Chantal: Marisa, thank you so much for joining us on the show.
Marisa: I’m so excited to be here. Thank you.
Chantal: We are here at Club Industry at the moment-
Chantal: … so it’s lovely to be able to chat to you in person.
Marisa: It’s nice to see you, yes.
Chantal: Marisa, we’re talking today about Facebook and using Facebook to generate leads.
Chantal: I was reading … I think it was the blurb about your presentation that you’re doing here at Club Industry, and it was saying that … or you were saying that Facebook should be the medium that Gmail owners should use.
Marisa: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Chantal: Now, there are obviously loads of different platforms out there.
Marisa: Right. Right. Right.
Chantal: Why Facebook?
Marisa: Well, a couple reasons. First of all, Facebook has huge reach. We’re talking about two billion people a month, one billion every day on Facebook. And Facebook isn’t going anywhere. They’re only growing and getting stronger. That’s definitely the first place I would go. Yes, there’s other ones like Instagram or Snapchat or other social media tools, but they’re trendy and not established, and not growing in the same way.
And Facebook really hits all your demographics, whereas you couldn’t say that about Snapchat or even Instagram. Facebook is really the great way to go. And what we’re hearing from people … There was a report from the future of social marketing that had respondents say what their top ROI was. 96% said Facebook.
Chantal: Wow, 96%.
Marisa: Social media people, people who do this for a living, still say Facebook is the way to go.
Chantal: And was that … Sorry, was that statistic across all different categories?
Marisa: They were looking at-
Chantal: [crosstalk 00:01:34]
Marisa: … social media.
Marisa: And then there were people who just managed social media stuff, and Facebook was their number one. So not fitness business, but all.
Chantal: Across the board. Across the board.
Marisa: Yeah, exactly.
Chantal: Okay. Perhaps you can talk us through some of the ways that, as a fitness business, we can generate leads using Facebook.
Marisa: Okay. Overall, and that’s such a great question. The most important thing is creating great content. As all of us know, and we’ve heard over and over again, if I put a post on Facebook as a brand, as a business, 5% of my fans are going to see that organically. If you think about all the stuff that you’re trying to get out to people, and you probably have great things to say, great offers, great specials, whatever it is. But if only 5% of your people are seeing it, that’s dismal.
When we create great content that people like, that people share, that people comment on, and that Facebook algorithm all of a sudden starts to see that, then more and more people are going to see what you have to say, and that’s the key. If you create good content 80% of the time that’s educational, inspirational, funny; whatever it is that people want to interact with, then when you do that other 20% that’s going to perhaps sell a membership or promote a small group training programme, people are going to see it. That’s key first, because you got to get people to see what you’re posting. And the only way to do that organically is by creating great content, so that’s really important.
Then the other thing I’d say is starting to play a little bit with Facebook ads. It’s the only way that you’re going to ensure that something gets seen right? And because Facebook is so inexpensive, it’s such a great way to get into the business of marketing through Facebook. The brands that really want to be seen are paying to play, they call that. For us, even a small independent gym, we can very inexpensively start to play around with Facebook ads, boost posts, do that, and that’s been really helpful to us in generating leads. And finally, specifically, I think that for gym owners, there’s that little tab called offers that I think have been really helpful in generating leads, and you can pin those to the top. If you have a post that you’re really excited about, you can pin it to the top so that when people go to your page, it’s the first thing they see. I’ve heard of some businesses where that’s all they’re doing, and they’re generating a tonne of interest just from that offer that they pin to the top.
I personally love bribing my fans, so we host contests all the time. For instance, we just did one that was called hashtag why Stevenson. We got our members to basically create ads for us. They created tonnes of different posts because we said we would give them cool sunglasses or a cool hat. And we had lots of members that wrote on either Instagram, but mainly Facebook, about why they love Stevenson, and when you get users to generate content for you, it’s incredible. As a matter of fact, just yesterday I was on Facebook and Equinox just started one that was for personal training. They were going to give away 12 personal training sessions to one person. But they’re, in essence, for a very inexpensive price, getting people to generate leads for their personal training.
Chantal: In the example that you just gave where you did the hashtag Stevenson, was it just a written comment that they were doing? Or were they posting photos and videos as well?
Marisa: They would post photos and videos. We didn’t tell them to do that, but organically, that’s what people were doing. We actually, in the gym, set up a cute little backdrop. So a lot of people came to the backdrop and did hashtag why Stevenson. Some people would put their kids on there and talk about it. Some people took videos during classes. And we didn’t tell them that was necessary, but people just wanted to. Most of the time, it was people generating pictures and videos that they themselves had done.
Chantal: Translating that from a content-rich environment on your Facebook page, so you’ve got the members interacting and loading and generating that content. How do you take the step from there to then lead generation? Are you putting an offer that relates back, or is it because you’ve got the attention of people then that you’re then putting an offer in front of them?
Marisa: I think it’s both. One of our main goals in Facebook is building community and building trust. Let’s say, Chantal, you’re at Stevenson Fitness and you put out this post about why Stevenson. You’re letting all your friends know about how great we are. When I have 50 people doing that, they’re spreading the word, brand awareness, about how great we are. So that when we did post that offer, their friends saw, “Oh, this might be a great opportunity for us to come in.” We sold three times the number of memberships that week than we had all month, because we combined the two. So it is … I think Gary V used that in his book. It was Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. So you great content, great content, great content, sell. And so that’s what we’re trying to do.
Chantal: Okay. One of the concerns, I think, for a lot of business owners is that they generate a whole lot of content, but then perhaps some of the leads that come through aren’t really well-qualified or aren’t necessarily genuinely interested in what they have to offer. Do you have any tips for us around ensuring that the leads that do come through to us are really interested in the services that we provide?
