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Tweeting Your Way to the Top

Louis Silberman May 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

What’s on your mind? Although this question may seem unremarkable, a little-known website launched in 2004 called used it to revolutionize the way people interact with one another. In the seven years since then, social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter have not only reinvented the process of communication with friends and family, but also the way businesses approach customers. The spa industry is no exception when it comes to the social media craze. These websites are an ideal way for spa professionals to keep in touch with clients and promote themselves.

The spa industry has always strongly relied on positive word-of-mouth from their clients for promotion. However, with Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets, spas now have the power to create their own word-of-mouth and reach more people than ever before.

Esthetics is one of those unique people-person industries where clients view their spa professionals as a friends. Social media has taken this relationship to the next level by providing new channels of communication to establish relationships with new clients and maintain a presence in front of existing ones. By staying current with your Facebook and Twitter updates, you can be in front of your clients multiple times per day. This is very different from the pre-social media days when your clients only thought about you when they needed to make an appointment.

So, what exactly is social media and how do you use it for the best possible return?

No matter how friendly you are with your clients, always remember to keep it professional when it comes to social media. Avoid directing them to join your personal profile. Although you may maintain a cordial relationship with them, clients may delete you if they become barraged by vacation photos and updates about how much fun you had at a bar the previous night.

Instead, create a separate Twitter account for business use and take advantage of Facebook’s option to create a business organization page for the sole purpose of promoting your services. This will allow your client interaction to be focused and productive.

The first step in organizing a social media marketing campaign is to maximize the number of people following your profile. Promote it the way you would a telephone number or website, and include your social media pages on business cards and in the signature line of your e-mail.

To maintain a constant presence in front of followers, create a regular posting schedule. One post every two to three days is appropriate. Any more than that and you risk annoying your profile fans and becoming flagged as a spammer. Always follow the golden rule of social media: Only post as much on other people’s profiles as you would have posted on your own.

Facebook also provides four unique advertising options for those wanting to accelerate their business’s exposure to the public even further. These include featured videos, “like” ads, website links and polls. Online ads work on a system called pay-per-click (PPC), which means you save money by only paying for the people who are actually interested in your advertisement.

Although Facebook isn’t exactly Big Brother, it does track the interests, ages and locations of its users. Tracking user demographics is what ultimately helps you, the advertiser, to target the people most likely to purchase services. When creating a Facebook ad, an effective target demographic should look something like this: women 30–55 who are members of the Facebook page “Laser Hair Removal Lovers—Dallas” and live within 10 miles of Dallas. This will save you money and put your ad in front of the best possible group of people.

Remember, social media is just that … social. Do not follow the status quo, because creativity is the top factor in capturing people’s attention. Being proactive about your outreach, responding quickly to online comments, and posting unique and helpful information is critical to your success in this new medium.

Louis Silberman is the president of National Laser Institute, a leading school specializing in cosmetic laser training. As an expert in laser esthetics education, Silberman created some of the most respected laser training programs in the country for esthetic professionals.