Nowadays, most businesses have a website and some social media channels. It is after all easy to set up an Instagram account, so why not do it after all? Having a brand name mentioned on multiple platforms contributes to raising awareness. The more people know about you, the more likely they are to buying your product. As a result, the more likely you are to increase revenue. However, this is true only if you build a social media strategy for your spa that works.
Indeed, although a lot of spas and salons do have some traces of online presence, they usually do not use those social media channels to their full potential. Publishing posts and stories on Instagram is all good and well but it is not enough to get noticed and to grow your business. However, those who did invest time and energy in building a proper social media marketing strategy usually do see great results.
How To Build A Social Media Strategy For Your Spa
1. Set objectives and goals
The first step in building a social media strategy for your spa is to set goals and objectives. They can be hard to set as there is no right answer to what social media objectives need to be. Thus, it may be tempting to overlook them and move on straight to content creation. Do not. Spending time defining goals and objectives are essential to the success of your social media strategy.
Setting objectives will allow you to get directions as per where you want to go with your social media strategy and what you want to achieve through social media marketing. In short, objectives also allow you to answer the question: Why do you need social media? To raise brand awareness? To increase community engagement? What about generating sales? Or to increase web traffic?
As per goals, they are usually more precise than objectives and very often numbers. You evaluate goals against KPIs that your social media effort must meet. Goals keep you accountable and will encourage you to change and improve your social media strategy as time goes on and you get results. Goals bust me S.M.A.R.T.: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-sensitive.
2. Focus on your brand
One purpose of social media is to increase your online presence and have your brand on multiple platforms so that it can be seen by multiple people. Today, the average customer is bombarded with content and will need to see at least ten pieces of content from a brand to eventually decide to finalize their purchase. Thus, your brand must be striking and memorable.
More important, your brand needs to be consistent and the same across all platforms. You brand should be the focus on your social media strategy. The latter must be built around the former. Thus, once you decide on your logo, you must use it as profile picture across all your platforms. The same goes for your social media handles. Although it may difficult to find a username that is not taken yet, you must do your best to have similar social handles across platforms.
Finally, your content must also be consistent (in tone, imagery, language, vibe). Not so much in the form but in the vibe. Your brand image and identity will rely on social media a lot to grow and strengthen. Although each platform will require different types of content, it is important that overall, each gives away the same unique vibe that defines your brand. Only then will you make a strong long-lasting impression in your customers’ minds.
3. Know your audience
Before you carry on with your social media strategy, you need to know who you are speaking to. Who is your ideal client and who you are trying to convince that your spa is the best in town. Furthermore, knowing and studying your audience will help you know what they are looking for in a spa or salon, what keywords make them tick, what content they like. Then will you be able to create content around those preferences.
The best way to know what content to create and where to post it in order to reach your audience is to build a customer persona. Name, age, gender, family and relationship status, occupation and income, personality, social media channels, other media, health and lifestyle priorities, interest and hobbies, etc. One business may have different customer personas, which you can build around your product’s price point for example.
If you know who your audience is, where they hang out and what they are looking for, you can curate your social media strategy to fit exactly those criteria. The better you communicate with your target audience, the more likely they are to notice your brand and to ultimately make a purchase.
4. Pick social media channels
Now that you know your audience, you also know where they hang out. In other words, you know which platforms they used and so, which you should use to promote your products, services or brand. Setting goals and objectives will also help here since there are many different social media channels out there and each can be used for a different purpose.
Ideally, you will pick a maximum of five to six social media channels to use with different frequency. You should not spread yourself too thin. Indeed, better have a strong social media strategy and the time to create content for a few platforms than being overwhelmed by too many social channels and unable to maximize the use of each.
So, what social media channel does your ideal customer use? For example, according to their demographic, they hang out on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest mostly. Then, make those three socials the pillar of your strategy and decide what to do with each. Instagram is great to spread awareness and, depending on the nature of your product, can have a high conversion rate. Twitter is more of a conversational tool and could be used for customer service. As for Pinterest, it is a visual search engine that can bring a lot of traffic to a website. Thus it is a great place to promote blog posts.
