A Beginners Guide to Social Media for Massage Therapists

social media icons with namesAs a massage therapist, I don’t spend much time on my computer. At least I didn’t, but now with the boom of social media for marketing I find myself on the computer much more. At least once a week I’m asked, “Are you on Google plus?”, “Join my network on Linkedin.” Or “Do you tweet?”  Now, I was beginning to feel a bit harassed from all the invitations to join Linkedin, a bit like the requests to play the popular Facebook game, Candy Crush, so I almost turned my back on social media all together, but I’m glad I didn’t.  The social media realm is vast and has the ability to reach customers like no other traditional media stream. But how can you make sense of the social media world? It can seem overwhelming and scary at first, especially for massage therapists. There are so many options! Many times we entered into the massage profession to get away from computers and yet here we are, sucked right back in.

Facebook and YouTube are the two most frequently visited social media sites in the United States, but how can massage therapists use these two platforms for their business?

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Facebook
You may already have a Facebook account. If not, you can create you very own Facebook account.  It is important to keep your personal page separate from your business. If you haven’t already created a Facebook page for your business, please do so soon.

Typically your personal page is listed by your name and is a great way to stay connected with family and friends, but not ideal for establishing your brand image for your business.  Let’s say you have appointments scheduled for Saturday afternoon, but you get a call from a friend inviting you to go to the beach. Sounds great!  Call your clients to reschedule and you’re off for a day of relaxing and fun!  You are having so much fun on your day off you post pictures to your Facebook account of your fun in the sun.  Not only will your family and friends see this post but all of your clients will see this post too. Yikes!! How many clients did you cancel to go off to the beach?  What if they see this post?  You could lose some clients, be embarrassed and with the speed of social media, word may travel like wildfire that you cancel appointments on a whim.  If you kept a separate Facebook account for business you can shield yourself from such oversights.  Creating a business Facebook page also allows your business name to be found by search engines and more customers can find you. Tip: Keep your profession professional.

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YouTube
While YouTube may be the second most visited social media site in the United States, it is predominately visited by males (78%).   According to a 2013 survey posted by ABMP, 60% of all massage clients are female.

So you may be thinking YouTube is out as a social media choice, but YouTube may be ideal grounds for tapping into that seemingly elusive male market.  Knowing your audience is important in reaching them to turn them into clients. If you take the time to create a YouTube video, think about the message you want to send to the male audience. You may choose to do a series of videos discussing common problem areas: shoulder pain for example. Perhaps it is better to use a male client in which to conduct your demonstration. Women who see the video will not be turned away and the men who watch can connect with the male client. Please make sure you choose your demonstration client appropriately. We all know how important massage can be for our clients, but men don’t want to hear that it will reconnect them with their inner spirit and make them feel revitalized. Women will key into the emotional appeal of how the massage will make them feel, but not men.  Men are not interested in emotions or how the massage will make them feel.  So, in the audio of your massage video to men, keep the message simple and include the important elements of how it will solve a problem. YouTube videos can help you get the message out about your practice and give people a glimpse into you, your massage style and what to expect from you. You are pre-populating the business relationship.   Tip: Know your audience.

Facebook and YouTube are the two social media platforms that have the highest number of users per month.  There are others that are becoming more popular. Which of the other social media sites would you like to know more about?

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4 thoughts on “A Beginners Guide to Social Media for Massage Therapists

  1. Hi Jeanne!

    I enjoyed reading this and congrats on your first blog post (I know I was certainly intimidated by this process but after a while I got really into it and had a blast with all the tools!)

    I appreciated the fact that you took two of the LARGEST platforms available and made them applicable to a profession that isn’t exactly generic. After years in administrative work, I have to admit that a job in your field has appealed to me more than once! I have a license as a master esthetician as a result and even so, I could also see that my non-computer time spent in the comforts of a spa were going to be short-lived with the surge of social media networks out there.

    I really enjoyed how your post INSTRUCTED people, without being condescending. I have read so much literature in social media since starting this course and all have said how critical it is to TEACH your audience instead of “sell at them” directly with your message. You gave some great tips here to HELP others, which will go a long way to developing a following. I think that more service industry professionals could definitely benefit from using professional pages on Facebook as well as creating tutorial videos on YouTube. I only want to go to a LMT if they are really passionate about the health benefits of massage and know what they are doing. Social media gives professionals like yourselves to brand to this audience, letting you showcase your talents and aptitude and thus, sell yourself on your skills in a much more accessible way.

    Nice job; looking forward to the next entry!
    Anne

  2. Hi Jeanne,

    You shared some interesting insights on ways to use social media channels in your field. I especially liked your Facebook example of the day off. I often wonder how many professionals get themselves into a situation after sharing information. I personally have separated my professional social accounts from my personal ones by creating multiple accounts. While I do feel sharing a little personal info with professional clients is a good thing, I tend to keep them mostly separate.

    I also love your ideas of using YouTube to promote aspects of your business through video. (I have not ventured into videos in my field, although I think they would do well). You could generate another stream of income just teaching others massage techniques they could perform themselves. This would be especially helpful to a caregiver who is caring for a loved one and needs simple techniques to help ease pain associated with immobility or other health issues.

    Great Job!

    Nancy

  3. Great post!! I think you provide some great insight on making a Facebook page for your businesses. I think that this is a very important thing to do, especially for small businesses. I know for myself, I love to find local coffee shops that aren’t Dunkin Donuts. I do like to know what they have to offer before I make the trip. I don’t understand why every coffee shop doesn’t have a Facebook page to show their hours, location, and menu. I seems to be such an easy thing to set up and requires very little upkeep. I can understand not having official websites anymore but I really believe that having a Facebook page could help business. Facebook is a great resource for small businesses and its free!!

  4. Nice post, I like the way you suggested separating the social media cites such as Facebook. It tends to get a little busy if it is not implemented in this manner. The social media has a huge supply of medians to choose from in regards to marketing products; most are free. Even better, the target audience in already available. Using Facebook, LinkedIn and You Tube are good examples of using social media. I think the key is having the ability to generate traffic to a given site. I was able to generate this in the financial arena with monetary funds. Looking forward to being able to do this in the social media.
    Thanks for posting

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