By Alicia Marie
Likes, hits, views, followers, shares: simple words that now define modern fascination with social media. Whether you love it more than finishing off that last rep at the gym or hate it more than twice-a-day cardio, peer media sharing networks are not going anywhere anytime
If you want to make moves in the fitness industry, it’s important to make the social sharing machine work for you. As someone who has struggled with opening myself to the world for fear of what someone might “think” or “say” in the past, I have had to learn how to own my cyberspace — and so can you!
1} Ignore the negative …
If you put something out for public consumption, you have to be ready for whatever comes back — the good, the bad and the ugly. Let’s say you post a photo of yourself working out paired with a blurb on an exercise move you are Trolls? Haters? Ignore!performing. Ten commenters respond with honest questions about the move, while five more post on how inspirational a fitness person you are. One single commenter rudely posts that they would “never want to look like that.” You immediately blast off a two-page scathing response that brings full attention and gives power to that person and to their single comment, but ignore the majority who are thanking you for what you posted. Sound familiar?
There will always be detractors for everything and everyone. No one and nothing is immune. Some of the things I get on social media would scare you. I am human, so of course random troll comments are annoying, but I’ve had to learn to see them as just that: random troll comments. They do not dictate how I feel about who I am, what I do or how I do it. To allow that would be crippling. This is mental muscle you have to strengthen. Ignore or delete. Move on and respond to the honest queries, do not “feed the trolls” or waste energy on naysayers who are not being constructive. Focus on the positive and take comfort in one of my favourite sayings, “If you have haters, you are doing something right.”
2} Be your own PR person …
You can share a lot or share a little. If you are specifically trying to build a fitness brand around yourself, know that you are in the company of thousands of gorgeous fit and accomplished women. The objective here is to stand out while staying within the scope of what you want your brand to represent. If your goal is to be the fittest mum in Australia, then you’ll want to angle what you post in that direction. You and your four-year-old doing yoga in the park or preparing healthy snacks together in your kitchen? Perfect. You inebriated with friends in a nightclub with your clothes falling off? Not what your brand represents.
3} Keep it in perspective …
There is such a thing as social media addiction, and it can be intrusive. If you find yourself neglecting life, work, friends, spouses and everyday duties to post on Instagram or scroll through your Facebook timeline, it’s time to re-evaluate your priorities. Social media is an add-on, not the end-all. Having a digital presence is important if you’re trying to build a brand; however, it should not take the place of you doing the work to actually build that brand. There is no use having a wide social “reach” but nothing to use it for.
4} Don’t compare yourself to others …
You gain an audience by providing useful, engaging or entertaining photographs, video or text-based content. Keep in mind that everyone on social media is presenting his or her best to the world. You would be hard-pressed to find a #fitspo account that is chock-full of terrible life events and badly angled pictures. “Fitspo” pictures on social platforms exist as aspirational material — not as comparisons to make you feel bad when you don’t match up. When you come across a photo of someone with abs or a great butt, say to yourself, “Well, good for [insert fit sister]! Now it’s my turn to go to work on my best abs and bum.” Your greatest competition is not on Instagram or Facebook; she’s in the mirror.
5} To thine own self be true …
Never force yourself to be something you are not when engaging on social media. There is no “right” or “wrong” with regards to what you want to share online. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I see fellow fitness sisters complaining or putting down what another fitness sister has posted on their own personal social media platform. Stop overthinking!
Social media engagement should be organic, recreational and personal.
If you are not comfortable posting photos of yourself in a bikini or in body-conscious clothing, don’t; however, if you want to show your physical progress to the world, go, girl, flaunt it. Keep in mind that you never want to be in a situation where you regret something you posted. The Internet is forever. In cyberspace, “delete” doesn’t exist.
Social media is a fun fitness tool that can boost your brand, expand your audience and your overall “reach” introducing you in all your fit glory to the world.
Keep it all in perspective, utilise it for what it’s good for and try not to concern yourself so much with what everyone else is doing or thinking or posting or #hashtagging.
Do YOU. After all, isn’t that why we’re all here?
Shine on, fit sisters.