Fitness professionals and companies frequently use social media to reach out to new customers and members, but they often have no sense of what their brand voice is.
Nailing down your brand’s communication style helps you market more effectively and makes you appear more authentic. Plus, it attracts social media followers and customers because they like what you have to say and HOW you say it.
Here’s how to pin down your brand voice for more effective fitness marketing on social media.
First, Know What Your Brand Is
Before you can home in on a brand voice, you must have a clear picture of the brand itself: In a nutshell, what are your brand’s values? How do you want your customers to perceive you—and who are your customers in terms of demographics, lifestyle and preferences?
Be clear on how you want the public face of your brand to be represented. For example: playful and fun, or edgy and innovative, or caring and compassionate. There are lots of options and variables. Take time to decide on the best fit for your business.
Write down 3-5 words or phrases that best represent your brand and create a composite of your average target customer. You might need to create a couple of composites for different target markets, but if you stop at saying everyone is your customer, you’ll have a very hard time establishing a brand voice.
Recognize If You’re Already Using a Brand Voice
If you have a good handle on what your brand is, you might already be using a strong brand voice on social media, consciously or not. It’s best to always be conscious of why you pick one word or phrase over another in your social media marketing (and, yes, if you’re posting as a brand, every post is a marketing effort even if you aren’t actively selling anything).
Let’s say your business focuses on an older, inactive population that’s intimidated by traditional gyms. Obviously, your communication style to that group would be different from a company speaking to young athletes interested in hard-core workouts.
Still, differences in brand voice and tone can sometimes be quite subtle. To that end, create a list of words, slang and phrases that fit well with your brand. You can draw on this list for inspiration and guidance when writing social posts. While you’re at it, jot down words, slang and phrases that you probably should avoid because they’ll sound inauthentic or boring to your audience.
Be sure that if you’re using slang or lingo that’s relevant to a specific demographic or generation that: 1) it works with your audience, and 2) it works with your brand.
Match Your Brand Voice To Your Company and Your Clients
Everything you post on social media for marketing purposes should have a very deliberate communication style. If it doesn’t, start paying more attention because it could mean the difference between attracting or repelling customers and followers.
Everyone who has access to your social media accounts must be on the same page with brand voice. If your company has charged an intern, employee or consultant with the task of running your social media, that person must fully understand your brand. Have you had a detailed conversation about it?
Anyone who’s posting on your brand’s social media pages must write captions that sound like how your brand would say it, not like how the intern or consultant would say it. This is very important.
For example, imagine your target audience is women on maternity leave who also have other young kids at home. What if this post went out on your Facebook or Instagram page:
“Let’s face it, the best thing about your baby’s naptime is having the time YOU need to get your sweat on!! Ladies: slay your next workout so you can finally get those six-packs abs back!!!!!!! #selfiereadyalways”
Total fail, right? There are many reasons why your followers might not relate to a post like this.
The voice/tone that’s being broadcast to your audience should strongly match your brand’s values AND sit well with your audience. Delight your followers and customers with a highly cultivated brand voice to ensure that they’ll be receptive to your marketing messages, now and in the future.
Amanda Vogel, MA human kinetics, is a fitness professional in Vancouver, B.C. In addition to being a blogger at FitnessTestDrive.com and writer for popular fitness magazines, she is a social media consultant for fitness brands and public figures. You can reach her at ActiveVoice.ca, @amandavogel (Twitter), @amandavogelfitness (Instagram) and Facebook.com/FitnessWriter.
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