Why Facebook Won’t Work for Fitness Businesses in 2016

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Have you noticed how many Facebook experts are out there today who are specifically just for fit pros?

Take a look back 12 months ago, there were very few there and I know this because that’s what I do. I help fitness businesses build their business using Facebook and other social media platforms. I was looking into this; if you were to look today, how many people do you see out there marketing themselves and promoting themselves as “Facebook experts for fitness professionals?” There are a lot. You can see that Facebook is getting a lot more popular.

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I’m sure you’ve noticed in your newsfeed, there are a lot more local gyms and studios marketing, right? Promoting their different plans and different programs. I’m sure you’ve even noticed that a lot of them look the same. Now do I think Facebook can still work? Hell yes I do! It is so powerful. The ability to target the exact person, down to the ages, and put a specific message in front of them, I think it’s still very, very powerful. I think it’s probably right now the most powerful marketing tool that we can be using within our fitness businesses, but I really do think that Facebook is going to stop working for a lot of fitness businesses in 2016.

It really comes down to three major reasons and that’s what I’m going to go over in this blog post.

I’m not saying it can’t work, I’m not saying that it won’t work, but what I’m saying is it’s not going to work for the majority of fitness businesses.

  1. The first reason, and this is what I’ve been seeing a lot of starting back around mid 2015, is that people are spending all their time and all their money putting their posts out there with the only objective being to get prospects to either opt in or to buy. It’s just buy my stuff, buy my stuff, sign up. You’re not offering any VALUE.Untitled designYou’re not building any trust. You’re just putting a message in front of a bunch of people who have never heard of you, and don’t know anything about you. Basically, they don’t know, like or trust you, but you’re asking them to buy your stuff without proving that you can actually solve their problem. There are a lot of these people out there. This is how it used to be; it was: get them to opt in, get their email address and THEN provide value; but if you want to be successful in 2016 on Facebook, you need to provide value first.Provide enough value so they know, like and trust you and then you can actually ask for them to opt in. You need to provide a ton of value, you need to prove yourself, you need to stand out in a crowded market, earn their trust and, once you do that, then you should be asking them to opt in, then you can ask them to buy your stuff.
  2. Mistake number two (or the second reason I think that Facebook marketing is not going to work for a lot of fitness businesses in 2016), is that everybody is copying everybody else. Everyone’s putting up the same message. One person finds out an ad works and then everyone starts to copy it. I’m sure you’ve seen this in your news feed more than once. What’s going to happen is, your message is going to become so bland, it’s going to become so vanilla, no one is going to be able to distinguish between you and the gym down the corner that’s putting out the exact same ad.Orange brown bengal cat reflecting in mirror
    When you do that, you’re missing out on the biggest opportunity that social media is actually providing, and that is for you to be able to compete with these large brands that can throw a ton of money into advertising. You can actually brand yourself. You can build up a raving community of people who love you, love what you do, and will do anything you want them to by doing social media-ing right. You need to try to provide value.You need to give them content that actually helps them in their life. It provides value.It helps them get what’s called results in advance, or get one baby step closer to their goals, and that is how you’re going to stand out.

    If you put the same message out as everyone else you’re not going to stand out. No one is going to notice you and then all you can do is compete on price and I’m sure that you know that’s not the way to do it.We need to stop it, but you’re going to continue to see that because everyone’s finding out now how well Facebook works. Everyone’s jumping in, they see there’s money to be made and they’re just like, “Well if that worked for that person, I’m going to copy the same thing,” when it’s not who you are, it’s not specific to your brand, and you’re just going to get lost in that shuffle and all you can do now to compete is lower your prices.

  3. The third reason why I think it’s not going to work is because it takes a little bit of knowledge, it takes a little bit of work, and I think that’s why no one’s going to do this. No one is thinking about the prospect’s experience. No one’s thinking about the end user. So that Facebook user you’re not thinking of, the experience you want them to have when they come into contact with you and your business, you need to figure out, okay, what path, what journey do I want to take them through?
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    When they find out about me, when they like my page, when I send them to my website, what do I want to give them?What do I want to show them?Do I want to provide some great blog posts that again, provide results in advance?Do I want to send them my blog posts on “Seven Easy Exercises You Can Do At Home?”Do I want to send them to a free report that they can just download, and they don’t even have to opt in, that teaches them “25 Five Minute Recipes?”

    Do I want to make sure that they see some video testimonials from my clients?

    What other things can you show them to actually prove that you are the expert?

    Show them you are the person in your area that is above and beyond the best choice for them. Think about that experience you want them to have as soon as they first find out about you because, for most people, when they first find out about a business, all they see is, sign up for my 21 day program, sign up for my 21 day program, sign up for my 21 day program, sign up to get my eBook. You’re just asking them for stuff instead of offering them something of value by saying here’s, “Seven Ways to Start to Lose Weight in Under Five Minutes a Day.”They go and they read that blog post, there’s nothing there that is selling them. Then the next, maybe three days later, they see a video testimonial from one of your clients pop up in their news feed. Then a couple days later, they get shown another blog post about “Seven Time Savers While You’re in the Kitchen.” A few days after that, they see another testimonial from your clients. Then a few days after that, they see another video testimonial of your clients.

    So now they’re seeing what other people are saying about you. Then maybe after that, then maybe they see something to opt in. Then maybe they see something to actually buy your program. You’ve taken care of the actual experience that they’re going to have as soon as they find out about you, so that you can set yourself up for success, you can set yourself up to be known as the expert in your area.

Those are three of the main reasons why I feel like Facebook is not going to work for a number of businesses in 2016. I already spoke to a number of people who were really struggling and saying, “You know what? Facebook isn’t working nearly as well as what it used to work. Facebook really isn’t working for my business anymore.”

I noticed this starting to happen in the last three to four months of 2015 and it’s only going to get worse as we see more fitness business using Facebook to get business.  So while these businesses continue to just sell their prospects before adding value, make sure that you concentrate on providing value first.  That is the true key to LONG TERM success using Facebook (and any other social media platform).

3 thoughts on “Why Facebook Won’t Work for Fitness Businesses in 2016

  1. Jill - FitTemplates.com

    Great article, Scott! I like your point that you have to give massive value directly on Facebook (instead of blasting it through email like we use to). I know video posts were supposedly the hot, new thing in 2015. What kind of post do you think will be most effective in 2016?

    1. Scott Rawcliffe Post author

      Definitely think video will continue to become more valuable. Stats from Facebook actually showed that the amount of minutes of video’s watched on desktop was practically the same for YouTube and Facebook, but for mobile Facebook had about 5 times more video minutes watched per month!


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