Social media has come a long way since it was first introduced to the online world. It has evolved from being a platform for interacting with friends and family online to a vehicle for driving business growth.
The boundless nature of the Internet, the ease of use and high uptake of many social media platforms make for an ideal combo upon which to build and grow one’s business.
Despite the great potential of social media as a marketing tool, however, many businesses are still trying to wrap their heads around this new paradigm. While there are those that have already embraced this trend and built an entire marketing strategy around it (see cover story on page 16), many have yet to jump on the bandwagon.
Whether you’re self-employed as a massage therapist or part of a bigger health-care or wellness practice, it is wise not to ignore the important role social media can play in the growth and competitiveness of your massage therapy practice – considering that 86 per cent of Canadians are Internet users and 91 per cent of them have a social media account.
According to global Internet marketing firm, We Are Social, in its 2014 Global Digital Statistics Report, there are more than 1.8 billion active social network users in the world – that’s 26 per cent of the world’s total population. Canada has the highest social media network penetration globally, with 82 per cent of us engaged in social media, compared to only 75 per cent in the U.S. Canadians spend an average of two hours and 19 minutes each day on social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
These numbers represent a huge market potential for your practice. In addition, social media can provide an effective venue to promote and further enhance the public’s perception and the many health benefits of massage therapy.
As with any business endeavour, it pays to do a bit of research before you embark on any social media strategy. Not all social media platforms are created equal, so consider which ones will best serve your purpose and concentrate on those first.
Building a social media network will take time, but if done right, it will not only lead to better business performance, but will also build your credibility as a health professional.
From the editor: Spring 2015
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