How to Market Your Martial Arts Business Using Social Media

June 22, 2018

A BJJ gym owner using social media to market his company

Boost your business using these 5 social media marketing basics

At Kicksite, we designed our management software to make it easier for you to run your business so you can spend more time growing it. This post is the first in a series where we offer marketing tips to help you connect with more students and build your martial arts business.

An effective social media marketing plan relies on a variety of channels for connecting with your target audiences – including social media. After all, social channels are among the fastest, cheapest and easiest ways for you to reach new students.

Take Facebook and Instagram, which are two of the most popular social media platforms. At the end of March 2018, there were nearly 2.2 billion people on Facebook every month. Instagram, which is a photo- and video-sharing social network, had nearly 800 million active users every month.

To put that in perspective, the world’s population is more than 7 billion. That means that close to 30 percent of the world logged on to Facebook in March. It would be hard to reach that many people with a billboard, right?

While the size of the audience on these channels is impressive, it also means that there’s a lot of competition – or noise – for your martial arts gym to compete with. So how do you get your school to stand out among the social channel chatter?

Try these five basic steps for marketing your martial arts business on Facebook and Instagram. Before you know it, you’ll be headed to your social media rank promotion.

1. Be consistent.

Social media isn’t a one-and-done deal. It requires frequent and consistent communication with your followers. As a studio owner, this can be the hardest part because you’re busy, right? In addition to marketing your business, you’re teaching martial arts classes, hiring staff, paying bills and overseeing basic gym management. Adding daily social media posts to your to-do list may feel overwhelming. Fortunately, help is available.

So how often should you post? For Facebook and Instagram, you generally want to share new content a minimum of three times-a-week and no more than 10 times weekly. More important than how often you post, though, is what you post.

2. Be relevant.

Facebook and Instagram are full of clutter like memes, cat videos and what people ate for dinner. There’s a lot vying for the attention of your current and prospective students. You can stand out by only sharing content that matters to your followers.

An easy way to do this is to think of your social channels as resources for your audiences. For example, are there common mistakes people make when doing certain Brazilian jiu-jitsu or other martial arts techniques? Do a quick video and break down the correct way for your followers.

Helpful and non-salesy info like this will position your school as the trusted and go-to source for factual info on training, gear, nutrition, competitions and other martial arts topics.

3. Be timely.

You don’t have to stick to martial arts or BJJ-related posts on Facebook and Instagram all the time. In fact, on July 4 or other national holidays, it’s a good idea to post a patriotic message. This lets people see the human side of your studio and get a sense for the personality of your staff.

But when you stray from BJJ, martial arts or other subjects related to fitness, make sure you’re doing so to connect to a positive current event or trending topic that a lot of people are talking about.

4. Be present.

Most of us want to feel heard, right? It’s no different on Facebook and Instagram. Your audience doesn’t want to just be talked to – they want to be listened to. Along with sharing fresh and regular content on your pages, be sure to engage when followers comment on your posts. Remember, like all good communication tools, social media is a two-way street. Make sure your followers know there’s a real person on the other end.

5. Be accessible.

Facebook and Instagram give you the chance to reach established BJJ students and newcomers to the sport. Make sure students of all levels feel welcome on your social pages and visiting your school. You can do that by sharing content that connects with all levels and goes easy on the jargon.

Another way to boost your accessibility is by using hashtags with your posts. This lets people search by topic and easily find you. For example, you may share a photo on your Instagram profile and include “#BJJ” in the post. When Instagram users – in other cities, countries or continents – enter #BJJ in the Search bar, your post will come up as part of the results.

One last word about hashtags: Go easy on them. Stick to a max of three hashtags per post. After that, followers start to skim over them.

Facebook and Instagram are an easy, cheap and fast way for you to connect with students. But like all martial arts, it takes time and practice to be effective. But with a little planning, timing and dedication, you’ll be ready for your social media rank promotion, and be on the path toward marketing success.