We get lots of questions about how and when wellness centers, chiropractic clinics, health clubs, yoga studios and other wellness businesses should use the major social media tools – blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
Before we get to the social media comparison chart below, let’s do some quick math.
The Numbers Behind Social Media
A recent survey of shoppers – people who are actually spending money – found that:
- About 70% use Facebook regularly
- About 25% use YouTube regularly
- About 10% use Twitter
- And about 10% use LinkedIn
- 25% don’t use social AT ALL – but notice they’re still shopping, and still spending money!
Now, this covers ALL usage – not just activity related to buying or shopping.
So, get out your calculators:
- If only 10% of shoppers use Twitter regularly, should you spend a lot of time tweeting? Probably not.
- If only 25% use YouTube (and most of that is watching cute cat videos or funny ads for products we’re not going to buy), should you spend a lot of time with your Flip making vids? Hmmm…
- And even though lots of folks use Facebook, most of them use it to stay in touch with friends. On occasion. Not every day. Or they’re Facebook game addicts.
This is why social is what we call a “slow build” marketing activity. It’s not how you get new customers fast. It’s not the best way to get new website visitors, or lots of new drop-in traffic.
What Social Can – And Can’t – Do
Social’s how you stay in touch with people who already know that your health club or yoga studio or wellness center already exists. And it’s how you help them bring people they know into the fold, over months and years.
(LinkedIn, on the other hand, is definitely worth your personal time. But it’s a special case, as you’ll see below.)
Social’s Effect On Your Marketing Plan
So – as you decide which marketing activities deserve time and money, keep these statistics in mind.
And keep the Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube business models in mind. These tools are free because those sites want to make it as easy as possible to sign members up. They then gather data about the actions and interests and connections of all those users – which they then aggregate and remarket in various ways to large corporations.
So that’s what they’re designed to do best. They are not designed to maximize marketing effectiveness for small businesses. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them appropriately, and it doesn’t mean that they have no value for your wellness business – just remember that any overlap between their business goals and yours is a coincidence.
|Social Media Tool||Strengths||Weaknesses|
|Best for: increasing awareness among people who already know that your wellness business existsFreedom to share your content in a setting where you control the brand and presentationAs part of in-depth SEO strategy, may help improve position in search results||
Unlikely to produce lots of new customers because most blogs are virtually invisible in search resultsEasy to fall into trap of posting generic or boring content, or rantingSEO benefit is usually minor
Best for: staying in touch with people who already know and like you and your wellness business,
and for encouraging word-of-mouthWell-suited for contests, competitions, challenges and other
participatory activities if your existing customers tend to love group
Unlikely that new clients will find your business through your Facebook page or Facebook friends/fansWon’t help your website show up in search resultsNo, you should not replace your website with Facebook
|Best for: building
your personal brandYour individual name will usually be top-ranked by Google
and BingProfile status updates appear in weekly emails to
keep you top of mind with your network
Ability to feature a publication
Useful for networking if your wellness
|Won’t help your website’s position in
search results(although LinkedIn Company profiles may change this over time)You have to take the initiative to continually add new Facebook, Twitter, email contacts to your LinkedIn network
to get full benefit
|Best for: advertising and promotions, special offers and other time-sensitive events;
sharing quick content news and updatesRecent studies show that consumers actually like getting promotional content in Twitter if it’s well-planned
|Success in generating website traffic and new customers depends on how well you integrate it into your marketing effortsWon’t help your site’s placement in search resultsLimited appeal to many customers
Customers numbed by voluminous Twitter feeds just tune ‘em out
|Best for: distinctive content that gives potential customers a risk-free “taste” of your programs and servicesMost useful for local businesses when thoroughly integrated with your website and email marketingBest practice: include your website address (use a customized bit.ly or
tinyurl address if it’s long) near the beginning of your video description AND include a very crisp and compelling call to action in the video itself
|Don’t bother unless you integrate the videos with your website and email marketingDon’t confuse video views with potential new customers – many viewers are far outside your trade area and offer no business potential|