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Pinning for Business

By: Keri LaPlante

Hearing the word Pinterest makes my heart flutter. I sign in and am instantly happy. My boards offer inspiration on what to wear for the day, help with dinner, and info on how to work-off that same meal. My pins portray my best self. The self I would be if money and time were unlimited. I have on many occasions spent hours flicking through images of delightful treats, decorating options, crafts, and clothes.

But what does this mean for your business? It means access to thousands of happy consumers who use this site to share their likes and find others with similar tastes. I was shocked when a friend who works in social media said, “I don’t know why everyone thinks businesses should be on Pinterest.” “Why not?” I say! Pinterest isn’t like Facebook and Twitter. Users go to this site solely to pin things they like. If you, as a business, can capture the essence of your brand through Pinterest boards, think of all the exposure you can gain.

So how do you start? First you have to know your brand and what you want to accomplish with your Pinterest account. Create goals you want to reach. Create boards that your clients will find useful and that represent what you want people to think of when contemplating your spa. Pinterest is not meant for self-promotion, so don’t just start pinning products/services/pictures from your spa.

Food boards are always good, or go with something generic like ‘What We Like.’ That way you can start pinning and get more specific as you see what works. If your spa does hair, make-up or nails, you can do boards that incorporate these themes. Really, anything goes, just remember to keep your brand in mind as you pin. This isn’t what you personally like; it’s what most represents your spa. You can also find pins throughout the web and pin them with the ‘Pin It’ button. What way, you’re helping to build the community.

Once you’ve established yourself on Pinterest you can include pins with products or services that lead users back to your blog or website. Pinterest is not intended for peddling your goods, so if you do this incorrectly or too often, people will see what you’re up to and stop following. One way to ensure you’re not coming off too sales-y (that’s a technical term) is to pin valuable content. Don’t advertise by posting products or services you’re trying to sell, instead post a recipe used at your spa or tips on skin care between spa visits.

Now it’s my turn to endorse our content, but hopefully in a useful way. For inspiration to help you get going take a look at Spa Inc.’s Pinterest page.

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That’s me (and my neck tattoo) working away at the office on Spa Inc.’s Pinterest page.

5 Tips to Enhance an Online Presence

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By Keri LaPlante

           MagNet is a big conference held for Canadian magazine professionals and it just happened this past week. I didn’t need to attend the conference to know just how much social media has changed the face of business, but each course further reinforced this idea. All the inspiring projects I heard about made me wonder how this has affected the spa industry and whether or not most spas are keeping up with the trends. It’s definitely time consuming and doesn’t come cheap, but being online is crucial to businesses that partially rely on word-of-mouth for sales. And let’s face it, in this day and age what business isn’t affected by word-of-mouth. Here are some tips to think about when creating/reviewing your online presence.

  1. It’s not only important for you to have a website so people can find you online, it’s also essential to have a good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy. Include keywords in your website and blog set-up, so that when people search for a spa in your area, there you are. Make sure your site architecture is working effectively to ensure that spa goers get exactly what they need and then some.
  1. The more people can interact with your brand, the more likely they will want to visit your establishment. People want to get an idea of their experience. I am always shocked when a spa doesn’t have a website or their website doesn’t have pictures of their facilities. A picture says a thousand words and will bring business through the door.
  1. If you’re on social media, make sure you have a strategy. Start by finding your audience and learning the lay of the land, so to speak. Listen to the tone of the conversations and how your brand is seen, if it is mentioned at all. Check out the competition and the industry in general.
  1. Create specific goals for your social media efforts, so you can measure your progress and make adjustments where necessary. And, don’t forget to provide something of value to your audience; social media is not about shameless self-promotion.
  1. Be authentic. Be creative, try new things and don’t be afraid to fail.