Tag Archive: instagram

  1. How To Organize Your Spa’s Instagram

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    Build your brand and attract more business with cohesive social media content.

     

    Copyright Getty Images

     

    When Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest burst onto the social media scene, savvy spas quickly understood the value of these platforms as marketing tools and jumped aboard. Then, Instagram (IG) joined the fray and changed the game again. According to recent data from social media management platform Hootsuite, one billion people use IG every month, 71 percent of U.S. businesses use it, more than 200 million people visit at least one business profile daily, and 75 percent of them take action after looking at a brand’s post. Another IG survey reports that 60 percent of users discover new products through the platform. If you haven’t yet created an account—or even if you have—it’s crucial that you properly plan and manage your posts.

    Content is King
    First things first: What are you going to post? Mary Zavell, junior designer at marketing and branding strategy company No Limit Agency advocates for variety. Use testimonials to showcase the experience that your spa offers (and to add third-party credibility), as well as inspirational quotes and details about special deals, services or products. “Try to alternate between engagement-centric content and promotions—this helps strike a balance between keeping customers interested and ensuring that they stay up to date on your latest offers,” she explains.

    Engagement-centric posts can be anything that prompts someone to like, comment or tag a friend—for instance, Jess LaBarbera, who runs the IG account for Ciel Spa at SLS Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, strives to capture the luxurious spa experience for followers and inspire them to visit. “When someone looks at our profile, I want them to see what products and services we offer and instantly pick up the phone to schedule a spa day,” she says. More specifically, she wants to educate existing and potential clients about the spa’s exclusive skincare line, so she posts plenty of product images with an explanation of what they do and who would benefit from using them. LaBarbera takes most of the photos herself, but she also saves shots that clients share on their own accounts while they’re at the spa or enjoying Ciel’s products at home.

    RELATED: Promoting Your Spa on Social Media and Beyond

    Promotions should have a strong visual component, adds Zavell. She suggests a photo with a graphic overlay to grab the user’s eye as they scroll through their feed—text that says something like, “Limited Time Offer,” “Summer Special!” or “10 Percent Off,” while any images behind that would relate to the promotion. “If you’re highlighting a specific product or service, make sure to showcase it with strong photography that can be easily seen behind the graphic or text. A good rule of thumb is to stick with Facebook’s 20 percent guideline,” continues Zavell, referring to the idea that an image should be no more than 20 percent text. Because the overlay will likely compel the viewer to stop scrolling and seek more details, the most important or enticing part of the deal should be detailed in the caption (e.g., “Come in this week and receive a free sunscreen product with any service on our summer menu!”).

    Zavell points out that video content is also huge right now. “Look for opportunities to add short videos or animated GIFs that catch users’ attention as they scroll through their feeds,” she says. Videos could feature a client testimonial or an employee explaining a new product or service to help potential guests better understand your offerings. “People love FAQs, so you might create a GIF that scrolls through common client questions and offers answers,” says Zavell.

    Visual Appeal
    Once you’ve identified what to post, it’s time to make your images and stories (slideshows with added text and graphics that only live on the feed for 24 hours) look as streamlined and stunning as possible. Because your profile is laid out as a grid of everything you’ve posted organized in rows of three, it’s important to think about how they’ll all look when viewed together. “To create a unified aesthetic, many businesses post content in a specific order of three, six or nine images that complement one another,” says Zavell. “It helps create a consistent appearance and generates visual interest when a new user visits the profile.”

    This is where social media management tools, image editors and design apps can be hugely beneficial. To create a cohesive look, LaBarbera uses photo editing mobile app VSCO. “I apply a preset filter to all of our images before I post so our grid looks beautiful,” she explains. “It makes everything whiter and brighter for a luxurious, relaxing feel.” She also sticks with square images or those with a slightly larger height. “They take up more room and stand out more to our followers,” she notes.

    RELATED: Software That Will Streamline Your Spa Business

    For stories, LaBarbera relies on the drag-and-drop graphic design tool Canva, which offers stock imagery, photo filters, icons, fonts and more. “I try to create stories that complement our posts so that there’s a lot of content about a specific product or service on any given day,” she says. For instance, she might share an image of a client receiving a facial, along with a story that highlights the benefits of that particular treatment. “I always end the story with a call to action—in this example it would be to book that facial and experience it for yourself,” says LaBarbera.

