By adaptive - March 30th, 2015

Lessons learned from a key example of great social media success.

We often focus on large brands on social. There’s a lot they can learn from each other’s triumphs and tribulations. However, there’s just as much that large brands can learn from phenomenal, individual social sensations. Here’s a look at a social media campaign carried out by new fitness sensation Kayla Itsines, with key take-aways on what worked and why.

Meet Kayla.

Kayla Itsines is a personal trainer from Australia. With 1.7M followers on Instagram, 915,000 likes on Facebook, 163,000 followers on Twitter, she’s the newest social media fitness sensation.
Itsines began by posting before and after photos of her previous clients, which garnered the attention of her first band of followers. From there, she created eBooks providing fitness and diet advice around short, effective workouts that provide results in 12 weeks or less.
What worked:
  • Credibility: Kayla posted client before and after photos showing real results and has 5 years personal training experience. Brands can learn from offering such honest, straightforward examples of the benefits they provide. 
  • Good content: She sent out concise, interesting messages with easy to implement advice that really worked. She used feedback from her audience to create new content (it was actually her users that suggested she write a book, which is now her best-selling product). Simplicity, conciseness, and orienting around the customer are key. 
  • Relevance: Kayla cared more about how she could meet her client needs over how she could become famous. She made her customers her main priority with a goal of providing advice and inspiration, not just selling her product or herself. This is the only real way to win and maintain advocates.
  • Organic foundations: She built a grassroots, loyal following which unfolded more on accident than intentionally. This helped her brand remain authentic and real. There is nothing wrong with creating a campaign on social that has room to be flexible, grow, and evolve based on your audience’s feedback. 
  • Appropriate content across platforms: Kayla uploads different photos to Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest with no overlap between platforms. This maintains interest and tailors content to specific audience needs 

Key Take-aways

Good campaigns start with good content (often user generated), which is authentic, meant to genuinely help users and provide advice and support—NOT just sell more.
These campaigns have engaging material consumers can participate in, that generate effective results and have actionable steps consumers can take to integrate into their daily lives. 
Good campaigns also use different types of messaging for different platforms and tailor their content based on audience needs. They understand each audience on varying platforms and select the right content based on this.
Social is a leveller and a game changer across the board, and when Planet Fitness can learn a thing or two from a lone Australian personal trainer, you know it’s time we started paying more attention to the little guy. 
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