Today, it is a no brainer that social media is an essential part of any spa practice’s business and marketing plans. However, utilizing this platform to its fullest potential can be a tricky task to master. From boosting posts to content planning and creation to dealing with negative feedback, here are top tips for creating an effective social media presence that any spa can incorporate.
BOOST IT FOR BETTER RESULTS
The ability to market directly to a target audience and even change or refine that audience when desired is just one of the many benefits of social media marketing. Boosting a post simply means paying to distribute the post to a specific audience. For example, a spa can select an audience that shops at upscale stores like Nordstrom, frequently purchases health and beauty products, is into fitness, has a college degree, likes dogs, or enjoys traveling. A spa can easily set a budget, the number of days to boost the post, and the number of people to reach.
Here is an example of the wonderful benefits of boosted or targeted posting. Imagine that a spa posts inspirational quotes and videos on their Instagram feed. They post about 10 times and notice the average engagement is around 100 people. Then, they post a video and engagement is over 300 people. So, they decide to spend $70 to boost it, targeting people who like inspirational and motivational posts, as well as health and beauty. The inspirational video reaches individuals interested in health and beauty who then decide to click on the spa’s story (the little circle with the spa’s profile photo at the top left, showing what the spa has been up to the past 24 hours), which leads them to direct message the spa with questions and then purchase services. Perhaps the original intention was to inspire, not necessarily to sell, but through boosting their post, the spa does both – a win-win.
You can easily do the same. Every 10 or so posts, track how many likes, shares, and views you are getting. If you post a video that gets 200 views, it is obviously more engaging than one that gets only 20. Boost popular posts to maximize reach. The key to boosting posts is selecting those that have already gotten good organic views from the existing audience. Although it is a form of pay to play, boosting is a powerful marketing tool because it minimizes a lot of the risks associated with traditional advertising such as radio, television, and print. You are not shooting in the dark because you already know the post engages the audience.
Social media is one of the easiest and most affordable forms of advertising, but there is a catch. Because we are all walking around with smart devices these days, we are pretty casual when it comes to posting. It only takes a few seconds and boom – you are out there. This is fine when sharing cute pictures with buddies, but not always a good thing for a business owner or employee trying to grow his or her business. In business, think before posting. Consider the content, visuals, and message carefully.
In fact, sit down for an hour each week and plan out the next 14 posts. Post a minimum of once a day, but no more than twice – stay in front of the customer but do not bombard them. If short on time, find a free or low-cost scheduling app or platform that will publish pre-scheduled posts.
CONTENT IS KEY
How about those posts from friends, family members, and businesses where they are always trying to sell something? Even if the posts are visually pleasing, do you look forward to them? Probably not. That is why no more than 25% of posts should be salesy. The other 75% should be engaging but also relevant to the business or you personally. If you enjoy traveling, cooking, or reading, find a way to incorporate those bits of your personality into posts. Viewers appreciate knowing that you are much more interesting than a “limited time only and special offer.” They want to know what makes the business unique and how you bring that quality into the business.
HANDLING NEGATIVE COMMENTS
In the game of social media, everyone has an opinion and those opinions are not always subtle or kind. In fact, they can be brutal. However, if the complaint or comment is a valid concern, use the opportunity to turn it around in the spa’s favor. Respond quickly and professionally. Response time is probably the most important factor in this scenario – do not let something negative go unanswered for days or weeks, allowing others to see it and perhaps even plant seeds of doubt about the business.
On the other hand, if someone is being a hater on your feed, there really is not a need to respond. Try to delete or hide the post and move on. If it cannot be deleted, tell the person you appreciate their concerns, show them some empathy, and explain your side of the story, but do not be defensive. Other viewers with nicer personalities and less time on their hands for nonsense will recognize that Mr. or Ms. Grumpy’s comments are unwarranted, so do not worry too much about losing hard-earned reputation to someone who is spouting off.
