What formats work best on Instagram for a personal trainer?
An Instagram account for a personal trainer has to be their best introduction, but you may be wondering why. Well, this platform has become the favorite of over 1 billion people worldwide, and this number keeps increasing every year.
According to a recent study by Statista, Instagram has 20 million users in Spain, which represents a 25% growth compared to 2019. Following this trend, 56% of Spaniards claim to use this social media platform several times a day, while 25% use it once a day.
This shows us that Instagram is the best means of entertainment and information for a personal trainer to impact their target audience. So, if you’re also a nutritionist, yoga instructor, crossfit trainer, or any other fitness professional, you should integrate Instagram into your client acquisition and retention strategy.
And now you’re probably wondering… what benefits can Instagram provide me as a personal trainer?
It’s very simple… it can help you develop and boost your personal brand. Instagram, for a personal trainer, is a window, a close and accessible place that helps establish direct and friendly relationships with clients.
Let’s see the 10 basics of Instagram that every personal trainer should use to enhance their fitness business.
#1 Instagram Stories
Instagram displays the feed based on relevance, not chronologically, so if you want to see the most recent content from a specific user, you have to check their stories.
Let’s quickly see how the Instagram algorithm works to show (or not) our content:
- Based on relationships: The algorithm assumes that if people interact with your account, it means they’ll be interested in each new piece of content you publish. You need to check if you mutually follow each other, if they search for you by name, if they tag you, comment on your posts, or even save your posts.
- Based on recency: The algorithm assumes that the most recent posts are the ones users desire the most. This means you should be mindful of posting when your audience is online.
- Based on interest: The algorithm is as smart as you are as a personal trainer. It knows exactly who to give the Cristiano and Messi memes, the cute animal videos (us, hehe), and of course, the fitness content to those who are interested or lead a healthy lifestyle. So, you know how it works… it gives each user what they want to see (or what they think they want to see).
We recommend sharing stories about your clients and their progress (with their consent), yourself working on their training programs, or even your lifestyle and vacations (food, things you do for entertainment or to unwind).
Highlight those stories that you consider relevant information for your followers on your profile! This will help you improve your relationship with your clients, making them feel involved in your daily life. Ultimately, we all like to see real people behind our favorite brands.
Reels are here to stay. This relatively new feature will help you increase your engagement and enhance the visibility of your brand, meaning it will improve your relationship with potential clients.
Let’s get to the point… What can you do with Reels:
- Create short videos of up to 15 seconds.
- Add filters and creative effects from a pre-designed collection.
- Add pre-existing or original music.
- Speed up or slow down a video.
- Post your video in the Stories section or in the feed, or send it directly to another user.
- View the most popular videos in the Top Reels section.
#3 Simple yet attractive Image Carousels
Instagram has this wonderful format that allows you to upload up to 10 pieces of content at once, as if it were a story or a photo album.
You can plan the content of the different images in the following way:
- First: headline.
- Second: introduction.
- Photos 3-7: provide the solution to the problem to capture their attention.
- Photos 8-9: show results to spark desire.
- Last image: ask a question and invite people to share or save the post.
Even if you want your post to stand out in the feed, you can use the 1080 x 1350 size, which takes up the entire screen and therefore generates more attraction and interaction.
Instagram Live will be your salvation if you want to connect and make yourself known to your followers, launch a product or service, or even conduct interviews with industry influencers. Now, let’s see what you can do with it:
- Stream videos in real time.
- Interact with your audience during the session.
- Include guests who support or strengthen the message you are conveying.
- Pin important or relevant comments for the topic of conversation.
- Save the session as an IGTV so that other people can visit it whenever they want.
Basically, the key is to share experiences with your followers and make them experience it firsthand.
#5 Videos instead of images with long texts
Videos yield amazing results in many aspects:
- They help increase engagement.
- They are ideal for creating promotional content.
- They make people stop and see what your content is about.
- They convey the values of your brand.
Here we refer to the importance of knowing how to write persuasively and having an effective customer acquisition strategy to apply to your content. When we talk about not using long texts, it’s precisely to prevent people who come across your post in the feed from skipping it because they have to read so much while trying to watch the video. Let’s be honest, no one likes a thousand-word wall of text.
#6 Personalized Messages
As your number of followers grows, it becomes increasingly challenging to speak directly to a specific type of customer.
But this should be a concern for no one, especially for a personal trainer. Instagram has a great feature that gives you no excuse not to respond to your clients or followers on time, either through direct messages or post comments.
And this magical feature is… Instagram’s automatic responses✨
With it, you can generate automatic responses based on filters that you will have to preconfigure (don’t worry, it’s very easy and intuitive). It also offers the option to choose whether you want to automatically respond to all messages or just a few.
Here’s how you can create them:
- Go to the Direct Messages section.
- Open any conversation.
- Tap the “+” icon.
- Click the three-dot icon.
- Start writing the name of the category and the complete message there.
Hashtags on Instagram help users find or discover interesting content.
If you don’t know which hashtags to use, research what other personal trainers are doing or what the major brands in the fitness industry are using.
Not long ago, it was recommended to use 30 hashtags per post to properly position your posts, but rumors now say that Instagram will better position posts that use no more than 3 hashtags. Since this information is unconfirmed, we’ll tell you what really works regardless of the number of hashtags you want to use… place them in the comments. That’s where the key lies. Want to test if this is true? Do the following:
- Publish any post.
- Place the hashtags in the comments immediately.
- Tap one of the placed hashtags to view posts grouped under that tag.
- Select the section that says “recent.”
- Your post should appear there.
- PS: If it doesn’t appear, you probably have a shadow ban (a “punishment” applied by Instagram to those who abuse the platform).
This point will be brief.
Adding links in the bio of your Instagram profile can help you in many ways. One of them is to receive more visits to your website if that is your goal, but you can also place a link for other things: products or services you offer, special content you want people to see, a course, the management platform for personal trainers you work with, etc.
As the name suggests, IGTV works as a television channel within Instagram. Basically, it allows you to view and upload vertical format videos with a duration of up to 1 hour. Let’s say it’s the perfect alternative to YouTube.
Unlike reels or videos mentioned in previous points, this format allows you to upload attractive, long-duration videos. It is a very useful feature, especially for saving your live sessions, ensuring that important information shared during those sessions is not lost.
Let’s briefly see some of its advantages:
- You can add links to your videos that direct people directly to your website or online store, to obtain qualified leads (i.e., users you can consider as sales opportunities).
- You promote your business through video marketing. It allows you to present everything you offer in an attractive and original way, differentiating yourself from other fitness professionals.
- It increases your followers thanks to channels. The channels you create, when followed by users, automatically add a follower to your profile. So, notifications of likes and comments will appear directly in your notification center.
To the point. With tags, there are two important things you should do:
- The essential: If a client shares a photo mentioning you, repost it or mention them back in one of your stories, for example.
- If you upload content using or mentioning a product you usually use or recommend, tag the brand or responsible person. This will help your clients know where they can acquire what their personal trainer promotes or shares. Moreover, the other person or brand might repost you, further increasing your visibility.
Well, we’ve covered the basics of Instagram for fitness CRACKS (like you) up to this point.
But wait! To stand out from other personal trainers, you’ll need a tool capable of saving you time and effort on tasks that prevent you from dedicating yourself 100% to your clients.
And guess what?
We have that tool too!