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Part II: Technology in Your Spa—A Survival Guide for Today's Social World
By: Stephanie Jennings
Posted: March 29, 2013, from the April 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Social and mobile marketing trends have revolutionized how consumers expect to interact with businesses.
Part I of this article, which appeared in the March 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine, discussed the topics of online discounting, search engines, going mobile, online directories and review sites, and the importance of monitoring your skin care facility’s online presence. Part II of this article includes additional tips, tricks and strategies about how best to build and maintain your website, as well as your social media presence, to better support the success of your business.
Your facility’s website
Consumers may discover your business via other sources, but those sources are likely to send them straight to your website for more information. One of the most important things you can do to convert interested browsers into actual clients—especially those who search using mobile rather than desktop—is to make sure your website doesn’t drive them away with a clunky, dated design that’s impossible to navigate on a mobile device. Be sure to take a look at your website on a smartphone and tablet. If you need to zoom and scan continuously to read everything, it’s time for a content overhaul. Streamline your home page and make sure your navigation is simple, easy and visible. Only include images that enhance, not frustrate, the user’s experience. All too often businesses feel the need to post all of their information on the home page. This just overwhelms visitors and discourages them from exploring your site further.
On the other hand, your website needs to do more than just provide contact info. It must serve as a hub connecting all of your other online channels together which, as a whole, create your online presence. Some signs that your website is an online paperweight instead of a dynamic information hub include the following.
- Google Analytics is showing little traffic to and from your website, and even less traffic within your site (page views).
- No one is referencing your website when they call to book your services.
- No one is booking services through your website—or you don’t offer online booking options.
- Clients are calling to ask for directions or special offers, rather than visiting your website.
- Your social media sites do not link back to your website and vice versa.
- You don’t include any calls to action on your home page that link visitors to your newsletter, social media sites, introductory offers, online store or online booking.
If you’re having trouble deciding what should be on your home page, consider that a good thing! To maximize your website’s sales potential, you need to make it an effective landing spot to receive visitors driven there by your other online and marketing channels. The longer visitors are on your site, the deeper they go into your pages, the more likely they are to commit to a visit offline. Links on your home page should entice visitors to learn more and stay engaged. Include links to your newsletter, social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest), introductory offers, an online store and online booking.
Online booking. Online booking is a convenience that your clients will soon come to expect—if they aren’t demanding it already. Fifty percent of women studied say they don’t have enough free time, according to the Families and Work Institute. Online booking helps them find more time by allowing them to book your services when it’s convenient for them. To set up online booking, you will need online appointment-scheduling software. Ideally, this scheduling software would integrate with a customer relationship management (CRM) system to allow for better client tracking, appointment notifications and marketing outreach, as well as providing an integrated, online staff schedule.