    According to Zavell, Sprout Social tops the list when it comes to organizing images. “It lets you schedule the content and the first comment for the post,” she says. “It also offers reporting so that you can effectively see what content is performing best.”
    LaBarbera likes Planoly, too, as it allows her to schedule posts and add links to every image, so that shopping for the spa’s products is easy. “Planoly has a great analytics tool built into the platform,” she adds. This is similar to IG’s analytics, but with the added benefit of showing how many times people are clicking on a company’s link in bio. It lets her track posts and zero in on which ones are really grabbing her audience’s attention.

    Hashtag Heavy
    Finally, hashtags are a crucial part of any post. Social media management platform Social Report finds that using them increases views by more than 12 percent. But remember: Hashtags must enhance your feed with a clear, consistent message that drives more traffic your way, rather than overwhelm your audience with unnecessary information.

    Denise Dubois, owner of Complexions Spa for Beauty and Wellness in Albany and Saratoga Springs, New York, uses 10 to 15 hashtags per post that are specific to her business, and always includes #complexionsspa, #spa, #albanyny and #saratogasprings. “These core hashtags let clients easily see any post about my business, in addition to helping people in the area find me,” she explains. This is where management tools can come in handy once again. “Planoly allows you to store hashtag groupings, which saves a ton of time,” notes Dubois.

    From there, call out information based on the image itself. “I use hashtags for the products being used (#naturopathica, #wella), the type of service being done (#dermaplaning, #balayage) or popular industry-specific hashtags, like #estheticianlife,” says Dubois. To avoid sloppy-looking copy, Dubois also suggests separating photo captions from hashtags with periods and spacing, or putting the hashtags in the comments section below the post. “This is more visually appealing and less distracting to the eye,” she says. At the end of the day (and the end of the post), IG is all about visual appeal, right down to the very last detail.

    —by Phyllis Hanlon

    This story first appeared in the July issue of DAYSPA Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

  2. Tap Into the Social Media Marketing Trend of ‘Selfie Stations’

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    selfie station

    [Image: Getty Images]

    There’s no doubt about it: We’re living in the age of the selfie. People are simply obsessed with taking pictures of themselves. Just head over to Instagram: The hashtag #selfie has over 340 million photos, while #me clocks in at a staggering 350 million-plus—numbers that jump by the tens of thousands daily.

    Some savvy spas have caught wind of the immense marketing potential behind the phenomenon and have tapped into that power by creating “selfie stations” or “selfie walls.” These designated areas encourage guests to take pictures of themselves, then post those snaps to their favorite social media sites—ideally tagging the spa and using its unique hashtag, thus spreading the word about the business as organically as possible. “If people feel good at your place, they’ll want to take a selfie and share that experience with their friends online,” says Mitra Silva, CEO of LA Healthcare Design, a Los Angeles-based firm that designs waiting rooms and selfie walls in healthcare and wellness facilities.

    So far, spas that have employed selfie areas are enthusiastic about the results. “During our grand opening, tons of great pictures of our guests popped up all over social media,” enthuses Abbey Martini, marketing and salon manager for The Spa at River Ridge in Dublin, Ohio, which opened its doors in 2015 with its selfie wall prominently displayed. “Since then, we’ve seen popular local bloggers snap a shot to commemorate their day, tons of super cute kid pictures, and a really special photo of two dads who brought their daughters in for manicures and blowouts before a daddy-daughter dance.” Ready to capitalize on this simple social media marketing trend? Here are six keys to selfie station success.

    Set an Intention

    Before all else, establish your goals. “Are you looking to improve brand awareness or to show off your work, or both?” asks Alexis Ufland, principal of spa consultancy firm Lexi Design in New York City. She notes that understanding your intentions will affect the wall’s design—an integral factor to its success. “If you’re simply seeking brand awareness, create an area the clients will want to post in front of,” she advises. For example, Truth + Beauty Medspa in Roslyn Heights, New York, has a large, brightly lit logo that’s become the perfect spot for a photo-op. On the other hand, if you intend to showcase the spa’s services, the designated area should enhance how your guests look with the best possible lighting and setting.

    RELATED: How to Create Eye-Catching Photography for Your Spa

    Understanding your goals is also essential for incorporating the photo area into your marketing strategy. For example, to bring attention to the spa’s glowing-skin treatments, you could designate a “Healthy Skin Month,” create a corresponding hashtag like #[SpaName]HealthyGlow, and encourage clients feeling good about their post-treatment complexion to take a selfie in front of the wall. “You can easily get a temporary sign with the hashtag of the month and hang it there,” notes Silva. “That allows you to change it at will.”

