If you’re on social media yourself, I’m sure you’ve seen something in your own Facebook or Instagram feed that made you say “yuck”.
I’m not talking about those medical images from your aunt’s toe surgery that you can’t unsee. I mean the kind of disgust that we reserve for companies who are throwing their products in our face with full force when we’re trying to relax.
You don’t want to be that guy/gal.
Most people are familiar with the phrase “social media marketing” but we don’t stop and think about the words. You’ve already learned to take a different perspective on the word marketing, but did you notice the word social in there?
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, *insert-your-favourite-platform-here* and the like are supposed to be places for friends to hang out. If we’re going to hang out there as a business and connect with potential customers we need to be building relationships, not broadcasting our services. Too many business posts are the equivalent of some random guy on the street wandering up to you and trying to flog his wares to you without so much as a hello first.
Before you post anything on social media I want you to ask yourself this question:
If I saw this in my own Facebook feed, would it be interesting or entertaining to me?
Don’t post things just for the sake of it.
We’ll go into more specifics on this with examples in the ‘Like’ module, but in the meantime just concentrate on finding things to say that the people you want to reach actually want to hear.
We’re going to go through each of the major social media channels now. But, before we do that, can I say one thing?
None of these are going to make a massive difference in your studio.
Considering your options, putting the basics in place to help people discover you and understanding the value of each platform is important, and you might find a few new customers. But if you’re looking for a way to magically fill your studio with minimal effort, social media will not do that.
This is just one small part of your overall strategy. It will be a slow-burn, not an avalanche. Anyone who tries to tell you differently is lying (in order to sell you something, probably) or talking about an outlier.
Having a Facebook page has become a standard part of being a professional business and I think it’s important to have representation there. If I look a business up on Facebook and they’re not there, I’m quite surprised. If they have a page but they haven’t posted in several months it makes me furrow my brow a little.
This does not mean that you need to invest a huge amount of time on Facebook.
Setting up a page and scheduling once-a-week posts is plenty to maintain a professional appearance. Here’s how to set up a Facebook page if you don’t already have one.
If you want to invest more time in Facebook and really use it to attract new students you will need more frequent posts and to invest a bit more time. We’ll get into this in more detail in the ‘Like’ module, but for now, just make sure you have a Facebook page set up and the basic info in place.
If you’re not familiar, a ‘like party’ is where you share your Facebook page and ask others to share theirs and you all like each other’s pages to boost your numbers.
While this sounds like a good idea, I’m afraid it’s really not. You don’t want other teachers to follow your page because they are not your ideal customer. This may make your numbers look better and give you a warm feeling inside, but it will not move the needle in your business. Sorry to burst that bubble, but I don’t want you to waste your time. 😕
Make sure you have an up-to-date profile on the most popular review site in your area. (You probably already know if people in your community use Yelp or if they prefer another review site. If not, ask around to find the most popular option.)
Please note that Yelp does not recommend soliciting reviews and may penalise your account if you ask customers to review you. Try not to worry too much if you don’t have any – I don’t either!
Our goal here is to have a good face for our studio across the web. Don’t fuss over details like this, just put the basics in place and move on.
Instagram is generally not effective for finding new students. It may happen from time-to-time, but for most studios it is more useful to see the platform as a way to build the sense of community within your studio.
In other words, Instagram belongs way down the funnel at the ‘Trust’ stage. You may want to use it as part of your overall solid-gold funnel strategy, but not as a discovery tactic.
YouTube is sometimes classed as a social media platform, although it’s more accurate to describe it as a search engine. With this in mind, when considering it’s use for music studio marketing we need to think about search intent.
Search intent is the code any search engine is trying to crack in order to be valuable to the people using it. They want to show folks the answers they were looking for when they went to a particular site or typed in a certain phrase.
When someone goes to Google and searches for “piano lessons” Google knows they’re likely to be looking for local teachers.
If someone searches the same term on YouTube, do they want to be shown local teachers in their area? No. They want free tutorials for how to play Für Elise.
It doesn’t matter how fantastic your YouTube channel is. If people are not looking for music lessons there, they will not find you.
This doesn’t mean YouTube is useless. It’s an extremely valuable tool for uploading videos for free that you can embed on your website to showcase everything that’s wonderful about your studio. It’s just not a viable discovery platform for us.
Pinterest is an interesting one. It’s essentially a search engine too, but one that’s based on images rather than videos. It can be a fantastic platform for discovery but it’s definitely tricky for local businesses.
If you want to investigate this as a marketing avenue for your studio, I’ve left some links in the ‘More to Explore’ section below. Just expect a bit of a learning curve and time investment upfront as you find a way to adapt best practices to suit a local business.
If this investment doesn’t appeal to you, keep Pinterest as a place to discover teaching ideas and delicious recipes. It’s great for that. 😋
If you find Twitter fun, have at it, but do it in your free time because you are extremely unlikely to gain new students here.
All of the descriptions above reflect the free versions of the platforms. If you do want to get into paid advertising such as Google Adwords or Facebook Ads I strongly recommend you seek additional training or hire an expert. It is too easy to throw a whole pile of money down the drain if you don’t know what you’re doing with paid advertising and I don’t want to hear any horror stories of you getting burned!
If you already have your studio’s social media profiles set up and honed-in, skip to step 3.
1. Create a Facebook page if you don’t already have one (and are not morally opposed to the idea).
2. Check and edit your Yelp or other review site page.
3. Add a link to a social media profile (you choose) which you’d like some feedback on in the community forum, then review 2 other members’ pages and comment with suggestions for improvement.