Insights from the SpaExec Sonoma Panel

My last blog shared words of wisdom from SpaExec Sonoma’s keynote Jamie Ginsberg. This post features insights from the panel of social media experts. Jamie joined SpaTrade blogger Stacy Bergdahl of Berglon Marketing Agency, Blanca Caballero, Owner of AvantGard Spa and Michael Martello with Demandforce.

The focus of the panel was “realities” of social media. The panelists were candid about the time commitment involved in social media.  Bottom line, however, is that social media has changed the marketing landscape forever. Savvy spa operators MUST join the party.

Here are my take-aways:

Fake it ‘til you make it: The panelists all agreed— you must jump in and get started with social media. “Don’t be afraid to copy, says Jamie Ginsberg. “Emulate others and you will find your voice over time.” Go forward and tweak as you go along. If your blog or Facebook post gets comments and “likes”—keep on that path. If ideas you find revelatory fall on deaf ears, change it up! 

Speak in a personal voice:  It can be dangerous to delegate your social media to your staff or an outside firm. “It is your brand and your story,” said Blanca. “I would spend as much time watching what my staff are posting.  Social media  is a party and I show up.”  Tell stories, be real so your audience can connect with you. “Have fun and be playful,” said Stacy. “People like to do business with people they like.”

Manage your online reputation:  Spas cannot hide their head in the sand and ignore their online review on Yelp and other sites. “Consumers are talking to you online whether you like it or not,” said Mike. “Listen and get involved in the conversation.” All the panelists recommended following both positive and negative reviews. Negative reviews can give you insights into operational issues, and can also be a great opportunity to try to rectify the situation.

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