Most of you, if not all of you, probably already have a Facebook page. Whether you only use a personal page, or have both a personaland a professional page, here are ways to maximize the potential of this wonderful tool:
1. First and foremost, having a Facebook page allows others easy access to you or your business. A quick search of your name on Facebook, or via Google, will likely reveal your Facebook pages. If you also have a website, Facebook is a great tool for promoting your site, as well as any changes or updates on your website, such as new class schedules, new articles, new pictures, etc.
2. Whether it be on your personal or on your professional Facebook page, select a great picture of you for your profile picture (preferably a professional head shot) that reflects who you are, and that shows you in your best light.
3. Invite your class participants and other contacts to join you on Facebook! Tell them you would be honored to have them connect with you on Facebook. This will enable you to establish a rapport with them outside of class, and to learn more about them. At the very least, it allows you to learn their names, their birth date, and some of their interests.
4. Offer a variety of posts on a regular basis. Use your status to promote your classes, the workshops that you provide, your new playlists, and so on. However, avoid making every post about work. Keep it professional, but also share things about your everyday life, non-related to fitness. It can be anything from sharing your favorite latte beverage, to the latest movie you watched (and liked or disliked).
5. Stay in contact with your Facebook followers and friends on a regular basis: “Like” their posts, learn something about them though a picture or a post (children, pets), wish them Happy Birthday on their special day, congratulate them about something or ask about why you haven’t seen them in class in a while, and so on.
6. Make use of the Facebook page of the fitness facility you work at. This will give you even greater exposure, rather than only using your personal Facebook page. Do so by promoting your classes (new class, different playlist, exciting choreography, new time slot, and so forth), or events (ex: Zumba marathon). This can be useful to you, to the people in your classes, and to the gym.
7. “Share” or post useful information relating to workouts and health. That being said, if you post an article or a blog, make sure the source is reliable. The information you share is a reflection on you, so you don’t want to recommend something that isn’t worthy of the industry or that could lead to an injury (ex: an unsafe exercise).
8. Use your Facebook page to create a community, and help fellow instructors and peers grow. By helping each other, everyone wins. Promote another instructor’s class, say something nice about a colleague, etc. Also, get inspired by fitness colleagues and presenters that you respect and admire. Personally, I love to stay connected with Petra Kolber and Lawrence Biscontini. They do amazing work with Social Media. You can learn from everyone!
9. If you can’t commit to your Facebook page, close your account. It is better to not have a Facebook account than to have one without being truly invested in it. Make sure the people following you know and understand what’s in it for them. Make it as much about THEM as you can.
10. Always remember, what’s most important is how you make people feel. Avoid any negativity on your page and foster admiration and a sense of being a part of something great. Be humble and generous with everyone around you (online or in life).
For Maya Angelou said it best: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”