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Facebook Advertising—Key Issues for Spas

Saumil Mehta January 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

Although Facebook is the home to 700 million users, the owner of a skin care facility needs to calculate the costs and benefits of spending hard-earned dollars on Facebook versus other advertising channels. Just because everyone is forking over money to Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t mean you should, too. As a skin care facility, you have only two goals: foot traffic and a ringing cash register. Period. Everything else—Facebook, Groupon, Twitter, your website—is simply means to those ends.

So with those goals as the guiding framework, consider the three key Facebook ad concepts.

Targeting. You can target your ads to a small portion of the Facebook user base. The beauty and power of Facebook’s ad platform derives from the ability to target users—commanding your ads to show up only for women between 25–40 in Chicago that recently set their relationship status to “engaged,” for example. Try getting that with any other ad platform known to humankind.

Pay-per-click. Unlike traditional advertising, Facebook’s ad system gives you the option to pay only for ad clicks, not just for views to ads. This is a great way to calculate cost of advertising. If you spend one dollar per click on average, how many following dollars do you have to spend convincing the user to ring your cash register? And does that dollar amount square with your prices and cost of goods?

Self-serve. Facebook is primarily do-it-yourself, unlike print ads or your other marketing efforts. Of course, you can hire an agency to do it for you.

OK, now let’s get down to meat and potatoes. There are three key ways to advertise on Facebook.

Clicks to fan page. You can buy an ad that sends engaged women in Chicago to your Facebook fan page to become a fan. Although this is an excellent way to build up fans for your page, you should be doing this only if you have a point person or agency that will consistently post excellent, engaging content and offers to your fan page. If you or your staff don’t have the time to constantly push content to your fan page, do not use this method.

Clicks to your website. You can buy an ad that sends the engaged women to a specific page on your website. Because you have more control over your website than your fan page, you can now enroll clients into a wedding-specific mailing list, you can give them a package deal for bridal showers, you can even book appointments on the spot. With your own website, the possibilities are endless, but remember that you must give users a strong call to action. Sending users to your home page and giving them nothing to do except look around? That’s a bit like lighting cigars with $100 bills. Avoid it at all costs. This method is good for skin care facilities that have the ability to quickly update and tweak their websites.

Check-in deals. Facebook is also one of the most popular smartphone apps. That means that your clients can “check in” on Facebook while they’re at your spa. This is a way for clients to broadcast their location—your amazing spa—to all their friends and, as with anything else in life, they’re more likely to do it with a little nudge. That’s where check-in deals play a role. Given that the average user has 130 friends, offering a discount or other incentive is an incredible way to get your business in front of lots of people. Remember, however, that you need to prime the pump and invest in in-store signage that announces the check-in deal to users. This method is good for skin care facilities that are located in areas with high smartphone usage.

So there you have it: three key options and three different paths from an online action to dollars in your pocket. Which one will you take?

Saumil Mehta is the founder/CEO of LocBox, a customer-retention system for spas and salons. He can be contacted at saumil@getlocbox.com.

 

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