Using Instagram to Promote your Martial Arts School

A solid marketing plan is necessary for schools looking to achieve consistent and sustainable growth. When it comes to modern marketing, social media is increasingly growing as a solid tool for martial arts schools to help promote their classes.

You can’t ignore the power of visuals on social media. According to Buffer, tweets with imagery accumulate 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets. Even with these stats, we see many martial arts schools that don’t utilize the platform to its full potential.

Instagram is one of the most effective social media networks for businesses, by being one of the best platforms for a business to showcase the experiences that they provide. Here we show you how to make the most of some of Instagram’s many features.


Getting Started

Instagram may be daunting for a business that’s never been on the platform but any school can maintain one that attracts students, with some effort and resources. Optimally, you need someone who is experienced in basic photography and someone with a good eye for aesthetics. A willingness to learn is likely going to be the most valuable quality. Many of the skills and know-how for maintaining a good Instagram account can be learned online for free.

To get started, take a look at all of your local competitors’ Instagram accounts. Note what they do well and what they could improve on. Do this again with some of the highest followed martial arts accounts globally. You shouldn’t be copying anyone but getting guidance and inspiration is necessary, at the beginning. This type of competitive analysis should be a key component to your overall marketing plan, as it should be applied to traditional marketing as well.

Before you start engaging with the world, build some content. It’s best to make an impact with your social media account, to take advantage of first impressions. Pre-load your accounts with a healthy amount of content, before you launch any paid advertising or begin actively pushing students or community members to you pages.



Hashtags act as a way to find relevant posts. For example, martial artists looking for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu content around the world can search for #BJJ or even #jiujitsu. As a business, you can utilize this to your advantage, by making your business easily searchable. Do some research and find the most popular Instagram hashtags and then go through the hashtags, to see if they are a good fit with your brand. Accumulate a combination of local (your city’s, for example) and general (#martialarts and #taekwondo, for example), hashtags. Advanced tip: Adding a (short) list of hashtags as a comment can keep your captions looking cleaner and neater.


Tell a Story and Go Live

Instagram Stories and Instagram Live both provide a great way for businesses to really show a close-up view of the martial arts experience. Showing off your classes or training sessions on stories is great and Live can give prospective students — or students who are out of town — a preview of the class. This will allow people who haven’t been to your classes to see firsthand what your instructors and students are capable of. For beginners, learn by watching others who effectively create engaging content, to generate some inspiration.

Keep in mind that quality is more important that quantity. Attention spans are quite short on social media and creating content that is quick and to the point is key for success.



Outreach and engagement are key factors in growing an Instagram account. Search out martial arts accounts that you’re a fan of and show genuine interest. Writing a thoughtful comment is the best way to do this. Don’t expect to get a response from an account with an extremely high amount of followers but, if you hit popular and smaller accounts on a regular basis, you’ll create more activity for yourself.

This social aspect of social media platforms can easily fall by the wayside, if you don’t stay active. Set aside half an hour a day for a team member to concentrate on this, and you’ll see your numbers begin to improve in no time.

What aspect of your social media do you feel could improve most? Let us know on our Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Google+, to stay up to date with all of your ChampionsWay news.