Use Instagram to Promote your Health and Fitness Site

  •    Tim is a freelance business writer. He writes about the business of innovation, comics and genre entertainment on The Full Bleed.

By next year, there will be over 328,400 personal trainers registered and operating in the U.S. — up from 299,200 in 2012. Mix in nutrition experts, yoga teachers and custom sportswear providers and you've a big crowd. A smartly designed website is crucial if you hope to stand out and win customers.

But even the best website needs a push once in a while. Instagram can help. The Facebook-owned visual site now draws 700 million monthly active users, making it one of the best places to market your services. Try these 4 tips for drawing in visitors to your health and fitness website.

1. Ask for traffic

What's the harm? Instagram isn't like Twitter or any other social media service that allows for plentiful links. On Instagram, only your bio can host a link to your website. So when U.K.-based personal trainer Luke Teuma posts about a new video, he'll highlight "LINK IN BIO" to remind interested browsers where they can find more information. Teuma has 1,181 followers as of this writing, so every post has the potential to draw meaningful traffic and boost sales.

Lean with Luke Instagram post

2. Post coupons

Everyone likes deals. Reward those who follow you on Instagram with expiring deals they'll get nowhere else — as yogawear maker Flexi Lexi Fitness does — and then use Google Analytics to track sales that include your discount codes. Whether or not you're rewarded with more sales, after a few tries you'll have a better feel for the types of products your buyers want.

Flexi Lexi posting coupons on Instagram

3. Give details

While Instagram is often compared to Twitter and Snapchat, it's more like Facebook in a key way: you have more room to write. Australian sports dietitian Michelle Bruce of Tune Up Health and Fitness uses this to her advantage in posts that market new classes and offerings. A recent "ad" paired a photo of a woman holding junk food and proclaiming "when I eat, I lose control" with a pitch for a class on healthy eating that included a location, a phone number and details for joining. Everything but the disallowed link.

Tune Up Health Instagram post showing healthy food

4. Create a hashtag for your product

Hashtags are like secret sauce on Instagram. Why? Some browsers will use hashtags as their "way in" to the service, looking at all the posts that carry a certain tag. Popular health and fitness hashtags include #healthy and #workout, but your marketing efforts may be better served by creating a hashtag specifically for your product. That's what makers of the Dharma Yoga Wheel did and there are nearly 16,000 #dharmawheel posts on Instagram as of this writing. The cost of that boost? Nothing. Nada. Zilch.


However you choose to exploit Instagram or any other social network — with begging, details, coupons, custom hashtags or a strategy all your own — make sure your website is optimized. You'll want to properly showcase your health and fitness offerings and visibly connect prospects to your social media marketing channels through icons or other design cues. Weebly's Paper theme is a popular choice for this very reason, and is available now.