At the end of 2019, there were 3.48 billion social media users. That worldwide total grew 9% from 2018 to 2019.1 If your spa, skin care, or wellness business is not being social, those statistics prove social media marketing must become a priority.
March’s article is the first in a two-part series focusing on the steps for choosing a platform to meet your specific goals. Because social media is so vast, this article is dedicated solely to it. April’s article will focus on areas in which PR comes into play – television, radio, print, and online outlets.
For direction on deciding which social platforms are right for your business, I turned to Emily Ho, owner and chief strategist of Authentically Social LLC. From the beginning, Ho wants to assure business owners that you don’t have to be on every single social channel available. “Having one primary channel and doing it well is better than being on three or four and doing them poorly or inconsistently,” says Ho.
CHOOSE CHANNELS BASED ON IDEAL CUSTOMER DEMOGRAPHICS
“Among all United States adults, 73% are on YouTube, 69% are on Facebook, 37% are on Instagram, and 22% are on Twitter,” says Ho. “That doesn’t necessarily mean you should run to YouTube or Facebook. Drill down further into the and you’ll see that Facebook has a higher proportion of the population that are 30 and up, while YouTube is more prevalent for those 18 to 29. Forty-seven percent of United States adults ages 30 to 49 are on Instagram – again, higher than the average.”
CONSISTENCY IS EVERYTHING
Consistency is everything, no matter what network(s) you choose to be on. “Consider the type of content that has a good combination of ease and impact,” continues Ho. “If you’re not comfortable with making longer videos, YouTube shouldn’t be a primary channel. If you have a lot of customer photos or feel like you can snap them easily, think about Instagram. If you want to use a combination of text, links to your website or blog posts, images, and video, consider Facebook.”
WHERE CAN YOU ENGAGE
“Some networks are easier for connecting with potential customers and building relationships. Instagram, in particular, is great because you can implement not only a posting strategy, but an engagement or outreach strategy. Following relevant hashtags and location tags and commenting on people’s posts in your area means more potential eyes on your content.”
WORK WITH A STRATEGIST
While running your spa, skin care, or wellness business, how can you manage social media? “You can work with a strategist such as myself to outline a roadmap based on your business goals, budget, channels desired, and general messaging. From there, you can be hands-off and let them manage the content and engagement or you can take the plan and implement it yourself.” When managing yourself, five key elements to consider include:
- Calendar: “Consistent quality over quantity is key to standing out among the noise and building steady engagement,” adds Ho. “Not everything has to look or be perfect, but it has to add value. Education, social proof, and general branding and business values should be communicated much more frequently than direct promotional activity.” As baselines for posting, Ho suggests:
- Facebook three to five times per week
- Instagram static posts three to five times per week, with Instagram stories four to five times per week
- YouTube once per week
- Twitter five times per day on weekdays
- Messaging Categories: What are the key areas of information you want to communicate on social? “This could be things like education (this is why you want this and how it works), visual proof (before and afters, demonstrations), customer testimonials, sales, promotions, events, and general information,” suggests Ho. She cautions against using very scripted or “marketing” messages. Instead, natural and conversational language is preferred. Ho also emphasizes to consider the people you’re hoping to reach and how they may talk to their friends, as well as cultural references.
- Assets and Production: Social media is visual. Who will be responsible for creating the assets? Ho advises, “If you’re hoping to do a lot of visual content, you need to schedule photoshoots or assign team members to be in charge of taking photos. If you want to have text graphics or branding elements, you can use DIY tools such as Canva or PicMonkey or hire it out. For videos, they should be budgeted and scheduled in advance if outside production is required.” Note, please reference my February article for tips on video production.
- Monitoring and Engagement: “The point of social media is to be social, so the engagement aspect is important,” explains Ho, who suggests these questions are addressed early on:
- Who is responsible for monitoring comments or questions on each social channel?
- How frequently does the business want to engage with people who aren’t following them on Instagram, for example?
- Analytics and Fine-tuning: The biggest mistake Ho sees small businesses make with their social media is not measuring it and tweaking the plan on a regular basis. “Each network has free analytics options. There are also tools like Sprout Social or Hootsuite that can aggregate the information across networks. You can discover what content is performing best, what times of day are better to post, and more.”
A reminder that this series continues in April with advice on choosing a platform to meet your specific goals with a focus on television, radio, print, and online media.
1 Kemp, Simon. “Digital:2019 Global Internet Use Accelerates.” Wearesocial.com. Jan. 2019.
2 Mansfield, Matt. “Social Media Marketing Statistics.” Smallbiztrends.com. Dec. 2016.
Respected for her communication skills and media relationships, Debra Locker has worked in public relations and journalism for nearly three decades. She is the president of Debra Locker Group (originally Locker Public Relations), which was founded in 2008. Debra Locker Group is an award-winning boutique agency that specializes in lifestyle, spa, wellness, and beauty. Clients are featured on “The TODAY Show,” “The Doctors,” in SHAPE, Marie Claire, and The New York Times – to name only a few. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Locker was the public relations director for the International SPA Association.