Facebook Marketing for Yoga Studios and Professionals
Post Date: August 9, 2017
Facebook is the largest social media network online, with nearly 2 billion active users. Facebook reports that 5 new accounts are created every second, and the average user spends at least 20 minutes on Facebook during every visit, representing a growing and highly engaged audience where new relationships can be formed.
And yet, Facebook marketing is far from easy. When Facebook first gave businesses the ability to create Company Pages, the average brand could reach about 70% of its fan base with an organic (non-paid) post. By 2014, organic reach fell to just 6%. Marketing experts believe organic reach will eventually fall to 0%, meaning brands will have to rely entirely on Facebook Advertising (paid-posts) to reach anyone at all.
However, Facebook still represents an exceptional opportunity to reach a large and highly targeted fan base, especially for yoga instructors and studios. In this guide, we will explore 5 ways to maximize your presence on Facebook. Specifically, we will see how strategy, engagement, and intelligent advertising can help yoga professionals quickly develop authentic and mutually beneficial relationships with new students, instructors, and brands!
Step 1: Define Your Facebook Marketing Strategy
Often times, yoga instructors and studios simply want the opportunity to share their practice with new students. However, it’s important to consider how your goals may evolve over time. Perhaps your studio will eventually want to create an inspirational newsletter. Or, maybe you will develop new health supplements or yoga props. Examples of Facebook marketing goals might include:
- Increase studio memberships
- Build awareness for a new class offering
- Promote awareness for a new, complementary service (e.g. Reiki, massage, etc.)
- Attract new customers to purchase mats, towels, and other apparel through your online store
Take time to develop a strategy that encompasses not only your immediate goals, but future goals as well. Be specific as possible, and write down your goals to force yourself to remain mindful of them with ever Facebook interaction. To learn more about developing SMART goals, visit this article on Social Media Marketing for Yoga Studios and Professionals.
Step 2: Build Your Facebook Audience
The key to building your Facebook audience is to make it easy for your page to be found. Put your best foot forward by following the 5 tips below:
- Optimize your Company Page. Be sure to pick the format that is best for your business. If you represent a yoga studio, be sure to select “Local Business or Place” so you can feature your address alongside a map. If you are a self-employed instructor, you might find “Artist, Band, or Public Figure” to be most appropriate. And if you sell products, the “Brand or Product” option is best. No matter what page type you select, be sure to fill out everything. The more information you provide, the better the opportunity your page will be discovered in the future!
- Invite Friends to Like your page. If you feel awkward about promoting your page amongst your current contacts, remember the old adage: Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter. Take advantage of Facebooks “Invite Friends to Like this Page” feature, located along the right side column of your Company Page.
- Suggest your page to email contacts. Facebook often displays Page recommendations to users. To take advantage of this feature, follow these instructions to upload your email contacts. Based on your contacts’ settings and activity, Facebook may recommend your Page as they Like, Comment, and Share similar content.
- Promote your Page offline. Of course, there are countless opportunities to promote your page in the real world. Studios may want to post a Facebook decal in their lobby, along with a prompt to Follow us on Facebook! Independent instructors may also add a Facebook icon to their business cards. When planning for an event, be sure to think of ways to promote your page to attendees. For example, you may take pictures at the event and pass out promo cards that have your Facebook Page URL, along with instructions to visit the Page to view photos and tag Friends.
Step 3: Use Facebook as a Content Marketing Channel
In addition to your website and blog, a Facebook Company Page makes an excellent channel for content marketing. Facebook’s media-rich interface makes it easy for both Fans and Friends-of-Fans to see your newest blog articles, infographics, press releases, videos, and other posts. Moreover, sharing your content on Facebook is the first step toward forging genuine relationships with new prospects (See Step 4 below).
However, the best Facebook Pages are those that are carefully curated. No single professional or brand can produce all the content that their audience needs. As a rule of thumb, Facebook marketers often post in a 3:1 ratio—for every 3 posts that promote a self-made piece of content, make 1 post to share content from an authority your audience will find valuable. For yoga professionals, those authorities might include well-known spiritual leaders, like Deepak Chopra, or sustainable food providers, like local grow-ops. Refer back to your strategy (See Step 1 above), and align yourself with causes, public figures, and brands that will help you attain SMART goals.
So, what kind of content should you produce for Facebook? For specific ideas and strategies, visit the following article on Content Marketing Strategies for Yoga Studios and Instructors.
Step 4: Focus on Relationship-Building
Next, remember that Facebook is a social media. By providing great content, you will eventually build a captive audience that will proactively return to your Facebook Page to check-in and see what you’ve been up to. One of the best ways to encourage this kind of audience relationship is through educational materials. In a Facebook marketing eBook for HubSpot, Social Media Manager Brittany Leaning (@bleaning) explains:
“When we post educational or entertaining content about inbound marketing as a whole, we generate tons of leads, because we reach more people, and give ourselves the opportunity to warm them up to the idea of doing business with us without shoving our software down their throats.”
For most yoga professionals, this approach should sound familiar. Create a safe space to learn, and students will return. To be successful with Facebook marketing, yoga studios and instructors must take that same philosophy online. Focus on building long term relationships—through educational content, or other curated media—and your audience will stay engaged. Engaged audiences are the best audiences because they are home to the types of people who will Like, Comment, and Share your content to Friends. Over time, your audience will steadily grow.
However, there are limitations to the organic (non-paid, unsponsored) growth you can expect from Facebook. In Step 5, we will see how Facebook ads can further share your content with a vast yet highly-targeted audience.
Step 5: Invest in Facebook Ads
As we learned above, the organic reach of Facebook posts fell to about 6% in 2014. To put that into context, imagine you spent 1 year building an audience of 100,000 Fans on Facebook. In 2014, you would reach just 6,000 of your Fans with a single post. Today, that percentage is likely to be even lower.
Using the Facebook Ads Manager, yoga instructors and studios can find their ideal audience using the following targeting methods:
- Location: Promote ads in a specific region. This targeting option can be as broad as Worldwide, or as specific as the zip code in which your studio is located.
- Gender: Target Facebook users according to the gender they specify in their profile. This option is ideal for promoting gender-specific classes, like prenatal yoga, or specific types of apparel, like men’s yoga pants.
- Age: Select a specific age range to display ads to only those users who are most likely to find them useful.
- Interests: Here, advertisers can take advantage of Facebooks most immense data categories. Select from thousands of interests like yoga, holistic wellness, and Yoga Journal (publication) to ensure ads are displayed to users whose Facebook activity demonstrates a specific interest in those areas.
- Platforms: Finally, advertisers can specify whether ads are to display on Facebook, Facebook and Instagram, or only Instagram.
Keep in mind: Facebook will automatically adjust its estimates for Total Reach as you specify a different location, gender, age, and interest parameters. Take notice of how this reach changes, and use this data to learn more about your potential audiences. For example, how does the Total Reach (audience size) of New York women who like Yoga compare to men in that same region? Which is more popular among men and women in Brooklyn, Yoga Journal or Mind Body Green? Be curious, and toggle the settings in the Ads Manager to learn more about different region-specific audiences. Take note of the most popular people, brands, and causes. Ask yourself: What can I learn from the things that are already popular (and unpopular)?