As some of you may know, I’ve recently taken up social dancing in a big way. Now, I tend to do everything in a big way- really digging into something for a few weeks or months until I’ve gotten whatever I wanted from it. I change hobbies often, but I’m super committed while I’m there. 🙂
Anyway, I’ve been taking a mix of private lessons and classes at Dance Bethesda, learning, so far, the basics of foxtrot, waltz, salsa, tango, rumba, and swing. The instruction has been top notch, and I’ve made significant progress in just a few weeks. My instructor is talking about me taking part in my first competition by November of this year; it might be my very own version of “So You Think You Can Dance?”
The reason I wanted to write about my dance studio today is that they are doing several things very well in terms of creating a fan base and following. The strategies they are using are ones you can use, too, to build your fan base through social media marketing.
Strategy #1: Be as inclusive as possible. One thing that impressed me, a lot, about joining the studio is how friendly and welcoming everyone has been. Of course, it is called SOCIAL dance, but a key strategy is to make newcomers feel welcome and included. We all have some anxiety about being the “new kid on the block”, whether in real life, or online, so be as welcoming and inclusive as possible. You might include a warm and friendly welcome video on your site, or you might make a special effort to reach out to new followers or friends. Whatever you do, make people feel welcome- they will stick around much longer.
Strategy #2: Start as early as possible. Dance Bethesda is just rolling out a kids dance program, starting ballroom and latin dance lessons for children as young as 5. Not only will this help them build another level to their training and instruction, but it’s a smart long-term customer strategy. It’s likely that these kids will continue to take part in studio activities for multiple years, and they are likely to get their parents involved too. For you, think about how you can broaden or widen the range of people you work with. You might create some infoproducts, or do some live trainings, or offer new products or services to aid more people across the business cycle. When you start early, you create longevity and lifetime customer value.
Strategy #3: Spice it up. Dance Bethesda not only offers lessons, but they also offer training for competitions, as well as dance focused cruises. They hold weekly dance parties for all sorts of holidays, and try to keep their clients interested and learning. How can you offer new and unexpected value to your network, so that they are continually learning and investing with you?
Strategy #4: Integrate your marketing. The studio uses online and offline methods to drive people to the door. They are using Facebook and email newsletters, for instance, and also advertising in the local neighborhood. Although most of us probably focus on online methods, offline ones still work. And you can build a stronger business by using both. Don’t overlook the fact that some of your future best customers can be right outside your front door.
Strategy #5: Have fun with it. Dance Bethesda has a lot of fun- and they share it. New pictures are posted regularly on their site, and they continually invite you to take part in the fun. How can you create a fun or more exciting experience within your business? Remember, everybody likes to feel like they are part of something cool and unique and interesting and enjoyable. How can you bring these qualities into your business more fully?
And the final strategy, of course, is to track your progress and give the process time to work. Tracking helps you know what’s working, so you know what to do more of- and being a little bit patient gives your marketing time to take root and grow strong.
If you want to build your social media fan base, these strategies will help you do so more successfully.