I Reviewed 500 Fitness Business Insta Posts. Here’s What I Learned.

August 26, 2023

In an attempt to make my daily Instagram ‘doom scrolling’ more productive, I recently did a review of the content being shared by Perth Fitness Businesses.

I wanted to look at the first 500 posts in my Instagram feed that were made by Perth Fitness Businesses.

Would there be patterns? What would stand out? What could I learn to help businesses improve their social media.

Two hours later, I pretty much got what I expected. Multiple variations on a theme, pretty cookie-cutter, nothing overly memorable.

Spoiler alert, we need a way to distinguish ourselves.

Immediately, two concepts sprang to mind, the Von Restorff Effect, and secondly, an insightful marketing quote that has the power to completely overhaul our social media.

But first, let’s look at the data.

Topping the list, we find that Client Features, Movement Demonstrations, and Humorous posts each comprise 12% of the content. Blog or Informational posts make up 10%, while Marketing or Call-to-Action (CTA) posts, Motivational messages, and Health Tips each account for 8% each. Nutrition Advice is shared at a rate of 6%, followed closely by Training Tips, Workouts, and Before and After type posts at 4% each. Testimonials, Product Features, Documentation, Staff Introductions, Facility Tours, and Culture-themed posts are evenly distributed at 2% apiece.

You’re probably not surprised. It’s all pretty standard. These are the types of posts you probably see, and, as the data tells us, the types of posts you probably make.

I told you there were two things this data made me think.

The first is about the Von Restorff Effect, also known as the “isolation effect,” which tells us that when multiple similar items are presented, the item that differs from the rest is more likely to be remembered. In other words, distinct items stand out and are therefore more memorable. In my review of 500 posts, I can honestly say there are non I can still remember. By consistently incorporating elements that make your content distinct and memorable, you’ll not only stand out on Instagram but also foster better engagement and recall among your audience.

The second thing I thought about was a pretty self explanatory quote, “You either have to be 10 times better, or different. And it’s easier to be different than it is to be 10 times better.” Now, it’s a tough gig to try to make your deadlift movement demo ten times better than the almost identical post from the gym down the street. So you’re just going to have to be different.

And of course, that’s the challenge.

What can you do to be different, to be the ‘purple cow’ in a field of brown cows? And not only do you have to be different, but that difference needs to still have a very measured and deliberate intent. It’s no good being memorable if it alienates your followers and potential clients, damages culture, or goes against your brand.

So what should you be posting?

I afraid I don’t have the answer, but I guess that’s the point. If I did, everyone would be using that type of content. You need to find content that’s unique to you. Something to make people stop and take notice. While I can’t tell you what to post, I can tell you what NOT to post. Don’t post what everyone else is posting.

Dan Williams

Dan Williams


Dan Williams is the Director of Range of Motion and leads a team of Exercise Physiologists, Sports Scientists, Physiotherapists and Coaches. He has a Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Health Science) and a Postgraduate Bachelor of Exercise Rehabilitation Science from The University of Western Australia, with minors in Biomechanics and Sport Psychology.

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