Instagram is where you will find majority of your current members, potential clients, as well as business partners.  People are attracted to Instagram accounts that encourage and inspire them to live a healthy lifestyle, so today I want to share 5 Instagram hacks to take your gym’s Instagram experience to the next level

1. Hashtag resources

Studies show that posts with 11 hashtags received 80% interaction while those with just 10 received only 22%.  Use tools that will help you optimize your use of hashtags.  Websta will help show you the top 100 hashtags and will help your posts trend to get more exposure.

Post an image of your top members working out in your gym and tag it with #photooftheday.  This is the 3rd most popular hashtag and has been used about 450million times.

Another Instagram resource is Daily Hashtag article. You can use this as reference as to which hashtags are trending.

When posting before and after photos of your members, post this on Tuesdays and use the hashtag #TransformationTuesday.

Some popular hashtags that gyms use is #HealthyHumpDAy, #SelfieSunday, etc.

2. Instagram Stories

Since it started in August 2016, Instagram Stories gained 170 million daily users.  When using Instagram Stories, here are some important things to remember:

a) Keep track of who watches your Instagram Stories and engage with them.

People voluntarily watch your Insta Story and it doesn’t automatically play in their feed.  So monitor who are watching your story and reach out to people who repeatedly watch your content, they are interested in what you have to offer.  Message them through Insta and ask what they liked about your story.

b) Stay in front of your members and leads

Make sure to connect with your leads and clients on Instagram. Be up to date on their content if they use Instagram Stories. A lot of them actually include their workouts and lifestyle in their stories, so write messages on their story to stay in front of them.  Offer support and show appreciation. While watching their story, click on “Send message” in the bottom left to write them something.

c) Control who sees your Insta Story

If, for example, you want to create an Instagram story that features a free week offer for new clients only, you can hide your content from people that you don’t want to see that offer.

Go to your main profile > Click the 3 circle button in the top right > Choose Story Settings > Hide Story From.

d) Save your photos

Save the pictures in your Instagram Story before and after it’s published. If you want to save your photo before its live, click the “save” button in the bottom left hand corner. If you want to save it after, click the 3 buttons on the bottom right and choose whether to save the photo or share it through your feed.

3. Use other apps to enhance your post

Here are a few Instagram apps that are designed to enhance your photos on Insta and the way you post them.

Layout – This is a great app to help you make collages for both iOS and Android. Combine a few of your fitness studio’s favorite photos to make one unique picture.

Repost – This app saves you time when it comes to posting on your Instagram and increases the exposure of both your images and the person’s you share. So if you’re the owner of a gym, repost your fitness business’ posts so that your personal followers get exposed to your business’ account.

Boomerang – Boomerang creates GIFs, which are real-life 1 second videos. There are tons of ways fitness studios can use Boomerang:   to show a quick workout, result of food prep, to feature a member of the day, or to highlight your exercise equipment or product, etc.

4. The best times to post Instagram videos and photos

Monday and Tuesday at 8am and 5pm are proven to get the highest rates of engagement. For videos, post at 9pm if possible. This has been proven to get the best results.

TIP- don’t forget to schedule posts for after-hours (5pm, 9pm) as there is a higher chance that your target audience will be able to look at their phone and engage on Instagram.

5. Location Tag

Adding a location tag to your posts makes a huge difference. Always add your facility’s location. Even if you post on your business’ page, add the location.