Ah, Facebook. I resisted using it for my business until 2015. Unfortunately, I missed out on the golden age of free, wide-spread distribution of promotional content. The geniuses behind Facebook realized that businesses would pay to be seen on their platform if organic reach declined, so they continue to adjust the algorithm for business pages to encourage it. But I’ve discovered a way to get around that.
After reading a blog post from Cindy Iwlew of Bodywork Buddy, I got an idea. Her post was about getting more Facebook reviews on your page by asking clients to check in when they visit because they get a prompt to write a review the next day if they do. When you check in on Facebook, that post goes to the news feeds of all of your friends (depending on their settings). That means when clients check in, that post goes to all of THEIR friends. It sounded brilliant, but would it work?
I didn’t even know how to check in but figured my Facebook savvy clients would. I did know that even those with the best intentions would need a small incentive to follow through consistently. I decided to have a monthly contest with a prize of $10 off the winner’s next massage.
So I started asking each client if they use Facebook on their phone. Those who said yes were then asked if they wanted to check in to enter the drawing. The majority jumped at the opportunity (and I learned how to check in so I could show those who didn’t know how).
This process has taken a bit of babysitting to get established. At first, clients wouldn’t remember to check in and I often forgot, too. If that was the case, I would text them asking if they had checked in and letting them know they still could if they wanted to. Now that it’s been a few months, we’re all getting trained and most are doing it when they arrive (but I still text them if it doesn’t come up while they’re there).
One glitch in this system is that I’m not notified when someone checks in unless we’re friends on Facebook. I prefer not to friend my clients to maintain a professional boundary (if they send me a request I accept it, but I don’t send any). I concluded that I just had to trust them if they said they had or would. Even if they don’t once in a while, I’m getting a free testimonial every time they do.
I keep a list of those who check in on my phone. They get an entry each time so those who do so more often have a better chance of winning. At the beginning of the next month, I pull up the list, close my eyes and touch the screen. The name the cursor ends up on is the winner. I text them to let them know they won (and ask them to remind me if I forget), then set a calendar reminder for their next appointment (in case they forget). They also receive a $10 referral credit for new clients who name them as their referral source.
Since I started doing this in September, I’ve given away $40 in credits. I guess that means it’s not technically free, but it’s resulted in one new client who has come in twice and a gift certificate sale. As long as I’m in the black, I’ll continue doing this promotion to get more eyes on the practice that I love!
What Facebook promotions have worked well for you? If you don’t see a comment box below, please click the Leave a comment link to share. Thank you!
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