by Christian Duque
Social media is the driving force of the fitness industry. It is the driving force of almost every industry on this planet. Companies strive to communicate with their consumers as closely as possible. In the past, companies relied on focus group efforts, paid studies, and invested heavily in commercials (both on TV and in print media).
Nowadays, many of the old methods of measuring buyers’ whims have become (at best) complementary, with a focus on social media. Consumers don’t have to be interviewed, they have their own platforms, speak their own peace, and let the world know when they’re happy with something and when they’re not. When it comes to social media platforms, the most important ones have always been Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Twitter.
Facebook is largely out of date. Most people use it mainly for family members, close friends and work friends. It’s a far more computer-friendly site, although it has spawned many innovations for phone-only users. Instagram is the smartphone platform preferred by younger adults (many of whom have evolved with it since its inception in 2013). One of the best steps Facebook has taken in recent history has been to purchase Instagram. IG was on the way to overthrow its current owner, but now they’re on the same team. A similar brilliant step was the takeover of YouTube by Google, the world’s leading platform for video sharing.
Twitter, which is the subject of this article, is a complicated story in the fitness industry. It is very independent, not owned by Facebook or Google and very large in other segments and industries, just not in sports. This is largely due to its appearance, feel, and many of its limitations. Even Tiktok, which is far less known in our industry, has become far more attractive than Twitter. Tiktok started as a platform only for teenagers and expanded its scope from 2019. In the short term, Twitter is buried in the bodybuilding community.
Twitter is an extremely active social media platform. It’s actually pretty stunning. I think that really shows how unique the bodybuilding world is. I’ve seen some of the world’s most popular fitness celebrities routinely get 10,000-50,000 IG likes if they just eat a sandwich, smile for a second, or do a few reps at the gym and barely break 100 reactions on Twitter. Of these 100 reactions, maybe 10 people tweet them again.
Retweeting is when someone on Twitter likes your post so much that they share it with their own feed. As I said before, if the biggest names in our industry are barely noticed, you can imagine how daunting the use of the service would be for everyday people. Trying to build a fitness audience on Twitter is a dead end.
For some time now, Instagram has offered the ability to post from its platform to Facebook and Twitter, most likely as a storage feature. Most of the posts that were made on IG and shared on Twitter looked horrible. You couldn’t see the photo or video, the links looked and most people had to click a Twitter link, leave this platform to finally see what was offered on IG (provided they were IG members and signed in) . It was a long, uncomfortable process. On the other hand, it still wasn’t much better if someone posted on Twitter, showed the photo or video there, and focused on the Twitter audience. However you post on Twitter, there is a possibility that you will speak to yourself.
It’s a different story for companies. Although Twitter is largely dead in the fitness industry, it’s still an important name on social media, it’s free, and if there’s even a remote way to sell or generate goodwill, companies need to be present. If one company doesn’t, others will. That being said, the time a marketing team spends is critical. I would say Facebook / Instagram gets a key release, YouTube gets a key release, and Tiktok gets a key release in time (if not already). However, Twitter should get something, but far less attention. There is really no justification for having more than a short contact for the social media platform. It’s a sad state of affairs considering how much branding went into the Twitter name.
The platform could definitely update its interface. About three years ago, they once claimed that they would double the 144 characters per post for all accounts. You did it for some, but not for everyone. My account can still only post 144 characters. If they couldn’t reach all the accounts in 3 years, they probably would never. In addition, Twitter names have a short cutoff that limits the handles. While Facebook appears to be out of date, it’s constantly being updated and trying to liven things up. Twitter, on the other hand, is just a coast.
Politicians love it, Tinseltown loves it, and artists love it. Maybe Twitter is fine with the crowd that has always been with them, but what if Twitter tries to compete with Instagram or Tiktok? I think it could work very, very well, but maybe that doesn’t match their corporate culture. Maybe I just don’t get Twitter.
Do you use twitter Do you tweet often? Where do you see Twitter’s role in the fitness industry today?