    Show Your Passion

    Like everything in your spa, your selfie station should reflect your brand—and that can mean more than featuring your logo or color palette on the backdrop. “Make sure your passion comes through in your design,” says Silva. “Think about the core story you want to communicate.” For instance, a spa with an emphasis on organic skin care could work elements of nature into the wall’s background. “Fresh flowers are a huge sign of passion in a wellness space,” opines Silva. Another option, Ufland suggests, is designing a wall with an inspirational or humorous quote tailored to the spa’s central message as part of the backdrop.

    Have Fun

    A selfie space should be something that snags guests’ attention, even if no one points it out to them. “It’s important to create a visual experience that naturally invites clients to take a selfie,” says Mark Hennings, CEO of Simple Booth, a photo booth and selfie station platform in Austin, Texas. “Great visual experiences can be as simple as a colorful backdrop or unique mural, or as elaborate as a 3D set in which patrons can immerse themselves.” He notes that spa clients will likely enjoy taking photos in front of a water feature or a stone wall with a share-worthy, relaxing message engraved on it. “Every detail adds to the experience,” notes Hennings.

    RELATED: How to Capitalize on Live Streaming to Boost Your Business

    To draw guests in, Silva recommends naming the selfie wall. “You can call it something like the ‘Love Me’ wall or ‘Hashtag Me!’ Just get creative,” she advises. “Then order a customized decal with the wall’s name and make a frame with it.” Christy Huggans, co-owner of The Strand Salon and Spa in Columbia, Missouri, opted for a more playful approach with her selfie station, which has been part of the spa since 2015. “We made it fun by adding silly props: goofy glasses, mustaches, chalkboard signs and holiday-specific items,” she says.

    Pinterest provides a variety of ideas for creating a chalkboard selfie wall. All it takes is some blackboard paint or a large mounted blackboard, and an artistic staff member or local art student to draw selfie frame designs ranging from seasonal themes to angel wings. You can even provide chalk and allow guests to create their own messages and images.

     

    Hit the Spot

    The location of your selfie station is key to ensuring that it gets noticed and used. “Waiting rooms and hallways are the best locations,” says Silva. She points out that selfie walls in waiting areas allow guests to get familiar with their surroundings and engage in spa messaging, while a selfie station in a hallway can arouse curiosity and add an element of surprise. Just be careful that it doesn’t block the flow of traffic, disrupt quiet areas, or annoy other clients who don’t want to be in the background. The Spa at River Ridge had a space that wasn’t ideal for spa services, so that’s where it set up its selfie wall. This turned out to be the perfect spot because clients walk past it on their way to the salon. “We created an interesting step-and-repeat background with our logo that our guests enjoy and use—and that also spreads our brand,” reports Martini.

    RELATED: Plugged In: SEO Strategies for Your Business

    Get the Light Right

    Nobody’s going to post a photo to social media unless they like the way they look. For this, proper lighting is essential. “Soft, diffused light is best for selfies,” says Hennings. “Natural light is ideal, but try to avoid direct sunlight as it tends to be too harsh. You can get great soft lighting using a ring light or by setting up in an open area with lots of windows.”

    Give Them a Push

    Even if you’ve created the perfect wall, some guests may need a little extra encouragement to take the picture and post it on social media. So sweeten the deal with a special gift. “Give clients a free sample or a small discount on their next purchase for posting, tagging or using the hashtag,” advises Ufland. The Strand ran just such a promotion, offering a 10 percent discount on any retail product if clients shared a selfie. “The younger crowd was all about it!” says Huggans. “For those over about 40, it took a bit of coaxing.” If you find that some guests are resistant to spa selfies, too, simply make that promo as irresistible as you dare!

    –by Barbara Diggs

  3. Instagram Tips and Tricks from Top Wellness Accounts

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    Selfie picture

    [Image: Getty Images]

    Spark your creative inspiration by following—and learning from—these wellness industry Instagram accounts. 

    Instagram—which hosts more than 500 million active monthly users who share 95 million photos and videos every day— allows spas to showcase special treatments, highlight their facilities and offer vendors extra appreciation. Whether you’re looking to build your audience or simply want to freshen up your posts, check out these tips and tricks for success from some savvy Instagrammers.

