9 Instagram Hacks Used By Fitness Influencers

Instagram is a social media marketing playground for modern health and fitness influencers, who use the platform to target millions of potential clients around the world.

A search for #fitness on Instagram today brings up 133,249,397 results (and counting!)

#fitness posts

But with so many results to compete against, how do you get your posts to be seen? How do you rise to the top? 

If you want to grow your Instagram account, then this post is for you!

I want you to ask yourself, how often are you trying new tactics to grow your social media account?

With the health and fitness industry on Instagram being so competitive, the very best health and fitness influencers are also some of the most creative marketers.

In this post I will share, shortcuts I’ve learnt from health and fitness influencers, that you can use to grow your social media account.

Topics include:

  • Starting a challenge
  • Starting a giveaway content
  • Translating your descriptions
  • Building an email list
  • How stories can help engagement
  • Understanding how Instagram works
  • Starting a second Instagram account
  • Organising an account takeover
  • Call to action in descriptions
Do you understand how these tactics used by your peers, could help your brand?

If not, don’t worry. I am going to show you what to do:

1. Start a challenge

Challenging your audience is a great way to increase engagement with your followers.

Engagement also helps to build an audience that know, like and trusts you.

When was the last time you gave money to someone or a brand you didn’t know, didn’t like or didn’t trust?

Probably a long time ago when you learnt how to sieve out the scam artists.

Ever heard the term innocent until proven guilty? Well on this occasion, as a marketer, you are guilty of being a scam artist until you can prove otherwise.


Once bitten, twice shy. After suffering a bad marketing experience in the past, everyone has become allot more cautious.

So how do you do this?

For those of you skimming through the post, here’s an example of using “challenges” to build trust with your audience:

For 30 days, followers are challenged to drink one green smoothie a day for the next 30 days.

As you can see from the comments, followers are more than happy to mention a friend in the comments and spread the word.

Would you recommend a brand that you don’t trust to a friend? No you would not. Hence why this is a clue as to how we know challenges build trust.

For 30 days, followers are coming back, over and over again… commenting…. #hashtag sharing their results … @simplegreensmoothies replies to the comments … and then the magic happens… the followers realise they are not a scam artist!

You could use this method to bring more followers to your account and in turn increase sales!

Challenges are a great way for followers to trial you and your brand before committing to paid services.

How to make this work for you:

  • Make sure your challenge has an end result that adds value or solves their problem.
  • Remember, it takes 21 days to create a habit. Try spreading your challenge over at least 21 days to build rapport with your audience.

2.  Start A Giveaway

Who doesn’t like to receive something free?

Today for my one hour lunch break, I queued up for the whole hour for a free Burrito.

If your offer is something your audience really values, they will do whatever it takes to qualify for entry.

Take a look at this example from @lucky__peach:

To enter this contest requires a few short steps.

1. “follow @purely_elizabeth and me @lucky__peach.”


Cross promoting with like minded influencers, will increase your exposure to a new audience with similar interestes.

2. “like this photo and tag 3 friends.”


For every person who enters the giveaway, also means 3 of their friends will see a notification about the giveaway. This increases the chance that even more people will join in and follow you!

How to make this work for you:

  • Understand your audience. Try to partner with a influencer who posts on similar topics as you, or that you know your audience follows. This way, once the giveaway is over, your not left with random followers, who aren’t interested in your brand.
  • If you are just starting out, remember it will be harder (but not impossible) to partner with profiles that have a much larger followings than you.

3. Translate your descriptions

Do you speak any foreign languages? ¿Habla usted Español?

Health and fitness influencers like @fitmencook provide descriptions, and videos in both English and in Spanish!

Got skills in the kitchen? I want to feature YOU in the #FitMenCookApp! Send me your BEST easy, healthy recipe (with calories and macronutrients) for a chance to be featured in the #1 Food & Drink App in over 80 countries! Email entries to info@fitmencook.com by Sunday, May 22, 2016. Tag EVERY "fit cook" you know and feel free to #repost as well! Boom. (traducción abajo) —— Puedes cocinar bien? Quiero presentar TU receta increíble en la app FitMenCook! Envía tu receta (con calorías y los datos nutricionales) a info@fitmencook.com y el/la ganador recibirá bandera principal en la App FitMenCook y un paquete nutritivo departe de Cellucor. El concurso termina el domingo, 22 de Mayo 2016. Etiqueta a TODOS los amigos que les gusta cocinar! Bum.

A post shared by Kevin [ FitMenCook™ ] (@fitmencook) on

With 256,787,878 Spanish speaking people using the Internet, this a great way to tap into a whole new audience internationally.

With so many languages in the world, each represents a unique opportunity to engage with a new audience.

How to make this work for you:

  • Try to be consistent. Consistency means your audience knows what to expect. Translating random descriptions is the fastest way to lose trust and also followers.

4. Build an email list

Everyday Instagram becomes more and more cluttered, as a result this makes it harder for your brand to find those interested in what you have to offer and stay connected.

