If you own or manage a pole dancing studio, chances are you’re already using Social Media and if you’re not – start now! To build a successful business in today’s challenging financial world, you need to be social. Your students and their friends, who are your prospective students, are on Facebook, twitter, YouTube, Foursquare, and most recently Pinterest, so you should be too. If you haven’t heard of Pinterest yet, you will soon. It’s the latest Social Media craze. Pinterest is an online pinboard that allows users to ‘pin’ items of interest to their ‘boards.’ It’s very visual, making it an excellent platform for you to share pole dancing moves, equipment, clothing, shoes and more with others. Your Pinterest profile will also link to your Facebook and twitter accounts, giving them more exposure as well, just be sure to only link to original sources so you don’t violate any copyright laws.
I’m sure you’ve already created a Facebook Fan Page for your studio, but are you engaging in conversations with your fans? Post pictures and videos to create visual interest, and ask questions to encourage conversation. Try and create a real sense of community and strive to give people a reason to come back and visit your page. If one of your fans comments on your page, their friends will then see this comment in their news feed, giving you and your studio a much wider audience. Post a beautiful picture of an advanced pole move and it is likely that people will comment on it and hopefully it will peak someone’s interest enough to come and try a class. The more interaction you create, the greater your reach and we all know that word-of-mouth is the best advertising there is. Be sure to check your Facebook Fan Page every day and respond to any questions or comments.
YouTube is another great way to get social and spread the word about your pole studio. Videos are fun and interesting to watch and, better yet, they get shared. One of the best things about YouTube is that you can use your smartphone or camera, no high-tech camera equipment is needed, just a steady hand. Try to stick to a regular schedule, such as an instructional video for a ‘pole move of the week’ or a video celebrating your studio’s ‘student of the month.’ This way it won’t become overwhelming as you shouldn’t feel the need to post a video every day. Once you’ve uploaded your new video to your YouTube page, be sure to post it on your Facebook Fan Page because videos often get the most comments and shares.
Twitter has a far reach and can quickly grow your audience, provided you tweet with purpose. Don’t just tweet for the sake of being on twitter, engage in conversations, ask and answer questions and always add value. Be sure to use hashtags, or words with the # symbol before them that identifies keywords or topics. For example, tweeting, “I’m teaching a teaser #polefitness class tonight at 6:30 in #Vancouver, lots of space left, msg me to sign up!” Tells people what you are doing and where you are located. A word of caution, twitter can be a huge time-waster if you aren’t careful, so set a timer and start with sending out 2 - 3 tweets a day, plus a few re-tweets with your comments. Twitter is also an excellent way to stay on top of current trends in the pole fitness industry, making it a great place to find information that you can re-post on your Facebook Fan Page.
Now that you’re engaging fans online, it’s time to get social in real-time. Your pole studio is a physical location; therefore you should be utilizing location-based Social Media applications such as Foursquare and Facebook check-ins. When people arrive at your studio encourage them to ‘check-in’ by offering something of value when they do. You could offer a free water bottle to the first person who checks in for a class, or a free workshop for the person who checks-in the most in a month. Running a contest with a larger prize will encourage more people to check-in. The benefit to check-ins is that when one of your students checks in at your studio, their friends see this and it promotes your studio. The more that people do this, the more their friends will see this and, hopefully, want to join in on the fun.
Running a pole fitness studio is a challenging and rewarding experience. Use Social Media to help spread the word, share your experiences with others and ultimately, build your business.
Author bio: Kat Anderson has been a pole fitness instructor for over five years and is also a BCRPA-certified group fitness instructor. She also does freelance Marketing work to help small businesses grow and thrive by utilizing Social Media Marketing. She can be found blogging online at www.chatwithkat.wordpress.com, tweeting on twitter @marketingkat or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.