Are you just in it for the “likes”, or do you have a strong strategy behind your social media efforts?
Social media is an essential tool to help you build your health coaching business. But there’s a vast difference between using social media for personal use vs. using it to build your brand.
For starters, there are fewer cat videos.
But the main difference between personal and business use of social media is this:
Social media marketing can help you increase awareness for your brand, bring in qualified leads, and keep existing clients engaged.
Here’s how to get started.
Crafting an Effective Social Media Strategy
Professional marketers begin their strategies by documenting their desired outcome. In other words, they start with the end in mind.
Marketing guru and author of Social Marketology, Ric Dragon, recommends starting with the following four objectives for any efficient social media marketing strategy:
- increase brand awareness
- generate leads
- provide service and support
- offer reputation management
How to Increase Awareness
Building an audience and increasing brand awareness is the first step to finding coaching clients online. So how do you build a social media audience for your coaching business?
Post Content that Entertains
Let’s face it: social media is a primary source of entertainment for most adults. Your potential clients spend a considerable amount of time each week (up to 8 hours or more) seeking entertainment on social networks.
And that’s not all. Most social media users are multitasking at the same time.
A 2012 survey conducted by market research firm Penn Schoen Berland reported 66% of people watch TV while they are social networking.
“Entertaining” content doesn’t mean you have to find your inner comic or join your teenager in the latest Tik Tok dance craze.
If your content is relevant or thought-provoking to your intended audience, you’ll have the opportunity to catch their attention and increase brand awareness.
Post Content that Inspires
Do you remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? It spread through social media like wildfire in 2014, earning over $115 million in donations and increased awareness of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
The campaign inspired people to take part in something bigger than themselves.
You don’t have to re-create the Ice Bucket Challenge to inspire people on social media. But you can inspire people to desire change in their lives.
Share inspirational stories of successful client transformations, before and after photos, and motivating quotes to inspire your audience into believing they can make a change.
Cultivating and sharing inspirational content on social media can solidify your reputation as an expert authority, earn trust, and increase brand awareness.
How to Generate Leads
Building an audience is great. Holy guacamole, those “likes” feel good! But “likes” don’t pay the bills. This is why a portion of your social media posts should be dedicated to lead generation.
Post Content that Educates and Informs
What do your customers want to know about your coaching service? What are the biggest questions you get asked as clients work to overcome their pain points and obstacles to optimal health?
One of the easiest ways to educate and inform your social media audience is to share blog posts and articles:
- Share blogs you’ve published on your own website
- Share articles and guest posts you wrote for publications or other websites
- Share articles you find inspiring or from other experts you want to support
These types of posts may not garner the same amount of engagement as, say, a motivational quote or picture of your puppy. But what they can bring you is something far more valuable:
People who are interested in solving a specific problem or answering a particular question.
Plus, sending these potential leads over to your website provides lead generation opportunities galore.
But that’s a topic for another post.
Post Content that Spotlights Your Service
WARNING: Making this your primary social media objective is the #1 rookie mistake. Constantly posting or tweeting about your brand and service offerings can hinder your audience building.
While you should definitely “ask for the sale” regularly, try to avoid using social media solely as an advertisement for your coaching business.
You may be willing to watch an ad or two in the middle of your favorite TV show, or tolerate a bit of not-so-subtle product placement in the latest blockbuster film, but would you willingly sit down to watch two straight hours of commercials?
Your existing customers already know about the services you offer.
You’ll need to win over prospective customers before you start interrupting their social feeds with blatant advertisements.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t promote your latest and greatest product. Think of self-promotional posts as short commercial breaks, sprinkled amidst the rest of your entertaining content.
Remember the 80/20 rule:
- 80% of your content should entertain, inspire, and educate
- 20% of your content should directly promote your business
Strike the right balance, and you’ll maximize your lead generation opportunities.
How to Support Your Audience
Marketing your business on social media requires more than using the latest-and-greatest social media scheduling tools and then walking away. You’ll have to engage with your audience, too.
Post and Reply to Comments
Carve out time each day to reply to post comments and respond to any DMs.
You don’t have to be a slave to social media notifications ’round the clock. Schedule in two to three 15-minute blocks per day to ensure you’re supporting your audience by responding to comments and messages.
This type of regular engagement will help you achieve two of your four social media objectives: providing service and support and offering reputation management.
If someone has something not-so-nice to say, you’ll want to respond to unsavory comments immediately, not days later, when you finally see the message tucked into a long string of unread notifications.
Who knows, you may convert a doubtful troll into a grateful client!
Social media is for creating dialogs, not shouting monologues. Have a two-sided conversation with your customers, and offer them something of value in exchange for their attention.
Your social content can bring a smile to someone’s face, invite them into a community, inspire them to make a change, or simply remind them that they aren’t alone.
A well-thought-out social strategy can increase awareness of your health coaching business, build a loyal and engaged audience base, and, ultimately, bring you new clients.
Now that’s something to “like.”
Melissa Zimmerman is a co-founder and Editor-in-Chief at GloWellmag.com, a wellness entrepreneur, and a digital marketing strategist who has helped health and wellness brands attract the right clients through authentic content and storytelling. Find Melissa at the Wellness Brand Builders Facebook group for more tips on growing your wellness biz.