Will Facebook Hashtags Help Your Massage Business?

This might be a little obscure information for most massage therapists, but some of the big news on Facebook earlier this summer was the introduction of hashtags for Facebook  posts.

If you are a big Twitter user you know what hashtags are. The are a keyword that is proceeded by a number or pound sign, ex. #spa, #massagetherapy, #whatever. On Twitter they look like this…

hashtags

Using a hashtag is kind of like using the index in a book. You look up the word in the index and it gives you references to all the places its used in the book.

When you click on a hashtag or use it in the search box in Twitter and now Facebook, you get a list of posts that have used that tag.

hashtag results

Companies were very excited about Facebook introducing the feature because it would allow users to find their posts in a completely new way.

How much of an impact have the tags had in Facebook and should you start using them consistently?

The short answer: No.

Rather than helping engagement with Facebook users, a recent study strongly indicates that it does exactly the opposite. Using hashtags on Facebook actually harms your business more than it helps.

Hashtags-not-working-on-Facebook

Using hashtags in Twitter is another story. It does significantly increase the number of retweets. However the bigger question when it comes to Twitter is does Twitter help you get more massage clients. I haven’t had anyone give me any proof of this, so until I see even a handful of therapists showing me some evidence to the contrary I’d have to say that Twitter is not a useful client generation tool.

The hashtag findings are just another example of something I point out all the time. Oftentimes what the things we think work, really don’t. Many massage business experts are well meaning, but they often teach what they think works and not what actually works in the real world.

I am a big proponent of testing and tracking. You’ll see this reflected in the courses I offer all the time. I don’t like testing and analytics, but the numbers don’t lie. So I share the results of my tests as well as those of other therapists who are kind enough to share with me, so you can spend your time doing more fun things, like massage. I’ll take some time to share some examples of counter intuitive marketing advice throughout this month. If you are not subscribed to this blog or the massage marketing tips newsletter, sign up now for notifications.

Simple Tips You Can Use Now for Getting the Most Out of Social Media

You may be the kind of person that uses social media in a very quiet way. You’re content to use one or two networks to keep in contact with your friends and family.

However, it’s important to establish a professional presence on social networks as well. People live on these networks. Not only do they socialize, but they use these networks to research products and services, to solicit opinions and reviews and to buy stuff.

If you’re not using social media for your massage business then you are missing out on a terrific opportunity to connect with people and get more clients under your hands.

I don’t believe you have to spend a lot of time on social media sites like Facebook to be effective and over the next couple weeks I’ll share some simple, quick, easy to implement social media tips with you in this blog, on the BodyworkBiz Facebook Page and in the BodyworkBiz newsletter.

Let’s get started with tip number one…

Tip 1: Create Profiles on Major Social Media Sites

Even if you are not active on social media sites, it’s extremely valuable to have a complete profile set up. Why? Because people will be looking for you and your business on these sites and they expect to find you. If they can’t find you easily, then they’ll look for someone else.

I would suggest at the very minimum setting up complete profiles on each of the following social media sites:

Through the month of April I’ll be providing BodyworkBiz fans a range of simple tips that are easy to implement and that take very little time to do. Be sure to Like BodyworkBiz on Facebook and subscribe to the Marketing Tips Newsletter to get these tips.

How Facebook Is Stealing Your Visitors

Amen! Brian Massey thank you for trying to stop businesses from dying by social media. I have to correct you however: Mark Zuckerberg is not stealing online visitors from businesses. Businesses are willingly giving up their visitors to Facebook. It’s crazy!!

I’ve been preaching the message that Brian wrote about, but my message didn’t seem to be getting through and Brian addressed the issue so perfectly that I thought I’d just share his post instead of trying to say the same thing in a different way.

Here’s the scoop: Go to www.bodyworkbiz.com or www.worldmassageconference.com or www.thermalpalms.com. These are all extremely successful websites  that I own.

Do you see any social media buttons?

I’ll answer for you: NO. (Actually there are some at World Massage Conference, but they are small and at the bottom so people won’t see them.)

If you’ve been following BodyworkBiz you know I’m a proponent for social media, so why don’t I have buttons to my social channels?

Because it’s sending traffic the wrong way! Once I get visitors to my site, why would I want to send them to Mark Zuckerberg’s site? (He’s the founder of Facebook, in case it wasn’t clear.) It doesn’t make any sense. I want them to look at my site and discover how my products and service can benefit them. I don’t want to send them AWAY. Especially to these social media sites that are seriously addictive as Brian points out with the little red notifications acting like little capsules of dopamine.

So stop sending visitors away from your site. Use these social media sites as a funnel to get people TO your site. Change the flow of traffic. Use social media on your site only after they have looked at your site and given their email address to you. That’s really the only time you should do it.

Learn from businesses that are successful online. Zappos and Dell have enormous social media presence. Look at their sites. Do you see any social media icons. (I’ll answer again so you don’t have to look… No!) They understand the proper flow of visitors looks like this:

The bottom line: Don’t stop using social media. Just use it right.

I’ve just started a 30 Day Facebook Challenge to help people understand how to use this social media giant to  advantage. It will run through the month of January 2013. Feel free to come and join me: https://www.facebook.com/groups/456246884422657

And please do your Friends a favor and share this post in hopes that they will stop sending visitors off their websites.