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Engaging with clients and prospects on social media channels has the potential to build strong relationships leading to continued and new business for your spa or massage practice. You can “keep the conversation” going well after a client appointment on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more with updates on your business, trends in the market relative to skincare and massage therapy services and products both professional and for at home use.

But like any conversation, there are rules of engagement. The last thing you want to do is turn a potentially positive engagement into a negative one by being too promotional, more focused on your business than the needs of “social media friends” and even too uninteresting. While social media followers may not necessarily unfriend you, when you failure to connect with them you won’t benefit from their likes and shares or retweets.

Some of the more common social marketing “sins,” you will want to avoid include being:

Self-interested: You fail to consider that social media platforms are for engagement but rather consider them as a funnel to fill with information focused strictly on your spa or massage practice or information that you find of interest but may not be useful to your followers. As an example, you decide to include several posts on sports massage (because you find the latest trends of interest), but don’t take into consideration the majority of your clients don’t seek this service offering and never will.   A good conversation is of interest to both parties so that you learn from each other. The more you offer content that resonates with clients, the more you learn about their needs and interests so you can better service them.

Highly promotional: It’s fine to use social channels to let clients and prospects know about treatment specials and product sales, but don’t overdo it.  While followers will be interested in offers, they don’t want to be subjected to a constant stream of advertisements.

Combative: Don’t use social media as a way to vent frustration about clients, staff and competitors.  Being negative just opens you social channels to argumentation that won’t necessarily get resolved in the virtual world. This doesn’t mean you can’t share your opinion about industry trends or developments. Just be sure to back up your position with sound reasons and be clear you are stating your opinion.

Impersonal: You want your followers to get to know your personality and that of your spa or massage practice. It’s fine to share your humor, stories about the history of your spa or massage practice and some of the fun facts about your business over the years. Also spotlight some of your team members so followers get to know them as well.

All words: Don’t forget to include images and video in your content to make it more memorable and meaningful.

Untrustworthy: Don’t make promises and fail to deliver. If you say your spa or massage practice is going to get behind a special cause, for example, do so and let your followers know what you have done. If you take issue with an industry issue and indicate you plan to get behind some action to change the direction, do it.  Touting social responsibility and industry leadership but failing to deliver will chip away at the trust you are trying to build with clients.

Unresponsive:  A big part of social media is the give and take. If your followers are posting responses and questions and you fail to respond, overtime they will lose interest. Even if a comment is negative, it’s important to response to help set the record straight. Your engagement on social media with followers shows your sincerity about wanting to build relationships.

Your actions and words on social media live on. Plan your social media marketing carefully and never take online engagement with followers for granted.