Most massage therapists I know don’t have a Facebook business page and, frankly, it blows my mind. Facebook is how I get 50% of my new clients, and the other half is from word-of-mouth… originating from people who probably found me on Facebook. It’s a shiny new era, my friends, one that doesn’t require you to put an ad in the yellow pages or on the radio. Heck, it barely requires you to have a phone. As Facebook continues its mission to replace all other forms of human communication, it increasingly represents an easy way to find exactly the kind of clients you want.
Why use a business page instead of a personal account?
I see plenty of people who set their name as “Jane Doe Lmt” and just continue to use their personal account to drum up business. For those who don’t mind mixing their business and personal affairs, that’s fine. There are, however, some excellent reasons to set up an official page:
- You don’t want to mix your business and personal affairs. If you’d like to advertise new hours without spamming your cousin in Montana; if you want to show pictures of your new ashiatsu bars without your brother (who has never had any sense of decorum) making awkward jokes; if you don’t want to be “that guy”; then having a separate page that’s MADE for self-promotion can be awesome.
- You want to showcase your business information. All of your info, including your address, phone number, and website, will be right at the top or in the side bar. Easy.
- You want to be “likable.” The biggest difference between business and personal pages is that business pages accumulate “likes” instead of friends. Hitting a “like” button is easy. People like liking things. It’s not a huge commitment like friendship. It also broadcasts that “like” action to all of their friends, who might also feel like liking you! The potential for organic growth is huge.
- You want reviews so that people know how awesome you are. On business pages, people can glance at your top/side bar and say, “hey, this lady has 10 people who all gave her 5 stars. This is relevant to my decision-making process!” Facebook also broadcasts reviews to all of that person’s friends, who may then decide to check this massage paragon out.
- You want to advertise to your key demographic. More on “boosting” and advertising in the next installment. For now, suffice it to say: Want every yoga enthusiast and triathlete in town to know that you exist? It’s surprisingly easy and cheap.
Really, the biggest plus is the potential for organic growth. One of my best clients saw a couple of his friends liking my page and liking my posts, and he decided to check me out. Now he refers people to me frequently. Once you get your page rolling (more on this in a moment), this incidental social networking happens constantly, giving you an ever-growing resource of potential clients (who are buddies with people who you already know and love).
Okay fine, how do I set one up?
Facebook wants this to be as easy as possible, so it’s pretty darn user friendly. Use their help page if anything is confusing.
First, either go here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/, or download Facebook’s “Pages Manager” app on your phone. From there, choose “Local Business or Place.” There are a couple of categories to choose from, but I’m not sure that it matters: You can do “Health/Medical/Pharmacy” or “Spas/Beauty/Personal Care”. Then put in a business name (“[Your Name], Massage Therapist” has a nice ring to it), an address (you can enter the name of a local major road if you just do outcalls), and then you’re off to the races. This should take about 3 or 4 minutes.
Second, add a profile picture and a cover photo. Have someone take a picture of you in your massage gear, smiling benevolently. For your cover photo, throw up a picture of your massage table all set up. Don’t worry that these aren’t professional photos taken with a fancy camera, you can upgrade to that later.
Start with what’s easy, and start accumulating likes now. Think of it like stashing money in a retirement account: The sooner you start accruing interest, the bigger your payout will be down the line.
Third, consider filling out your various page info. A description is nice (who are you, what do you do, how long have you been doing it?), and there are some settings that you can fiddle with.
Finally, invite people to like your page. Feel free to invite local Facebook friends who support you and your business using the “Invite friends” button (you might have to look under the “…” symbol). Contact your current clients as well and ask them for a like and a review to really get the ball rolling!
Okay, I’ve got a page. Now what?
You’re done! … Just kidding. Now you have to meticulously care for it like a bonsai tree. That means posting something 1 to 3 times per week, every week, forever.
Forever?! What do I post??
Anything. Everything. Honestly, the worst thing you can do is overthink this and say, “I should wait until I have something really worthwhile.” No! This is Facebook! People post pictures of their breakfast on here! They post stories about giving their pug ear medicine!
Start with some posts to introduce yourself. Keep it short and sweet, and feel free to copy language from the description you wrote earlier. Post pictures of your office, post the services that you offer and what they entail, post any specials or packages you offer. Space these out over a week or two; don’t flood people’s wall with your posts, but do remind them that you exist repeatedly during any given month.
Once you’re done with the easy intro stuff, now what should you post?
- Informative stuff: Tell people about your massage style. Do you do trigger point therapy? What the heck is that, and how can it help people? Tell people about why massage is useful (pain reduction, body awareness, positive effects on mood and anxiety). These posts give your loyal followers an excuse to like one of your posts, and they might just convince a new client that, “hey, this person seems smart. I should go see them.”
- Funny/cute/local stuff: Did you find a picture of a kitten massaging a puppy? Post that bad boy. Is a local business that you like holding an event? Write about why you think it’s cool, and include a link to that other business’s Facebook page. It’s easy networking, and people like cool local stuff.
- Business stuff: Increasing your prices? Have some openings on Friday? Changing locations? Let people know. These are good candidates for “boosts,” because they don’t get a lot of engagement otherwise.
- Narcissistic stuff: Your clients love you, so they want to like posts about you. Post selfies with your new office decorations, or the sunrise outside of your office, or the great new massage bolster you just got. Post pictures of you doing massage if you can get a friend to help. People want to see you in action! Speaking of…
- Videos: Much more on this in a future post, but videos do great on Facebook, especially if you boost them. It can be you demonstrating a stretch, or talking about massage, or demonstrating your technique. As long as it’s uploaded directly to Facebook, lots of people will see it!
And now, my favorite part of having a Facebook business page for over a year:
- Reruns: Post stuff that you already posted. Maybe revise it a little, but maybe not. Nobody will remember, and it will keep you coming up in people’s news feeds.
Basically, just post. If you’d like an example of an informative post that you can feel free to steal, check out this entry on my Massage Sloth page on Facebook. I’ve got a couple more on there, and I plan to have more soon. You should also sign up for Massage Business Blueprint‘s newsletter, which has ideas for posts every dang month.
What shouldn’t you post? Well, links to off-site articles tend to bomb on Facebook. It doesn’t really want you sending people somewhere else, and discourages that by serving those posts to very few people. This can be overcome by lots of people showing interest in it, but usually they fall flat.
You should also take care not to spam too much. If you’re selling essential oils and you’ve got three posts a day extolling their virtues, not only will Facebook’s magic algorithms serve those posts less frequently, it might drive some people to hit that “unlike” button.
Don’t get me wrong, self-promotion is the name of the game! Just keep it to 1-3 times per week, and try to show people that you care about them AND their money.
That does it for this week’s business post. Stay tuned next week for one on using boosting to get new clients for cheap.