Wednesday, 04 March 2015 16:16

Breaking Down Social Media: How to Choose a Social Media Platform That is Right for Your Spa

Written by   Mike Lewis

When choosing which social media platform to utilize for your business, the goal is to pick the one that has the audience that best fits your company. After all, it takes a lot of time and resources to manage social media across all platforms. So it is wise to choose what best works for your business’ needs.

quoteThe most important step before getting started is to determine what your objective is. Many businesses skip this step and end up spending too much time pushing in too many directions on different platforms without having success on any of them. For some companies, the objective might be to connect with existing customers to build more loyalty. For others, it could be to drive new customers to purchase products on their website. Whatever it may be, write it down, and see it through.
Once you have determined your business’ objective, you can begin evaluating which platform will be suitable to help you achieve your goal. The first thing to look at is your spa’s audience. While there is crossover of users between all social media platforms, each platform has its own unique audience as well. Here is a brief overview of each platform and how it pertains to your business’ needs.

Twitter can best be described like an ongoing conversation. Because of its short 140-character limitation and text message-like appearance, the users are usually quick to respond. If your objective is to post news, special offers, or questions for your followers, Twitter is the way to go. Unlike the other social media platforms, Twitter is more “in the moment,” making it great for engaging with clients.
A great way to utilize Twitter is by sending out tweets (posts made on Twitter) about the latest specials and treatments at your spa. A quick blurb like this impacts many clients because it catches their attention and does not take up too much of their time. If your spa is hosting an event, Twitter is a terrific way to spread the word because your audience can “retweet” your tweets about the event, creating a chain reaction and spreading awareness about your spa, as well as news of the upcoming event.
You can interact with your clients by asking them what they thought about your latest special offer, newest treatments or products, special event, and so on. If used correctly, Twitter can be a great asset to your spa and can create additional exposure and interaction with clients.

From size alone, Facebook is one of the most power social media platforms in the world. It can have positive results for almost any business. This platform is the place where people can send you a message, leave feedback, browse through your products or services, chat with you online, or view your photographs.
Facebook is a great place to give your business an overall presence. It should be updated daily but not just with specials. The number one reason why people quit following a business is because of uninteresting statuses. If all you post are your spa’s specials, your followers feel as if all you want is their money.
Your Facebook page should be more about showing the people behind the business. In addition to posts about your promotions, your clients and potential customers should see photographs of the staff, the facility, and events or charities. Seeing these types of photographs and posts allow your clients to see your spa as more than just a company – the posts give your company a personality. Clients will feel like you are being transparent and ‘real’ with them and this will cause positive results.
It is beneficial to post statuses that cause interaction. Reach out on some statuses and ask your clients questions to make them feel included. Facebook is a great place to connect and gain new clients while retaining old ones. If done properly, your Facebook fans will become loyal followers, which can have a great impact on your word of mouth marketing.

Pinterest is a content sharing website that allows members to pin (post) photographs or videos to their ‘boards.’ This platform is great for visual marketing. The majority of Pinterest’s users are female and images containing a face are 23 percent more likely to receive a repin. This is a prime marketing platform for spas that can show great photographs.
You can pin photographs of makeup, treatments, before and after photographs, products, and any of the other services that could be represented visually. Seventy percent of Pinterest users are active on Pinterest for shopping inspiration. This means the users are already in the state of mind to make purchases, making it the perfect time to present them with your products and services. Clients love to actually see what your spa has to offer. They can read about your offers all day, but it will never have the same effect as when they see an example of the services you do laid out in a photograph. If a client is scrolling along their Pinterest and a photograph of a certain body treatment sticks out to them, your spa is utilizing Pinterest effectively. Since Pinterest is all about photographs and less about the content you write, it is important to find photographs that will catch your client’s eyes. Photographs are a powerful marketing tool, making Pinterest a great website to use for a spa’s marketing purposes.

LinkedIn is a social networking website that is used for developing contacts and relationships with other professionals. If your objective is to find new employees or vendors or build other business relationships, then LinkedIn is best for you and your spa.
While it is not great for creating brand awareness or generating revenue, LinkedIn can be beneficial for keeping in touch with contacts like companies you do business with. The social media platform is for professionals and it is all about professionals. Contacts are a vital part of all businesses. Without other professionals and spas, your spa would not be able to prosper and grow. It is important to connect with your colleagues, and even your competitors, on LinkedIn. Your spa can interact with them on the website and grow from each other’s contacts and goals. Spas can use LinkedIn to connect with other spas and professionals in the skin care industry. They can push themselves to be better and build relationships with other skin care professionals locally or even across the country.

Google+ is like a combination of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Its features include Hangouts (video chat), +1’s (equivalent of the like button on Facebook), hashtags, and communities. It can be great place to find like-minded individuals
and businesses.
Where Google+ plays the biggest role is in your website’s search engine optimization. Your business’s +1’s now play a role in how it ranks on Google. Unlike other social media platforms, post on Google+ are more like miniature blog posts. Google indexes and ranks the posts on Google+, whereas you will not find tweets or Facebook posts on Google, or on your profile or business page.

Much like Pinterest, YouTube is a visually driven website. With a good video, you can often rapidly build brand awareness. The key is to make an unforgettable video about your products or services. Fifty-two percent of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in their purchase decisions. 
In this day and age, it is getting harder and harder to stand out. Try watching several videos that have thousands, if not millions of views, to get ideas on what they did to stand out. Remember, demonstration videos of how to use a product or what your customer will experience when they come in will help build confidence in your business.

Foursquare is a local search and discovery service that is personalized for each of its users. Foursquare does not require much maintenance but its value can be great for marketing. It is primarily used so that a consumer can let their friends know where they are. This can be helpful to spread the word about your business. Give your clients incentives for ‘checking in’ at your business on Foursquare. This is a great way to gain attention for your brand.

As you can see, there are benefits from all of these social media platforms. Some are best for promoting treatments and products while others can just be used to gain contacts and interact with other businesses. Whichever ones you decide to utilize, remember the most important thing is to first determine your objective. If you keep your focus steady, these social media platforms can be a very efficient way to expand your spa.
Once you decide which social media platforms you would like to use, dedicate the time or hire someone to spend the time to do it right and stay focused on your spa’s goals. Many companies have begun strictly hiring someone to be the social media guru. Their job is to post, follow, and update as frequently as possible on all social media websites. If someone is hired for this position, the spa benefits because it becomes easy to update many social media websites every day, rather than just having to choose a couple due to time restraints.
Try your best to keep up with your social media websites as they can be helpful to your business. And even better yet – they are free! If your spa uses these free marketing tools well, you will notice the impact they can have and will enjoy the new clients they bring.

mike-lewisMike Lewis is the managing partner and internet strategist at Perfect Circle Media Group (PCMG). He has been developing websites and e-commerce sites for 10 years. He is a search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) consultant for many companies around the world. His expertise lies in developing online communities, professional and social networking, SEO, SEM and custom web applications. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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