By Allissa Haines
This is part of a recurring blog series with business expert Allissa Haines that focuses on simple ways you can improve your practice.
Social media has been around for a few decades, but it still feels like the Wild West of the internet. The guidance for effectively using social media to promote a business changes as frequently as the platforms themselves.
Still, there are a few foundational steps you can take to be sure your social media presence is professional and helpful to potential clients seeking your services.
1. Use Pictures and Logos
The photographs and graphics you use on your social profile picture and header areas should be the same photographs and graphics found on your website. If a potential client learns about you through social media, you want them to recognize you and the feel of your business when they eventually land on your website to schedule an appointment.
If you have a professional picture of you massaging, or a headshot, use that as the profile picture. If that’s not an option, use your logo. If the platform allows for a cover or banner image, that’s also a great place for a massage action shot with your logo in that image as well.
Size your images properly for the platform you are using. Canva.com is a great free resource that has pre-built templates for all the social image options. It’s easy to upload an image, fit it into the proper template and add a logo.
2. Triple Check Your Details
Our businesses constantly change and evolve and sometimes we forget to update those changes in all the places our information is posted. Check all your social media profiles and make sure the details of your business are accurate. Business hours, contact email and phone number, the description of your business and specialty, and website link are all important bits of information for recruiting new clients.
Platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok don’t have lots of space for all your business details. You can use a service like Linktr.ee or Linkin.bio to create one link for your bio space that will route to all the links and business information you may need to share.
Make sure you are following the accounts of all your referral partners and local businesses that you love and patronize.
3. Create a Strategy
Consider your goals for social media use. Are you looking to recruit new clients or simply improve your client retention? Are seasonal retail and gift certificate sales a big part of your business? Answering some questions about your intentions will help you craft a plan to meet your goals.
If you are looking for new clients, you’ll want to share lots of information about your office, your style of massage, and the types of issues you treat. You could post links to your scheduling page frequently and share short videos answering Frequently asked Questions to help potential clients get to know you.
Client retention efforts could include regularly posting open appointments on your social media to encourage less-frequent clients to schedule a massage.
You could also focus on a theme each week or month, making sure that theme is something relevant to your target clientele. For example, If your niche is oncology massage, you could have a month of posts about self-care for caregivers. You could post links to articles about caregiving, local support groups and resources, and other small businesses related to your niche.
If you work with amateur athletes, you could have a month focusing on shoulder injuries and injury prevention, another month for knees, and maybe some months with training and care guidance timed to popular local events like marathons and competitions in your area.
If a full-on strategy and themes feel overwhelming, simply creating a pattern for posting can help you organize content. Match a day of the week with a certain topic or type of post, rinse, and repeat.
For example, on Mondays you could post a link to your scheduling page to fill up your week. Wednesdays are for an image and article or blog post from your website or another site related to that month’s theme. On Fridays you post a local resource or other small business related to your monthly theme or niche.
Whatever rhythm and regularity you can create is better than none at all, so don’t be afraid to start and stumble a little until you find your pace.
You are not obligated to be on social media. If you don’t like being on a computer or just don’t love social media in general, stop torturing yourself. It’s OK to let it go and focus on other methods of growth and retention. People were building businesses long before social media was a thing and will continue to be successful long after social breathes its last like, retweet, and stitch.
Allissa Haines is a practicing massage therapist and columnist for Massage & Bodywork magazine. You can read her column, “Blueprint for Success,” in the digital edition at massageandbodyworkdigital.com.