Using social media for your studio

It's always a missed opportunity when a small business doesn't take advantage of social media to market their services. While there's no replacing professional marketing or public relations, social media is the ultimate way to get the word out about your martial arts studio, for free. If you haven't begun using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat as a business tool yet, here are a few reasons why you should – and how to get started:

Become a recognizable name in the community
The martial arts community tends to be a friendly, tightly knit one. If you find a few people in your area on social media who are active in the community, you're likely to find a whole lot more. If you decide to start a Facebook page, make sure it's a business page rather than a personal one. Begin by suggesting it to a few people you know who are active in or interested in martial arts, like your current students and patrons, through your personal account. After a while, more people who feel the same way will add your organization's page and check out the services you have to offer. It's important to keep the page active, so people who haven't experienced your studio firsthand consider it a reputable business, but you also need to know where to draw the line – nobody wants to see eight posts from one page clogging their news feed every day.

Keep it personal
Don't use stock images or pictures from Google Images when posting on your social media pages. While stock imagery is just fine on your business's website, social media is a place to be a little more personal. Use pictures of your students, your staff and the studio itself. However, it's important to get permission from anyone you photograph before you post their picture on the internet. Share your student's achievements and even news about the community. This is an opportunity to get involved in the neighborhood while also spreading the word about your business.

Consider your demographics
Too many social media accounts can get overwhelming for the people following your page as well as the people running them. Choose one or two to be your business' main online presence. Think about what makes the most sense for your particular business and the people you're trying to attract. Facebook tends to reign supreme when it comes to business social media, so make sure you utilize it often. However, younger demographics also use Instagram and Snapchat a lot, so these platforms can be extremely useful if you're trying to get younger people into the studio. Both of these platforms are very image-heavy as well, which is best for a business like a martial arts studio. While some businesses can effectively use Twitter to promote the business, it may be a bit too text-heavy for martial arts or fitness studios.