    The Phoenician Resort & Spa

    Based in: Scottsdale, Arizona
    Handle: @the_phoenician
    Followers: 7,200+
    Managed by: Gina Lucas, marketing manager

    Interact with Followers – “We always reply to users who tag us in their photos,” notes Lucas. “Many of our followers live on the East Coast, so we typically post early in the morning. We like to regram and credit clients who take photos of our spa—that cross-promotion definitely attracts a new audience.”

    Showcase Specialties – “We focus on developing photo opportunities specific to our spa, such as a signature treatment, the facility’s unique architecture, a special vantage point or view, a new product or an outstanding associate. You can stand out from the competition by taking advantage of what makes your spa different,” she advises.

    RELATED: The Boom in Business From Instagram

    Koya Webb 

    Based in: Los Angeles
    Handle: @koyawebb
    Followers: 278K+
    Managed by: Koya Webb, Instagram influencer and motivational speaker

    Helpful Hashtags – “I believe in posting authentic material that helps serve the health and fitness community. For example, I partner with other yogis for yoga challenges, and we all use the #yoga4growth hashtag so that our followers can engage in the challenges and connect—with each other and with us,” says Webb. “I often post a lot of variations of #yoga, such as #yogaaddict and #iloveyoga, to attract new but like-minded followers.”

    Focus Positivity – “I post images of people who inspire me, like Michelle Obama, Martin Luther King Jr. and Misty Copeland, because I like to showcase mentors and keep
    my page uplifting, and I hope it inspires others too. I also like to share memes that make me smile and feel motivated, and I often post content that I believe helps and benefits my audience—I regularly get asked questions about food and yoga, so I create posts based around what people are asking me.”

    Live Love Spa

    Based in: Orange County, California
    Handle: @livelovespa
    Followers: 5,700+
    Managed by: Lisa Michaelis, CEO & founder

    Keep it Simple – “We don’t overthink our posts. I know a lot of people work within certain color stories or perfectly planned
    flat lays, but we just like to post a glimpse of what we’re doing— whether that’s visiting a spa, checking out a brand’s headquarters, reviewing a new product or attending an event,” says Michaelis.

    Demonstrate Your Expertise – “I advise spas to avoid utilizing Instagram only to sell products or services. They should also provide their audience with easy, digestible tips that show how they are the experts,” she suggests. “For example, a spa could post an image of an esthetician holding a new product with a caption such as, ‘Our master esthetician Kristy is loving Éminence’s new Fizzofoliant! This powder mixed with a little water turns into a foam exfoliant that contains powerful microgreens for a bright, beautiful complexion!’ Such a post showcases the new product and why followers may be interested in it, and it directs them back to the spa in question by including one of their expert staff members.”

    RELATED: How to Integrate Top Influencers Into Your Spa’s Marketing Plan

    Viva Day Spa

    Based in: Austin, Texas
    Handle: @vivadayspa
    Followers: 2,400+
    Managed by: Shannon Mouser, cofounder

    Learn From Letdowns – “We look at Instagram as a fun place where people can see what we value—we definitely get more engagement when we take ourselves less seriously,” says
    Mouser. “So, we mix in fun and cultural posts that express our rock and roll vibe, like a picture from our David Bowie-themed holiday staff party.”

    Craft Seasonal Posts – “During the holidays, we post more frequently because we want people to think about turning to us to buy gifts for their loved ones; we carry a lot of unique retail items. We always offer holiday-specific spa packages, and we also promote products or treatments that might be appealing for the season.”

    Partner Up – “Finding real-time, usable images can be a challenge. Because of this, we rely on professional photographers to capture our services and products from time to time, and then we sprinkle those into our social media posts throughout the year,” says Mouser. “We also share our vendors’ photos and sometimes they return the favor. One of our clients posted an adorable photo of her daughter using COOLA products by the beach. We asked her permission to share it, and soon after we posted her photo, COOLA shared it with the brand’s 25K followers and tagged us! Tagging larger brands and having them repost one of your images can definitely help get your name out to a larger audience.”

    RELATED: How Exceptional Customer Service Can Boost Your Marketing

    G2O Spa & Salon

    Based in: Boston
    Handle: @g2ospasalon
    Followers: 1,200+
    Managed by: Christina Gallardo, director of marketing & advertising

    Tools For the Taking – “We love the Instagram business account insight tools; they allow us to monitor when our audience is most interactive. If you haven’t already, make sure your account is a Business Profile. That way you’ll be able to view insights directly from one of your posts—you can see impressions, reach and engagement,” says Gallardo.

