So You Think You Can Do Social Media?

Despite jumping onto our radar over a decade ago, Social Media still seems like a relatively ‘new’ form of marketing and brand awareness for business owners, and as much as you may want to avoid it and all of it’s distractions, it’s time to come to terms with the fact that Social Media is here to stay.

More that that, Social Media in 2016 is the lifeline of businesses of all shapes, sizes and niches. By not using social media to it’s full potential you’re doing the equivalent of setting up a bricks and mortar shop in 1971 with no sign, no windows, no phone numbers, and simply relying on the word of mouth of your friends and family. You may find yourself scraping by, but are losing customers big time on account of them not knowing who or what you are.

Social media can be a bit of a scary concept if you’re not au fait with what each platform has on offer (hence why most dance studios will be tackling 2 or 3 platforms in their marketing and awareness strategies) so we wanted to give you the dance edition of what you may be missing out on.

Facebook
What it does
You already know Facebook as the biggest social media network on the web when it comes to both users and recognition.With more than 1.59 billion monthly active users it is simply the best medium for connecting to and with people.
Who it works on
When building your Facebook marketing campaigns, keep in mind that your main audience are potential ‘payers’ – ie, the moms/mums, dads, grandparents etc. The 4yr olds you are targeting aren’t the ones looking at your ads or page, so keep in mind the demographic of your audience will usually be women aged between 20 – 40 years with children of a 4 – 12 year old age group. Facebook advertising is best used when you ‘pay to play’, so investing time and money in a specifically targeted Power Editor advertisement is typically going to see the best return on investment. For dance studios the question of ‘boosting’ rather than using a more specific ad option always comes up.
Should you boost an ad? Sure – they can have great success in brand awareness, but the statistics and analytics will tell you that your best bang for buck is in the highly targeted paid campaigns. Just google ‘Facebook Audience Insights’ and you’ll see the crazy potential out there in specifically targeting your ideal customer.
In dance terms?
Facebook is your recital. It’s involved, stressful and takes a lot of time and planning. On the other hand, it appeals to the masses and your competitors are all doing it. Like your recital, getting it right is extremely gratifying – only instead of chocolates and flowers, you’ll have truckloads of new enrollments coming through your doors as a reward for your investment.

Instagram
What it does
This is the picture-sharing platform that has taken the world by storm – including your students, parents and potential employees. With funky filters and hashtags galore for you to create and share to get your studio trending, Instagram is the perfect place for studio owners to capture and share their dance experience.
Who it works on
This is the visual social media platform that all of your teenaged students are spending their time on. Not only can you use Instagram to attract new students, but more importantly you can use it to build your studio culture and create camaraderie in your tribe of dancers and parents. Create a catchy and unique hashtag (a short tagline) that you use for your instagram posts, and get your families in on the fun too. You can run competitions on Instagram, build advertisements, direct your audience to landing pages and even go ‘live’ and post videos using Instagram Stories
In dance terms?
Instagram is your costumes. The piece of the puzzle that unites your team and brings everything together in your piece to create the perfect picture.

Twitter
What it does
Twitter is fantastic for quick releases of information and grabbing attention. If you are concerned that a post of 140 characters can be limiting for a business when posting to twitter, don’t forget that this is a perfect platform to engage with potential clients, answer your followers’ questions, announce news and events, and – like Facebook – you can use specifically targeted ads.
Who it works on
Typically, Twitter is going to be primarily used by Generation X – similar in many ways to Facebook, where you’ll be getting the most value by targeting the parents of your younger age groups. You can even get around the character limits by posting links to blogs using www.bitly.com to build short links to your content. Twitter integrates beautifully with Facebook so get your automation on, and start posting in both.
In dance terms?
A great tweet is your grande jete. You don’t always see it coming, it’s over before it began but leaves you feeling excited and intrigued about what else is on offer. It stays with you.

Linkedin
What it does
Linkedin is THE place to be when it comes to using social media for professional networking. It is perfect for business owners who are interested in connecting with people in the same industry, creating networks and sharing business information.
Who it works for
This is absolutely where you need to be if you are taking your role as CEO of your business seriously and focusing on growth in all business aspects. It is an ideal place to recruit teachers and staff, network with like-minded business owners and build strategic partnerships. By being active and up to date in Linkedin you are also positioning yourself as a business authority in your field and showing your clients that you are taking the business side of your role seriously.
In dance terms?
It’s your stretch and conditioning class. It’s not glamorous, it’s rarely fun, but building the smartest and most important foundations for you and your longevity in this career.

Youtube
What it does
Everyone knows about Youtube, the largest and most popular video-based social media website on the planet. Youtube is a perfect place for dance studios to share video clips, performances, class tips and promotional material online and continue building a base of raving fans.
Who it works on
This is probably your most diverse platform in terms of the demographic, especially with the introduction of sister channels like YouTube Kids. Now you can target your current students and their parents as well as potential students and parents. Youtube clips are a fantastic addition to your website and social media pages, can be embedded into newsletters or emails, and offer an ideal opportunity to boost your presence in the industry. Just be careful of privacy and copyright regulations, and ensure that your students have all agreed to a media release before posting any images or videos of them online.
In dance terms?
Youtube is the equivalent of your end-of-semester celebrations. It makes everyone feel special, brings nostalgia and gives those who aren’t involved the priceless appeal of FOMO (fear of missing out).

Honorable Mentions
It wouldn’t quite be the dance edition without a few honourable mentions now, would it?

Snapchat
This short-term image capturing platform is where your students are spending all of their time. You need to be there too.
In dance terms, it is the Film Clip Dance Fad. As much as you simply don’t get your classes desire to “whip” and “nay nay”, it’s better to jump on board, meet them where they are at and embrace it. Appeal to them on a platform that has proven to be a hit and watch your retention rates soar.

Pinterest
With a huge share of the female demographic, this visual pin-posting platform, Pinterest is a must for dance studios who cater to younger children and target their mothers aged 30+.
In dance studio terms, it’s like your newsletter. Your students don’t care at all, but it brings a smile to the face of moms in your waiting area as they take in their snippets of information in i’s snappy design.

Google +
While it never quite took off like we expected and can’t compare to Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, Google+ certainly has its place and Its SEO value alone makes it a must-use tool for any small business.
In dance terms, it’s the ‘Step Up’ sequels – didn’t quite meet the hype, but definitely worth watching!

For more insights on becoming the go-to studio in your area, join us in the Dance Studio Owners Association

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