Great social media insights at SpaExec Ft. Lauderdale

On the eve of the IECSC show in Ft. Lauderdale, SpaExec welcomed attendees to the Hilton Marina for another exciting networking and vendor showcase event.  Over 60 local and regional Spa Directors, owners and staff members enjoyed meeting with the 21 vendors displaying their latest wares.  The educational portion of the evening consisted of a keynote presentation by social media strategist  Jamie Ginsberg of Cleveland Groove, and a panel discussion of trends for 2011.

Ginsburg had much to share, and his information was not so much the typical “you have to have a Facebook fan page,” which we already know, but a summation of some current strategies on integrating technology into your social media efforts, and using the components of your approach to broaden your reach.  Below are his very useful main points regarding five current social media channels; LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogging.


  • Make sure you complete your profile with a headshot that shows your eyes.

  • Don’t ask for recommendations, make your own.  Every week.  Three to five honest sentences is sufficient.  Once you begin this practice, people will write them for you.  This is one of the best activities to engage in on the LinkedIn network, as it will get you into the newsfeed.

  • Connect LinkedIn to your Twitter feed.

  • Make it a point to get together in the real world monthly with someone you’ve meet on LinkedIn; this is Ginsberg’s “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow” theory.

  • Post 1-4x monthy.


  • Especially for business use of Facebook, don’t be too aggressive, or make wall posts of sales-related copy.

  • Don’t be “all business,” it’s not interesting.

  • Merge your Fan Page and Place.

  • Post events and links to educational content.

  • Photos are one of the most used tools on Facebook; make sure you post photos and tag people in the photos, like clients at an event that you host.

  • Start “checking in” through Facebook, lead by example.

  • Post 1-2x weekly.


  • Tweets links to your blog, and to things you find interesting.

  • Follow anyone who follows you.

  • Un-follow annoying people, and those that don’t follow you back.

  • Don’t auto DM your Twitter followers.

  • Retweet relevant posts.

  • Think of Twitter as a marathon, not a sprint.  Tweet a few times a day, not once per week.

  • Post a few times a day.


  • Rule of thumb; videos are shareable if funny, sexy, or resonate with audience (educational).

  • To get involved, fill in your profile, personalize your channel, use relevant keywords.

  • Watch videos, and comment and “like” them.

  • Subscribe to relevant channels.

  • Link to your Twitter account.

  • Do not post commercials.


  • Purpose of blogging is to aggregate your social presence,`give yourself credibility and distribute content.

  • Cite your sources

  • Link to other sites

  • Follow your passion

  • Post 1x daily to 1x weekly.

  • Blog posts should be auto-tweeted and linked to Facebook

Guiding concepts for your overall strategy:

  • Building a community is a process; it takes time and experimentation.

  • Set goals, participate, revise goals, analyze, set new goals.

Following Ginsberg’s presentation was a panel discussion on FutureWatch 2011, featuring Charlotte Prescott of Canyon Ranch, Mitch Berkman of Spa Serenity at Turnberry Ocean Club, and Mike Martello of DemandForce, and moderated by myself.   The panelists see the following trends continuing to gain momentum in 2011:

  • Spas will continue to educate consumers on choices for more healthful living by offering classes, treatments and practitioners that go beyond the expected skincare, massage and salon services.  Spas are a natural portal to introduce our clients to options they did not know existed.

  • Personalization of service will continue to evolve; service menus are shrinking in terms of number of services, but more options are being offered that allow technicians to combine and customize specific treatments for each client.  The ability to make choices regarding music during the service, lighting, and climate will become more common.

  • Technology applications such as DemandForce will enable spa business owners to more effectively communicate with their clients by integrating with existing software databases to customize routine messages and to increase internet visibility by, among other things, posting client reviews to appropriate websites.

This event was the final SpaExec of eight events in 2010, which were attended by over 500 spa professionals.