    Share the Love – “Depending on the post, we tag the product brands (especially our vendors), as well as industry community pages—it helps us acquire followers within the spa community. We follow all of our staff members’ professional Instagram accounts, and then use their posts to promote their work at the spa. This includes before and after photos of their clients, articles that feature their skills and action shots of them styling hair. The staff loves the exposure, and it keeps our content fresh and different.”

    Next Health

    Based in: Los Angeles
    Handle: @next_health
    Followers: 12K+
    Managed by: Vanessa Kekina, manager

    Go Live – “We regularly repost our customers’ content (and credit them), and we’ve found that our laser facial treatments get huge traffic, especially when we ask followers questions,” Kekina notes. “Instastory is another useful tool for showcasing the variety of beauty services we offer.”

    Recognize Social Meida Opportunities – “We built our Cryotherapy Experience with Instagram in mind. The chamber is encased in a giant glass structure that’s immediately visible as guests walk in, and the clear glass allows them to document their experiences on their social accounts. For those who want a little more privacy, we incorporated a tint that can be activated with the flip of a switch.”

    The Dragontree

    Based in: Portland, Oregon, and Boulder, Colorado

    handle: @thedragontree
    Followers: 18.5K
    Managed by: Megan Giltz, account manager

    Research Best Practices – “It’s really important to strike a balance of getting your message across without overwhelming your audience, so I aim to post one to three times per day,” says Giltz. “I researched what other users were saying about peak traffic times and followed their suggestions. For instance, in the afternoon I prefer to post at 4:00 p.m.; at 5:00 p.m. most people are getting off work and busy trying to get home.”

    Make a Plan – “I collaborate with our marketing director to create a monthly social media calendar to help us promote events, announcements, sales, etc. Hootsuite and Later are fantastic tools for scheduling posts in advance.”

    Engage Your Followers – “Our audience loved our Rituals For Living Dreambook + Planner: We spread the word on Instagram with ads that honed in on how the book can be used in everyday life, and then we shared how others were using it,” Giltz explains. “People started tagging us in their own posts with the Dreambook, which was not only heartwarming but really helped grow our numbers. The campaign resulted in a wealth of new customers who not only liked the posts, but were drawn in to everything else we have to offer.”

    Skin Spa New York

    Based in: New York City and Boston
    Handle: @skinspanewyork
    Followers: 7,200+
    Managed by: Katie Werbowski, senior manager

    Consistency is Key – “I recommend using a minimum of 10 hashtags. We often use #skinspany, #nyc, #skinspa, #spa, #loveyourskin, and then other hashtags specifically related to the post,” says Werbowski. “We also follow users with similar interests, maintain a consistent posting schedule and keep the filters we use mostly uniform to create brand recognition.”

    Build Engagement – “Clients are always encouraged to tag us in any after- treatment pictures they post; then we repost them, which gives us a regular stream of fresh content. We track the engagement on our posts to determine optimal days and times, which are generally in the middle of the night and near the end of the workday. Because there are fewer posts being shared at, say, 2:00 a.m., ours tend to get more visibility from late-night viewers and shoppers. We do like to occasionally vary our posting times as well, in order to reach different audiences.”

    Mix it Up – “We share a variety of real-time posts from the spa, feel-good inspirational and wellness-related messages, and branded advertisements for our e-commerce business. The objective is to keep content creative and engaging, as well as educate our audience,” the senior manager points out. “A lot of our clients are looking for the latest in body treatments, but they are also seeking at-home wellness and nutrition. It’s important for us to engage on all of these topics in order to be viewed as a dynamic source for beauty and wellness.”

    The International Spa Association (ISPA)
    Based in: Lexington, Kentucky
    Handle: @ispadoyou
    Followers: 3,900+
    Managed by: Lynne McNees, president

    Don’t hold back:ISPA posts at least every work day, but typically we have so much to share we often post more,” says McNees. “We share industry news, as well as member profiles with the hashtag #peopleofispa. We direct viewers to read more by clicking on the link in our bio, which moves them over to our website.”

    Support your community:Sharing our members’ press releases and news is a win-win for everyone: We get to showcase their beautiful images, and we link to their account to provide them with a great branding opportunity,” she adds.

    – by Jennifer Purdie

  4. Lucrative Online Marketing Tips for Your Spa

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    tech_savvy

    [Image: Getty Images]

    In a sea of online content, turbocharge your web-based marketing to stand out as an expert.

