Marketing Tip: Short Tweets Get Retweets

Twitter logo with follow meAre you on Twitter? We hope so! Want retweets?  Yes you do because the more your content is shared the more impact and following you will have.

We’ve said before that you need to keep your tweets to 120 characters or less to make it easy for people to simply RT and go.  New data from social media researcher Dan Zarrella gets even more specific: 110-115 characters is the sweet spot. 

Zarrella researched more than 1 million tweets and found that those in the 110-115 range were 34 percent more likely to be retweeted than those out of that range.  Shorter isn’t better though, FYI.  You’re still aiming to be informative, so feel free to let it rip up to that range.

So with that update, here are our updated 3 Keys to Success for Marketing on Twitter:

1. Keep your tweets to 120 characters or less, and preferably 110-115
2. Include photos with your tweets where it makes sense (people love to share those)
3. Use hashtags to help people find your content (#rowing, #concept2, #indoorrowing #skierg are some of the ones we use often).  Take it easy with those though, hashtags count in your character total.

Are you on Twitter?  Follow the UCanRow2 Twitter feed to stay up-to-date on what we’re doing.  Share your Twitter name with us in the comments so we and other readers can follow you, too!


  • [New Data] Use “Quotes” and #Hashtags to Get More ReTweets

Marketing Tip: Instagram Video vs. Vine

Instagram is a great tool to make your fitness-related content more visualThe social media world is abuzz with the latest salvo in the who’s-trendiest wars: Instagram, a recent Facebook acquisition and super-fun photo sharing space (we think) has come out swinging against Vine, which is owned by Twitter and brought microvideo to microblogging.

Vine has quickly made an impression with its easy-to-create 6-second videos.  So much so, in fact, that Instagram has announced its version, which gives you an expansive (by comparison) 15 seconds to play with.

If you’re not all that familiar with any of these tools the key point from a marketer’s point of view is that they make it easy to use your smartphone to make your communication more visual, one of the most important steps to getting noticed and creating content that gets shared online.

As we often point out during the marketing discussion in our Programming Intensive course,  there will always be more platforms from which to execute your social media strategy (you have one, right?) than you will ever have time for.  So instead of trying to do it all, pick what works and what you’re willing to stick with.  Test-drive the newcomers that appeal to you and see if you like them, then readjust accordingly.

Chris Brogan, an excellent social media strategist, makes this point better than we could in his column comparing Facebook/Instagram and Twitter/Vine.  Worth a read.

Want to see how we use these social media tools?  On Instagram and Vine you can find us under UCanRow2.  Here are some of our other links:


etc., etc…

We want to follow you!  Post links to your social media accounts so we can see what you’re doing.  PS: Don’t forget to share content you like – sharing is caring!

14 Ways to Get More Out of Twitter

Twitter logo with follow meAre you on Twitter yet?  If you’re promoting yourself or your business it should be one of your first or second social media stops after Facebook (the one must-have outpost in social media).  Twitter offers a couple of great advantages over some of the other social media spaces, principal among them:

1. Forced Brevity – Your posts can’t be longer than 140 characters (actually 120 is best to make them shareable)  And while it certainly is true that writing shorter is often harder than writing longer (“If I had had more time I would have written a shorter letter,” etc.), there is something almost freeing in having to keep it brief.

2.  Find Your Unseen Fans – While many social media platforms require you to have an existing relationship with your network for your posts to be seen or pay to advertise to new potential fans (Facebook, for example), Twitter makes it easy to get yourself in front of people with similar interests who don’t know you, and conversely for those people to also find you.  Hashtags, a keyword-like, information-organizing Twitter invention that worked so well it’s now becoming popular spreading on other platforms, makes it easy to join an existing discussion community, say, #rowing, or to create one around a particular interest.

Ready to get started, or just need the general overview? Here’s a great Twitter beginner how-to.

Once you have the basics under your belt – and if you find you’re getting good results from the platform – check out Mashable’s list of 14 Twitter tips and tricks for power users.  My favorites:

Favorite useful and relevant tweets, both to put the content in a safe place where you can get to it, and also as way to potentially get their authors to follow you back
Tailor suggestions based on Web browsing, let your browsing history help Twitter find users and tweets you’re more likely to find
Create user widgets, to put your Twitter feed on your website.  It’s a great way to keep your site content fresh, and add new followers.

Are you on Twitter?  Share your twittername and a brief description of who you are in the comments, maybe you’ll pick up a follower or three.

Fitness Marketing: Flickr’s Revamped iPhone App: New Home for Your Best Erging Pics?

Flickr's new iPhone app competes with Instagram

The New York Times says the new version of Flickr’s iPhone photo app may well be a force to be reckoned with, and stiff competition for Instagram.  Flickr has long been THE place to post photos for Web optimization, but in recent months has lost some ground to hipsterish (for now) Instagram.

Where the Times says Flickr is aiming, though, and where it may well win in the end, is to be THE place to look at high-resolution photos.  If you’re looking to promote your fitness business online you should have a Flickr account anyway as it’s an important place to get your photos seen and to drive traffic to your website, Facebook page, or wherever you’ve set up your online home (I still think it should be a website, but that’s a post for another day.).

