Build Relationships with Facebook
Here's how one massage business owner builds relationships using Facebook. Social media is a great way to be seen by your local community and network with other businesses. I've found Facebook to be useful in building a business so was glad to hear that other massage therapists are finding it useful as well.
For various reasons, it can be difficult to understand that social is a relevant and powerful marketing tool for growing a business. Recently, I had the chance to interview massage business owner, Tammie Starnes, who has had success using social media to market her business.
Here's our interview.
Case Study #1
GYMB: How long have you been a massage therapist (mt)?
Tammi: 19 Years
GYMB: How long have you been a massage business owner?
Tammi: 3 Years.
GYMB: Which forms of social media do you use with your practice?
Tammi: I use Facebook (FB). I'm a member of the Mom 2 Mom FB page in our town and have linked a Find A Health Professional services page to my FB page.
GYMB: How long have you been using social media?
Tammi: I only use Facebook and have been using it for 5 years.
GYMB: How much of your business would you say has come from your activity on Facebook?
Tammi: I would say at least 50%.
GYMB: How is Facebook bringing you business?
Tammi: Word of mouth which then turns into Facebook group conversations.
GYMB: So, how are you using this platform?
Tammi: I update the files page in my town's Facebook business page with holiday promos, specials, etc. I'll also do a nice Pinterest pic to accent it. The Mom 2 Mom FB page doesn't allow a lot of advertising, so I don't advertise my specials there.
When I get a cancellation, I put it on my own FB page, but not on the Mom 2 Mom or town business page as that is considered advertising.
GYMB: When you consider the different ways, you are using Facebook, which way seems to be the most effective at getting new clients?
Tammi: The Mom 2 Mom page. Mom's talk and they want a personal referral from people they trust. Since I'm already seen by that community, when people are talking about where to find a massage, other members will refer my name.
GYMB: How much time per week do you spend on social?
Tammi: For business, about 2-3 hours in total.
GYMB: Have you spent any money using FB ads?
Tammi: No, the only money I spend on ads is through the Health Professionals Directory website.
Social Media Advice
GYMB: Was there anything about social that surprised you when you first started using it?
Tammi: Yes, how much it started conversations, which lead to great questions, trust, and new clients. There are people in the group who have never used my services, yet they refer business to me because of our FB conversations. I've been referred by psychologists, vets, MD's and chiros. Yes, and even a veterinarian!
GYMB: What would you say was the biggest mistake you’ve made? Or, in what way was there a steep learning curve?
Tammi: I should have made it a policy to charge for hot towels and aromatherapy. I like using the oils and I want my clients to feel better, not broke. My clients value me and always make sure I am taken care of, so I still don't charge for them.
GYMB: What has been the most enjoyable experience using social?
Tammi: The trust and reputation that it has given me in my town. The fact that I, and my services, are part of conversations on Mom 2 Mom is a huge honor.
GYMB: What is the least enjoyable?
Tammi: Well, I haven't found a downside to using FB. Some people stalk my photos which seem weird, but I have their attention. I don't keep two accounts, I only used my personal FB page, so I can't post much political or grossly opinionated stuff. but I wouldn't do that anyways
GYMB: Do you think mt’s can build their businesses using social media?
Tammi: Absolutely! And it also helps to be a person who is engaged in the town too. Don't just put up posts and hope people will come. Be involved. Attend local plays, sports, parks, events, (if you are a parent). Volunteer at your kid's school parties, etc. It's important to be a part of the community.
GYMB: Why do you think this is important?
Tammi: If they don't know you, how can they trust you? I'll add- NEVER talk about who your clients are. I have clients that know each other but don't know that they both come to me. Trust is a huge factor for my clients.
Facebook, Final Thoughts
GYMB: Finally, what is something you would like all massage therapist’s to know before they start using social as a platform to help build their businesses?
Tammi: Look to local reputable professionals to learn from, refer to, and get referrals from. Be ok with being talked about or not. The process takes time for building trust and clientele.
Be prepared to commit to your profession and the growth of your business. When you take new courses, advertise that you want to practice on people and run a 50% promo for practice bodies. But choose promos wisely so don't do services for free.
Don't be awesome at everything, specialize. My niche is pain management. Get your niche and don't be afraid to hand out your cards, talk to people and be your great awesome self!
GYMB: Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to these questions. I appreciate that you shared your experience with us.
Tammie Starnes LMT