A couple weeks ago, Forbes ran an interesting article about getting online content noticed. “Want to make your content go viral?” the article asked. “Take a lesson,” it advised, “from”—and here’s the interesting part—“the fitness industry.”
The article noted that, while there is a lot of miracle-diet and exercise-fad gimmickry out there, the fitness industry offers up some genuinely rich and helpful Internet content, including workout videos, guidelines for better ways to work out, and tips for metabolism-boosting diets. In order to get the good information noticed, the article says, new types of fitness experts have emerged: “individuals who exist across the online and physical worlds and operate as equal parts trainer, writer, and social media guru.”
The article cites Jonathan Goodman, a Toronto-based trainer and founder of an online portal for trainers to share advice. “Fitness sells on emotion,” Goodman told Forbes, “and sharing content on social media relies on eliciting emotional responses. There’s a lot of carry-over there. How can you give people the opportunity to selectively self-represent through sharing your material?”
First, pat yourself on the back for belonging to an industry Forbes says other industries can learn from. Then, reinforce for yourself the lesson you’re teaching others, the one Goodman so succinctly sums up: The way to get people to share your material is to keep in mind that anyone spreading your content is telling his or her entire social media network something about him or herself—reposting it becomes a self-representation. Therefore, the way to ensure your content is widely shared is to forge content that is going to make people proud of themselves. Before you tweet about a new workout regimen or put up a Facebook post highlighting the routine of one of your star trainers, ask yourself whether the material is something others might identify with. You might want to imagine various people you know. Would your brother share it? Your aunt? Your next door neighbor’s girlfriend? Her physician? Her physician’s office manager?
The point is, if you’re visualizing who might share your stuff, you’ll get closer to your intended audience—and you might strike just the right note so that your stuff actually does get shared. This is really the best thing social media can do for you: make your content viral. Once it’s out there to hundreds or thousands or who-knows-how-many people, your brand acquires a unique sort of force; you become a voice of authority.
Having one of those new types of fitness experts in your corner helps. You want someone who, like Goodman, is a writer and social media wiz, with the knowledge and experience to back-up what he’s writing about. If you don’t currently have a person like this on staff at your gym or fitness facility, consider creating a position for one. Once he or she starts getting the right kind of content up on your website and social media channels, you’ll become exactly one of those fitness industry entities Forbes considers a successful model. And remember - keep your content viral!