More than 50 million businesses are using Facebook pages to reach their customers, according to figures released in December. Increasingly customers are turning to social media as a way to interact with service and product providers to learn about new offerings, ask questions and seek resolutions to problems.  A 2012 study from NM Incite, the leading social media consumer insights provider and joint venture between Nielsen and McKinsey, found that nearly half (47%) of U.S. social media users today actively seek customer service through social media. Furthermore, one in three social media users (30%) prefer to reach out to a brand for customer service through a social channel compared to the phone.

These figures suggest that if you don’t have a page for your spa or massage practice – not your own personal page – it may be time to do something about it. Facebook is an important channel to both market your professional services and retail offerings and a powerful way to stay connected with clients in between visits to your establishment. In addition, the liking, sharing and commenting features of Facebook extend your reach to the others not in your network creating opportunities for new business.

Start with a strong about section

Even before you begin posting, make sure you Facebook page has a strong “about” section that conveys your offerings, specialties and professional experience, such as aromatherapy or therapeutic massage. Your about section should differentiate your spa or massage practice from competing services and include brand messages that clients and prospects identify with.

Also you’ll want a profile photo that is memorable. It could be the front of your establishment or some area of your business that draw in fans with its inviting look. Choose a few photos and ask some clients which they think is most appealing if you aren’t sure.

Consider content carefully

While you want to post at least three times a week to maintain client engagement, trial different content to see what gets the most response. If you use Facebook to only post your offerings, the page will become more of an advertisement, which is not what fans are looking for. While they want to know what services you provide and products for at home you sell; they want to understand what makes you unique and how you can solve their problems whether for relieving pain or reducing stress or treating skin care issues. Fans want to know how knowledgeable you are about techniques and trends, and they also want to learn from you about what treatments are best for certain conditions.

As much as possible, use multimedia – images and video – to make posts more entertaining and instructive. Hubspot says that use of visual content in Facebook campaigns generates more than 65% engagement a month.

Use analytics

Take advantage of Facebook Page Insights to get demographic information about your audience and how fans are responding to your posts. You’ll find Insights at the top of each page. Facebook Insights can tell you the best time of day and day of the week to post and what posts are generating the most interaction in terms of likes, shares and comments so you can make decisions about content to generate more interaction and more reach.

Facebook is a valuable marketing tool. Don’t overlook its potential for building your business.