When the topic of digital media comes up, the conversation almost always turns to Facebook because it is the world's most trafficked website and more people log onto Facebook on a regular basis than Google. While many spa owners and managers do use Facebook in their personal lives, many of those users will easily admit that they are not great with social media.
Small businesses can benefit and grow if they have a strong digital media strategy that includes social media platforms, such as Facebook. However, many business owners do not leverage the power of digital media simply because they do not understand it. Oftentimes, the best decision a small business owner can make is to hire a digital media consultant to help them learn more about the digital space and how it can work for their business.
The most important thing that a spa owner can do is to assess the spa's digital media presence by adopting a third-party perspective and assessing what the business looks like online. Be as honest as possible as it will lead to more success.
What does the professional want from the digital media space? Do they want to get more clients? Would they like to provide education or a customer service opportunity? These are easy questions to formulate.
WHAT CAN THE PROFESSIONAL AFFORD?
It always comes down to resources. When it comes to a digital presence, there are a lot of possibilities for businesses. Different platforms require management and content, which take up valuable time and money.
MAKE A PLAN
If the professional fails to plan, they plan to fail. It is a line as old as time, but it is extremely true. The professional needs a digital media game plan. This plan will help and guide them through their everyday activities.
DO NOT TREAT THEM ALL EQUALLY
No matter which digital media products the professional intends to use, they should be sure that they have a unique strategy for each one. A common pitfall is to treat all products the same. Each platform has unique benefits and leveraging the platform to maximize those benefits is a winning plan.
HAVE A CONTENT CALENDAR
If the professional is going to manage their own digital media, they should create a calendar; it will be their guide for their digital media activity and help them remember to post content. It eliminates the common downfall of only posting content when it is on the professional's mind, which can lead to inconsistent posting of content on their platforms.
TAKE THE TIME TO COMMIT
Strategies that work always have some type of resources committed to them. As a business owner, it is vital for the professional to commit resources to their digital media activities. If the professional is doing the work in-house, they should assign roles and responsibilities. If they are going to hire a digital media consultant to help them, they should determine what dollar amount they can afford and then find someone who can help create a winning strategy, answer all of their questions, offer them ongoing support, and help them reach their goals with the budget they have available.
THE BEST CONTENT
When it comes to finding the best content, there are no rules. There is not a secret plan that exists that, if followed, will provide the professional with a win, mostly because "winning" is different to every business; it is defined by the business reaching its goals.
A general guideline to follow is to focus on content creation for the digital media presence in three main areas. Many experts in the social media field seem to agree that it is best to strive to educate, entertain, and inform. Following this strategy will help the spa owners avoid only using content that informs followers about the business: "Massages are 25% off in January," "We'll be open on Memorial Day," and "All retail products are buy 1, get 1 FREE." Do not just talk about the business. Create a dialogue. Have fun with the content.
Educate: The spa industry has a long list of treatments and products that clients want to know more about. Professionals can use the clients' interest to their advantage and create content that will help clients understand what the professional does. Teach them how products work, show them how treatments are performed, and give them more knowledge so they can engage with the professional and ask questions.
Entertain: Have some fun with digital media! For example, professionals can post the following: "Improve your selfies, see an aesthetician regularly." Being a small business allows professionals the ability to create the spa's personality. Allow digital media to be a venue for expression and have fun with fans and followers.
Inform: Talk about what is happening in the business.
Inform fans and followers about the spa's monthly specials. If the professional is having a product sale, be sure to add it to the content calendar. Perhaps the professional is having a gift certificate sale – this is always a winning idea for digital media content.
15 TYPES OF CONTENT TO TRY
1. Pictures: Having compelling and engaging pictures in digital media is required. Be sure to have professional photographs of the spa's staff members, the spa, its treatments, and its products. It is an upfront investment that will pay off in the long run.
2. Videos: Any type of video content that the skin care professional can curate is going to be a huge asset for the spa. Hire a professional to shoot an introductory video about the spa that can be used for digital media to help inform potential clients. The professional can also use the video feature on smart phones to create short videos for many of the popular social media platforms.
3. Live Features: Numerous social media platforms are offering a feature that will allow the professional to communicate to their fans and followers in real time. These features are great for treatment demonstrations and product education.
4. Before and After Pictures: These photographs are a great way to show off the work of the spa's makeup artists and skin care professionals. Before and after images are powerful content that can help the professional earn the trust of potential clients.
5. Industry Tips: The spa industry has many amazing publications that offer great industry tips. Sharing these tips with clients shows that
the professional stays abreast of current trends.
6. Staff Milestones: Many clients have good relationships with the spa's team members. Sharing staff promotions, achievements, and life events are a great way to increase good will with clients.
7. Vendor-Supplied Content: Vendors often have rich social media content on their platforms. Many day spas, waxing studios, and medical spas share Facebook posts, blog content, and Instagram pictures that vendors have posted to their platforms. It is an ideal strategy for a spa to have strong social media content without having to curate the content.
8. Blog Content: If the spa has team members who are good writers, have them write articles for the blog. This type of content that the spa is a thought leader in the industry. Professionals can also hire bloggers to write content for them.
9. Product Knowledge: Use the spa's digital media presence to teach clients about products. Because the professional spends such a short amount of time with clients before and after a service, product knowledge posts are a great way to extend the conversation.
10. Funny Memes: While the professional's digital media account should not be focused on making clients laugh, it is important to maintain an element of levity.
11. Business Awards: Do not be afraid to brag! Let clients know about any awards the spa or its team members have won; doing so establishes credibility. It also makes current clients proud to go to the spa and impresses potential clients.
12. New Treatments: If the professional adds new treatments to their spa menu, inform fans and followers. It will increase client interest and create dialogue.
13. Ancillary Business News: It is important for professionals to position their business among other businesses that have a similar clientele. If there is news and events happening with yoga studios, healthy restaurants, clothing stores, or gift shops, it is a good idea to share that information and ask those businesses to reciprocate in kind.
14. Professional Association News: There are numerous professional associations in the spa industry. They often produce content that would be ideal to share to help educate fans and followers.
15. Local Businesses and Events: Businesses are often part of a local business association or merchant group. These organizations hold events to bring customers into the local businesses. Sharing these events on the spa's digital platforms is a great way to help the community.
There is no one-size-fits-all rule for what type of content to post. Content must be relevant to the business and should help the professional meet their goals. Because it can be overwhelming without a plan, be sure to formulate a good plan and follow the content calendar. Consistently posting content will help the professional to effectively communicate and achieve their goals.
Barry Eichner is a Philadelphia-based beauty industry expert. With over two decades of experience, he was a vice president with a chain of medical spas. In 2011, Eichner founded his own consulting firm. Since that time, he has worked with national skin care companies and spa industry distributors, as well as day spas, medical spas, and salons. He has been a contributing writer for local, regional, and national publications and trade journals. As a recognized leader in digital media strategy, Eichner has been speaking to and educating small business owners and beauty industry professionals in Philadelphia, sharing his passion and knowledge on how to leverage the digital space to achieve success.