Personal Trainers and Social Media Marketing | Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

Personal Trainers and Social Media Marketing

As a personal trainer, social media marketing is essential. The way you market yourself on social media can make or break your chances of attracting new clients. Read on to learn more about how to grow your personal training business through social media marketing.

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Mar 30, 2021

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  • Social media allows you to showcase your talents, expertise, and allows people to have a look at your business.
  • Social networking is an important element of self-promotion for any field of work.
  • You must go into every platform with an open-yet-reactive mindset.

We are living in a social media-driven world – especially for personal trainers. As such, social media marketing, for personal trainers, is essential.

Social media allows you to showcase your talents, expertise, and allows people to have a look at your business. It’s a great, cost-effective way to attract more clients.

Social media aside, you need a business management platform that keeps all of your client information and workout plans in one easy-to-navigate place. Request a demo of our Fitness Business Management software today.

Social Media Marketing for Personal Trainers

Before diving into the social media world, you should have already developed who your target market is and what your niche is. These are important things to know because they dictate which platforms you’ll use and how you will present your posts.

For example, if you’re marketing to middle-aged men, you wouldn’t want to post images of women and children on Instagram. You won’t be reaching your target market. In comparison, if you’re marketing to postnatal women, you wouldn’t want to post images and videos of powerlifting and flipping tires. Your social media accounts should represent your work and be focused on who you want to influence or grab the attention of.

Choosing the Right Platform

There are many social media platforms out there and you don’t need them all; however, some will be extremely beneficial for you to use; most notably: Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


  • Some may argue that you can get away with not having a website as long as you have Facebook (you should have both!), but this just goes to show how important Facebook is for businesses. According to its company website, Facebook has:
    • 968 million daily active users
    • 844 million mobile daily active users
    • 49 billion monthly active users
    • 31 billion mobile monthly active users
  • The benefit is within the numbers, you can reach large amounts of people with a single post
  • Your reach can widen when you join Facebook Groups of people with the same interests


  • Visual, visual, visual – pictures catch attention more than words
  • Brands, companies, and celebrities are using Instagram to build big followings and to make connections
  • Videos posted on Instagram automatically play in the feed, making it easy to share exercise videos, fitness tips, and training sessions with your followers
  • You typically will not find many Baby Boomer-aged persons on Instagram, but if your clientele is 18-40 years old, you would be silly not to have an account

Read “Instagram Marketing for Gyms and Fitness Professionals” to learn more.


Be Flexible With Each Platform

Because social media is an ever-changing field, it is almost impossible to predict what might unfold on your social sites. You must go into every platform with an open-yet-reactive mindset. DMA Solutions highlights the times when a person must be flexible on social media and why:

  • Customer service issues – While most companies use social media campaigns to attract and retain customers, these platforms can also become unexpected channels of resolving customer service issues/complaints. Therefore, be prepared to adjust your strategy, and monitor your pages constantly.
  • National tragedies – Unexpected tragedies that shake people up worldwide will undoubtedly occur and companies/brands must be prepared to have a reactive response. Reschedule planned content to not be misconstrued as being insensitive.
  • Analytics indicate a change – Be able to adjust and adapt to your audience’s needs if what you’re posting is not gaining the attention you had hoped.

Have Goals

As you enter the social media realm, you will want to establish goals so that you’re not casually posting here and there, whenever you feel like it. Without goals, it’s hard to know exactly how well your social media strategy is performing. Here are some goals for your social media platforms:

  • Brand awareness
  • Community engagement
  • Content distribution
  • Sales/Lead generation
  • Customer support

Engage Your Followers to Create Community

Now that you’ve established your social media platforms and you have generated a following, you want to work on boosting engagement. To create a rapport among your followers, you must think out of the box to make it fun, exciting, and worthwhile so that they continue to follow your page (or even better, share your page!). Below are some things you can do, to build that engagement:

  • Contests
  • Giveaways
  • Community Hashtag
  • Reply to DMs
  • Live Streams
  • Social Media Only Discounts

Schedule Regularly

To utilize social media to help build your awareness and create a following, you must post consistently and frequently. It is recommended to schedule these posts out ahead of time so that you are not having to stop in the middle of your day to put together a post. Social media has come a long way and platforms have implemented ways to create posts in advance and then dictate when you want them to be posted/released to the public. There are many tools and tricks out there to schedule regularly such as:

  • Creating a social media schedule from a template
  • Using a scheduling tool such as Tweetdeck or HootSuite (there are many others out there)
  • Learning “when” to post on each different platform

However you decide to post regularly, you should take a lot of pictures at your gym and keep them stored so that you have a bundle of them at your disposal as you begin to schedule out your posts.

