Girls are looking at pictures on the Jackrabbit Instagram Profile.

Tell Your Gym’s or School’s Story on Instagram

If you are not using Instagram to promote your gym or your school and your brand, it’s time to dive in!

The growth Instagram has made over the last few years is incredible. Instagram has more than 600 million monthly active users and 400 million daily active users. According to Pew Research Center’s annual survey of social media usage, in the U.S. alone, 28% of all U.S. adults use Instagram. That number is even higher for adults ages 18-29—at 59%.

A study by Instagram found that 60 percent of Instagram users say they learn about products and services through Instagram, and 75 percent say they take actions such as visiting sites, searching, or telling a friend after seeing an Instagram post.

In this post, we have put together some tips to help you use Instagram as a marketing channel, so you can grow your followers and increase engagement with your students and families.

  1. Claim your business account. If you have set up your school or studio as a “personal” profile, make sure you convert it to an Instagram business account. Oddly, you must do this in the mobile app (look under the gear icon for Options then click “Switch to Business Profile” and follow the instructions).Once you claim your business account, make sure you fill out your profile, upload your logo and include a link to your website.
  1. Take great photos and videos! This should go without saying, but take the time to post only quality photos and video clips. The best will evoke some kind of emotion—awe, happiness, motivation, nostalgia, love or anything else. High-quality, colorful photos tend to get the most attention on Instagram.You can share up to 10 photos and videos in one post on Instagram.
  1. Share videos on a regular basis. Videos are exploding in popularity on social media sites, and Instagram is one of the best platforms for showing off what you are up to. This is especially true for “live” videos. Many people are leaving Snapchat for Instagram to take advantage of the bigger audience to share their video messages.You can share videos that remain indefinitely on Instagram. Or for more “fleeting” moments, you can add them to your “Story.” This feature is a way to share both photos and videos that will disappear after 24 hours.
  1. Limit your use of filters. Try not to overdo your filters and keep photos natural looking.
  1. Use hashtags sparingly. Hashtags are a great way to be discovered, using words proceeded but the # symbol (such as #dance #gymnastics #cheerleading). Try not to “stuff” your posts with too many hashtags. And make sure you only use keywords that are relevant to what you are posting.Remember, you can also put them in the comments section, which will help make your posts look less cluttered. Two good resources to find popular hashtags related to your topics include Hashtagify and Tagboard.
  1. Respond to comments. Keep in mind that like Instagram is meant to be social, so encourage your families and others to leave comments, and respond to them quickly.
  1. Have fun! Instagram makes it easy to not only add lots of filters but also to take advantage of their tools to create looping videos (Boomerang) and high-quality time-lapse videos (Hyperlapse). You can also get creative with giveaways, photo contests and other ways to promote your school and keep your brand top-of-mind.

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