In summary, you need to be where your audience is.
5. Build a content calendar
The thing with social media is that it needs frequency and consistency of use. Indeed, with the sea of content published each minute on each platform, the best way to be noticed is to post high quality content often. Thus, you need to decide when and how often to post. Then again, knowing your audience will help answer that question.
When is your audience active on each platform? When is engagement the highest? What if they are in a different time zone? Should you post once a day? Surely, five times a day will have people unfollow you, no? On Facebook or Instagram maybe, on Twitter or Pinterest however, no.
You can research the best time to post for your time zone and your audience and the best practices frequency-wise. For example, the optimal posting frequency on Pinterest is eleven pins a day while it is one to two posts on Instagram. You may use scheduling tools for each platforms such as Planoly, Tailwind, Buffer or use social platforms’ built-in schedulers.
Building a content calendar as part of your social media strategy will help you know what piece of content needs to be out on what platform on what day. Plus, it will allow you to plan content creation better.
6. Create content
Before you get into this stage of building your social media strategy, know that content creation is time-consuming and requires some planning ahead. Although you will be able to take advantage of user-generated content (which will save you a lot of time), creating original content, especially when it comes to photos will require planning photoshoots quite in advance.
You now know your audience, what platforms they use and what content they are most likely to engage with. Furthermore, you have studied each platforms and best practices and know what type of content works best on each. Thus, now is the time to choose what type of content will be posted on each platforms and to create it.
The type of content you want to create will be determined to a large extent by which social media channels you have chosen to use as well as who your target spa guest is, as well as what resources you have available. For example, Pinterest will requires long vertical images or videos online. Instagram needs short videos and portrait (or square) images, Youtube is videos only and Twitter is links, text, images and short videos.
7. Grow your following
Growing a social media following is tougher today than it used to be but it is not impossible. Before we delve into this stage of your social media strategy, know that there are some practices to avoid at all costs when using social media. Do not buy fake followers or likes nor do you get into following/unfollowing patterns on Instagram. The algorithm is smart and not only will it flag you but also see you as spam, which will hinder your growth.
You need to grow your social media accounts using best practices. Creating high quality and engaging content is the pillar of social media growth. You will need to engage with your followers on a regular basis and never leave a comment unanswered. Cross-promoting social media channels helps making sure people follow you on all your platforms. You may also organize giveaways where people need to follow you to enter.
Other techniques include using user-generated content, using influencer marketing, building a strong hashtag strategy, posting frequently, commenting on other users’ posts, making use of all the features each platform has to offer (i.e. stories, polls, surveys, stickers.). Paid promotions may also help to get more followers but they should be combined with your paid media strategy.
8. Measure success
Last but not least of all the steps to build a social media strategy that works is to measure the results of all your activations. This is where setting up goals is so important since they serve as frame of reference to assess whether your social media efforts and latest campaigns were efficient. Those goals and KPIs were probably related to follower count, engagement rate, story views, link clicks, etc.
On platforms such as Instagram, you should have a look at statistics every week to ensure the data is accurate. Other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest have much more precise reporting systems with data saved for up to months prior. You can also see how your growth went over the past few months.
If you are not meeting your goals a specific month, you may either readjust your goals or change your content strategy. You tried one type of content somewhere, which did not work as well as expected. Maybe a different type of content will give different results. If you exceeded your goals, you may set them higher for the month to come.
When it comes to social media, a lot goes down to trying and testing. There is no set formula nor right answer to how you should build your social media strategy and what works or does not. Of course there are best practices. It is obvious that high quality content will increase your chances at being noticed. However, as each brand is different, what works for one may not work for another.
Furthermore, as social media platforms constantly evolve, algorithm changes and audiences grow, so must your social media strategy and content marketing. This is how you will stay relevant to your audience and ensure your success in the long-term.