Finish Your Entire Profile

You want to make sure that each platform’s profile is completed. Being organized and consistent will help your business get ranked higher during a Google search. Make sure to spell everything the same as you do on your website. Also, keep the same logo throughout all social media so that it’s easy to identify.

Create a Branded Hashtag

Hashtags play a vital role in spreading your Instagram reach and help to develop your following. When Tailwind researched Instagram usage, they found that 88% of brand posts include at least one hashtag and posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than those without.

Hashtags help to group content. These can be general hashtags that everyone uses, niche hashtags to develop an interest, or consolidated posts that relate to a particular product or campaign.

Check out the “100 Most Popular FItness Hashtags on Instagram” for some ideas.

Add Value

Adding value to your followers should be your number one goal. You want to be able to connect to them on a personal level, so it’s important to show that you’re more than just a run-of-the-mill trainer.

  • Offer expertise
  • Don’t just post about your business
  • Offer client highlights
  • Post inspirational/motivational and personal growth items
  • Answer the FAQs that you receive in your gym

Be Authentic

Many people will see right through fake profiles. In today’s social media world, authenticity is very important. Be gentle with your approach but stay true to yourself and your beliefs in regards to fitness. Don’t follow the fads or get swept up by what other personal trainers are doing.

Test the Waters With Ads

To test the water of purchasing ads, it is recommended to do your research. Ads can be very beneficial, but they do come at a cost. It is up to you to see if the Ads end up being beneficial for your gym and will bring in new members/followers.

It is always recommended to have worked through some organic posts before jumping into paid advertising so that you are better equipped to know what platform you should use over others. If you had Twitter posts, yet they rarely got any attention, you would not want to purchase Ads for Twitter; however, if your posts received a lot of likes and comments on Facebook, perhaps you could purchase Ads to further that engagement.

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Social Media Strategies for Personal Trainers

Different social networking outlets are used for different strategies. Check out how personal trainers use each platform:

  • Social Media Tools: Twitter and Facebook are used to display news and tips and to share media.
  • Online Fitness Communities: These are used to showcase websites, blogs, and products for sale.
  • E-Book Programs: Personal trainers use e-book programs for sharing digital content and e-books, as one might expect.
  • Apps: These are useful for connecting with mobile users as well as for sharing blogs and products. Imagine having a routine for the gym programmed into your phone.
  • Skype or Zoom: Over Skype or Zoom, trainers can share routines and fitness tips in real-time with their fans.
  • YouTube: This video website is helpful for sharing routines too, as well as promoting blogs and personal products.

It’s important to know which strategies are most effective for connecting with different audiences so that efforts aren’t wasted on the wrong platforms. For engaging with existing clients, physical trainers prefer to maintain regular tweets and weekly blogs to keep fans updated. To interact with new clients, personal trainers find that the combination of distributing a regular newsletter and holding seminars peaks interest. Within the industry, trainers like to stay connected to colleagues and mentors by creating contacts and sharing ideas.

One way to share ideas is with email marketing. Check out “The Ultimate Guide to Gym Email Marketing” to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do personal trainers need to use social media?

Yes. In this day and age, it is imperative that you use social media if you want to grow your personal training business.

How do I market to potential clients on social media?

You have quite a few options. Check out our comprehensive list of creative gym marketing ideas. 

Is there software that makes managing social media easy?

Yes! Many companies use applications like Hootsuite to schedule and post content to all social media platforms.

For all of your fitness business management needs, including having the ability to automate email marketing campaigns, sign up for a demo of our Fitness Business Management Software today.

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