Social media is potentially your biggest power-player when it comes to marketing your massage business. Not only are social media platforms free to use, they allow you the ability to connect with the masses instantly—but are your socials helping you grow your business or are they keeping you invisible?
When it comes to leveraging social media to flood your business with profit from those perfect-for-you clients, it all comes down to strategy—and a few tweaks. After evaluating thousands of social media accounts, I have seen the same mistakes again and again. Brand-new therapists and those who have been in the industry for decades are effectively invisible to the people they are hoping to reach.
Some accounts are in dire need of a complete makeover while others could greatly benefit from a few simple shifts. No matter what level of correction and updating are necessary, you can easily transform your socials from one of invisibility to one that showcases you as a powerful authority on massage and bodywork.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the most common categories where you might be stalling your growth potential: branding; your cover and profile photos; your about section and bio; and your daily posts, including availability, discounts and deals.
Your Social Media Makeover: Branding
Branding is the foundation of your business’s image, with the purpose of creating quick visual recognition of your business. It is a powerful force in creating a cohesive look and feel that connects your content—and you—to massage, and more specifically, the purpose of your business.
When you think of a red bull’s-eye, you almost certainly think of the mega-retailer, Target. Likewise, a swoosh immediately brings the shoe giant, NIKE, to mind. And the Golden Arches? Not only do you picture McDonald’s, you can all but taste it. These immediately recognizable logos are supported by powerful branding.
Branding isn’t just for supersized businesses. Solo practices, massage collectives and large clinics can all benefit from the power of branding. Get creative, but be sure your logo, the colors and fonts you choose, and the photos and designs you create consistently represent the what and why of your business.
Developing your brand should be a well-thought-out journey that takes you to every nook and cranny of your business. Here are two of the most important elements that should be considered:
• Your favorite colors and the meaning behind each one. How does that support the type of work you do? For example, red is known to be closely connected with power, violence, love, and passion. It can raise blood pressure and respiration rates.
In the world of massage and bodywork, you might want to provide powerful results, yet also work to reduce the inherent power differential between you and your client. The thought of a violent massage seems absurd, but one filled with love can also bring on problems of its own.
You might be passionate about the work you do, but feeling passionate about a client (or a client feeling passionate about you) crosses ethical boundaries. Even though red may be your most favorite color of all time, it is probably best if it’s not the primary color in your branding.
• The fonts you choose should also flow with the type of work you offer. Do you practice predominately clinical work where strokes are independent or is your focus more on modalities where strokes are continuously flowing? Are you a heavy-pressure therapist or do you prefer to work on the lighter side?
Whatever way you choose to provide massage and bodywork to your clients should be reflected in the fonts you choose. For example, a practice that is very clinical in focus would be better represented by standard, straighter fonts such as what you are currently seeing on this page. If your niche is Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, a curvier font where each letter flows into the next is a better representation of the flow of your strokes.
Your Social Media Makeover: Cover and Profile Photos
Photos are an immediate visual validator for potential clients and should be chosen with care. Your profile photo will be attached to every post as well as in messages, reinforcing the connection of you with your business. When choosing a photo, opt for one that shows you smiling directly at the camera. Every time someone sees it, they will feel you are looking directly at them.
• Cover photos act as your digital billboard. Make sure you are using that space wisely! A photo of you working on a client or one that showcases your professional treatment room will go a long way to making a potential client feel comfortable and start building trust in your professionalism.
Pro tip: Match your shirt to your brand colors to continue that cohesive feel.
Your Social Media Makeover: The “About” Section and Bio
About section/bio: This is one of the most underused spaces I see when evaluating socials. Your about section and bio are where you have an opportunity to clearly communicate the purpose of your business and exactly why you’re the best choice for potential clients.
• Leverage the power of these spaces by filling them with content that showcases the problems you solve, your unique selling point, and what someone can expect by saying “yes” to working with you.
• Simply listing your service menu and prices is not the most beneficial use of these spaces because potential clients need to develop a level of trust in your ability to solve their problems before attempting to choose which service—or price point—is best for them.
• Be sure to include links to your website and other social media accounts.
Your Social Media Makeover: Daily Content
Now that we have taken an in-depth look at the foundational aspects of your socials, let’s get into the daily content. While the about section and bio are the most underused spaces, the timeline content is the most misused, leading to lackluster conversions and keeping you invisible.
The content you post is all about connecting with your ideal clients in a way that builds trust and gets them emotionally connected with the results you’re selling. But so many therapists are missing the mark by filling their socials with junk that doesn’t turn those lurkers into lucrative clients. So what are the most common mistakes I see, and how can you change it up and leverage the value of this space?
Availability posts are super common, but actually work to reduce trust and tend to push potential clients away from your business. The truth is, when you advertise lots of openings in your schedule, someone who has never worked with you is likely weighing all of that against how “good” or competent you are as a therapist. It is easy for non-massage therapists to assume you are new or under-skilled, making you less appealing to schedule with.
Sometimes it can be appropriate and lucrative to post a few openings, but you need to do so more randomly. Instead of posting a full list of your available appointments every Sunday for the week ahead, vary it by posting on different days and skipping some weeks.
Never post your full availability; choose one to three specific openings instead. This keeps your existing and potential clients interested and creates more of an urgency to book. Posting at the same time each week trains people to wait until the last minute to schedule their sessions, leaving you with unpredictable income fluctuations.
Your Social Media Makeover: Discounts and Deals
“Deal of the day” posts are less common, but still problematic in that they train people to wait until the day-of to schedule, hoping they will score a cheaper session. This reduces your chances of filling your schedule and filling your bank account. It also trains clients to focus on the price of your services rather than the powerful results you can provide them. Some tips on discounts:
• Ditch deals of the day and outline a strategy that allows you to leverage seasonal offerings or simply focus on creating content your audience can emotionally connect with. Show them how you are the problem-solver they need.
• Discount posts fall in line with deal of the day posts. Training your clients to focus on price will always push them to seek out cheaper services and negotiate “deals” with you.
• Discounts do not fill your schedule with perfect-for-you clients, so skip them entirely.
Content that does not support your brand or the clients you want to do business with waters down what your business is all about and confuses clients on your message. This is such a simple mistake, but has a huge impact on a potential client’s decision to share their hard-earned money with you. Creating content your audience cares about will grab their attention and keep them engaged. Avoid sharing recipes, political content and even those super-cute kitten photos. Instead, create powerful posts that speak to the problems you solve for your clients.
Engage with Your Audience
Social media can be a lucrative marketing tool if you know how to maximize its potential. (One way to do so is by taking free training from Meta, Facebook’s parent company, to learn about marketing on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.)
Start by giving each of your social platforms a thorough evaluation and trash anything that doesn’t fit within the categories above. Then start filling them up with content your audience can emotionally connect with and want to engage with.
When you keep your focus squarely on the purpose of your business, you will never be invisible to the people who are perfect for you.
About the Author
Melinda Hastings, LMT, BCTMB, MTI, has practiced massage therapy since 1996. She holds active licenses in Washington and Texas, and is also a Texas Massage Therapy Instructor. She is a Nationally Approved Continuing Education Provider through the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.