Posted: March 18th, 2013 | No Comments »
Does Anyone See Your Facebook Posts?
It appears there has been a shift in the Facebook “surface” formula that is good to know if you want to build your social marketing effectiveness. The “surface” formula is what Facebook uses to determine what surfaces on your news feed and what remains hidden. Understanding the formula is critical to having your Fans actually see what you post.
Mark Zuckerberg recently stated that he wanted the Facebook news feed to become the news media of choice for members. I think Facebook has seen erosion as people get tired of seeing what people had for lunch or cute pictures of puppies or inspirational sayings. To combat this Facebook must maintain relevancy or lose viewers.
As of the past week here is what we have seen happen with the activity on our postings.
- Video is getting the most views of anything. Facebook found that people are more likely to click on videos than anything else so they are making that the driving force of content.
- Posting links from articles that are relevant to things that your fans follow is getting an increase in views. It appears that there are also considerations for the publication it comes from and how much it has been getting shared on Facebook by other users.
- Posting links from blogs is the next highest activity level. Having a blog as well as posting links to articles from other relevant blogs will help your posts get seen.
- Photo albums seem to get slightly higher viewing than individual photos.
- Events are important for staying connected with your existing fan base but the viewing is hard to determine.
That’s what we are seeing now. It will probably change in 3 to 6 months as they adjust the formula based on how people respond. I will continue to post when I see changes.
Keep up the good work.
Kris Stecker, President
Spa Tech Institute, School of Massage, Polarity, Aesthetics and Cosmetology.
Posted: January 10th, 2013 | 3 Comments »
This week the Patrick administration submitted a proposal to change some aspects of the Division of Professional Licensure to streamline certain areas as well address some fee issues. The intention is to make it easier and less expensive for small businesses in the state. The changes can be seen at the Governor’s website.
A few of the most important changes affect massage license fees as well as barbering, cosmetology and electrology which will now all be under one board. The change in the fees for massage are not yet delineated but this is the time for all massage therapists to get involved to push the board to advocate for the renewal fee to be reduced or the interval for renewal to be increased. The Board of Massage information on meeting schedule as well as agendas are posted online.
Some of the meeting is open to the public and some is closed. But it’s possible to request public discussion on topics that are important to the massage community. The reality is that very few people attend board meetings. Whether people believe that their professional organizations are involved (usually through a lobbyist) or other people are taking care of things, the bottom line is that if you don’t get involved then you can’t complain if you think the fees are too high or the regulations are misguided.
That’s why if you belong to a professional organization it’s also good to make sure that they are watching out for your interests as well. In Massachusetts, for instance, massage practitioners are paying much higher and more frequent fees than other professions pay but to date, there has been no visible activity by the professional organizations that represent massage to lower the fees.
Since the current proposal came from the Governor, there will be a lot of focus by the various departments in the state to move it forward. This is the time to renew your involvement and push both your professional organization and the Board of Massage to advocate for a more reasonable fee structure.
Posted: January 5th, 2013 | No Comments »
Bright Future for the Spa and Salon Industry
It appears the industry is set for additional expansion into the future. According to a report by GIA (Global Industry Analysts) the world health spa market is supposed to grow to $77.2 billion by 2015. But what’s really interesting is the finding that a lot of the high end medical treatments are in less demand while the stress and health related services like massage, facials and fitness have increased.
Of course this makes perfect sense. People are finding that the biggest benefit is long term support rather than expensive cosmetic services that may have a higher risk factor. But also, the high end services are not repetitive. They tend to be done selectively whereas facials and massage sessions produce the best results with repetition.
Dual Licensed Spa and Salon Professionals
This is great news for people with dual licenses who are focusing on health and wellness. It continues to support the idea that the public is discovering that prevention is far more valuable than intervention. Understanding the value of long term maintenance is also showing up in the healthcare field. A recent US News and World Report article on Integrative Medicine recognize the benefits of massage and polarity therapy in the integrative model.
