How much does social media factor into your spa or massage practice marketing? A poll conducted in February and March of last year by Ebiquity for American Express OPEN found that more than four in 10 U.S. small businesses surveyed didn’t use social media for business. That figure actually indicates an increase from fall of 2014 when 38 percent of small business owners surveyed indicated the same.

Among the social channels used by the American Express survey respondents, Facebook came out on top with 41 percent cited by respondents. Resource constraints accounted for the failure of small businesses to keep up with social media activity.

There’s no question that keeping up with social media requires time; but it can be time well spent in terms of engaging with your clients to build strong ties and also to attract prospects. But just posting on social channels may not be getting you the results you want. That’s why with the New Year getting underway it’s a good time to evaluate your social media strategy and make changes as necessary.

In order to better ensure social media success for your spa or massage practice, here are some things you’ll want to do:

Interact often: In order to maintain an engagement with followers, interact often. Ideally, you should post something on the social channels you use – Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram to name the most popular - a few times a day. If you find yourself at a loss for content one day, ask a question, such as “what concerned you the most the first time you had a massage.” to build engagement. The goal is to let your followers know that you care to maintain a connection with them.

Be prepared: You never know what question someone may ask you on Facebook about a massage or skin treatment. Someone may ask you for a recommendation about aromatherapy relative to pain relief for a particular problem or to help alter a state of mind or mood. Be prepared with answers or know where to get answers so you reply promptly.

Plan your content: Things may come up that are appropriate for posting, but it’s helpful to have a calendar or schedule of content to post each week over a period of time, such as three months. Your calendar can include special treatments for holidays, retail promotions, tips for good skin care and health tied to the seasons and more. In between scheduled posts, you may want to share industry news or a blog post from an industry expert. Also as much as possible, include images. Posts with images garner more likes and shares.

Seek collaboration: Let your followers know you value their input and want to continue to be their preferred service provider by asking for feedback/input on treatments and retail products you offer. Provide follow up by letting them know what you are planning to do to meet their suggestions.

Have fun: In addition to posting educational or industry related content; have fun. Post a funny photo or consider running a contest for a discount on a treatment. You want to show your followers that you are not all about business.

Monitor analytics: To know what content is helping you meet your social marketing goals to increase bookings, drive retail sales or build brand awareness in your community analyze the data. You can use analytic tools provided by each social channel, such as Facebook’s Page Insights, or other social media analytical tools, including Google Analytics or HootSuite. Analytics help you understand what type of content is most popular to secure the engagement from followers that you want.

Staying on top of social media takes time. But considering that your clients probably are on social channels; you want to be there, too.