    With emails, social media posts and other clickable content constantly bombarding your customers, you may be wondering how to keep your marketing material from ending up in the digital trash bin. “In an age of promotionally promiscuous spa clients, endearing them to your brand is just as important as ensuring the quality of your services and experience,” says Valorie Reavis, founder of Linkup Marketing, a digital consulting agency focused on the hair and beauty industries. “Years ago blogs, newsletters and videos were ‘nice to haves’ that elevated a brand to prestige levels. Now, online content validates a client’s decision to give you their business.”

    You’re already incredibly knowledgeable about skin care, health and wellness, but to elevate your content and rise above the internet’s noise, it’s crucial to establish yourself as an industry expert. Arming yourself with even one of the marketing tools in this story can help solidify your expertise: These concrete campaigns have the potential to increase your revenue and position your spa as a leader in a highly competitive industry.

    Blog On!

    Some helpful tips to begin your blogging journey: To truly establish yourself as an expert, short posts of 300 words or less won’t cut it—around 1,500 is considered ideal. When it comes to formatting, “listicles” are popular and easily digestible on a smartphone or tablet. Make it easy for readers to leave a comment, and keep mobile users in mind. Add photos for aesthetic appeal. Run a promotion to lure in readers. For example, try asking people to post a comment in exchange for a discount on their next service. Email clients blog posts and include a call to action, such as signing up for a free product sample. This will help your writing gain initial traffic.

    Produce Videos of Value

    Camera shy? It’s worth overcoming. Statistics prove that videos persuade customers to buy. According to Hubspot, an inbound marketing and sales platform, adding video to an email can yield a 200%-300% increase in click-through rates. In fact, 92% of mobile video consumers share the content they’re watching, meaning free marketing and a bankable return on investment for your spa. Although creating videos requires organizational and time management skills, the payback is priceless. Tiffany Amorosino, co-owner and CEO of Bella Santé Spa in Boston, wanted to produce a video explaining the spa’s SkinCeuticals Skin Scope machine. She completed a practice run and wrote out talking points prior to shooting, which made filming faster and more cost effective. They posted the video on their YouTube channel and social media pages. The result? “On Facebook, it was shared by dermatologists, other spas and cosmetic brands, including SkinCeuticals, which has more than 600,000 Likes,” reports Amorosino.

    Invent Smart Social Media Challenges

    Posting on Instagram is practically a no-brainer. (Check out our September issue’s Plugged In for tips and tricks.) In June 2016, the app reached 500 million monthly active users, a 20% increase in only 10 months. According to Pew Research Center, 59% of Instagrammers use the app daily. The marketing team at The Dragontree Spa, with locations in Portland and Boulder, Colorado, capitalizes on the popularity of this social site with innovative 21-day challenges called “The Rituals For Living Peace Movement.” Every day for three weeks, the team shares a habit that anyone can start practicing to reduce stress and tension; for instance, turning down the volume on your inner critic, or getting at least eight hours’ sleep a night. “The movement has been invaluable for extending our brand beyond our local business,” says marketing director Phil Ackley. “We’re able to build our contact list and bring in new clients and e-commerce customers who are very aligned with Dragontree’s mission and values.” Ackley does admit these curated challenges are resource intensive. The staff needs to write and sequence daily emails, source matching images, post on several social media sites and update multiple websites. They also reach out to business partners to provide prizes for participants. “But in the end, it’s absolutely worth it to us,” he reports.

    Write Effective Email Newsletters

    In a Pew internet survey, 9 out of 10 adults reported that they use the web to check their email more than to shop or peruse social media, making email newsletters a steadfast marketing method. If you aren’t already doing so, consider producing an email-based newsletter or campaign. In one swift Google search, you’ll discover a range of companies offering inexpensive newsletter services. Most are able to manage a subscription list and can help users ensure they’re following all the legal requirements and regulations, such as the CAN-SPAM Act.

    Osmosis Day Spa & Sanctuary in Freestone, California, sends a lengthy newsletter once a month and a redacted version midmonth that highlights specials and events. Jennifer Klein, the spa’s marketing director, explains her process: “For a week leading up to the newsletter’s send date, I like to schedule about an hour a day to work on it. That gives me time to write a blog post and come up with a featured service, plus any associated product specials to complement it. I also send a rough draft to the management team for review.”

    Despite the amount of effort required up front, Klein finds that the treatments and skin care showcased in their newsletters tend to sell really well that month. “When we highlight a massage or facial, we make sure to schedule extra staff to accommodate the influx of guests booking those appointments, and the same goes for featured retail items.”

