to what it is across other social media platforms. This will make your page easier to find if people are researching your studio. Using your logo as your profile picture will also ensure easy brand recognition.

Your Instagram bio is also your only opportunity to include a link to an outside page. URLs do not get hyperlinked in photo captions, unfortunately. Use a targeted landing page in your bio rather than just your homepage. Linking to your contact, free trial, or sign-up pages will increase the likelihood that people clicking the link in your bio will become leads or even members. You can also track how often that link is clicked. Use a site like Bitly that allows you to view how often people visit that page via your Instagram account.


2. Produce regular, consistent content

Once you have your profile optimized, it’s time to start posting. Producing content on a regular basis will keep your studio top of mind for followers, and it can also better engage potential members. Iconosquare found that 70% of Instagram users have looked up or followed brands on Instagram, and since it’s a platform that’s frequently used to inform buying decisions, engaging content that gives users insight into your studio can sway them to take the next step. Use high-quality photos of your gym or products, and make sure what you’re posting showcases your studio’s style and personality. Give people a peek into what it’s like to work out there, and you’ll be more likely to attract the right kind of audience.

Sharing real member stories, testimonials and highlighting the emotional, human aspect of fitness is also a powerful message and provides potential members with social proof of how your unique business changes lives. That’s why we’re all here, isn’t it?


3. Use hashtags

Hashtags are an easy way to get your content in front of new eyes and thus attract more potential members. And while research has shown multiple hashtags per post to be less effective on sites like Facebook and Twitter, it seems the opposite is true on Instagram. Posts with 11 or more hashtags provide the greatest reach and engagement on the platform. So do your research to include relevant hashtags in your content. Include a mix of popular, well-known hashtags that will get lots of eyes on your post (i.e. #workout or #fitspo) along with some tailored, niche, or geo-based hashtags that will target your ideal audience (i.e. #momswholift,  #instarunner or #nycfitness).

You can also create a unique hashtag for your business. Use it on your own content, when commenting on your members’ content, and encourage your most active fans to use it as well, especially when posting photos at your studio. This will help to ensure any content about or at your gym will connect back to your business, making lead acquisition easier.


4. Engage

As mentioned above, early studies found that Instagram users are shoppers and rely on the platform to make buying decisions more than most other social media sites. Make them want to buy into your community by offering inspiring and exciting content they can easily share and engage with. Start a conversation with them via the comments. If you can engage with your followers on Instagram, they can become strong brand advocates for your studio and help generate leads through their own content.

You can also engage with other fitness-related businesses in your neighborhood, especially non-competitive businesses with a similar demographic. For example, if you’re a CrossFit box, follow some organic grocers in your area. Or if you’re a yoga studio, try interacting with local massage therapists or fitness clothing retailers. When you comment on their posts, your name will appear in front of their like-minded fans and hopefully inspire them to check out your Instagram account as well.

Could you use some help putting more strategy behind your social media? Click to learn more about the limited-time offering we’ve created to help you increase your lead generation on Facebook and save you time. Our Social+ Package includes a monthly ad campaign, strategic monthly posting, professionally designed images for your pages, and more.

Nicole Gartside, Social Media Strategist