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Engaging Spa Clients Through Social Media

By: Nate Myers and Ron Robinson
Posted: January 5, 2011, from the January 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Editor's note:This article was originally published in the December 2010 issue of GCI magazine, and has been reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

With consumers ever more likely to include social media as a tool for their product purchasing decisions, spas need to evolve from simply maintaining a social media presence to fostering dialogue. Social outbound engagement provides a new opportunity for spas to achieve the classic marketing goals of greater awareness, sales and customer loyalty with strong return on investment (ROI).

All major beauty brands today have digital marketing strategies in place, yet they are still not doing enough to keep up with consumers. Despite significant discussion regarding social marketing, there still has not been sufficient focus on delivering comprehensive social marketing strategies, leveraging its true word-of-mouth potential and tracking its ROI.

The percentage of time Americans are spending online has more than doubled during the past few years, while time spent on other communication channels has dropped or remained flat. People now spend more time online than engaged in any other media activity. Concurrent with the rapid increase in time spent online, there has been the recent dramatic rise of time spent on social media channels. Today, social networking is the No. 1 online activity, with people spending more than six and a half times the amount of time on social media as they do on Internet searches. And it’s not simply about quantity of time, it is also the degree of influence that social media possesses for consumers in their purchasing decisions. These trends are even more pronounced in the beauty industry, as women are even more likely to spend their time using online social media and refer to it when deciding which products they wish to buy.

Spas today need to evolve from simply maintaining a social media presence, to one of social outbound engagement, in which spas meet consumers on their terms—in a compelling, interactive manner. Following are the 10 best practices for successful social outbound engagement.