Marisa: Right. There’s a couple things. One is, if you want to call it a lead, would be your like. Someone might like your page. I don’t know if they’re an engaged user or not. Maybe they like something funny that you wrote. But what truly we’re doing is creating leads about people coming into the business to buy a membership or to buy personal training. In building awareness, in creating a brand that is trustworthy and is community-driven, when people do come into the facility to ask about membership, they know about us already. They’ve done all the research. They’ve read all the reviews on Facebook, they’ve seen their friends. So those people coming in the door are hot leads. Not even mediocre leads. They know that they’re coming in to join. The likes on Facebook, that we can’t tell. It’s the engagement in the coming in that’s going to be the hot lead for you.
Chantal: Okay. Thinking about what you’ve done with Stevenson Fitness and the advice that you would give to people, do you want to take us through perhaps three steps that gym owners can do right now if they’re not already doing it, to start generating more leads from Facebook? Before we hear those three tips from Marisa, here’s a message from one of our podcast partners.
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Marisa: Okay, first and foremost, you do need to plan your content. You make sure that it’s strategic, and you make sure that it’s consistent. Regardless of whether you want to post once a day or twice a day, maybe at the beginning of the month you plan that content and you’re strategic. You say 80% of what I’m going to do is going to create engagement, and then the other 20% is going to be that sales-driven thing. So A) plan. B) I highly encourage gym owners to start playing with Facebook ads or boosting posts. They’re two different ways to go about it, but just play with it. See different things that are working, and then you’re going to use your insights. That’s the part where you look at either how your page is doing as a whole, or how a specific post is doing as a whole. And you’re going to use that information, then, to go back to the beginning. To plan, to do your Facebook ads, look at how it’s going, and then go back to plan.
Chantal: For someone who has I guess tries a little bit of Facebook advertising or starting to become active on Facebook, but isn’t invested fully yet, are there any other takeaways that you would recommend in regards to getting active and including Facebook as a larger part of their overall marketing calendar?
Marisa: I think sometimes people feel like they don’t know enough to do that, and there are so many resources out there to help. For instance, even with Facebook, they have Blueprint for Facebook, which is an e-course that’s free, and you can literally learn about all aspects from advertising. They take you step by step. How do you create an ad? They have charts that say, “If your goal is to get more page likes, then do this call to action. If your goal is to get people to our website, then use this call to action.” They’re so helpful, and there’s even a Facebook ads team that will help you. They’ll reach out to you and set up a call with you, but as a starter, Blueprint for Facebook is great.
Chantal: Excellent. Okay, well, Marisa, thank you very much for taking us through all of those Facebook tips today.
Marisa: My pleasure.
Chantal: Hopefully gives everyone a little bit of further information as to where they can get started, or where they can move to as far as their Facebook advertising goes.
Chantal: Generating leads from Facebook.
Chantal: So thank you so much.
Marisa: My pleasure, my pleasure.
Chantal: Now, I realise that that sounds like the end of the interview, but Marisa and I kept chatting, and she started telling me about an example of a post that they did at Stevenson Fitness that had a great result for getting their followers to interact with their Facebook page. It was such a great example that she was telling me about that I had to get her to stop and repeat it so that I could record it all for you. Here it is.
Marisa, you just mentioned that content generation is really important. But can you give us some specific examples of the type of post that we can do to really encourage interaction?
Marisa: Absolutely. One of the ones that we tried recently was we used actually Canva.com, which is a great way to make really cool social media tiles.
Chantal: We love Canva.
Marisa: Isn’t it great? Yeah.
Chantal: We love Canva.
Marisa: I made a really pretty post that said, “Tell us why you love small group training in the comments below, and we will choose one person at random to win one month of small group training.” That post got a tonne of interaction. Lots of people commented and gave us reasons why they loved small group training, and then we followed up with a post that said, “Here’s the winner,” which again got tonnes of interactions. And now we’re using those comments, and we re-use them as posts with a picture of the member and her or his testimonial. So it’s giving us not only engagement, but content for days to come.
Chantal: Great example. Are there any others you can share with us?
Marisa: I love featuring members. I know that Mark Miller’s clubs, Merritt, they do one that’s called Fitness Matters. That’s their hashtag. They even have shirts on it. They’ll ask different members to share why fitness matters, and they’ll feature that member and write up their little story. Members love to see themselves. They share it. All their friends are excited to see them and they comment, so that’s another great tip that we’ve had.
Chantal: That’s a great one. Now, we were just having a chat, and you taught me something on Facebook that I had no idea about. I would love you to share that with all the listeners.
Marisa: Yay, I’m so glad I taught you something new. We talked about that 5% of posts that are seen by people. As a brand, we’re creating this content. But one way you can ensure that your fans or your people who like you always see your posts is by telling them to follow you first. What that looks like is you tell them to go to your page, and in the tab right next to the like button is something that says following. There’s a drop-down little arrow and the default is that they’ll see you. They can unfollow you, or they can choose to say see first.
We actually had a contest, because again, I’m not above bribing people. And I put this post up on our Facebook page and I said, “Here’s how you do it, that way you can always see the great things that we have to do and say at Stevenson Fitness, and for everyone who comments ‘done’, you’re entered in to win a possible $100 Amazon gift card.” We had tonnes of people writing “done”, and now I don’t have to worry about those people, because they will always see my posts.
Chantal: I absolutely love that.
Chantal: I feel like that’s a secret little tip that we have just learned. I’m going to be totally honest; I’m going to use that for the podcast page.
Marisa: You should, yes.
Chantal: I’m going to go and use that, and I would love to hear about other people that have done that for their fitness business as well, so thank you very much for that little insider trip.
Marisa: Of course, yes. I’m so glad I could do that.
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