Tuesday, 26 February 2013
A new year calls for a peek into what's ahead for the spa industry. Against a challenging backdrop of a recovering economy, the industry is showing signs of renewed growth. Social media continues to grow as a focus for most businesses today. Just as spas are creative with their treatment options to attract new customers, they have become creative with their social media strategy.
"We make it a priority to respond quickly to questions and comments from our followers on social media, because by keeping the lines of communication open and our team accessible from anywhere and any medium, we make our guests the number one priority," said Laura Nichelson, Glenn Ivy Hot Springs' marketing manager.
Miraval's Vice President of Marketing Carol Stratford agreed, "Miraval's social media approach is all about connecting with fans. Whether it be engaging in discussion about what they love about Miraval or taking suggestions about future resort activities, Miraval uses social media to build long-lasting relationships both online and off."
Michelle Somers, director at Synergi MedSpa didn't know what to expect with their most recent social media engagement, "We tried to find the worst tattoo in St. Louis through social media; the winner received free tattoo removal."
Somers continued, "The whole thing created more of a buzz than we expected. A few radio stations caught wind of this contest and interviewed us on-air a few times about the crazy tattoos. The best part of the whole process was the winner was someone trying to get their life back together and wanted to go back to nursing school and wasn't going to be accepted into the program due to visible tattoos. What started out as contest to gain awareness, turned out to be great publicity for our company."
President of the International SPA Association, Lynne McNees said, "The International SPA Association 2012 U.S. Spa Industry Study stated that eighty-eight percent of spas in the United States were utilizing social media and Facebook has more than a billion active users every month, so spas have been finding unique ways through social media to tell their story."
"We've utilized one of our local partners, to promote giveaways at the spa during high-volume events," Spa Director at AWAY Spa at W Austin Candice Betz said. "Partnering up provides double exposure to new fans, while offering a complementary signature service generated good social media buzz."
Jen Spencer, spa director at Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa, "We ran a contest last year where we partnered with local like-minded hospitality and tourism businesses. The contest was a great success as it had the biggest impact in driving our database numbers. By requiring the participant to like all the partners' pages to enter, this created a win-win as we tapped into our partners' database and visits to our page soured as our page was visited by a new audience."
Spas are having a bit of fun with their social media activity too, similar to the Spa at The Boar's Head own elf that was followed around the property. Facebook followers caught a glimpse of "Harris" around all aspects of The Boar's Head each day as a way for the property to seasonally brand through the winter months.