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Show Highlights

Social media is everywhere. There are entire libraries of books written on its effectiveness as a tool for marketing for small and large businesses alike. There’s so much, in fact, that it can seem impossible to find a good place to even start.

Graham and Ashkahn break down this subject and provide some simple, straight forward solutions based on their own experiences and observations within the industry.

Listen to Just the Audio

Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)

Graham: Today’s question is, “What social networks do you recommend using?” Which I’m just gonna guess it means for a float center, not like personally, you know?

Ashkahn: Yeah. Okay. So, before the specifics, I guess  , I guess the general answer – I have a general answer, for this-

Graham: Yeah.

Ashkahn: … which is kind of like, any one that you’re actually going to keep up with.

Graham: That’s a good answer.

Ashkahn: I mean, that’s the real, like – whether you are using, Facebook, Twitter, all this other stuff. None of that actually matters unless you’re actually doing it. Pretty much any social media account that you have, that you don’t actively engage with, I think kind of looks worse for your business than better. Like, if you have a Facebook page and you don’t do anything with it, and you don’t post that often, you don’t have any pictures, it kind of just feels weird when people get there. You know, they look and your last post was like a month and a half ago, and they’re like, “Are these people still in business. Like, what’s going on with this place?”

Graham: Yeah, it’s like having a website with a “Hello, World” page as your home page, you know, you just kind of like, ” is this real?” And, the same advice for a blog, right? That’s why we kind of advise people not to do a blog. Especially first thing, is because, it seems like something you can keep up with-

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: … but in reality is like, 99% of anyone who starts a blog can’t actually do a regular post. So, it ends up being sort of this deserted wasteland, if you-

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: … start something and can’t actually keep up with it.

Ashkahn: So, that would be my first criteria. Like, are you actually going to be actively updating and keeping up with whatever you’re starting? And after that, I’d say ideally any social media thing you that you also use yourself, personally, is a plus because then you know how it works. You kind of know the community. You know you’re just a little bit more, like, up-to-speed with what’s going on on that platform. If you use it personally and you’re familiar with it, and you like it than if you’re just trying to have a business presence on something you never use yourself. So that’s-

Graham: Yeah.

Ashkahn: … that’s helpful-

Graham: Especially if you’re going to be managing it yourself, you know-

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: … so, I guess more for smaller centers, and things like that obviously being familiar with these things is a huge boon. If you’re running a six-, seven tank center and you don’t personally use Facebook, maybe hiring someone to do it for you is-

Ashkahn: Uh-huh.  

Graham: … is a good idea. And that’s … you know, like, all that said, Facebook is totally the one you should do, if you don’t-

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: … do anything else. The amount of … I mean, again, just looking at the industry reports that come in every year. It’s always: word-of-mouth marketing is number one way that people get new customers in their business. And, number two is Facebook. And then there’s everything down below that. Right? So, if you are investing time into one social network, the stats kind of say Facebook is where most of the action is at.

Ashkahn: Which makes sense, you know? It has some, kind of, local filtering that you can do with it-

Graham: Yeah.

Ashkahn: .. and things like that – right? There’s just not … There’s certain … I don’t think Pinterest necessarily is going to be the right fit. Certain things just don’t exact have the same structure if I’m a local business in a city trying to communicate and reach the people around me.

Graham: Yeah, I think Twitter has not been as useful. I’d almost put that at the lower end of some of the … like the big three, at least. I think it kind of goes: Facebook – sort of way above everything else. And then, but down, like, next in line, which is a fair ways down, I’d put Instagram. And I think that’s because float tank centers just make interesting places to photograph.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: I mean, as far as picture-based social media, float tank centers don’t have the worst situation going on. We’re kind of visually interesting.

Ashkahn: Mm-hmm.

Graham: And then Twitter, like you were kind of saying. It’s not as … I feel it does better with things that are more national, or almost more current-event oriented.

Ashkahn: Right. Like a short idea that can just spread quickly, or something.

Graham: Yeah. Less geographically centered, Rooted-in-space, brick-and-mortar business. And then Snapchat. I know some float centers are using that. But I don’t know of huge traction that’s been gained with it or of people who are throwing thousands of dollars into Snapchat marketing every month or anything like that.

Ashkahn: Yeah, really as obvious as it sounds, Facebook really is kind of the big boy here. I mean, they have very well-developed at this point, kind of advertising platform that allows for,  pretty serious specificity in terms of who you’re trying to reach, and maximizing the ad dollars you’re spending. And it’s got the most, just kind of, hard confirmation from the industry. There’s a lot of float centers out there putting money into Facebook advertising and a lot of people saying that it works, and that they are getting their bang for their buck out of it.

Graham: Yeah, so in that sense, even outside of social media. Investing time and energy into building a Facebook audience and running Facebook ads is worthwhile, over things like spending money trying to do print ads or radio or-

Ashkahn: Uh-huh.

Graham: … or anything like that.

I’m going to go back on what we said a little bit early on, and say actually that, you know, even if you’re not active on social media yourself or think that you’d have trouble maintaining it, it’s probably still worth having a good Facebook page for your center. Even if that does mean, you know, pulling on one of your staff to run it, or getting someone whose job it is to just make sure you have one post going out a week. You know, on the minimum side, something like that is probably still worthwhile. There are so many people who will interact with your business on Facebook even if there’s just not, or even if there’s only a small amount of content coming out, but it’s still regular. And that shouldn’t cost you too much money or be too much of a hassle to maintain, and it’s probably just worth it.

Ashkahn: Yeah, and there’s so many, I mean, if you don’t know what you’re doing or you’re not on these things, again, you probably don’t want to be… you’re not the best qualified person to be managing them. So, realizing that and finding someone who does meet those criteria is probably what you want.

Graham: Yeah. And that said, fortunately for social media, a lot of the good content that comes out is just stuff out of your float tank center. You know, it’s not like you have to know what memes are popular right now, or any of their crazy algorithms for whether video or images are trending. I mean, those things are helpful, but the more you’re just kind of giving a real-world, behind-the-scenes look into what it’s like running this interesting, salty business that we’re in.

You know, that’s … that’s kind of the point of social media is you get to have this social aspect and actually show the real-world lifestyle of running a float center. And, I think our audiences really connect with that, you know? I usually give the example of our walls, for example, are so crazy with their sound-proofing. And you never get to peek inside them, from the customer perspective. So, there is a lot internally that you get to share that people might not even be aware of for … What went into building the float center? What goes into day-to-day running it? How much … like visually, how much salt goes into your tank? You know, these are all things you can generate pretty easily, even without too much expertise that go a long way towards driving an audience.

Ashkahn: Yeah, it really helps to just kind of genuinely giving people insight on to what you’re doing tends to be the best strategy rather than just posting, kind of, inspirational quotes on top of pictures, or more generic stuff, like that. It’s especially cool starting up. I mean, that process of building a float center is so interesting. And you get to show people, like “Hey, just look our crazy studs went in,” and “Hey, look, this happened,” and “Our first salt arrived, and look how giant a pile it is,” and all that stuff is just like, kind of perfect social media content. It’s interesting. It’s relatable. It’s kind of pulling off the wall between you and your customers. And that’s in my mind really the stuff that you should be shooting for.

Graham: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

So, I think that’s it.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: I mean, you know, definitely worth it to do Facebook. Everything after that, if you’re not going to maintain it, think really hard about whether you want to start it in the first place.

Ashkahn: Well, if you guys have other questions, you can hop over to Floattanksolutions.com/podcast.

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