As a massage professional, you have the ability to be part of the business community. Interaction between other professionals in your industry provides connections, builds your reputation, and promotes your business. However, you don’t have to pay to be active in your community. The dawn of social media has given professionals new ways to connect with other professionals, clients, and businesses locally and internationally. At Beauty and Bodywork Insurance we do more than provide massage insurance. Our marketing team has put together some social media tips just for you.
Social media, specifically Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn, have created group and community functions to allow people to connect with each other. This has brought a new way of marketing and advertising, making your name and business known through a social media presence. The most common ways to use social media for your business is to create business profile pages and groups, but you can use the group and community functions to create communities within your profession. These groups and communities provide opportunities to interact with other professionals, create connections, collaborate on community issues, continue learning, and make your name known.
What Different Social Media Platforms Have to Offer
As you venture into the social media groups and communities, it is important to know the benefits that each platform has to offer your community. It is also important to know how smaller or larger communities or groups will affect your experience.
Facebook provides two options for communities and interaction. Pages allow a certain topic or business to control topics and postings. Pages are a great way to inform others about massage or your business, but they limit interaction with people who “liked” the pages.
Groups are also more interactive. Group members can post statuses, post comments, upload photos and videos, ask questions and polls, add files, and plan events. Facebook groups are unique because you can upload and share files and documents among other members. Privacy settings are easily controlled by the group administrator, allowing the group to be open, closed, or secret. If the group you want to join is closed, just ask to join the group and you will be added quickly.
Google+ groups are called communities. Their purpose is to create a place where you can share your interests. All members can post text, photos, links, videos, and create/post events. Google+ allows you to create sub pages within the communities for separate conversations and topics. These sub pages provide more options to connect and interact with members of the community.
LinkedIn groups are a combination of Facebook groups and Google+ communities and focus more on the connections you create among other professionals. LinkedIn allows you to participate in discussions, promote your business and events, and post job opportunities. LinkedIn can also create sub groups to provide more specific groups within a larger community to facilitate common interests and connections. What is unique to LinkedIn is that the administrator or moderator can send messages to group members not only to their LinkedIn inbox, but to their email inboxes as well. This allows you to connect with group members who do not frequently visit the group site.
Group Size Can Matter
Both large and smaller groups and communities give you different benefits of connections. Large groups supply more connections and interaction with more business professionals. Building connections and getting your name known in larger groups gives you a bigger audience and more marketing power. You can still create events for smaller, local events and still be part of the larger community. Larger groups will post more content more frequently, but sometimes that content might feel less relevant to you as the group may be targeting a bigger audience than you need.
Smaller groups will have a smaller group of professionals to interact with, but often interaction is more personal. Smaller groups can be more specific to local communities if that’s where you would prefer to make yourself known. Smaller groups, can have less posts and interaction if members don’t frequently participate in the group.
Some people may prefer to start their own group, which will give them more control over the group posts or administration. Local groups are often started this way. If you choose to do this rather than joining a pre-existing group, you will want to start the group with several active friends and coworkers. As time passes, your friends and coworkers will start to bring others and word of mouth will make the group grow. It may take some time and effort, but you can start a successful group within your community to increase your connections, reputation, and credibility.
Joining a group or community in your profession can help you make connections with other professionals. As you create these connections, you will market your name, business, and product. Social media has provided professionals with many tools and resources to connect, interact, and learn from each other, providing you with a community of support and peers. Joining a community or group will benefit you as a professional, your business, and your knowledge of your profession.
As you search for a group or community to join, we have included a few links to some of the larger groups and communities to get you started. Enjoy your community and the benefits from connecting with other massage professionals.