While typing 140 characters may seem like a quick and easy way to promote your studio, those 140 characters can be a bit intimidating once you dive into the daily practice. The type of content you write and link to from your studio’s Twitter account impacts your rate of engagement with clients. And when clients engage with your business on Twitter, in many cases, that activity will get you noticed by their network of followers. People are increasingly influenced by their peers’ consumer habits. In a recent study of social media users, 68 percent said they were at least somewhat likely to make a purchase after seeing a friend’s post about a product or service.
To help you get more comfortable with using the platform for business, and using it well, we’ve put together some basic information to help guide you on what type of content to tweet, how often to tweet and when to tweet.
Twitter by the Numbers
23 percent of online adults currently use Twitter, compared to just 18 percent in 2013.
The average time per month spent by users on Twitter is 170 minutes.
Twitter skews male. 22 percent of men use Twitter, while only 15% of women do.
Twitter activity is highly concentrated among a small subset of its most active users. The top 1 percent of Twitter users accounted for 20 percent of all tweets. The top 15 percent of users accounted for 85 percent of tweets.
Twitter has more than 1 billion registered users, but only 255 million users are active. 46 percent of these active Twitter users tweet at least once per day while 44 percent of all Twitter users have never posted to the site.
78 percent of Twitter’s active users are mobile users. This is a 31 percent increase from 2013 to 2014.
Tweets with more than three hashtags get 17 percent less engagement. Tweets with one to two hashtags get 21 percent higher average engagement.
5 TIPS AND TRICKS
1. Go beyond exercise. Engage your clients and potential future clients by posting content around living a fit lifestyle, rather than just workout tips and exercise video clips. While your studio’s approach to exercise should be at the core of your Twitter strategy, include recipes, health tips, related news, and plenty of motivation. Quotes and inspirational posts tend to see higher engagement on Twitter because people are quick to share them with others.
2. Learn from other users. Search for hashtags related to your specialty, as well as fitness hashtags in general. By reading posts made on your topics of interest, you can see what your competitors and other fitness businesses (supplements, equipment, workout gear, beauty, etc.) are tweeting about. Observing what others in the field are doing can help you stay on top of fitness trends, learn what topics are popular in the moment and develop new ideas for your own tweets. Using Twitter as a resource for new information might inspire you to try something new at your studio or try a new product. Set up a stream in Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, or other dashboard platform to follow hashtags more easily than searching through Twitter.
3. Use great pictures. Images can increase retweet rate by up to 150 percent. Twitter allows you to tag users in tweets, post multiple images in one tweet and use filters.
As important as it is to include visual elements in your tweets, having really good profile and header images is essential. It’s so tempting to just put up your logo or an amateur headshot of yourself that one of your instructors took with her iPhone. Don’t. Think through your profile picture and header image. Are they an accurate representation of your brand?
If you do use your logo, is it properly sized for Twitter? The profile image should be cropped and sized at 400 x 400 pixels and the header 1,500 by 500 pixels. Choose images that will work best in these sizes.
4. Listen as much as you tweet. Scheduling tweets with a platform such as HootSuite or Tweetdeck can be a great way to organize and optimize your tweeting efforts. But, don’t forget to pay attention to any responses your scheduled tweets may get. According to a recent survey of active Twitter users who tweet to brands, 53 percent want that response in under an hour. Your follow-up comments are often more important for client engagement than your original tweet.
On the topic of automation, manually posting a classic retweet (RT @username) rather than using the retweet button is a more effective means for getting noticed because you will get your name into the user’s mention stream.
5. Personality is a plus. While most of your tweets will probably be about your studio, don’t let your personality get lost among all the new class announcements and smoothie recipes. Your personality (and the personality of your instructors) is a big reason why your clients love coming to your studio. Don’t let that get lost in the social media sauce.
The Big No-No
DMs (direct messages) are considered tacky in the Twitterverse. Many users won’t even check their DM inboxes. If you want to chat with a user directly, use @ mentions to start the conversation.
So, how often should you tweet and what times are most effective. For consumer brands like yours, there is a 17 percent increase in engagement on weekends. Wednesdays, statistically speaking, are also a good day for interaction on Twitter.
Posting at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 12 p.m. typically delivers the highest click-through rates. Research also shows that the most effective frequency is to post one to four times per hour at the height of activity.
Is this Working?
The more you tweet, the more followers you’re likely to have. Users who have posted under 1000 tweets typically have fewer than 100 followers, while those who have tweeted more than 10,000 times usually have followings of between 1,000 and 5,000 users.
When evaluating your Twitter audience, it’s important to focus on the quality of your audience rather than the number of followers you have. Are you reaching your clients? Are users engaging with you? Have you attracted any new clients due to your Twitter efforts?
There are many tools available to help you collect and analyze useful Twitter data. Socialbro, for example, provides in-depth information about your followers, helps you identify influencers in the health and wellness space and compares how the effectiveness of your Twitter efforts stack up next to others in the industry.
With more than 73,000 very engaged followers, @FitBottomGirl is a fitness lifestyle juggernaut on Twitter. The brand started out as a blog created by Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead. They wrote workout DVD reviews, fitness news, new product information, tidbits on healthy food, and workout music suggestions and playlists as well as personal accounts of the founders’ exercise endeavors. What really resonates with their audience was their sense of humor about fitness.
One of @FitBottomGirl’s successful strategies is their Fit Bottom Challenge, where each week of the month, they set a theme and post information that combines fitness, healthy eating, positive self image and having fun with fitness.