Email allows you to cut through all the noise and clutter and speak directly with your target audience.

So how do you build an email list ?

Instagram can help you get the ball rolling.

If you want a followers email address, you have to make it worth their while. You need to offer them what is known as a ‘lead magnet.’

This could be a free ebook, course or anything that helps your audience. In exchange for this free download, followers will provide you with their email address.

@andreiabrazier does a great job of this as seen below:

A trip to her website shows that in order to get the guide, you have to subscribe with your email.

Via Andreia Brazier

How to make this work for you:

  • You will need a website, hosting plan and email subscription management service to put this into action.
  • Be careful not to SPAM your followers, this its the fastest way to get your followers to unsubscribe and potentially lose them forever.

5. Tell A Story

Stories are a great way to keep your audience engaged.

As an avid manga reader myself, each week I revisit the same websites without fail to read another chapter or various on going stories.

If your story is compelling, everyone will want to know what happens next, and how the story ends.

@christianguzmanfitness, another health and fitness influencer uses stories in the descriptions of his posts to build suspense. His post below received over 3,000 comments!

How to make this work for you:

  • Use Instagram to blog about your brands journey. Getting followers involved in your story will make them feel more connected, as a result they will feel like they are a part of your brand.

6. Understand how Instagram works

Instagram no longer displays posts in the order of when they were posted. Meaning the most recent posts no longer appear at the top of your timeline or feed.

Instead Instagram tries to predict users interests and shows posts it thinks users will like.

So how does this effect you?

It means that not everything you post will be seen by your followers and the average user does not know this, as a result it’s your job to educate your audience.

If we take a look at the example below, Lyzabeth Lopez shows her iPhone followers how to do this by to turning on ‘post notifications’ for her account.

This way, they won’t miss out on all your great content!

How to make this work for you:

  • Every once in a while, remind your followers how they can turn on notifications for your posts so they never miss out on your content.

7. Start a second Instagram

Instagram now allows you to manage multiple accounts from one app.

Having multiple accounts can increase the chance of your brand being seen or noticed.

@shonda1020 & @FitHealthyRecipes are two accounts that belong to Shonda. Each with over two million followers each!

Both accounts target healthy recipes, but the @shonda1020 account also includes workouts.

By having two accounts, with two different posting strategies, Shonda is able to segment her audience into different groups, with different interests.

As not all your followers share the same problem, this makes it easier to target specific audiences when carrying out any special promotions at a later date.

How to make this work for you:

  • Remember, each account you open needs just as much tender love and care as just one account.This means regular and consistent posting, commenting and participating in the Instagram community from each account..

8. Take over

This is when you invite another Instagram account to post on your account, or the other way around.

Here is an example of when @fitnessontoast joined @davinalpmccall to takeover the Garnier UK account.

Why would you do this?

Partnering with your peers can help establish you as an influencer within your space, help you to cross promote content, share audiences with your peers and gain even more followers!

How to make this work for you:

  • Map out the content you will post for the takeover, before you start. This will allow you to work out your takeover goals and how you will get there.
  • Find a Instagrammer with a similar or slightly larger sized audience than you.
    (If you are just starting out with no followers, this is less likely to work for you.) Build a relationship who whoever you would like to do a takeover with. Positive comments, helpful suggestions and adding value are greats ways to build that bond.One month later, reach out to them and ask to do a take over swap

9. Call to action in descriptions.

Instagram provides only one place to place a link to your website, product or service.

But this link can be easily missed by your followers and visitors.

So how do health and fitness entrepreneurs encourage followers to click their link?

They add a “call to action” signature to the end of their post descriptions,containing a simple set of instructions, telling the reader what to do next.

Here’s an example below by @kaisafitkaisafit

 changes the link in her bio depending on the most recent promotion.

She then uses the instructions “SIGN-UP: link is in my bio” to instruct her audience on what to do next.

If readers want what her latest offer, they know the link in her bio/profile is therefore worth clicking.

How to make this work for you:

  • Keep your request simple, and too the point with and with one option.
  • Be very clear about what reward you are offering in return for them clicking your link.
  • Avoid link bait, for example:
    “You wouldn’t believe what happens next, click the link in my bio to find out”
    This is the fastest way to lose credibility.

The Conclusion: What we’ve learnt from health and fitness influencers

Not all of these tactics are suitable for beginners, but they can help you prepare your marketing plan.

For intermediate Instagram users, these tactics can be a great way to take your account to the next level!

Taking a look at some of the accomplishments of these health and fitness influencers is proof that these tactics work.

Start at the beginning of this list and try out each tactic one by one, and you’ll soon have loads more followers who are highly engaged with your brand.

Instagram is forever growing, and the way it’s used continues to change.

Getting new followers may seem a little over whelming.

But by implementing a new tactic, one by one (not all at the same time) will make the whole process feel more manageable.

YOUR Mission

If you have an Instagram account, share it in the comments below and let the community know, which of  the above tactics you will try out over the next seven days.

Good luck with your Instagram Mission 🙂

Kind regards, Lisimba Pink

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