Comments are also a terrific opportunity to build relationships with those who reach out. If a viewer asks a simple question such as, “How much does the treatment cost?” or “Does the facial work on acne?” post a generic response and send them a direct message with details. Doing it this way is much more personal and allows the viewer to perhaps open up privately about their struggle with acne. It also offers some tailored suggestions that might work for them, such as “I offer a chemical peel that is wonderful for clearing up skin and I also have a product that I think you would love.” Throw in a few simple emojis, making the dialogue seem less formal, more personal, and more memorable.
It is important to share other people’s and business’ information. Some may be thinking, “Why should I post other people’s content? Won’t that take viewers away from my page? I thought the idea was to keep them reading my stuff!” That is a legitimate concern, but content curation, when carefully done, actually helps you become a trusted source of valuable information. Content curation focuses on finding and sharing the best information available – it should be quality rather than quantity.
For example, Gwyneth Paltrow’s website, Goop, has become a well-known source for alternative (and sometimes controversial) health and beauty referrals, among other things. You will not find many articles on Goop that are mainstream or yesterday’s news, but if looking for an expert on what types of crystals to keep in the workplace to encourage serenity, Goop’s got just the right person (and article) for it. The actress has established herself (and her e-commerce business) as an expert on things that might not be found elsewhere.
Of course, it is not beneficial to encourage viewers to hop over to a competitor’s social media feed or website, so do not share their posts. But posting about the latest and greatest treatments and products, industry specialists, celebrity beauty obsessions, and more can both entertain and educate viewers and they will start looking forward to those posts because of the time taken to share something valuable. Sign up for alerts from relevant sources (industry publications, celebrity news, and other sources), and during weekly, one-hour planning sessions, think about content curation, too. Ask if the articles to share and repost add value to the audience. Do they educate, inform, or entertain? Are they from credible sources? This cannot be stressed enough. One article that you did not properly vet can do more damage than 10 good ones. Add a few comments regarding why the content would be valuable to followers and be sure to credit any sources used.
A FEW DOS AND DON’TS
Do: Post balanced content, varying between entertainment, special offers, funny and light-hearted moments, expert and educational information, and other forms of content.
Don’t: Include profanity. Even though it seems like everyone curses these days, refrain from cursing in posts. You never know who will be offended, and you just might lose someone’s business over something that was not necessary. The same is true for inappropriate pictures or videos (for example, too much skin-baring or anything with sexual references). Keep it professional.
Do: Post content that is synergistic to the business’ goals; even if it is something random, funny, or obscure, find a way to tie it back to the brand.
Don’t: Slam anyone, whether it is the worst customer ever who is blasting you on social media, a gossipy ex-boyfriend, or shady competition. The business’ social media pages should always focus on the positive.
Do: Take posts seriously (even when they are light-hearted). Social media has become one of the most powerful marketing tools known to humans – you are not just posting, you are building a business.
Don’t: Post without triple-checking grammar, spelling, and accuracy.
What makes any post go viral? Whether it is an article, video, or picture, posts that go viral contain something that followers feel is share-worthy. Often, it is something very funny, slightly shocking, or unique in some way. Going viral has put many small, unknown companies on the marketing map, simply because they (or their marketing departments) created content that was share-worthy. An example that comes to mind is the Dallas-based company PooPourri, an essential oil spray that blocks the scent of well, you can probably figure it out from the company’s name. PooPourri launched a humorous video in 2013 entitled “Girls Don’t Poop” and, to date, it has had more than 42 million views on YouTube. Why did so many people share the video? Because it is hilarious, a little shocking (crass, yes, but not too crass), and relatable – everyone worries about bathroom smells.
Use this as a template for your own attempts to go viral. What can you say or do that will make the spa stand out in a good, fun, or heartwarming way, and be share-worthy? Brainstorm with friends, family members, and co-workers. All that is needed is some creativity and a camera.
When it comes to growing a business, think about the client. Tailor posts to what interests them while, at the same time, staying true to who you are as a business and individual. And, always, have fun while doing it.