There is a lot of information out there on using social media to build a business – massage therapy or otherwise.
A lot of the advice basically amounts to this: post a bunch of things and you’ll get clients. Social media is a game-changer and something that you have to be doing to be successful.
But, is that true?
Do you have to use social media to build your massage therapy practice?
The tl;dr version here is: no, you don’t.
No matter what anyone tells you, it isn’t a required part of growing a business. There are many different marketing methods you can use, including email newsletters, attending networking events, and building a Google Business profile (just to name a few!).
If you don’t like social media and don’t use it in your personal life, that is an important consideration. If the only reason you’re thinking of using it is because someone told you you’d get more clients that way, let me be the one to tell you that it probably won’t work.
People can tell if someone is genuinely interested in something. If you don’t like social media, not only will you have a hard time with it, but your target clients will notice your lack of interest and won’t respond like you want them to. So why waste your time (and theirs)?
But what if you want to use social media for your massage business, but aren’t sure how?
If you’re willing to give social media a try for your business, it can be a huge way to reach potential clients. People really do check out social media for information about a business or product! That’s just how people do things in this modern digital age and that’s unlikely to change any time soon.
For example, millennials are way more likely to ask friends on Facebook or Instagram for recommendations for a massage therapist than they are to search Google. It’s the new version of word of mouth! And they’re also very likely to search for a massage therapist on Facebook or Instagram rather than just using Google. Social media has become such a big part of our world that people are using it for far more than posting photos and wishing friends a happy birthday.
Now, a quick but important aside: Yes, having a great website and good SEO practices are still important. Please don’t use this as a reason to use social media and ignore your website completely!
But, it is true that having a social media presence can be a huge boost to your business.
So ok, let’s assume you want to use social media but we have no idea which platform to pick. Should we go with Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, or some other thing?
Choosing which Social Media platform is best for promoting your massage therapy business
Well, there are a few things to think about when choosing which one to go with.
Where are you already? If you’re already a big Facebook user, or on Instagram all the time, or having fun making TikTok videos, that’s a good candidate to promote your practice. Go with what feels familiar!
What kind of content do you need? For example, Twitter is primarily text, Facebook is a mix of text and pictures, and Youtube is all videos. What are you already doing or what would you be willing to learn to do?
Where does your target audience hang out? In other words, who are your best clients and where are you going to find them? As you might have guessed, this one is the most important thing to consider.
For example, Facebook is still the number one social media platform. With over 2 billion people using Facebook every month, and with 80% of folks between the ages of 18 and 50 using it, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll find your target clients there. The tricky part with Facebook is finding exactly where those people hang out (specific groups) and getting involved in a natural way, not being obnoxiously sales-y. If you can do this, you’ll find quickly that ‘online word of mouth’ will be a huge thing in your favour.
Of course, many people look to Instagram to promote their clinic. With over 1 billion active users and a visually appealing platform, it’s not a surprise that it is a popular place to try to find clients. With Instagram, the key is to work on your engagement. This can mean using strong, relevant hashtags to get your content seen by more people. But more importantly, it means commenting on other people’s posts, watching their stories, and overall getting to know people in a genuine way – not just spamming the platform with your own content. The more you engage with other people’s content, the more likely they will engage with yours. The more people like, share, and save your content, the more it will be shown to other people, which helps grow your account. In 2022, this also means creating reels and stories and not only static posts.
Another great example is LinkedIn. Now, you might be thinking: LinkedIn? No massage therapists I know use that? Well – that might be true, but it could be popular with your target clients! When I was in Fundraising school one thing I quickly learned was that professional fundraisers love LinkedIn. They spend hours each week there, promoting their own charities, commenting on other people’s posts about the work they are doing, and generally networking. Other people you will find frequently on LinkedIn? Those who work in more corporate environments. If you know a lot of your target clients are in the corporate world, it is a really good place to get to know them and get their attention by being active there. After all, LinkedIn is intended for professional networking.
I think you can see what I’m getting at here. Pick what makes sense for you and the people that you serve. Social media isn’t going away anytime soon, so it’s something you need to give some serious consideration to when thinking about the marketing plan for your healthcare practice. But be strategic about it, so you aren’t wasting your time.