I couldn’t agree more that, “As the American healthcare system grows progressively stressed and truly patient-centered care becomes increasingly difficult to find, more people than ever before are looking for alternatives to the conventional healthcare model.” What is yet to be seen is how the healthcare delivery system will be affected by the Affordable Health Care Act adding millions of new dependents to a system that is already struggling.
There are already progressive companies looking towards self-insurance that include more integrative therapies and they are seeing very positive results. As the information goes mainstream existing insurance companies are likely to finally figure out what people in the wellness industry have known for years.
So keep up the good work everyone. Keep building your skills and prepare for being the leaders of the new healthcare revolution.
Be well and Prosperous,
To learn more about a professional massage or aesthetics career go to Spa Tech Institute.
Posted: October 18th, 2012 | No Comments »
How does being a smoker affect your career as a massage therapist?
This is a very delicate issue that affects clients and smokers alike. It’s important to not be judgmental. Everyone has their own path in life and no one is in a position to pass judgement on anyone unless you have walked that path.
That being said, being a smoker or having clients that smoke presents challenges to a successful career. We will start with clients who smoke.
There are two challenges. The first is to understand how you can give the person the greatest benefit. Being able to support them in getting healthier is your primary responsibility. However, the only time you should address the issue of smoking with them is if they sincerely want your help in changing this aspect of their life, either by cutting down or eliminating smoking from their life. If they ask for this support, you need to proceed slowly and carefully and work to understand their needs, stresses and past experience. The emphasis needs to be on helping them to get stronger so they can make change and learn how to make change. Based on the Law of Attraction (What you focus on you get more of) you will want to focus on how their life would be if they didn’t smoke. If you focus on quitting smoking that can often lead to reinforcing the energy of smoking.
The second thing that you need to deal with is the residual smell that can fill your space. You need to have a good strategy for making sure the smell is completely cleared from your space, linens and clothing before you see your next client. For this reason you may need to schedule smokers for the end of the day so you can air out the space and have clean clothes. You may also want to invest in an ion and or ozone air cleaner to run during the night. No matter how you handle it, just understand that non-smokers and reformed smokers are usually very sensitive to the smell and can harm your professional practice.
The more challenging situation is if you are a smoker. Again, there is no judgement on you. That is your situation and this is about strategies to learn to minimize the impact it has on your professional practice, not to scold you for being a smoker.
If you are a light smoker who is very careful about when you smoke in relation to your sessions, always being careful to wash your hair and having clean clothes that do not smell of smoke, is essential. One suggestion is that if there are smokers in your home, that you keep your session clothes at your office so you can change into them and put your everyday clothes outside of your office in your car or somewhere the odor will not get into your space.
If you are a more dedicated smoker who smokes between sessions, in your car and home and you cannot eliminate the odor from your clothes, you will probably find over time that the majority of your clients are also dedicated smokers. Sometimes this works particularly well for them because they are more comfortable going to a therapist that’s a smoker so they don’t feel judged or uncomfortable.
Of course, there are several considerations that you will need to take into account. First, smokers tend to make up a small percentage of the population in this part of the world. This chart shows the percentage of smokers broken out be state. The rates vary from 13% in the New England states up to over 22% in several of the central and southern states. In New England and California, being a dedicated smoker means that you may be restricting your market significantly.
The other question is whether smokers are less likely to seek massage since they may be less dedicated to being healthy. My guess is that smokers may have a higher level of stress and are risk takers which may actually make them a more likely candidate for the benefits of massage. If that’s the case, it could offset the clients that are harder to retain due to sensitivity to the smell of smoke.
Again, this is not judging anyone. It’s just trying to share some ideas that may help you to be more successful. Whatever your path, know that being a massage therapist is about helping people to deal with life and be healthier. By being a massage therapist you are making a significant difference for a lot of people. Thank you for doing this work and keep up the good work.
Spa Tech Institute, Schools of Massage, Polarity, Aesthetics and Cosmetology