Hello? Is Anybody Out There?
Being an independent massage therapist, it was easy to get the sense that I was all alone. Everything falls on my shoulders and some days I felt like Atlas, holding up the entire world. Owning your own business is hard, daunting, and some days are completely overwhelming. But then I found the world of Social Media!
In 2009, I found the world of Facebook and was able to connect with old classmates, colleagues, and friends. According to a 2013 study by the AMTA, 81% of massage therapists are on Facebook. That’s a lot of connections and support and I found a great community to share ideas, stories, and connect with issues about massage and the business of massage. The weight of the world was gone. <sigh> Tip: Signup for Facebook and start connecting socially.
Then I learned that 47% of Massage Therapists use LinkedIn. That’s more than double the national average! What’s going on with LinkedIn? I thought LinkedIn was just a professional networking site, where I could post my resume, like a job bank. What am I missing? So I did a little digging. Turns out, LinkedIn is a gateway into the business world that can help increase credibility. We all know how hard it can be to combat the less than desirable image the massage profession has to contend with from time to time. LinkedIn helps our image of being professionals. Sign me up! But the benefits don’t stop there. LinkedIn is also great at building your professional and business network. “Want to find a list of chiropractors in your area to reach out to? Search LinkedIn. Want to build a referral relationship with physicians? Search LinkedIn. Want to partner with a personal trainer in your area? Search LinkedIn.” Need to find an accountant to do your business taxes? Search LinkedIn. And the list goes on. Tip: Signup for LinkedIn and start connecting your business.
There is a third social media outlet that is used by massage therapists. 27% of Massage Therapists use Twitter. Twitter is a great platform to combine both social and business networking. It’s a simple concept that can produce amazing results. It is a great promotional tool, lead generator, customer service connection, and resource for information. “A study found that consumers active on Twitter are three times more likely than the average consumer to affect a brand’s online reputation through syndicated Tweets, blog posts, articles, and product reviews!” The key to Twitter is to target your connections, provide meaningful content with a sense of authentic helpfulness. Massage Therapists have a genuine desire to help people and love Word-of-Mouth Advertising. Twitter seems to be the ideal platform. Tip: Signup for Twitter and start connecting person to person.
So what does all this mean? Massage Therapists are out there using social media, but the AMTA report states that in 2012 only 36% used social media to stay in touch with clients. Hmmmm…. Tip: Use social media to connect with your clients.
The world of social media turns Atlas into a community.
Next week, I will take social media mobile!
 McDonald, B., (2012). 7 Reasons Massage Therapists Should Care about LinkedIn. http://info.massamio.com/blog/bid/214283/7-reasons-massage-therapists-should-care-about-LinkedIn
 Schaefer, Mark (2012-07-24). The Tao of Twitter: Changing Your Life and Business 140 Characters at a Time (p. 32). McGraw-Hill Education. Kindle Edition.
 Same as , p. 15.