Listening can be your best or worst asset when on social media. Yes, you can and should use social media as an outlet to promote yourself, your services and your business. But, you also should be listening rather than talking the whole time. Realizing that people aren’t as interested in you as you are is a tough but necessary thing. You need to listen to what others are saying out there and interact with what they are a part of as well. If not, you run the risk of losing online followers and respect, ultimately resulting in loss of clients and sales.

With the rise of social media, we have quickly become what I like to call a “bumper sticker culture”. Bumper stickers essentially shout our thoughts and beliefs at everyone else around us, without giving any sort of avenue for a rebuttal or civil conversation. You say what you have to say and immediately cover your ears like a 5-year-old saying “I can’t hear you,” over and over again. Social media has only pushed this “me, me, me” mentality forward. In the wrong hands, it can be detrimental to a business.

Social media has worsened this “bumper sticker culture” because now all of our social media profiles have become giant bumpers where we can stick any and every thought we have for a world of people to see. It has given us a megaphone for our bumper stickers and it isn’t just the people on the highway hearing our thoughts, it is the entire population of the Internet. This can be a real danger.Conversations

As a fitness professional (or any kind of professional for that matter), you need to take a look at your last month of posts across all of social media. What is the general theme between them all? For most out there, it will be the theme of “Me”. You focus on yourself more than anything else. You are posting about your latest sale, success or blog post (which is also, most likely, about you). Tone it down! Stop talking about yourself and use it as a platform to promote others. Lifting others up on social media shows you are not just there for you, but for others as well. People will catch on to this and you will also be promoted the same way from others.

Stop using social media as just your mouthpiece. The smart thing to do is also use it as your ears. See what other people are doing or talking about and interact with them in those things. Even sending a simple “Congratulations” is better than nothing.

Use social media as it was meant to be used: to bring people together for conversations on relevant topics and genuine interaction with others. Use it this way and I know you will have a much better outcome than if you are simply focused on yourself.

Ryan Farrell

Ryan Farrell started working with the National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT) in 2012. As NFPT’s Marketing Coordinator, Ryan is responsible for aiding company reputation by building brand awareness and establishing strong working relationships among NFPT, its affiliates and industry partners.