Social media has taken the world by storm. The internet has changed the way that businesses, from small companies to multi-million dollar enterprises, market themselves and reach their customers.
We had the opportunity to sit down with celebrity fitness trainer Ramona Braganza and her marketing and social media guru Kim Barr of Set The Barr – Online Marketing, based out of Brockville, Ontario. These two are no strangers to the power of social media when it comes to promoting a business on the world stage.
Ramona began her career in the late 1990s, training a then up-and-coming young actress, Jessica Alba. “Throughout my 12 years being with Jessica we didn’t have social media or [smart] phones,” Ramona says “I think (if I started my following back then) my number of followers would have been giant.”
Ramona built her business the old fashioned way, spending a lot of time on the road and in face to face meetings. “It’s a lot more fun doing it that way,” Ramona says adding that a lot of people just sit behind computer screens and send emails these days. “You are more likely to be in the right place at the right time.”
That being said Ramona believes in using all the tools available to her to market her business and has hired marketing specialist Kim Barr to help her harness the power of social media. Kim started Set The Barr- Online Marketing in 2012 when she saw an opportunity to help small business market themselves through social media. She has lots of tips on how small business owners, like Ramona, can use social media to their advantage.
You don’t have to be on all social media platforms
It is important to know where your target market spends most of their. Ramona’s content lends itself well to instagram and youtube. She can post photos of her doing workouts with celebrities on instagram and quick workout routines on youtube to showcase what she does with her clients. For someone pandering to a more business-centric crowd linkedin might be a better avenue to share blog posts and tips regarding their industry.
It’s quality not quantity
Although attracting followers is important it should not be the primary focus of your social media strategy. Kim says that engagement is key when it comes to managing your social media platforms. “If you have a massive amount of followers but they are not engaging with you that slows down your algorithm,” she says. Engaging with followers means not only posting interesting content but responding to comments you receive across all your social media channels.“It’s a two way street,” Kim says. “People get a huge high off getting a response from the people they follow.” Engaging with your audience will ensure your followers continue to keep tabs on your content. Some people will pay for followers which Kim says is counter-productive “[Engagement] is more important than getting that big number.”
You don’t have to do it all
Ramona is an experienced and credible fitness professional and she wants to come across as such on social media. The problem is she doesn’t have the time or expertise to manage all the social platforms she wants to be on effectively. In steps someone like Kim, a professional who helps Ramona take advantage of the immense power of social media without having to take on a ton more work to do it. “Hire out to allow you to do what you’re good at,” Kim says. Social media specialists work in the field every day. They keep on top of trends and do all the trial and error so you don’t have to, Kim says.
Don’t be afraid to share what you are doing
In her spare time Ramona started a charity in her mother country of India, teaching girls who have escaped the sex trade to be fitness trainers. “Exercise should be for everybody” Ramona says. “Especially for young girls because it releases a lot of stress.” She hopes to leave her legacy in India by giving girls the opportunity to support themselves in a country where many women don’t learn any marketable skills. “If it works it will be really amazing,” Ramona says.
Kim encourages Ramona to share her charitable giving through social media. “It is part of our strategy when we work with clients,” she says. “We are always interested in where their energies go.” Once they find out what a company’s mission and vision is they figure out how they can transfer that into the community. “The community ends up being their biggest advocate,” she says.
Ramona finds using video as the best way to connect with her audience. “It’s good to have vulnerability on camera sometimes,” she says. Kim believes this is one of Ramona’s greatest assets online as many people aren’t comfortable putting themselves out there honestly. Even through a computer screen people can sense honesty and vulnerability and connect much more to it than someone who seems perfect and put together all of the time.
We had a great time speaking with Ramona and Kim. They are both experts in their field and seem to have a great partnership. For more on Ramona or Kim visit their websites at ramonabraganza.com and setthebarr.com.