    Build Your Audience With Blogging

    Blogging can catapult your spa’s website to the top of search rankings: By using search engine optimization and consistently adding more written content, your site will begin to generate more traffic and therefore outrank your competition. Originating material for posts may sound time consuming, but you don’t need to look far for ideas. Burke Williams Day Spas, which has nine California locations, blogs about current industry trends, seasonal beauty tips, health- and wellness-related news, and local events and services. “We work with wonderful writers, guest bloggers and our own internal expert staff to develop our blog’s content,” says Sandra Miller, vice president of marketing and communications. If you don’t have those resources, consider asking your staff to alternate writing about their interests or expertise. “Blogs add value to your existing customers,” says Reavis. “This demonstrates your dedication to excellence, education and industry awareness.”

  5. Makeup Artist Alexis Frank on Using Pevonia on the set of ‘The Daily Show’

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    pevonia

    NYC-based celebrity makeup artist, Alexis Frank, has been utilizing Pevonia’s line of natural and botanical skincare products in several of her upcoming projects. She recently used Pevonia on the set of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, which airs nightly on Comedy Central. Frank, who has been working in the industry for numerous years, has built up a strong social following with close to12k followers on her Instagram account, in which she has featured Pevonia in numerous posts.

    Alexis also used Pevonia on popular comedian, Pete Davidson during promos for his upcoming Comedy Central show, SMD. Davidson then posted a photo of one of his guests, Justin Bieber, sitting in Alexis’ makeup chair during a promo for the new show.

    “The secret weapon to my clients hydrated skin is very simple, Myoxy-Caviar Timeless Repair Cream and Moxy-Caviar Timeless Eye Contour. I’ve tried thousands of moisturizers and eye creams and I always come back to Pevonia. Pevonia leaves your complexion softer, hydrated and healthy looking. Every time I use it on a client, their makeup always comes out flawlessly”, says Alexis.

    Lastly, Pevonia was used during her shoot for the Brooks Brothers’ campaign. “I’m absolutely obsessed with the Dry Oil Body Moisturizer. I mix that in with regular body cream whenever any skin is showing on set.”

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  6. Social Skills: The Impact of Instagram

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    Young adult women getting her hair styled in a beauty salon and taking a picture of herself with her smart phone.

    Plug in to the power of pictures by adding Instagram to your social media marketing strategy.

    Instagram made its debut on the social media stage in 2010. Six years later, according to a recent report on Adweek.com, the image-driven platform is a go-to for more than 400 million users worldwide (who share about 70 million mobile photos on Instagram daily. This growth is no fluke but rather, clear evidence that everyday people love to share images with their friends and family. And it didn’t take business owners long to see the potential of Instagram to call attention to their offerings and thus grow their customer base.

    The truth is, Instagram is making huge waves for businesses of all kinds, and spas are no exception. Whether you’ve grabbed images of your facility’s cool new hydrotherapy tub, cozy relaxation area or nifty herb garden, or your employees are snapping shots of their latest creations, there’s no easier way to share them with the world than through this social media juggernaut.

    Thanks to eye-catching filters and clever editing tools, anyone with a camera phone is able to produce an interesting and great-looking image. Like Twitter and Facebook, the platform also utilizes hashtags (represented by the pound sign) for trending topics and easy searching.

    “Nowadays, people are drawn to pictures and videos instead of text, which is what makes Instagram so popular,” says Allison Walker, marketing coordinator at Pennsylvania-based marketing firm Borelli Designs. “Companies are able to get their message across using images and popular hashtags that relate to the spa’s brand.”

    One firm Instagram fan is Alex Swanson, the director of marketing for Salon Spa W in Des Moines, Iowa, who notes that the visual nature of the beauty market lends itself to to the platform. “More than ever, consumers are checking us out on social media before booking an appointment, so it’s important that we network with them through Instagram. It’s beautiful and fun—which is exactly how we feel about our salon and spa! As part of the beauty industry, there’s no better way to share what we do than through images.”

    Setting up an Instagram account is simple—the app can be run on a tablet or smartphone, and once a username has been picked, you can upload a profile photo and a short description of your business. If you manage a personal profile, it’s easy to toggle between the two accounts.