Just like Instagram, serious photographers might not want to use Flickr’s iPhone app to display their best work (check out SmugMug’s Camera Awesome as one option for that) but this is more about Web optimization than art.  And since both indoor and on-water rowing are such photogenic sports, those of us who love capturing them with a camera would do well to check Flickr’s new offering out.

Do you use any of these?  What do you think? We’d love to see your favorite rowing and erging pics, too.  Post a link here!

Infographic: Down and Dirty Guide to Social Media

Admit it.  You could be spending more time promoting yourself and your business with social media.  We all could.  But there’s a lot of water there to be rowed with only so many hours in the day.  As we often tell people in our Programming Intensive course, some involvement in social media — well executed — is better than no involvement in social media.

The business consultant network Zintro has looked at the research and pulled together this social networking infographic to help you decide when to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ and what information to share on each.


In a nutshell:

  • Facebook is best for more personal interactions with your contacts
  • Twitter is a good resource for quick updates in real time, monitoring the chatter about your brand and industry/sport, and finding potential members/client
  • LinkedIn is where you want to be to showcase your professional side and highlight your accomplishments (more your awards than your PRs)
  • Google+ is a good place to start or have more in-depth conversations than you can on Twitter and with people you’re not yet connected to, as is required on Facebook.

Of course you can get a lot more involved than this in social media marketing for your fitness business, but this will help you hit the highlights.

Where are you marketing your fitness business online?  Share your links here!

Your Blueprint for Fitness Social Media Success … and Sanity

We hear comments like this in our trainings all the time (or see it in the eyes of those who don’t dare say it out loud): “You want me to work really hard at being a good rower myself, a good rowing instructor / personal trainer / CrossFit coach / pied piper/Energizer bunny for rowing who takes the sport out to my community … AND you want me to be out there with it on the Web and in social media?  What are you, crazy???”

NOT crazy!  As anybody who’s attended our Programming Intensive  knows, social media and fitness marketing essential to your offline, in-gym/box success.  People will check you out on Google long before they’ll cross your physical threshold.  They need to find you online AND find the same “person” there that they’ll get at your facility.  That’s the way to get people in your classes … and more importantly keep them there.

You can be as busy as you want online.  At UCanRow2 we have one person who spends most of her time promoting our activities there.  That’s overwhelming for most, we know and we’ll do a post soon about how to work your way gradually into this area.  In the meantime though, check out this awesome social media planner from Hubspot that will give you a good start on how to be effective while keeping it all under control.  The blueprint runs you through what do do Monday through Friday to stay up to date on what’s happening in your business, put your own spin on it, then get it out on Facebook, Twitter, your blog if you have one, etc.  Not blogging yet?  Think about it, you should at least have that in your sights for down the road. Substitute another content-generating activity like Facebook posts until you’re ready.

What’s your biggest fear about social media?  Your biggest success?  Share in the comments!

Facebook Timeline Toolkit

For those of you where were hoping against hope that Facebook would change its mind and not implement the Timeline, your erg has run out of chain: Timeline went into effect for all business pages on March 30; there’s no going back now (unless of course they change their minds again). The good news is it’s not as hard as you might think to convert to Timeline, and there are lots of advantages to it, particularly for activities that are visually appealing … like rowing!

The inbound marketing firm Hubspot (which has a blog you should be following if you’re at all interested in social media marketing for fitness) has published a helpful infographic to take you through the basics.  Download their free ebook for more information on how to make Timeline work for you.  Need a cheat sheet with photo sizes and the like? Dreamgrow has put one together.

Here are some of the key changes:

  • No more default “fan-gating” pages that require people to like your page before they can see your content (to me this is great news, I’d much rather have people join my online community because they can see what’s there and like it)
  • You can spotlight up to three icons on your cover page, along with About and Photos.  Check Concept2’s Facebook page for some nice ideas.
  • You have the option to pin content to make it visible to people for longer – that only lasts for 7 days though and then you have to create a new post and pin it
  • A new “Message” feature allows users to contact your business page in much the same way they can contact your personal page (instead of having to write on your wall)

It’s a Visual, Visual, Visual World

Timeline is definitely changing the way things work on Facebook, making it more visual and requiring that you post more good content for starters, but that’s where the Internet is headed anyway: You can barely take a step in social media online and not run into articles about the growth of Instagram, Pinterest, Slideshare, and Tumblr, all of which put heavy emphasis on visuals.  And then there’s photo-friendly Google+, which is growing slowly but surely and more importantly has a huge influence on Google search results.

Much of this is also influenced by the astounding adoption of mobile and smartphone applications, coupled with our ever-shrinking attention spans.  Whatever the reason, it’s a good time to get out there and learn to take at least some basic photos (and video).

What do you think of the new Timeline?  Love it? Hate it? What’s working for you? Share your opinions and experiences in the comments.

And more food for thought: Report: Studies Split on Whether Facebook Timeline Helps Brands