“Facebook’s greatest priority is making the platform valuable to the consumer, not to you, the marketer” – Gary Vaynerchuk
I was fresh out of College and had no money.
I knew nothing about marketing, advertising or how to set up a website.
I made an appointment with a local marketing/web design company to talk about setting up a site. Spent an hour in their office and talked to two designers about what I needed and wanted.
They got back to me about a week later with a quote of $5000.
Um, okay I can’t afford that.
I went on about my way and about six months later one of the designers (Doug Brown) gave me a call out of the blue. He had taken over the company and invited me to come down for a visit to talk about what I was doing.
He sat me down for an hour or so and instructed me on what I really needed.
“Jamie, you don’t need a website, you just need Facebook and Twitter”.
Why Every Massage Therapist Is A Social Media Marketer And Entrepreneur
I wish someone had told me in college that I was going to be an entrepreneur.
While we talked a little bit about being self employed, I didn’t realize that I would come out of college being my own business.
As great an education as it was, I think this is one area that is really lacking. You walk out piled up with student loans, hoping to get a job with grandiose ideas in your head that you’re going to make X amount of dollars your first year.
You’re lucky enough to get hired in a clinic, but have no idea how to market yourself.
Much less do you know how to set yourself apart from the other practitioners in your clinic. You need to find a way to set yourself apart so that when people call or book online, they’re looking for YOU.
How To Use Facebook To Increase Your Massage Therapy Business
Like it or not, Facebook is here to stay and can be one of the greatest marketing tools you can use.
What’s more important is that Facebook continues to increase it’s exposure for mobile viewing as opposed to laptop or PC viewing. In fact it has become their main focus.
Most mornings when I wake up, (and I hate mornings) the first thing I do is roll over, grab my phone and open Facebook. I doubt I’m the only one, in fact I’m willing to bet it’s what most people do.
That’s one of the reasons that Facebook is focusing more on mobile viewing, our phones have become an extension of us, so why not capitalize on it?
Rather than spend a fortune on a website (especially if you don’t have any programming credentials) you can set up a Facebook business page for free, and really it can do everything you need and more.
You can register your FB page under your business name, and I’ll give a shoutout to my buddy Alicia Doll on the way she set up her page.
Here Alicia did a great job. (go give it a like)
A great personable picture of her (I mean really, who wouldn’t want to book in with her?) as well as a clear picture of her logo which represents her brand.
This is how you want your page setup because as people scroll through their Facebook feed, they will connect with your logo and any post you put up, giving you an opportunity to make your brand more recognizable.
Online Booking For Massage Therapists
Just under her picture is a tab labelled “book now” where she has integrated an online booking system so that anyone looking is able to book in with her immediately. I’m not sure there is a better way for a clinic to spend money than on an online booking system.
There are a couple things this does for you.
Facebook likes clicks. The more activity there is on your page the more Facebook will rank you in your customers news feed. So each time someone clicks to book in with you, Facebook recognizes the activity and makes your page more recognizable to customers.
It also gives people easy access and increased choice when attempting to book in.
If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a hundred times at our clinic:
“I booked in because I loved the online booking system”. Probably the easiest way to generate new customers is giving them an option that puts control in their hands.
Not having to make a phone call, be put on hold or navigate a schedule with another person also helps to build a greater patient relationship.
Massage Content On Your Facebook Timeline
This is where you get to connect with present and potential patients.
Use your timeline to engage by telling stories, linking to valuable information or uploading videos.
What better way to engage than by giving a potential patient information they can connect with?
Let’s say you want to focus on Pregnancy Massage. Give out as much info on the value of Massage during pregnancy but also on various topics associated with healthy pregnancy so that you become a go-to for valuable information on the topic.
Content is key, and the more of it you can give, the bigger following you will get. Attention has become more valuable than money. You could be the best Massage Therapist in your community, but if no one knows about you, you limit your chances of success.
Do a little bit of research each week and you’ll be able to tell a story and continually give information that will keep your patients engaged and connected to you.
One of the great features that Facebook gives you is the ability to schedule your posts. You can pick a time that’s good for you, sit down and schedule your posts for the week, freeing up time during the week to focus on Massage.
Using Your Facebook About Page To Promote Your Massage Therapy Services
This is where patients can get to know you, so make it authentic.
It’s personal connections that matter so make sure to try and make a connection to your potential patients here. Don’t put up something simplistic.
Write things that you’re passionate about. Write specific things you want to focus your practice on and why. Nobody cares that you do Swedish Massage, Trigger Point Therapy and Fascial work. That’s what the majority does.
Separate yourself from the majority and give people something to connect with.
Are you passionate about Sports Therapy? Then explain why. Give people a story to relate to. Tell them how your Massage Therapist helped you recover from an injury. People will connect with that story and realize that you know where they’re coming from.
Remember, this is your chance to start building a relationship so start by making it a strong one.
Get Your Fan Page Raving
Use the “Reviews” tab and don’t be shy.
Get some of your newly acquired or long standing patients to give you a review.
You’re good at what you do, don’t be afraid to let others help you. Most of us are willing to ask people for referrals in the form of telling their friends/colleagues/family, so why not do it publicly as well.
People like to be recognition and I’d venture to say most of your loyal patients would be only too happy to write something up for you to post online. It gives them ownership and a sense of belonging, not only to exchange with you but also because they respect and trust you.
Massage Therapy Techniques And Exercise Pictures
Use the “Pictures” tab to show people what you do.
Attempt to build a library of demonstrations for people to expect when they come and see you. While it can be beneficial to have pictures of your nice treatment room, remember they’re coming to see YOU.
Get a friend and shoot a couple of pictures demonstrating what a treatment will look like from you. Have your friend take pictures of you doing some stretches or home care exercises.
Ryan Hoyme does a great job of this and gives away free pictures to his subscribers as well as free ebooks on how to use photos and videos for marketing. Here’s a few examples of his work:
These are a few good examples of what you could use, but make sure you get a few that have your face beaming with a big smile in them too.
Try and build up a stock, so that in turn you have images to refer people to for home care. Use apps like instaquote or canva and you can create great images with exercise instructions to upload on your page.
Remember that giving away content is a great way to earn trust and a great way to advertise.
Social Media Lessons For Your Massage Therapy Business
I was fortunate enough to get a job in a clinic where I didn’t have to use social media much as it was already a busy clinic.
However I have been reading and studying a lot about it over the past couple years.
I’ll always be indebted to Doug Brown for that day, not just because he got my interest started in social media. But because he taught me the first and most valuable lesson of being in business and using social media.
After we were done I asked “what do I owe you?”
His response “nothing, don’t worry about it”.
Since then I’ve bumped into Doug repeatedly in town, kept in touch on twitter and watched his career continue to flourish as he is featured in local magazines. He’s always been willing to give back, help out and be a generally good guy.
What I learned from Doug back then still applies today and I think it always will. He was willing to share his knowledge, show me how to do something new and follow up with me afterward. These are all things you can do to make your business better and grow relationships with your patients.
As much as we all got into Massage Therapy to help people, it is still a business and we are all an entrepreneur. There’s nothing shameful about that and we need to embrace it. Facebook is possibly your best and most cost effective marketing tool. Being able to use it to promote yourself, your content, online booking and a host of other applications it provides, will help you build long lasting relationships with your patients.
Use Facebook effectively, share knowledge with your patients and they will remember you as much as I remember Doug.