    Rules of Engagement

    Instagram is currently the best social media app for engagement—by far. A 2014 study by Forrester Research looked at the ratio of interactions to total brand posts across seven major social networks, and found Instagram’s engagement ratio to be 60 times greater than Facebook’s, and 140 times greater than Twitter’s. “Liking” an Instagram photo takes very little time or effort, and the platform’s newsfeed is simple and stream-lined, as opposed to the clutter of a Facebook feed. This makes it easy for your followers to simply tap your photo and like it. In other words, Instagram followers aren’t just passively viewing, they’re engaging by liking your photos, leaving comments and getting to know you as a business.

    As Instagram has such high engagement, it can be a great tool to point followers toward your other accounts as well: You can promote your Twitter and Facebook accounts by posting them as an Instagram caption once a month.

    Consider following beauty trendsetters or other local businesses in your area, and make sure to engage by liking and commenting on their photos. One major perk of Instagram is that you can follow other users and connect with them easily. This will get your spa’s name in front of more people and hopefully lead to more Instagram followers for you as well.

    Lloria Ross, manager at AQUA Spa in Duck, North Carolina, joined Instagram “because it has such a large and diverse database of users worldwide, and could be used as a free marketing tool for our spa,” she says. “We also chose it because of its widespread utilization of hashtags, which increase the chance of potential clients finding our business.”

    A popular hashtag that AQUA utilizes is #spalife: If someone clicks on any image with this tag, they’re able to see AQUA’s posts and anyone else’s that use the hashtag. “We hashtag any words related to the post in an effort to show users what we have to offer—while also intriguing them enough to visit the spa,” Ross explains.

    Emotional Reaction

    On any social media platform, the best way to gain followers is by posting compelling content. What do you want followers to think and feel when they see your Instagram posts?

    “We want clients to see our pictures and imme- diately feel that they should be relaxing with a treatment at our spa,” Ross says, adding that that’s one of the reasons she focuses on Instagram: Images are more evocative. “Because many people are drawn to visual stimulation versus reading long articles, we use Instagram to post photos of our beautiful facilities, our view, tantalizing promotional setups, etc.”

    Take time to consider your spa’s most visualy appealing aspects. For AQUA, waterfront vistas are a strong emphasis. “When it’s a beautiful day on the water, we make a point of posting a picture of the view from our pedicure chairs,” says Ross. And if it’s a gray day? “We’ll post a spa picture that reminds viewers it’s the perfect time for an indoor treatment,” she says.

    Wherever your spa is situated, beautiful, polished and professional looking photos can be achieved by making use of Instagram’s filters and lighting tools. The platform makes it incredibly easy to brighten or darken images, change their color (to black and white, for example), or blur or sharpen them. What used to require Photoshop can now be done with a few taps of your finger. A word of caution: When posting photos to Instagram, make sure to keep a consistent “look” to your page. When people glance at your Instagram feed and see your photos all together, they should get a concept of your brand, not a mish-mash of differently edited photos.

    Videos can be even more compelling than still images, and Ross reports that AQUA is successfully utilizing Instagram’s video hosting capability. “We recently posted 30-to 60-second videos that provide mini virtual tours of our facilities,” she says. “These allow viewers to see themselves entering the spa and walking into the changing area and then into the serene waterfront lounge. They’re able to visit our nail room, take a virtual seat in a pedicure chair overlooking the water, and ‘feel’ the relaxing environment through the screen. Such engagement may remind viewers it’s time to treat themselves to a spa day!”

    Before choosing an Instagram post for Salon Spa W, Swanson likes to stop and think about what followers will get the most value from. “What drives my posts is my excitement when I see amazing work by one of our spa specialists or stylists,” Swanson said. “It may be a gorgeous mani design or a blowout that gives me hair envy. The creative process is fun and our followers love to see what we’re doing in the salon as a preview of what their service can be.”

    Snappy Seconds

    Image based and easy to use, Instagram has won the hearts of many frazzled business owners. “The beauty of Instagram is that it isn’t time consuming, outside of any brainstorming or prop setup,” Ross points out. “It takes just minutes to snap a photo, write a quick description, select some hashtags and post.” Swanson agrees, adding that she spends a total of about three hours per week planning and executing Instagram shots.

    However, experts warn not to make the mistake of thinking that Instagram doesn’t need steady attention; it is important to keep your profile well maintained. “If a company decides that they want to use Instagram for marketing purposes, they must keep their profiles up to date,” Walker urges. “This means that their profile images and company information should always be current, and they must post regularly. At Borelli Designs we encourage clients to post at least three times a week, but frequency can increase with their number of followers.”

    – By Claire Swinarski