Back in the day, anyone with a credit card could invest in television or radio airtime and launch a nascent business off the ground.
But these day, even dancing puppies during super bowl breaks don’t guarantee anything more than a hefty marketing bill at month’s end.
With the diversification of media across the internet and a new generation of savvy consumers, the modern marketing paradigm is all about social sharing: relying on networks outside of traditional one-directional media messaging to sell products and services.
More than ever, entrepreneurs are harnessing the confidence and energy of their customers to convert their business from something that just they value into something that hundreds of people value, remember, use, understand and share.
How can you generate positive social media buzz about your business in this brave new world?
Here are seven massage therapy marketing ideas to convert clients from passive consumer into cheerleaders for your brand and maximize massage clients’ word-of-mouth.
Know Your Audience.
Even the most enthusiastic of entrepreneurs can’t sell shoes to a snake.
Understand who your clients are—their age, gender, socioeconomic makeup, hobbies, values and beliefs. For small businesses, the best way to go about this is to use your gut.
First, choose several clients that you feel represent the ideal customer. Find out what they need and want from your business. Ask them what you are doing right and what you are missing—and then generalize that information toward a broader audience.
Just be careful not to overgeneralize. Today’s consumers expect you to understand them on an individual level, not on a statistical one.
Make a Customer, Not a Sale.
Social selling is about the relationship, not the deal. A business transaction cannot be a one-time event—it needs to be an ongoing positive interaction that leads to better relationships and a shared interest in a mutually compelling product.
This sort of accord happens only as you consistently build a network of trust around your service.
Listen as Much as You Promote.
Knowing your audience means understanding nuance. The only way to really grasp the difference between a sports-fanatic-40-something-mom and a yoga-fanatic-40-something-mom is to spend time in their world.
Be a listener.
The sports fanatic might respond to an offer for muscle enhancing treatment, while the yoga fan might prefer a message about holistic relaxation.
The difference is not obvious, but could make a big difference to the way you market to your preferred client.
Establish Your Brand Online.
Your brand is the way people perceive your business when they interact with it—both messages that you can control and the ones you can’t.
Be proactive about owning your message. Pick your focus and the personality you want to communicate.
Choose the look of your brand—including logos, colors and fonts.
Consistently communicate your brand as you post online with the words you choose, the content you display and the overall tone you strike with your audience.
Let the Product Sell Itself.
When you offer a quality product or service, much of the marketing work is already in the bag.
Online reviews, comments and sharing allow consumers to access personal recommendation from a wide network—for better or worse.
Consumers trust online customer reviews almost as much as a recommendation from a friend, so make sure that your customers feel justified in leaving a good one.
Engage with Comments on Social Media.
Social media offers an open-ended platform to communicate and engage with your customers—and that’s exactly the kind of thing they like best—your personality coming through their feed.
Focus the limited time you have online toward understanding your customers and addressing their needs. One of the easiest ways to do this is by monitoring and responding to customer comments.
This approach helps you not only to serve client needs, but to create loyalty and trust in your brand. Respond to questions, offer gratitude for endorsements, ask questions, make recommendations based on your experience, offer options and share expertise.
Your passion will help to generate and direct your content in a personal and engaging way.
Give them a Reason to Share.
Be careful about gimmicks. Today’s social media users are getting more and more savvy about how businesses use them to disseminate information.
Empower your clients to share a positive message by offering information, support, inspiration, solutions and ideas.
When people value the message you are communicating, they are more likely to click the share button and spread your message far and wide.
About the Author
Derrick Woods, founder and CEO of N8 Essentials, has career-spanning experience tackling both big- and small-scale entrepreneurial challenges. His long-term passion is rooted in helping people pursue healthier natural lifestyles with a focus on certified organic essential oils, which reduces daily exposure to manufactured chemicals. Woods wrote “How to Use Social Selling for the Ultimate Word-of-Mouth” for MASSAGE Magazine’s July 2018 issue.